I could hear ole Willie singing, “On the Road Again” in my mind as I closed the door behind me and scurried to the car with my head hung low and tears in my heart. Leaving Eric was a little different this time since we sold the house and are now living in a Kwanzaa hut off a busy street! It was a little easier to hold back the tears because one you leave the comfort of the front door, it’s like you’re in a fishbowl and the nosy audience outside is beckoning for any entertainment they can find. Plus, I had to keep it together because I was headed to meet my mom at the RV park. I had a big responsibility of being the leader, safety coordinator, weather forecaster, planner, and RV encyclopedia during the trip as my mom followed me westward pulling her new truck and trailer she was soon to call home.
The trip started wonderfully. The weather was perfect, road conditions ideal, minimal traffic, and my mom did great pulling the trailer. About 3 hours later we were at our first destination: Springfield, MO for the day after Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving. As I expected, my bro and his wife went all out and prepared a delicious dinner for us. As a bonus, I got to meet my nephew for the first time. Yay.
So after a nice visit and our bellies were full, we went back to the RV park and crashed for the night. We had a big trip ahead of us and at the time I’m not sure we realized how BIG and eventful it would be.
And so the story begins. Dun, dun, dun……**insert ominous music here**
Day 1: Springfiled, MO to Amarillo, TX (533 miles)
The day started out extremely foggy but cleared up at some point in Oklahoma. There are really only 2 good things about Oklahoma. First, the speed limits are set at 75MPH and second, the McDonald’s over Interstate-40 which has been there as far back as I remember. I don’t know why it holds a significant memory in my mind as a child, but it seems like every year I made the trip between CA and MO to visit family, we’d always stop there. I used to like to watch the cars zoom by below from the glass plated floors. This time around, I didn’t get to enjoy either. The speed limit could have been 105MPH and it wouldn’t have mattered because we never get above 60-65 AND the McDonald’s is no longer there. Some weird blue building has taken it’s place. The disappointment lasted all of…..eh….5 minutes.
*Special note about Oklahoma. Go prepared to pay a lot of money to travel through this state because there are toll roads EVERYWHERE!
Rather uneventful. My bluetooth stopped working and I rode in silence for several hours that day thinking about life and how boring this part of the trip is. I couldn’t wait to get to the mountains!
Day 2: Amarillo, TX to Albuquerque, NM (285 miles)
Big sky, big pain! There was SO much wind today! The forecast was calling for 20-30 mile winds. My mom was a trooper throughout the entire day, but it took us nearly 8 hours to go less than 300 miles! It was also very nerve racking, worried constantly about my mom pulling the trailer. Needless to say, we were both exhausted. We stopped early, got a few things set up, took nice hot showers, and relaxed a bit after what felt like a very LONG day.
Pros: The landscape just started getting better and better the farther west we drove. 🙂
Day 3: Albuquerque, NM to Flagstaff, AZ (316 miles)
When we thought things couldn’t get worse it did…then it did again! The wind through the rest of New Mexico was horrific. 40+ miles an hour?!!? Then to top it off, ICE? Really? It was probably the roughest leg of the entire trip. We had a pretty big scare not long after I took this photo to the right. Somewhere in New Mexico, there was a stretch of road that became dangerously icy. I had noticed that cars that were once passing us by at the speed of light started to slow, and my instincts told me that something was wrong. I radioed my mom we better slow down and just about that time, I felt my back tires skid just a bit. I immediately looked in the rear view mirror only to see my mom sliding all over the road…first left, then right, and just about the time that I thought to myself….she’s gonna flip it….a miracle happened and she regained control. It all happened so fast, yet it felt like slow motion. It was scary. Not a fan of ice when you’re pulling an trailer…and I wasn’t even the one driving it!
The damage was minimal, considering. In addition to the drawers flying open, silverware/food/dishes getting tossed about, and the couch moving all the way to the other side of the trailer, the force was so great it flung the heavy stairs out from their stow away position which let me know just how serious things were!
And just when I thought we couldn’t drive any slower…we did. 🙂 Luckily I was in safety mode and not my usual speed demon mode. The only downside was that we were trying to get to Flagstaff before another big snow! Luckily, we made it there with about 15-20 minutes to spare.
Stay tuned for part 2…
My time in Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, and beyond.