Road Trip

San Diego California is where this trip started. It was June 1980. Moving day for the Westberg’s with three people in the family. The husband Bob, wife Bee, daughter, BJ. BJ was already in Buffalo Wyoming since January 1980. She was in school staying with her grandparents on her stepfather’s side. Nice western couple. The grandfather is a cowboy in the whole since of the word. The wife a real living cowboy’s wife to the point they should have been pioneers. In fact they always said they should have been born during the days of covered wagons and Indian up rises. Sometimes I believed they were correct. Bob wanted no part at being a cowboy. He wanted to be modern instead. He loved working on cars, building, and fixing things. He just got out of the Navy a week before. The Navy paid to have there things shipped up to so much weight. The moving van had most of what they owned on the road the day before. The Westberg’s had to pay for the rest. Bob was extra careful with money, therefore he packed the Scout Traveler with as much as humanly possible. Pulling another car that had a sign on it with the words, “In tow” big letters” smaller bumper sticker with, “On diet! I do not waist fuel” filled to the max as well. Bee was the one that was ready long before time to go. Everything that can be was pack and ready months before. She had the food ready for the trip so they could go for the whole day without stopping at a restaurant. It was about six in the morning the tip was started. Not much traffic at this time. Everything turned off, electric, gas, place cleaned, nothing left behind. All the good-bye’s said, tears shed. The journey begins from their old life in San Diego to a new life in Wyoming. Nothing was wrong. As they drove the traffic started to increase of course. The farther they traveled in Southern California the worse traffic became. They expected this to happen. Next they stopped for gas before getting out of Southern California. Once they passed into mid California traffic was less and less. Calm in fact. Heading across the Arizona border everything was just fine. Beautiful painted mountains, Indian road side stands, small towns that looked like they were from TV shows and movies instead of real life. Grand Canyon is coming up. Bob would not stop for anything if he did not have too. He had a destination and that was where he is going. Bee wanted to at least stop to see the Grand Canyon. Bob said, “No! We are to be in Buffalo Wyoming for my brother’s wedding and nothing will keep me from getting there. As Bob drove around the Grand Canyon the clutch started to slip. He became concerned they may have no clutch before long so he better stop soon. It was late in the afternoon when they pulled into the garage to have them check it for out. The mechanic informed Bob it was going to be awhile so if they wanted to they could go into the restaurant for something to eat or go into town for some shopping. Bob being the concretive man wanted to just hang around the place till it was done. They were there getting too much sun and becoming irritable. Finally the mechanic was taking care of the vehicle. Bob got so hot and hungry he said they needed to get something to eat at the restaurant. As they went inside it was cool and nice. Not large, nor fancy. They had tables instead of booths like so many small places. The food was served with politeness and a smile. This is not what it was usually like in California. Such a nice change from what they always knew. When they started to pay the bill before leaving, they were told that the bill was already taken care of because when the mechanic came for coffee he informed they were getting these people’s vehicle worked on. Therefore no charge was on the meal. What a blessing on Bob’s wallet. It was getting very late when the Scout was ready to go. The mechanic informed Bob that the clutch was still good, just too small for the work it was being asked to do. Asking Bob if he could buy the clutch from him telling the price before buying it and what it would be after buying it. Bob being a man always looking for a way to save a buck allowed him to take it and remove the money from the bill. After they got down the road about twenty or so miles thought about the deal he made with the mechanic. Being upset that the mechanic now had the good clutch and could sale it made the trip worse for both of them. Bee reminded Bob that he made the decision on his own. No one forced him to do it. Driving straight through from California into Arizona, Colorado, into Wyoming was the plan. Now they were behind on their time. Over half a day lost due to a clutch. Bob’s problem how were they going to make up the time lost when the clutch went crazy. Bee was glad for the break in the trip. Next they needed to stop and eat something. They had not eaten in over six hour and Bob was not use to going without eating three times a day. Bee never did eat three times a day in her life. Usually one meal was what Bee would eat. Her job was one that kept her going from morning till evening, no stops in between for lunch. Bob was getting really sick from the heat, not eating, and the stress from being the only driver. He needed to stop. No restaurants were in sight. Not one town was in sight. They could not find any stores or gas station, open anywhere either. What are they going to do now? Bob stopped beside the road so he could relax himself from the pressure inside his stomach. All of a sudden he was overwhelmed with the urge to let go of everything he had inside him from breakfast through lunch. It all came up on the side of the road, with no way to stop it at all. As soon as Bob felt better he started to drive away from the horrible sight and smell of the stomach contents left beside the road. Still no cars in sight anywhere they drove till finally a place to stop and eat. It was morning and the CafÃ?