The next two days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning, meshed into one long day as we drove straight through from Lake Tahoe, CA to Rochester, NY without stopping for anything other than food, gas, and restrooms. I remember the trip in two distinct sections: mountains and no mountains. The drive from Tahoe through Wyoming was absolutely incredible with such diverse and rugged mountain scenery. Most memorable was coming down from Lake Tahoe early in the morning, where you start to realize just how high up and remote you really are. The descent made you feel like you were coming down from a separate, mountainous, snow-covered world above the clouds. Then as we approached Salt Lake City, the mountains took a much different appearance with incredible sculptural rock formations imbedded into the sides. During this stretch of the trip, the scenery was unique and foreign such that it felt like we were still undergoing an adventure as oppose to just driving home.
As we headed toward Chyenne, WY Friday evening, I started to doze off as everything was smooth and quiet. I was half asleep when I heard a loud smash on what I assumed to be the windshield, and heard Mom say “it came through…I feel rocks.” I immediately popped up horrified with the imagery of what I was imagining had just happened. But was immediately baffled to find the windshield fully intact. We could hear glass rolling around on top of the car and some had even landed in Mom’s and Dad’s lap. As we pulled off to the side of the highway, it took a minute to realize that it was coming from the sunroof. Dad explained how a large truck carrying two liquid tankers had passed and then merged in front of him. The truck was extremely muddy and we suspect that a clump of mud and rocks must have bounced up between the luggage carrier and roof of the car. It made for a cold, loud, and windy ride to Walmart where we got a plastic tarp and duct tape to cover it up for the remainder of the ride.
By the time we got to Nebraska everything flattened out and started to look the same; it was no longer an adventure, we were now just driving home. I think we were all feeling that way. Thanks to Dad, Mom, and Shannon and their driving shift rotation and ingenuity on the sunroof, we made it home quickly and safely. It felt sad and strange to see the Volvo and trailer parked in our driveway in Pultneyville. It feels as though our journey has ended. We are extremely anxious to put this surgery behind us, move forward, and get the Volvo back on the road where it belongs!