We finally left Madison around 4:30 pm on Tuesday, August 14.
I made sure the car was in good order, getting a car wash, tire pressure and fluid levels checked, full of fuel. Then we were off. Driving through rural Wisconsin and into Iowa, stopping almost every hour for a pregnant woman pee break. I realized that this was going to be a slow, long trip.
Izzy’s back had been bothering her, typical pregnant back aches, since she had been in Utah and had been taking Tylenol as often as permitted. This drive was torture on her back. The Hyundai was uncomfortable and started shaking as soon as we got up to 65, quite a workout to drive and to ride. We made it to Des Moines around 9:30 and decided to stay the night.
From our limited view of Des Moines it seems that they are obsessed with facilitating parking. There are parking garages with bridges to buildings all over. Even a mention to the concierge that we might want to stop by the Iowa State Fair (all the famous people were stopping there) in the morning garnered us a detailed description of our parking options.
At 2 a.m. it was clear we were not going to stop by the state fair. Izzy woke up with intense back pain and was out of Tylenol, and sporting a fever. We needed to get back on the road and make some serious progress toward home. Thanks to the front desk at the Hyatt, Izzy was medicated and we were back on the road around noon.
Again, the going was slow. The car started making funny noises and overheated as we drove into Kearney, Nebraska. We had a leak in the radiator, which we attempted to remedy with a radiator crack repair goo.
While we were in Kearney, letting the car cool, Izzy started overheating. We decided to stop by the urgent care for some professional help. She was diagnosed with a kidney/bladdar/UTI and given a very painful shot of antibiotic. We got back on the road as the sun was setting and drove to North Platte, where we spent the night.
We left North Platte, and after about an hour the car overheated again and stalled just off a truck stop exit between Ogallala and Juelsberg. It would not start again, blown head gaskets. After a long day of sitting, waiting, being stranded, towed and driven back and forth across the prairie, we purchased a 2002 Honda Accord from a dealership in Ogallala, went back to Juelsberg to retrieve everything from the Hyundai we got back on the road shortly after 5 p.m. This time, the ride was luxurious. The Honda is quiet, comfortable, and doesn’t shake at all.
We stopped for gas and dinner just east of Cheyenne, and were delighted to find this gas station restaurant that served Indian food! Yum!
We drove home, arriving around 2:30 a.m.