© had just opened perhaps fifteen minutes before. What a welcome sight for the two of them. Breakfast was served with cheer and plenty of food. Bacon, hash browns, two eggs, toast, coffee, and conversation with the other people. Bob was at the top of the world now. Just what he loved, being the center of the conversation about what he was doing? Bee loves to talk as well. She could not get a word in because it was Bob’s place to explain what they were doing and places they are going, what all has taken place these past two days. Bee just sat there listening to his bragging and wanting to correct him in the points he exaggerated in. He was good at telling things better or worse than they really were. Bee learned this in the one year they were married. It seemed people would eat it up as he told them the tails, each and every word sounded so true. As Bob and Bee left the CafÃ?© everyone wished them a safe trip then began conversing with each other. Bob was happy now for he got to talk to new people and tell them big tails of his journey throughout the past few days. He got to be the one that spoke about everything that happened so far. What a delight traveling with him now. Next stop was in Laramie to see the place The Virginian was wrote and made into a TV series back in the 1950’s and 60’s. The stories were based on true people. Only new stories were added in so they could make a good show. Some of the folks names were changed or added as needed. I thought he would go see the ranch in Medicine Bow so he would know more about it. No that was too far away and would make us later getting to our destination. All we did was go through the hotel that was made into a museum so the public traveling through could get a view of what it was really like for those that lived back then. The clothing, the style of furnisher, and lifestyle these people had each time they would visit the town and stay at the hotel. The Westberg’s were back on the road toward their destination. They stopped at a restaurant that was a quaint little place with Jackalopes all over the place. Jackalopes are a rabbit with horn attached to their heads. Are these real? If you were to ask people around there they would convince you by all means they are real. Ask if someone has really caught one, their story changes quite a bit, No, but I almost had one the other night. He jumps much higher than anyone can guess, they are so fast that you have to shoot two feet in front of it for the bullet to catch up and take one of them down. Stories like these are common about the jackalope. As we left their stories they told of the jackalope and Bob’s exaggerations behind in the restaurant as we drove on toward Buffalo, Wyoming. All was peaceful with Bob very happy about the stories he told and the tails they told. He already knew there’s no such thing as a jackalope. Bee was sure there was nothing like that anywhere in the world, yet it was possible that something could be out there without man seeing it. Such a long drive without stopping to sleep, Bob was getting cranky again. Bee suggested they stop for coffee and a snack somewhere so Bob could take his finale break before Buffalo. Bob gave in and they stopped at another cafÃ?© that wanted to share their Jackalope stories also. Bob got jesting with them while getting to add in his story. He said he saw a Jackalope last night while driving. People knew he was telling a whopper, yet if they said so they would have to agree there’s no such thing as a Jackalope. Now Bob was ready to go. He was so pleased with himself out telling them there own stories. He reminded Bee of a peacock strutting around with his feathers full bloom showing how great he is. Finally the sign letting them know that Buffalo is 40 mile ahead. They had to find the way to his parent’s ranch from downtown Buffalo. Since they’re move to Buffalo two years before Bob got out of the Navy. It seemed like they would never get to Buffalo in all the trips miles behind them. Now here they are. BJ had gone with Bee on the train there in January. The train stopped in Cheyenne and they had to take the bus from there to Buffalo. The bus stopped at the Occidental Hotel in Buffalo where the Virginian shot his man. Bob’s parents met Bee and BJ at the Occidental Hotel when the bus dropped them off at one oÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½clock in the morning. When Bee left it was from the Occidental Hotel at three O’clock in the afternoon to return back home in San Diego. So she did not really know the way to the ranch like she wished. They found the ranch at around four O’clock in the afternoon that day. It was two days before his brother’s wedding. Now for some much needed rest, Bee was so tired that as soon as she sat down sleep feel upon her. Bob had to calm so he was able to rest. BJ was so happy to have her parents that she was not sure what should be done first. The whole family was back together again. Looking for a house to live in would have to wait till next week. Rest and a wedding was all the family could think of right now. BJ is now a mother of five, three of her own and two stepchildren living in Oklahoma. Bob is gone from this life for over a year. Bee is the one that told this story. Bee lives in Ohio close to her mother, brothers and sister.

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