It began innocently enough, as such things do. Then...first I left the big door open when we pulled away from the motel, and "stuff" fell out on the road. Hey--could happen to anybody.
But at a nice man's motel in Ogallala the next morning, the nice man said, "Oh, there's plenty of room to turn that thing around--just pull under the portico." That "thing," was our 26' truck towing our Buick. There wasn't quite "plenty" enough and I scrapped a bit of brick off the corner of the building. Cosmetic to be sure, but it bent the fender on the tow dolly and that cost us 2-1/2 hours waiting for U-Haul to send a guy with a spud bar to take about 45 seconds to pry the finder away from the tire...and off we went toward Montana. Then the real fun began.
About 20 miles short of Casper, Wyoming, the left inside dual shredded--tire all over the freeway! The fun part was the seven!!!! hours it took U-Haul to fix it because, first, they sent the tire guy off in the wrong direction, and when he finally showed up, U-Haul had ordered the wrong tire. The tire guy, who was otherwise a good man, invented some new profanity strings, and we wound up in a Casper hotel overnight--at this point about 11 hours behind schedule in a 16 hour trip.
My favorite call to U-Haul went something like this: Me: You said three hours--they've come and gone. Where's the tire guy? U-Haul: He's on his way--he's at exit 25. Me: Lady--do you realize that Exit 25 is about 140 miles from here? I'm at exit 165! U-Haul: I'll call him back...U-Haul: He's on his way, he's about 30 minutes away. Me: Thank you, U-Haul lady.
The tire guy was supposed to call us when he was 30 minutes away so we could meet him. No call. When we got back to the truck he was already there, loud and profane over the wrong direction and wrong tire. No one told him to call.
When we finally got to Bozeman, late Sunday afternoon instead of early Saturday morning, the realtor hadn't held our house, so our stuff sat in the U-Haul truck for two extra weeks. U-Haul did pay for the hotel and dinner, and gave us some extra days...when the smoke cleared they owed us $.61! Sixty-one cents. Like that made everything OK.
I leave you by introducing myself as U-Haul's new ad agency. We'll see how they like it.
In the meantime...two mornings at IHOP amount to two more than anyone should have to bear. Our temporary host, Lee, suggested three good breakfast spots in Bozeman, and we found the Stockyard Cafe. Two tables and maybe 22 stools. It's open Fri, Sat and Sun from early till 1 (2 w/ lunch on Fri). Indescribable until you go there to see for yourself. The ad in the phone book just says "Find It." It's really the Stockyard Cafe, and it's one of those greasy spoons you go to when you've been out all night and the night didn't go all that well. Rules on the back of the menu include nuggets like, "Save your fork," "If you have a spoon you don't need a fork," "Stir your coffee w/ your fork," "Don't ask for ice--we don't have any," and, my favorite so far, "Leave when you're done."
The menu is eclectic, one chef wears a do-rag, nearly everyone has facial hair (not the women), and we sang Happy Birthday to a complete stranger, who left when Kristin (I think) told him and his two friends they'd been babbling long enough and she needed to turn the stools. Perfect. You don't need a tetanus shot, but you do need a right attitude. We'll go back.