I have to say, maybe the best road trip I ever took was sans any of the Amigo’s Locos. But I do want to tell a few stories from it, because it was SO classic, and so much funny stuff happened. 2 of my cousins, Juan and Roberto and I decided we were going to do a road trip. We were going to drive all the way to the College World Series in Omaha and then to the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. And obviously make some stops along the way. It was a completely random trip, there was literally no planning, we had no reservations for any motels, we didn’t have any tickets, we just let things fall where they may… and they fell in some interesting places to say the least!

Day 1 : Reno Fun and Games

We left Redding kind of late on the first day, our first stop was Reno. We had borrowed my Dad’s truck for this trek because it had a shell, and we figured it would keep our stuff dry if it rained, and we could set up a place for sleeping in the back. So we packed that truck full of all of our stuff, and bolted Redding late in the afternoon.

We decided to make a pit stop in Susanville. Our old boss from RT was working at the Susanville RT and had told us to stop by if we were ever in the area. So we did, and we were hooked up with some “FREE PIZZA”. Very cool, we were all college kids, so free food was a VERY good thing.

As we left Susanville I started to get up to speed on highway 395 with Reno now about an hour away, we were getting a little amped to get there and start having some fun.

Well… unknown to me, I was speeding up to 65 MPH in a place where the speed limit was 50. At least that is what the state trooper in the brown car told me. It was so screwed up. When the trooper pulled me over we were stopped right in front of a sign that said 65 MPH.

It was an interesting chat with Mr. Trooper…

“Do you know the speed limit here sir?”

“Yes, the sign is right in front of me, it is 65.”

“That is where it STARTS. Where you were driving is still in “Susanville City Limit”, and the limit there is 50.”

“Ok…”

So then we went through the whole license, registration, etc… after having a look at the documents, he said the following…

“Who’s truck is this?”

“Umm… my Dad’s, why?”

“Does he know you have it?”

“Of course he does, did you want to call him and ask him?”

“No that’s ok…”

He then repeated the whole speed limit thing, and eventually let us go. I guess this was a sign that good luck was going to be with us on our journey!

So an hour our so later we rolled into our hotel, “The Six Pense”. We dropped off our stuff, and headed to the Silver Legacy to begin some gambling and drinking. My younger cousin Juan, was I believe 19, so he was our sober driver. But he looked at least as old as me, if not older, so he had no problemo hanging out in the casino.

It just so happened that this turned out to be one of those rare nights were you can’t lose. I played slots and won, blackjack and won, I even walked by the roulette table and threw a $20 down on Red and won. All the while chugging down beer after beer with my legal aged cousin Roberto. Eventually it got fairly late, about 1:00, so we decided to head back to the hotel.

On the way Roberto spotted an adult bookstore that was just a few blocks before the hotel.

“Hey let’s stop there!!!”

“Ok…”

“Juan, DON’T laugh when we go in ok?”

“Ok…”

So we parked and waltzed into the smut shop. I have NO idea why we were doing it, it just seemed funny while we were under our drunken state.

Juan and Roberto started wandering around part of the store, while I was walking around another part. I was just walking around wondering why we were in there.

Suddenly I heard Roberto yell…

“Whoa?!?! That black chick is getting it up the _____ !!!”

Juan busted out into non stop laughter, as did I. So, we all started laughing, and then headed to the door.

As we got into the car, Roberto made another interesting observation…

“Hey?!?! This truck next to us has an ice chest full of Budweiser!” He said as he opened the lid.

“Grab some and let’s go!”

So Roberto grabbed a handful of Bud, and off we went. Pretty stupid… but I sure was laughing!

So after the adult bookstore bud fiasco, we finally got back to our room at about 2 AM. The bright ideas continued. After talking for a few minutes, we decided we were going to ask for our money back from the hotel, and start making the 20 hour drive to Omaha.

Of course the guy sitting in the lobby at 2 AM wasn’t about to give us our money back… and before too long we just said screw it and went to bed.

Day 2 & 3 : The long road to Omaha / College World Series

So after sleeping about 5 hours we woke up and hit highway 80 east. We were determined to make it all the way to Omaha without stopping. So we devised this plan where one of us would sleep in the back for 2 or 3 hours, someone would drive, and the other person would stay up with the driver to keep him awake. It worked, and well. However, I was the unlucky one who ended up with the worst shift. I had the last shift which was the 5 AM – Omaha drive. I remember tuning into an AM radio station and hearing the early “livestock report.” Only in the heartland. Eventually we rolled into Omaha. And up to the College World Series.

