With MINIapolis on the horizon and a promised trip for Hope to the Mall of America, we decided to head out early and skip the rise and shine. This gave me a chance to do my daily Facebook Live video update from the campground, which was a nice change of pace.
Once we cleared Green Bay we were in the rolling terrain of Wisconsin dairy farms, with large, green fields dotted by the classic red barns with grain silos. Nearly every barn was red, some old and some new, and it made me wonder if it was just tradition or some special dairy farmer’s code. I imagined farmer’s at a party, asking each other where they live…”Oh, we’re at the farm with the red barn and and grain silo…”
Everything was humming along nicely and Hope was taking a nap. Because I’m always listening to the MINI for any strange noises, about 2.5 hours out of MINIapolis I began hearing a faint noise that didn’t sound normal, so I pulled over to check it out.
On initial inspection everything looked fine. The Michigan and Wisconsin roads are really rough and bumpy, so I was looking primarily for tire damage. I decided to get the “down-low” and looked under MightyBee. Bingo! I had parts dragging on the ground. At first it looked like the back, left part of my GP diffuser had detached but after further inspection I saw that both bolts for the exhaust hanger had come out and one was missing.
My first reaction was panic, because we were in the middle of Nowhere, Wisconsin and we were a good two hours ahead of the pack. I travel with a full tool kit, so I crawled under MightyBee and removed the GP panel. I then used the one remaining exhaust bolt to secure the exhaust and we were back on the road. I then made a quick call to Motorwerks MINI so they would expect to see me in a few hours.
We arrived at Motorwerks at 1:45 and they were fantastic! I explained about our planned Mall of America trip, so they gave us a 2015 Electric Blue Cooper S 4Door as a loaner. We were at the mall by 2:30 and Hope was overwhelmed with the choices. That mall is HUGE, and you could spend two days there and not see it all. By 4:30 MightyBee was all fixed, with the exhaust properly attached and the GP diffuser back in place. I left Hope at the mall and went back to get MightyBee. The team at Motorwerks was phenomenal and their store is beautiful. It was good to make some friends there and I hope I get the chance to help them out if they’re down my way.
MightyBee was all washed and ready to go, so I had to make a photo out front.
I picked up Hope at the mall and we headed to Lebanon Hills Campground to set up the beehive. Hope has been struggling with the camping and specifically, the bathrooms. I decided to surprise her and put her in a nearby hotel for a night for some proper bathroom time and rest. I returned to the campground, lit a fire and prepared a meal of macaroni and cheese and smoked salmon for dinner. Fellow campers Samantha and Tim Holler had arranged to share my campsite and pitched their tent there. We visited for a short time and with a storm rolling in, turned-in early. I think I was asleep in 30 seconds, exhausted from the day’s events. But hey, MightyBee is back to full health, we’re halfway through and all systems go. On to Sioux Falls, SD. Let’s do this!