Tuesday, December 2, 2014

That Time the Door Blew Off

Why is this a Two Wedding Triangle Trip?  So far we've been to Fort Worth, Guadalupe, Carlsbad, White Sands, Albuquerque and only one wedding. Have I left you scratching your head?

Never fear, dear reader.  In this episode of "Someday 1959" you'll hear about the second wedding, two triangle sides, and one lesson learned the hard way.

First, allow me to explain the "triangle."  For this demonstration you're going to need a map of the continental US.  Let's follow our trip route.  Now, take your index finger and trace from Atlanta to to Albuquerque.  Then, move your finger up to Milwaukee and back down to Atlanta.  See?  It's the perfect triangle.                                

Our second "side of the triangle" was a sprint from Albuquerque to Milwaukee, WI.  We left Tuesday after the mass ascent and made it 1,500 miles to Milwaukee by Thursday evening. Zipping through beautiful Colorado, I looked up and noticed that the trailer door was open.  Yikes! I stopped at the side of the highway.

The hinges were bent.  Brian took the door off so he could bend the hinges back.  Oops.  I guess we forgot to lock that deadbolt we just installed. Some rivets along the inside top of the door were compromised, too.  We'll fix those later... we've got ground to cover.

 Note to self: lock the deadbolt. every time.

Back in service.

Tuesday night we slept in Colorado Springs in the shadow of Pikes Peak.  (No time to ride the tram.  Next time, right?) Before leaving town we devoured a tasty breakfast at a quaint cafe with decor, prices, and service stuck in the 1960s. 

Perfect nap spot in Colorado near this irresistible tipi picnic table.


I was charmed by Iowa's rolling hills and farms. We stopped at a roadside pull-out for a nap. (Do you see a theme here?  I wonder if I'll be able to say "I took a nap in all 50 states" one day.  I think the late night watching the gas balloons caught up to me.)   Under the picnic table was a healthy, thriving, tomato plant.  That's Iowa.  Drop a tomato seed from your BLT and a tomato plant grows.

A brief stop at Antique Archaeology storefront home of the American Pickers TV show. The van was home but we still didn't see any sign of Frank, Mike or Danielle.

Milwaukee, WI
Seasonal campgrounds are a concept that was first introduced to us on our 2012 New England leaf peeping tour. Most Georgia campgrounds are year-round.  Happily, the Wisconsin State Fairground Campground is open year round.  There was only one problem.  The parking lot style sites seemed more suitable to large 5th wheels and RVs.  We couldn't be close enough to both the sewer and the freshwater and needed to get one extender or another.  Ah-ha!  The perfect excuse to check out the Airstream dealership in Franklin.  Maybe even pick up some Airstream swag.

First, Friday morning breakfast.  Are grits even legal in Wisconsin?

Without going in too much detail, we came away from the Airstream dealership empty handed and a little dazed.  I cannot even imagine what it might be like to buy one's first Airstream at a car dealership.  No freshwater hoses, no power cords, no sewer hose extension, and definitely no Airstream swag.  Thankfully, they knew of a place suitable for our needs not too far away.  We found a small fresh water hose extender to give us full hook-up luxury!

Saturday was filled with my dear cousin's super hero themed wedding complete with batman bouncy house and nuptials in front of a Tardis.

Wedding party.
  (Yours Truly included.)

Wedding party in the bouncy house.
(Also including Yours Truly.)

After spending a few days in Milwaukee catching up with cousins and laundry it was time to head toward my grandparent's house in southern Illinois. Grandpa suggested a nice way to go around Chicago but I couldn't resist the opportunity to have a Chicago dog!  The kids seemed overwhelmed with the choices at the busy lunchtime counter.  (You eat what on a hotdog?!?)

Well worth the jaunt through Chicago.

I-57 South, the middle of Illinois. What do those people want?
Driving through the middle of Illinois about and hour and a half from my grandparent's house someone pulled up beside us.  They were traveling at the same speed.  I looked over. They were saying something and making hand gestures. It wasn't the typical "thumbs up."  I asked Brian to figure out what they wanted.  He looked over then suddenly exclaimed  "They said our door blew off!" What?!

We drive back and find the door at the side of the road.  Shiny side down.  Deadbolt locked.

How in the world did this happen? 
Maybe we should have fixed the compromised rivets back in Colorado.
Maybe we never should have added deadbolt in the first place?

We pulled off at the next exit, Champagne IL and bought plastic sheeting and duct tape.

First we tried taping the plastic to the inside. Duct tape that's been on aluminum for very long isn't so easy to get off from what I remember.  Taping it to the inside really didn't work.  We had to stop again in a few miles to tape it up again. 

By the time we got to Grandma's it was dark. 
This cloud has a silver lining.  Grandma's guest bedroom was ready for us and even our kitty is welcome there.

In the morning, we braved the cold (and rain) to figure out what was next.

We considered fixing the door at Grandma's house.  Grandpa has an impressive cache of tools.  (Hmm.  Don't see any Alclad though.  My uncle works at an aluminum factory 30 miles away but ironically, there's no Alclad there either.) It's a work week for Brian which means he only has evenings to work on the door.  Brian thought it best to do the work at home.  We would use plywood to cover the opening. 

But wait!  I still want to get IN to the trailer.  No worries! We'll have a door within a plywood door.

My grandma likes to paint.  So, we really can't say it was a big surprise when she started talking about the design we should put on the door.  There were a few ideas tossed around before we settled on painting some of our favorite balloons from the Balloon Fiesta.

Everybody helped.

 This picture courtesy of Grandma & Grandpa Wilson

This picture courtesy of Grandma & Grandpa Wilson

 You might note that the new door within a door goes the other way.

Yes, indeed.  The Two Wedding Triangle Trip will go down as another trip with slightly too much adventure. 

However, everyone is safe.  Our door was found (in relatively good shape, even!)  All is well.  We have yet another story to add to our collection of adventures.

Home again, home again, jiggety jig!
We have a new door on our rig!