The College World Series was great. For $3 we got bleacher tickets for the days double header. Pretty cool. We also managed to have an illegal tailgate party. While walking around the huge parking lot with a beer in hand (it might have been one of the “free” buds), Roberto was approached by a police officer.

“You know you can’t take that into the game.”

“Oh… I didn’t know. Sorry.”

“And did you know that you aren’t supposed to have beer here PERIOD?”

“No I didn’t”

“Well… don’t worry about it, just throw it away before you go into the game. I would have to arrest half the people out here if we really were cracking down on beer consumption.”

Once we got into the park, Roberto decided during the second game that he was going to let the baseball he caught during batting practice fly ala Wrigley Field if a homerun was hit against Stanford somewhere in our vicinity. Well sure enough, about mid way through the game somebody jacked one out off of Stanford right over our heads.

“Come on Roberto!” We screamed.

Roberto wound up and let the ball fly! In fact, he threw it SO hard that he nearly hit the short stop. We laughed and laughed, and hoped that we wouldn’t be tossed out. We weren’t.

Once the second game was over, we decided to head across the border into Iowa to camp for the night. Some Nebraskan had told us in Iowatucky, (I don’t know why he thought Iowa was more redneck than Nebraska.) there was a lake we could camp out at.

Well, once we got there, we got a better idea why Council Bluffs, Iowa was called Iowatucky. There were a ton of creepy white trash people roaming around. It was easy to pass on camping once we saw the riff raff. So I decided that I would drive us as far as I could to Dyersville, the home of the Field of Dreams. I made it maybe an hour and a half before I had to pull into a rest area. We slept there.

Day 4 : Field of Dreams

I work up the next morning feeling like a pretzel. I had slept in the cab, while Roberto and Juan slept in the back. I wondered into the bathroom, washed off my face, and crawled into the back of the truck to get some more sleep.

A few hours later we arrived at the Field. It was great, we played catch, whiffle ball, and just hung out for awhile.

After a few hours there we sat down to decided what to do next. I suggested driving to Chicago. We were only about 3 hours away, and I had never been. Juan agreed, but come to find out, Roberto was almost out of money. I guess he blew more than he led us to believe in Reno. So we all decided we would head home.

We drove back to Council Bluffs, but this time we stayed in a motel.

Day 5 & 6 : “Pump and run” the Silver Bullet, and sleeping with Lyons.

We woke up early to drive to Denver the next day. We were a good 6 hours or so away. And I took the opportunity to sleep through Nebraska that morning. I had already seen it, and decided I would get up once we hit Colorado.

After sleeping for a few hours Juan woke me up.

“Hey!”

“Are we in Colorado?”

“Not yet.”

“Why are you waking me up?!”

“Roberto is going to do a gas run!”

“What?!?!”

“Yeah, he said he was going to do it to help make up for the fact that he is out of money.”

“Oh… Ok… great.”

So I glanced out the window and watched as Roberto filled the truck up with premium unleaded.

And sure enough, he casually got in the truck, started the engine and drove away without paying for any of the fuel. We got that initial paranoid, nervous feeling, but a few minutes later, we crossed the state line, and just like the Duke Boys crossing the Hazard County Line, we were safe.

After driving into Colorado the first real town you encounter on Interstate 76 is called Sterling. Roberto wanted to stop to find an ATM machine. He was convinced that he still had some money left in his bank account, and he was going to withdrawal it, pay me back the money I had been loaning him, and then buy a 12 pack of Coors Light now that we were in Colorado.

So we began driving through the town looking for a bank. We couldn’t find one. So we went into the grocery store. Roberto asked if there was an ATM around. The people looked at him as though he was speaking Korean. Eventually I told Roberto, we would find an ATM in a more up to date city like Denver. And I would pick up the Coors Light.

So we found a liquor store no problem. (no banks, but there were liquor stores) And I grabbed a 12 pack of Rocky Mountain High and Roberto and I retired to the back of the truck to consume our Silver Bullets while Juan graciously drove us the rest of the way to Denver.

Roberto and I proceeded to get completely tanked in the back of truck. Before we knew it we were in Denver, and our 12 pack of Coors Lite was gone. As we rolled into Denver my bladder which was full of Silver Bullet needed badly to be relieved.

“Juan, pull over I have to urinate!”

“But we are right on on the interstate!”

“I don’t care, pull over now!!!!!!”

