X Mas 2019… It’s Not What It Used To Be

December 21st 2019

It’s been about 2 weeks since we finally made it home from the Turkey Day Trip, and we’re off again. I wish I could say this was another spectacular get out and explore, look for amazing scenery, and just generally cure the travel bug that nips at our souls all year long. This is instead another trip to Nebraska to work, and visit our possessions.

Unlike the last trip we aren’t leaving while recovering from a virus. This was a properly good start. Out of the house at 7:30 AM, followed by a full day of driving to get us to the halfway point of Evanston Wyoming by 9:30PM. Interstate 80 is far from the most exciting way to spend the day, but we did make good progress and lately its been okay to trade in the excitement for simply moving forward.

December 22nd 2019

Another day of mostly no nonsense travel. We were out of the hotel and on the road by 6:30 AM. Our only real slowdown was a stop a few minutes in North Platte to snap some photos of the original Singer Sewing Store location to use for a Millard Sewing Center project.

After that we were right back to business and rolled into Omaha right at 8:00 PM.

December 23rd 2019

Okay who pissed off the 4Runner? We’re trying to leave the hotel and the truck says screw you guys I’m done. Reverse works like it should be something definitely isn’t right with any forward direction. Eventually we decide its a brake issue and limp the 10 miles to the shop so we can try and figure things out.

We put the infrared on each wheel when we arrive and find the right front corner is warmer than the rest. That caliper also is older than the rest, and come to think of it, one of the pistons did seem to stick a bit when I did the brake job a couple of weeks ago. New caliper on the way.

Oh yeah and Hi C, welcome to your new friend winter.

December 24th-28th 2019

Here’s a shocker we did Xmassy stuff. Worked at the sewing store, visited some friends, some family, saw some lights, had a late Xmas even dinner at a casino, you know all the traditional stuff.

December 29th 2019

Now things are getting interesting. In a truly Nebraska moment the days rain turned to snow as the temperature dropped. For those of you in tropical climates that means that not only are the roads frozen, you have a nice layer of snow between your tires and the ice. Sure we’ve been in worse with the truck many times. The 4Runner however is still on it’s own private XMas break enjoying the heated shop and waiting for that new caliper to show up.

I won’t for one second recommend a Prius C or the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus as a dedicated ice driving rig. It was an interesting drive from the shop to dinner and then on to the hotel however. I did a couple of panic test stop where the ABS brought the car to a stop in about 10 car lengths from the high speed of about 20 MPH. We may have actually increased speed with the brakes on. The C struggled to gain traction moving forward at even a flat intersection so we disabled the traction control as much as is possible in a modern car so a little slip wouldn’t cause an overreaction from the cars computer. We did eventually get where we were going with out spinning out of control or dying. I also learned that it is completely possible to bounce a Prius off of a very low sounding rev limiter in order to get it up a rather icy hill. I offered Jamie a turn behind the wheel but for some reason she declined.

December 30th 2019

A day late and a dollar short.

Yep the ice is melted, and now the caliper shows up. Old one is off, new one is on and the 4Runner seems ready to go again.

December 31th 2019

New years eve party? Yeah, not over here. Over here we’re building some shelves to free up space. But hey, you’re supposed to work harder on the last day of the year than most of the rest of them right?

January 1st-3rd 2020

We wanted to have left by now. I wanted to spend at least a little time doing some meandering on the way back to San Jose, so this didn’t feel just a work trip. Instead, we’ve spent that last 3 days trying to get the rest of our list done so we can leave and feel sort of good about it. Even with 12 hour days we still weren’t quite ready to head out on Saturday morning.

January 4th 2020

Even leaving the hotel at 6:30 AM would have still put us at a noon departure at the earliest. Instead the decision was made to stay one more night, and it was the right choice for sure. We finished up the work day at the sewing store with my mom before heading over to the Durham Museum to check out their Christmas Tree and display before they packed it up for the season. My mom had never been to the museum and Jamie and I hadn’t been in quite a while. Even then somehow we missed the Christmas display. Probably the most relaxing thing I’ve done in quite a while.

January 5th 2020

We’re leaving and we mean it! Out of the hotel by 9AM and back to the Evanston WY, midpoint by 9:30 PM.

January 6th 2020

Another 13 hours on the road and we’re back in San Jose by 8PM. We made a couple of quick stops but nothing spectacular.

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