Yellowstone Vacation – Part 5
Friday, September 14, 2001
When we woke up, we called the United flight information number, and were informed that the flight was cancelled. This did not break our hearts considering that we weren’t sure that the security threats were under control yet.
Next, we called into our offices and let them know that the flight was cancelled, and that we did not know how long it would take to get home. Terry’s boss (and close friend) then called around and found a rental car at Avis. Apparently, some travelers had arrived home after we checked the day before. If Terry’s boss hadn’t found the rental car, we had decided to buy a used car just as we had heard on the radio the day before!
While we were standing in line at Avis, one of the agents said, “Oh no, we just received a Crown Victoria.” Apparently, they didn’t normally deal with Crown Vics in Denver. We were next in line, and quickly spoke up and said that we would take it. We knew that it would make the long drive ahead of us more comfortable. When we got out to the parking lot, Terry was happy to see that it was white with a dark grille in the front, making it look like a police car. He knew that other cars would probably get out of our way while we were driving.
Terry’s rash on his leg was spreading, so we went to another emergency care center. The doctors seemed to think that Terry was allergic to something he had come in contact with, such as a different soap. They gave him prescriptions for Zyrtec and Prednisone.
We then had to drop off the original rental car at Thrifty and pick up the car from Avis. We also needed additional supplies for the rest of our trip. We didn’t want to waste any time at a laundry, so we bought some socks, etc. We had already bought tourist t-shirts, so we were wearing them. We also needed an atlas, so that we could find our way home. After running all of these errands, we finally left Denver around 2:30 pm.
We drove east to Salina, Kansas on Friday, stopping at about 9:00 pm. While we were standing in line to check in, the clerk indicated that they only had a few rooms left available. Fortunately, we got one of them.
That night, the only food available was in the bar, so we had club sandwiches for a very late dinner. We talked to another couple in the bar that was also driving home from vacation. It was their anniversary, so we bought their dinner. It was the least we could do to make the day a little better for them.
Saturday, September 15, 2001
We drove all day today. At some point, American Express decided that our cards must have been stolen, because they froze our credit cards. We found out when we tried to get gas, and the card was declined. I guess they were just trying to protect us, and they couldn’t get hold of us to confirm that we were using the cards, so the made a judgment call. Fortunately, we had other credit cards with us.
We only stopped when the car need to be filled with gas. When the car drank, we ate. We made it to Chattanooga and stopped for the night.
Sunday, September 16, 2001
It was more of the same thing today; driving, driving and more driving. We’ve listened to Alan Jackson’s song, “Where I Come From” countless times since Tuesday, because it was the new hit. It took 37 hours driving time to get home, but we were glad to arrive safely!
The family later held a separate service when we interred my stepfather’s ashes, as I did not make it home in time for his funeral service.