So he did, and Roberto and I urinated on right there on the freeway. Who knows how many folks witnessed it.

Denver was cool. We went out that night to check out the bars, I remember phoning into KQMS to call Pecos and Jaime. (I wish Pecos would some day post about his radio days, there are some GREAT stories from the radio station.) And then the next day we went to an abbreviated Rockies game. About 4 innings into it a complete down pour broke out. So we left and headed towards Rocky Mountain National Park.

Our idea was to stop outside the park somewhere and camp. So… about 20 miles outside of Estes Park, we drove through this cool little town called Lyons. While driving through, we spotted this city park right on the creek in the middle of town, and they allowed camping! Sweeeeet! We were set… so we dug through the crap in the back of the truck to get our tent out. Eventually we found the tent… what we did NOT find was the tent poles. Great… we were doomed to another night of sleeping in the truck. So Roberto made a suggestion…

“Let’s go to a bar and get a drink.”

“Sounds good to me.” I replied.

So we drove around the little town, and found the only descent looking place, “Oscar Blues”. It was actually a pretty cool little place, and it was the first time that I was introduced to Fat Tire.

Now, my cousin Roberto is a very friendly person. He can strike up a conversation with anyone. So as we sat at the bar crying in our beer about the fact that we didn’t have a place to sleep.

Before to long Roberto was talking to this older gentleman on the other side of the bar. After talking to him for a few minutes Roberto gestered to me to come closer. So I did, and he whispered into my ear…

“Hey, this guy is the Mayor of the town!”

“Really? That’s cool…”

“I am going to ask if him if there is any place we can stay.”

“Go for it Roberto!”

So he began talking to the mayor. Soon after I joined in the conversation. And before I knew it, I was buying a round of tequilla shots for us. Then Roberto went in for the kill…

“Is there any place you know of where we can stay tonight?”

He then proceeded to tell the sob story of our lack of tent, how far we were from home, how poor he was, etc… After a few minutes the mayor made a suggestion.

“You can sleep on my front yard.”

Cool enough! We were set, we would set up shop on the Mayors front yard to rest our weary and drunken heads.

So we continued to drink with the Mayor, and the other locals, and eventually it got late, and we got drunk.

I was ready to go to our yard for the night, as was the sober Juan. But Roberto was hitting his stride. He assured us he was becoming really friendly with the girl behind the bar. Sure Roberto… so we waited while he put the “moves on”. Nothing happened, and eventually at some very late hour we drove to the mayors house and went to sleep. The mayor had asked us to remember one thing while we were sleeping there…

“Please don’t urinate in my well.”

We didn’t.

Day 7 – 900 miles is a REAL long drive in a car…

So the next morning we arrose, and Juan and I made the drive into Rocky Mountain National park. This was going to be one of the highlights of the trip for Roberto, but he said he wanted to sleep for the hour or so before we got there. Once we entered the park we tapped on the window to wake up Roberto, no luck. When we reached the high point of the drive we tried again to wake him up… he proceeded to lift his head, glance out the window, and fall back to sleep. I think Roberto ended up missing pretty much the entire park.

Juan and I kept driving. And the driving was getting really boring. Western Colorado is pretty dull after you pass the rockies. As we finally crossed the Utah line, we started looking for a gas station. Roberto was up… and he was determined to get some free gas again.

The first real town you enter as you arrive in Utah is Vernal. So we were driving around Vernal looking for a prime gas station. I wasn’t sure what constituted a prime candidate for pump and go, but we drove along through town passing a few stations that didn’t quite look right.

Then we saw it. The “holy grail” of pump and run. There was a 7-11 was a giant semi parked RIGHT in front of the windows. It was blocking the view out to the pumps.

“Whoa! We are going there!”

Since Juan and I weren’t the one’s behind this scam, we let Roberto run the show… he did ask me to do one thing while he pumped the gas.

“Paco, go inside and buy some gum or something…”

‘Why, do you want some?”

“Not really, it will just be a devirsion though.”

“Ok…”

So I went in purchased my gum and Roberto stayed out and pumped premium unleaded into the truck. When he was finished we drove off. It was too easy! We laughed for miles about how set up that station was.

Eventually we arrived in Salt Lake around dinner time. So we went to Chevy’s downed some Fresh Mex, and a light Utah beer. It was then decided that we were just going to head home.

It was sooooo long. Nevada is too big, especially when you are driving through it at 3 AM. I think we rolled into Redding around 9 AM. And I proceeded to sleep until about 5 PM. The journey was over, but the memories live on!