We said our goodbyes to as many folks as we could. Our first plan was to move to St. Louis, MO. I had no interest in living in KS City, MO and Springfield, MO didn't have any jobs for the husband. So, no other larger towns existed that we could think of ... so, we were headed to St. Louis. The closer our moving-day came, the more we realized we were not meant to be in St. Louis ... for now. We secured living arrangements with Darin's Uncle and Aunt in the SW corner of Missouri, not near St. Louis at all! However, we had a plan and we made our escape. Leaving behind 30 years for my husband, 8.5 years for me, 6.5 yrs for my son, 2.5 yrs for my daughter ...
A NEW ADVENTURE.
We hit the road.
We hit the road.
The drive was actually pretty good. We left Saturday morning. I was lucky and woke up Saturday morning with an incredibly bad cold. I can't remember when I had such a bad cold. So exciting for a 3 day trip ahead of us. Darin in the truck, me in the car with two kids. We made it to St. George. Our plans were to hang out with Darin's parents for the weekend, maybe make it to Hoover Dam as one last "Hooray" for the West Coast sites to see. With my bad cold and the route we decided to take, it was not possible. We canceled our plans to visit Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam and I stayed in sick all Saturday and all Sunday. Monday morning, I was well enough to make it with tissues in tow, Halls cough drops and lots of water. To tell the truth, it was way nice to be sick in St. George and have parents who wanted to take care of me. That was a way cool experience - being doted upon. But, good things must come to an end, we must move on and I NEED to be healthy!
Monday morning ... we were off ... again. We drove the route to the Grand Canyon and suffered through Arizona. There is just NOT much to see. It is not as flat as I had thought. There are red cliffs everywhere and we took a lot of canyon roads, so it was still pretty fun. Below is an overlook right at the bottom of the Canyons as you go to the Grand Canyon, smack in the middle of Arizona.
Finally, after about 8 hours we made it to the first town in New Mexico, Gallup. We planned on stopping in Albuquerque, but that wasn't realistic for two young kids STUCK to their car seats for so long and after we discovered that we stop every 2-3 hours - makes for a VERY LOOONG trip!! In Gallup, we got a hotel, crashed - slept great and were off again the next morning!!!
We drove through the rest of New Mexico and were planning on stopping in Amarillo, TX for lunch and try to make it to Oklahoma City, OK for the night ... nope ... not the way it worked out.
RIGHT outside of TX, by one mile!! My car DIED. Darin was way ahead of me in the truck and my cell phone was about to die. There was construction through most of the state of NM and so I had no shoulder to pull over into as I coasted to a stop. There was a huge semi-truck behind me and I didn't know what to do. I put the hazards on, pulled over into the brush and hoped the cars weren't wide enough to slam into me. I called Darin with the few minutes I had to get him to pull over and wait. I called my mother-in-law to help me find a service station!! In the meantime, I tried turning the car on and it would struggle to idle and die. There didn't seem to be a problem with the engine, transmission, starter because it would START, it just would not idle before it died.
Mom found a little town 7 miles into TX. After a few minutes, the car started. I drifted into the traffic and within 1 mile I died again. Wow, this was going to be a LONG 7 miles. Finally, the car had rested enough after a few more minutes that we were able to drive into the first town into Texas. There a mechanic met us at a gas station right off the freeway - THANK YOU MOM! I met back up with Darin and the mechanic had nothing to say other than, "hmmm, it might be your fuel filter." Yikes. He directed us to ... Amarillo - still about 45 miles away. As we were talking to the mechanic and the awesome towns folk that were ready and willing to offer as much information to us about who they know that tows, fixes cars and the like along the way to Amarillo, the soft warm rain fell - just like the Texas I remember from my youth!!
Apparently, that 30 or so minutes of rest and rain cooled whatever was wrong and we were able to make it to Amarillo with NO problems. Along the way, Darin was able to get in touch with his Uncle who simply suggested it was a concentration of gas vapors in the gas tank. Hmm, interesting, makes a bit of sense, I guess. My car has never driven such long distances, with so much weight and packaging and through such changes of weather. So we pulled over in Amarillo, took everything out of the trunk, ate some dinner and did not had a problem for the rest of the trip. So glad it wasn't the fuel pump. That night we made it to Shamrock, Texas.
New Mexico was about as boring as Arizona. At least there was interesting red rock formations in AZ. NM there was a lot of white cliff, but mostly flat.
The whole time, the kids were ... well, kids! Dylan read the whole time, played with his toys and asked a lot of questions. Once in a while, the kids would play together. When the car broke down, Dylan asked, "what are we going to do?" I said, well, we might just have to walk. In reply, Dylan said, "what about all our stuff?" "Well, we will have to leave it and come back."
Abigail, though, was freaking out. She is not a good hostage, let alone for hours. So by the time we got back in the car and headed out from Gallup, NM, she knew we weren't going back to the home she knew. She asked a lot about where is Gma and Gpa, where is Dad, where are we going, then she started to get emotional. There is nothing to stop that. When we were headed to Oklahoma City and ended up stopping in Shamrock, NM, she lost it. My heart broke. She said, "I don't want to go, I'll be happy, I'll be good!" Oh, my. The understanding of a two-year old. It seemed like she thought she was in trouble! So, we pulled over to let the kids have a break, have a good night and enjoy our family. She was MUCH happier after that.
The third day ... the final stretch ... we wanted to be so much closer than we were to our destination. Once we FINALLY passed through the borders of Missouri, though, we felt AT HOME!! We MADE IT. It was a wonderful feeling. From a little ways out of NM, the sky scape changed a ton. Texas had it's rolling hills and more green that one would think. It was humid and sweet, which I love! From Texas on, the green got greener, the hills got more rolling and the treeline blended into the horizon further and further and further out.
Shortly after we arrived, my husband celebrated his 31st birthday!! Happy birthday, sweetheart. Welcome to a new year of adventure.