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     In 1989, I went to South Carolina on vacation with my then boyfriend, Ralph. At the end of the trip, I came home with a souvenir T-shirt. Ralph came home with a 1966 389 Tri Power GTO. I think that was the moment I realized just how passionate he was about collecting cars. Fast forward twenty years, and I can tell you that most of our vacations together have revolved around cars in some way, shape, or form. So, I wasnt surprised when, in early spring of 2007, Ralph (now my husband) told me that he had just found his next car. And, wed have to drive out to Wyoming to get it.

     To make our first leg of the trip faster, Ralph decided to purchase an open car trailer at a dealer in Elkhart, Indiana. He explained that wed save time with nothing in tow between Connecticut and Indiana, and once home, we could sell the trailer to help fund the trip. But, because our time off was limited, wed have to do some serious endurance driving (were talking 24 hours at Daytona). That meant driving in shifts until we hit Indiana. The plan sounded good to me, as I assumed that Id no longer have driving duty once we picked up the trailer, and I could relax and enjoy riding shotgun. This was a fair assumption, as Ive never had to drive with a trailer in tow, ever, in my entire life. Boy, was I wrong.

     Due to work obligations, we couldnt leave until Sunday evening, April 29th. Ralph said wed be in Rapid City, South Dakota by Monday night. I said he was crazy. But, if he wanted to drive all that way, Id surely work hard to keep him company between all my nap time Id get from Indiana westward (You see, putting me in a car for more than a couple of hours is equivalent to handing me a bottle of sleeping pills and singing me a lullaby, Good Night!). Sunday night, after work, we packed our bags, tossed them into the back of the truck and headed out. We drove all night until we hit Indiana and found the trailer dealership. It was the crack of dawn, and they werent open for several more hours. We scoped out the trailers in the lot and waited for the staff to arrive.

     When the staff arrived, we went into the dealership building. Ralph got all the paperwork signed while I freshened up in their bathroom (with all our road trips, Ive had to clean up in more public bathrooms than I dare count). I met Ralph back at the front counter. The lady at the dealership handed him the paperwork for the trailer, and Ralph handed me the keys to the truck. What??!! What happened to him driving the rest of this trip? Just like any typical man (Sorry, guys - truth hurts. Ladies - you know what Im talking about), he conveniently forgot to tell me that the driving in shifts thing meant for the entire trip; including driving with trailer in tow, all the way to Wyoming and back to Connecticut.
     OK, I hate to admit it, but I didnt want or feel the need to know how to drive with something in tow. I certainly didnt feel the need to learn now, after all this time. I came up with excuses: Im a girl, and, I get too nervous. Alright, I really just wanted to get some sleep! Ralph thought I needed to learn, right then, so by the time we picked up the car, Id be comfortable with something behind the truck. He told me hed drive once we hit the Illinois border. With a lot of grumbling (OK, Id have made a drunken sailors language seem tame), I white-knuckled my way down the slow lane of Interstate 80/90 for one of the longest hours of my life. Hallelujah! Welcome to Illinois! Hello, passenger seat! Ralph navigated the truck and trailer thru Illinois and Chicago rush hour traffic. We got to see the Chicago skyline and glimpses of Lake Michigan. We followed I 90 thru northern Illinois, past the Chrysler Belvidere Assembly Plant and on into Wisconsin.

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