Bidding a Fond Farewell (Pt. 1)


My 2006 Food 500, which I’ve dubbed the Red Barron (or RB for short) because of the way she handled herself on the road and anywhere I deigned to take her, and I have been through a lot since I bought her in 2009. I’ve noted many of our road adventures on this site and its predecessor at

I’d hoped we would have many more road trips still to experience, but then it turned that RB was in the wrong place at the wrong time during a drecho that hit Iowa on Monday morning, August 10. This New York Times article described the extensive damage throughout the area.

I was blessed to be at home inside a structure that provided plenty of protection from the storm’s destructive forces. Other than the experience of being without power for four days, I was just fine.

RB was not so fortunate. As the storm finally relented, I looked outside my kitchen window to see how RB had fared. This was stunning view I saw:

RB caught in the derecho

I finally gathered myself and went outside to assess the damage. These are a few of the pictures from immediately after the storm and few days later once she had been freed from her tree-festooned situation:

The moment I saw the damage and reminded myself of RB’s age and mileage–she’s approaching 180K, I knew the insurance company would declare her totaled. And so they did.

As I post this, it’s Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, 2020. It’s been a horrible year for this country, indeed, throughout the world. So many have lost so much, the lives they knew and even their very lives, because of COVID-19 and the incompetence of those leading our governments, especially here in the United States. I remind myself that things could have been so much worse.

Still, I’m not looking forward to the final, fond farewell I will have to give my road buddy, RB, later this week.

I’m going to share a story in my next post, so hang in with me.

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