(I don’t know if that was smart, but it’s been quieter, so we’re going with it.)
Again, we drove through so many wide open spaces – though this is a more populated area than we’ve been in before. Colorado is green and has rolling hills and gentle meadows. There were more cows, and more little ranches dotting the hillsides. Still, lots of wide, open spaces.
Once we hit Texas it grew sparse at times again…and flat. Almost completely the opposite of Arizona and Utah, Texas has very little difference in landscape. The first part of our trip through the Lone Star State was through some very small towns. One was population 139, exactly. Now that’s small! Our church has more people on a Sunday morning service than live in that entire town.
Texas has a general feel of more patriotism, too, and more willingness to just come out and talk about God without apology. Within the first hour I saw a roadside bulletin board that read, “God loves you, all the time.”
So at one point, we stopped because all of us drivers were worn out. Turned the car off, but… yes, there’s a ‘but.’ We left the air turned on – and we were so tired we fell asleep that way. After nearly an hour, I climbed in the driver’s seat, let my daughter get in the back, then turned the key in the ignition only to hear a ‘click’, ‘click’….but no engine sounds. We had run down the battery.
Remember, we’re in a small town in northwestern Texas. The only people who pass by at 5AM are truckers, and they’re not stopping for anyone. Plus we’d pulled off into what we thought was a gas station. As the light grew, I realized the windows were all boarded up, the parking lot was full of weeds and cracks, and it had a general air of having been abandoned. Uncle Bob’s Food Mart and Fuel Stop was all finished with trying to make a go of it…and we were stuck waiting.
Thankfully my daughter is a subscribing member of AAA.
But, we were so far out in the middle of things, that they had to call an independent contractor – and none of them were answering their phones at first. So instead of AAA’s usual fast service, it took nearly two hours to get someone out there for a little jump. However, they did come, and they did a good job. We started the car after a few tries, then began the trek once more.
Getting to Dallas, we set up our tent for the first time so far, and prepared for our stay. The KOA’s have all been great! Everyone is very helpful and friendly. Thing is, this time the guy introducing us with well-deserved pride to his newly-created tent area, also told us they had a waterproof box right there on the tent site if we needed it. “Of course, it’s not likely to rain while you’re here,” he said to us with a grin.
Not an hour later it was pouring. Absolutely, completely, and totally pouring. This cooled everything off significantly, for which I was very grateful, but it also meant our tent was getting wet, and everything we had on was getting wet. Well, we tightened up the tent, hoping it wouldn’t leak, and piled back into the Tahoe to go visit our friends across town. We had a very nice time, and I must say – I wish I could visit everyone I know on this trip.
I feel bad for not being able to get to see some people – whether it’s because we didn’t realize they lived in that area soon enough, or because schedules didn’t match up quite. I hope everyone I know realizes that I wish I could visit them all in person. It’s just not possible if we want this to only be a ‘six-week’ trip, and not a six-MONTH trip.
Our efforts were not completely in vain – a few things were left dry. But the rest of the night was rather soggy. It rained most of the next day, too, and by the time it stopped there was a puddle in the front of the tent, two whole duffle bags worth of clothes were sopping, as well as four sleeping bags needing to be dried out. We tried to pack so we’d only have to do laundry once a week, but so far, what with all the rain, I’m sitting here in the KOA laundry room at midnight doing laundry for the third time this week.
We’ll figure it out as we go, I’m sure. And maybe things won’t be as wet later on in the trip. Still, I do love the sound of a good rain.
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