So we got up the next day, New Year’s Day 2015, about 7:30am and we were back on the road by 8:15am. We were finally on the last leg home. I never felt so good to be on Interstate 39 north. We topped off with gas, checked the tires and bunk, all good, and started off. 464 more miles until home. One more gas stop as well in Wisconsin. The trip was pretty uneventful through the rest of Illinois. When we got to the toll booth to get in to Wisconsin and exit Illinois, there were 2 cars ahead of us in the line we were pulling in to. I then notice the guy in the booth next to it, get out and motion us all over to his lane. Oh great, this one is closed. So I slowly came to a stop, put her in reverse, and slowly back up a ways and then drove in to the next toll lane after the cars that were ahead of me. That was interesting. So after paying $4 instead of $1.90 as I had a whole ‘nother axel…. We were on our way and in Wisconsin. That much closer.
Wisconsin was, well Wisconsin. In the winter…. We did fine and the boat was staying where it needed to and moving not on the trailer but, with the trailer. We pull in to the Shell station in Lake Delton Wisconsin, not too much farther…. I look at the trailer tires and I see that the one on the left, the other original one from Florida, is worn to the cords. Oh hell, we just want to get home…. So I ask inside if they have a service guy and they said no but Wal-Mart is 3 blocks down and he can call them. So the guy calls the tire service department and they say “Sure, we can change that out”. Awesome so we driver the three blocks, pull in the back by the auto service area and go inside. Here is where the guy says “Oh no, we can’ put a tire/rim on the trailer, we can only put a tire on a rim.” Kidding me right? At least they were open on New Year’s Day. So I bite the bullet and buy a couple of bottle jacks as no way is my jack going to cut it.
Well those couldn’t extend enough to get the trailer an inch or two in the air we needed to get the tire off. So, I call our friends at Boat US again. The gal takes down the information and says she will call back. I call a couple of friends as I am reaching a point where I do not want to be. Just………. Want……… To………… Get………… Home. After about 15 minutes Boat US calls back and says a guy is 30 minutes out. I said to send him and told here where we were. About 15 minutes later a gal from the service company calls and I tell her we are at the Lake Delton Wal-Mart. Boat US forgot to mention that apparently.
The service guy shows up about 20 minutes later and swaps out the tire at pretty close to NASCAR speeds. Makes sure both tires are at the right psi and tight. I give him some info, ask if he thinks the Pack would rather face the Lions or Cowboys. They are getting the Cowboys this weekend. Anyway, and off we go. We are on the final leg home.
As it starts to get dark, I am getting tired, my back has a knot in it, and I am just driving. Stu starts talking to me about music and sports to help me get through the time. He later said “You must have said ‘We just need to get her home’, about 250 times that night.” I bet I did if not more. I turn the flashers on as it is dark now and we can see the miles counting down to Minnesota. We probably could have made it without another gas stop but, it was going to be close so we stopped and I filled up again. Tires good. Bunk good. Let’s get home.
We crossed the border and got on to 494 south and everything started looking very familiar. We got on to Cedar/77 north and then too our exit and then to the house. I parked in front of my house, blocking my driveway with the boat. Stu had asked earlier in the evening if that was legal in Richfield and I said “F*** Richfield. I am doing it.” So we got home at 8:45pm, 12.5 hours after leaving Bloomington, IL.
We unloaded our stuff and I made good on a promise to Stu I had made somewhere on the road as we were tightening the bunk for the who knows how many times. I poured us each a couple ounces of whiskey and we shot them down together. Stu called some friends and soon he was off with them. I couldn’t wind down, even with another 4oz pour of whiskey on the rocks, but finally went to bed about 11pm. What a whirlwind trip and events. Been a long time since I was that glad to be home. We got up the next morning and Stu guided me as I got the boat in the driveway.
I learned a few things on this trip that will stay with me if I ever do anything close to this again. But, she is in the driveway, that’s the important thing.
Mileage grand total:3363.9
Mileage grand total:3363.9
Now we just need spring……