Sunday, December 25, 2011

NC-AZ

We left NC on December 20, 2011 around 8 am... destination AZ.


Right off the bat we had trouble.  We were using Google maps to get onto the correct highway, but NC was lacking in signage so the hubby decided to rely on his natural gift of direction to get us onto the correct highway (YAAAY HUBBY)  Onto SC for some cheap gas.  Nothing eventful to report here.  Just smooth driving into GA, land of Giant peaches & traffic. GA... why is there always traffic in GA?

We stopped for some grub & relief then continued onto AL.  The roads in AL were so bumpy it was like driving a dirt road at 60 mph.  Then about  20 minutes from the MS boarder I noticed something looked odd in the side mirror.  The trailer door had flung open & was slamming against the trailer.  We pulled over & Buster did a quick fix w/some Zip-ties. Finally we made it to Toomsuba MS where we parked at a truck stop for the night.
When we woke we re-assessed our door situation.  The original plastic latch plate had broke & could no longer keep the door shut.  So w/some cardboard & another piece from some other latch, we fixed it.  (we also zip-tied the door for added protection while driving, this had to be done each time we opened the door for the rest of the trip).  MS was really muddy & we saw a pack of feral dogs pulling road kill into the woods (not coyote, wild dogs, one looked like a puggle)  Other than Mississippi mud (which really only effected the dogs pooping) MS was quite pleasant.  Onto Cajun country.  The first thing we saw once we crossed over into LA was a dead alligator & I must say LA was a great place to poop.


                          
Then we got to TX.  We knew that TX was going to be the longest stretch of our travels.  We made a few stops here & there, taking in the scenery (I loved the wind farms), but we had no idea what were were going to be driving into.  We had successfully navigated around the rain storm that was on the radar for the GA/AL portion of our trip, but there was no way around the snowstorm that was in our path.  We arrived in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, hit rush hour traffic & missed our exit.  Finally we arrived at the LOVE's (our truck stop of choice) outside of Ft. Worth TX.  When we woke up we saw that there was a storm on the radar, right in our path.  Since we couldn't go around it, we figured we'd just drive until we had to stop (our destination for this day was El Paso TX)  It wasn't long when we had someone beeping at us & had to pull over (the last time someone beeped at us we had lost our back panel w/license plate) our electrical chord had been dragging behind us.  The clip that held it had broken loose. Once Buster Macgyvered the chord we were on our way again.


We got as far as Socorro TX, stopped for the night at another LOVE's.  The winds were wild & the temperature dropped.  When we woke there was warning of a winter storm.  We got onto I10 & headed to El Paso.

 (ENTER MOTHER NATURE)

We didn't get far into El Paso when we were driving into near white out conditions.  The traffic came to a crawl.  We passed SUV's & 4X4 pickups spinning out in the center lane & others who had spun off the highway into ditches.  It was a
MESS.  Since it was El Paso there were no plows or salter's to alleviate the road conditions so we pulled off the next exit into the closed weigh station.  We sat there watching the parking lot formally known as I10 trying to decide what we were going to do.  More drivers followed our lead & pulled off the highway.  The weather was not letting up & they were closing down the highway so we needed to figure out how to get to a safe place.  After watching a small box truck maneuver over to a service road, we did the same.

  A Pilot truck stop was in view, but the exit to it was a steep hill that others were already stuck on or sliding down.  It was a MESS.  Buster managed to do a U turn on the tiny service road & we headed in the opposite direction to another truck stop that we could manage to reach.  Once there he Google mapped another route to NM.  SUCCESS!  We made it to NM & back onto I10 which was looking pretty clear... until we passed under an Amber Alert sign informing us that I10 was CLOSED from Las Cruces to Lordsburg & to seek local accommodations.  So we drove to Las Cruces, saw a Wal Mart & pulled over.
We got some snackage & took a nap.  When we woke up later that afternoon the highway was re-opened.  It wasn't long before we were down to one lane due to lack of snow removal & INS.  The sun was setting.  The temperature was dropping.  We hit a patch of ice & OMG... I thought this was it, but angels were watching over us & we made it across.  We decided it wasn't worth it to try to make it that night, so we pulled off the road in Deming NM.  The temperature continued to drop & we had no way to plug in to use our space heater, so we all bundled up (even the dogs) & got under the covers for the night.  The temperature dropped into the low 20's, but we managed to keep warm.  We woke up to snow & a closed highway.
 We decided we'd make the best of it, got coffee & hung out in the trailer reminiscing about our trip.  Early in the afternoon the temperature started to rise, the highway opened up & we were off again.  ARIZONA HERE WE COME!  We were so excited to reach the boarder we pulled over & took a picture of the sign.  It wasn't long for the scenery to change to desert views... real desert views... the kind w/out snow:)  Less than 10 minutes from the house our low gas light went on, but we got there!




AZ~  The temperature was in the 60's & we pretty much passed out once we got to the parents house.  The next day was Christmas, so we decided to not do anything but enjoy family & food that didn't come out of a take-out box.  Well just like the opera... it's not over until the fat lady sings & apparently she still had an encore.  A stray dog kept circling Buster as he was trying to drive down the service road to the back of the house where we were to park. At one point he got out of the Jeep to shoe the stray away & it jumped into the Jeep. We tried chasing the dog, but she kept running past us back into the yard. We finally got her to git & Buster was able to back the trailer in. Once he had her parked, he un-hitched & went to drive back to the front of the house... he had company all the way, but this time she left once he parked the car.

We are now settled in, looking for employment & so glad we made it.  It was a LONG drive & I truly believe we were being watched over. 

CHICKEN & WAFFLE

Midnight Diner, NC

I've had them 3 times now. All w/in the last 2 weeks:) My mouth waters for them now, but we leave in the morning. No more CHICKEN & WAFFLE until Spring. mmmmmm Spring *blog post written 12/19/11 but due to technical difficulties, it did not publish until Christmas.