I had actually planned another trip up to Wisconsin at the beginning of the year. I didn’t get a chance to go to RockUSA in Oshkosh last year because I just moved down to Austin and didn’t have PTO, but this year, I had some time off to burn. I bought my tickets as far ahead of time as I could to get the best discount on them. I had also planned well in advance to attend a meetup the night before I left. I’d then hit the road right after I attended the meetup.
On Thursday, I attended the meetup and then hit the road as planned. When I was turning left onto a street, something unplanned happened, I hit the median with my left front tire while taking a left turn. Now in over 200,000 miles with the Focus, I had never done this before. The median was a couple inches tall, about the height of a regular curb. There were no markings or any poles by it to indicate it was even there and the street was dimly lit making it even harder to see. With that being said, I didn’t realize I hit it until I took my left turn a little too sharp and I was abruptly knocked around in the car.
I pulled over to a nearby parking lot and everything looked ok. I decided to carry on. I was planning on hitting the Oklahoma Welcome Center and spending the night there but decided to push myself a little further. I made it to the Ardmore, Oklahoma Walmart and spent the night there instead. When I woke up, I noticed my tire was flat. Luckily a Murphy USA was there and they had an air pump. As I filled the tire with air, I heard air rushing out. When everything was said and done, the tire was only holding about 20 PSI.
Luckily this was a Super Walmart with a Tire and Lube Center and they’d open in an hour. I limped the car across the parking lot and waited to be customer number one for the day. I was customer number one and they were able to immediately get my car into the shop.
The rim was bent badly and I was given a mallet to bend it back since they couldn’t do so. I got it bent back enough that it would hold air. I was then able to hit the road again without much delay. I called the shop I normally go to in Marshfield and had them order me a new rim and setup an appointment for that following Monday. It was the typical long drive up I35 as usual. I did find myself in the same area of Dudley’s Corner. Somehow I always end up at this place and each time it becomes a little more of a dive gas station. This time it appears they dumped Shell for their gas brand but, instead of changing the signs, they just taped over them.
The employee behind the counter was actually still wearing a Shell shirt. I started to wonder what kind of treat I was in for the next time I stopped there. I hit the road again and made it back to my parent’s house around 11:30PM. The interesting thing about coming up this specific weekend is, a while after I got my RockUSA tickets, I also got a wedding invitation for a buddy. It worked out perfectly since I was going to be up anyway. I was originally going to work Friday and then leave Friday night but, if I took Friday off, I knew I’d make it in time. It was a nice wedding and I got to see some people I hadn’t seen in a while. After the reception, I decided to hit up the bars and see what was going on. As usual, Marshfield was dead. Since I was driving, I stuck to the non-alcoholic drinks. To blend in I decided to make them look alcoholic. The following is Busch NA in a pint glass.
I also headed to what is considered a club in Marshfield, Elixer. Like I said it was dead as usual and this was the dance floor pretty much the whole time I was there.
The next day I did a ride along with my cousin, who is a police officer on the Marshfield Police Department. I will make another blog entry on that and my observation on the differences between Texas and Wisconsin law enforcement. I then picked up my Grandma and Aunt and took them out to my parent’s house where my other set of grandparents were already there. We had a nice Sunday dinner together.
During that time all the driving and being pushed on time got to me. I took a huge nap to recover on sleep. That night I got some more sleep but was awaken when a big storm hit. The next day it had left a mess all over the place. Monday I took my car in to be fixed. I got a haircut at the place next door while I was waiting. I then took the Cougar out like I always do when I am up during the summer.
Later that night I visited a friend in Stevens Point. We had a few beers and walked to a nearby bar. You have to love Wisconsin when a bar stays open until 2:30am on a Monday night. After that, I crashed at his place and hit the road in the morning. In the rest of my free time I made sure to visit with my grandparents, friends, and also cruise in the Cougar as much as possible. I made sure to winterize the Cougar just in case I didn’t make it back up until the fall.
Wednesday morning I made a final visit to my grandparents and then hit the road for Oshkosh. It was nice to be back in Marshfield a while and visit with family and friends but I was definitely pumped for the lineup at RockUSA.
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