The goal of day 2 was to reach Omaha and settle into a nice warm Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed. Fuelling up some 300 miles shy of my destination I had a nagging thought that I would not make it that far. Sure enough a wave of fatigue hit me and I dialed the nearest rest area into the navigation system and decided I would get some shut eye at the next opportunity.
I had prepared for this eventuality by laying a mattress pad on the floor of the 5er’s load bay and had packed a pillow, sleeping bag and a pair of eyeshades that I had collected on a recent flight home. I don’t think I intended to stay the entire night but ended up getting nearly 9 hours kip and awoke to blue skies and sunlight streaming in through the panoramic sunshine roof.
Bleary eyed and not fully awake I climb out of my sleeping bag and start to compose myself. The only things on my mind were a steaming cup of fresh coffee and a light breakfast. I exited the car and as I swing my bag on my shoulder I inadvertently knock the door lock button down and the door closes with a teutonic thud and the familiar beep beep as the car locks itself and turns on full security.
I am 200 miles from the nearest civilized conurbation, Lincoln. I am barefoot and wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Daisy is looking at me somewhat perplexed through the tinted glass and I spy my cellphone sitting there taunting me from the passenger seat. This is bad. My keys are in my jacket and the supposed fool proof comfort access system on my car is refusing to let me gain entry to my vehicle.
I dash into the rest area building which is well heated and spy a phone booth minus any sign of having an actual telephone fitted. Wandering around the complex there is one working phone that allows me to call AAA and they agree to dispatch a truck from an outfit called “Big Red’s Truck & Tow”. I am worried about this development, German cars are not exactly abundant and I have visions of a gap toothed redneck turning up in a F350 Super Duty and deciding the best way of gaining access to my vehicle is an expertly placed rock against an easily breakable piece of glass. I had been waiting a few minutes when I remember that BMW Assist has the ability to remote unlock the vehicle. Fortunately the 800 number is printed on a sticker on the windscreen and I place the call and within moments a magic signal is sent from the sky and I see the car light up and everything is back to normal.
I call AAA to cancel the tow truck, somewhat relieved and start taking care of Daisy’s breakfast and ablutions. As I’m packing up the car and getting ready to depart a black Ford Ranger pulls up and a rodent faced skinny looking man covered head to toe in badly executed tattoos exits the vehicle and murmurs something about breaking into my car for me. I explain the mix up and this does not sit well with my new friend.
There is a tense exchange of views and I attempt to diffuse the situation with a cash tip only to discover that I have $4 in cash. This makes my friend even more irate and just as I thought he was going to go thermonuclear a state trooper draws into the rest area in her cruiser. She rolled down her window and asked if everything was ok and my would be rescuer turned would be assailant barks some noises at me that I presume is profanity and he climbs back into his Ranger and into the distance.
The trooper leaves and I get to continue my journey a little shaken and feeling more than a little foolish. I say a little prayer of thanks to BMW Assist and once again have coffee on my mind.