I was wide awake just a few minutes after 6 with nothing
to do. Naturally I looked through Paul's bookcase and found a few books
on soccer coaching hidden between books about his other passion: beer.
After a couple of hours of reading Paul finally woke
up and I rousted the boys. We had some cereal and were all set to go when
I asked Paul what he was going to do today. He was going to watch the
English Premier Soccer League opening game. Sounds good to me. Matt also
wanted to stay which meant Todd's dissenting vote didn't count. We wound
up watching the first half and then left.
Getting out of Paul's downtown neighborhood proved
to be quite easy and soon we crossed the Mississippi into Illinois. Had
Melaina been with us I would have had her write Paul a ticket for lying
about the drive time back to Manitowoc. His 7 hour estimate, I quickly
determined, was a bit too optimistic. My original guess of 8 hours was
closer to the truth, and we indeed made it in just under 8 hours.
In the meantime, however, I was cursing the length
of Illinois. Todd wasn't the only one who wanted to get home as soon as
we could. I was tired of driving and wanted nothing more than to check
my e-mail, drink some milk and unpack---in that order.
By 6 PM we made it back home. I called Yumi who said
she'd be over in a little bit to help unload. By the time she got to my
place we had most of the trailer unloaded and Yumi's posessions in the
back of her van. Matt was most useful cleaning the interior of the van
while Todd and I put our own things away.
We returned the U-Haul to the rental place and our
trip to the mountains was officially over.
But not for me. I had to check and see how poorly my
photos had turned out. I thought the reason my camera might have been
buggy at Cloud Peak was due to condensation on the inside. Turns out that
probably wasn't the case as photo after photo shot on the trip turned
out to be lacking color where it should have it and the lighting almost
always wrong. To say this pissed me off greatly would be accurate.
I spent a good hour reading the operating manual trying
to figure out if it could be the settings but pretty much knew that wsn't
the cause of my lousy pictures.