I just returned from a grand adventure. I helped Lori's brother and his family move back to Utah from Texas. It has been awesome, full of unexpected twists and turns. They are an awesome family, and it has been nice to spend all this time with them.
I flew down on Wednesday. It took me all of about 30 seconds to clear airport security, the flight left on time and we arrived early. That is what you call a good start to a trip! Glenn and Annie (3 year old daughter) picked me up at the airport. We stopped at a Waffle House for dinner. We arrived at their home, and I was immediately struck by the magnitude of the task at hand. Thursday was going to be a long day!
After a breakfast of Shipley doughnuts, we started packing. Glenn had done a bit on Wednesday, but it took us most of the day to load the truck. It was so humid, and by the time we were done I was soaked from head to foot. We cleaned up and went to The Grand Buffet for dinner.
At dinner, Eric (7 year old son) was sitting by me. All of the sudden, he began waving his arms in the air, and crying out that his mouth was on fire. He took a drink, but it did not help. He jumped up and began running around. He took off for the bathroom, and his Mom (Allison) was right on his heels. When the finally came out, we figured out the the Pepper Shrimp had full jalapenos in it, complete with the seeds, and he had chomped down on one of those. It was pretty funny, once we knew he was ok. And I have to say the mountain of crawfish the Showgrens put down was incredible!
Friday we started the drive. I drove the 26 foot U-haul, and Eric, Elijah (Eric's twin) and Annie took turns riding in the truck with me. One of the highlights of this day was watching a grown man go into the womens bathroom at McDonalds. He failed to notice he was surrounded by women, and went ahead and did his business. He received a lot of angry looks and a few comments, but still didn't figure out what he had done. Finally, as he walked out, he turned back to look at the signs, left, came back again a little closer to look at the signs, then finally figured out what he had done. He left bright red and in a hurry after that.
We were on the road for 14 hours on Friday. I have never driven that long before. It was very tiring, and I seem to have injured my right foot somehow in the process. It has a sharp pain in it now, if I hit the right angle on it. I think I held it in one position for too long. We stayed in Clovis, New Mexico that night.
Just outside of Lubbock, Texas, I was listening to the radio. They announced a severe thunderstorm warning and tornado watch for the Lubbock area. We were driving right into the heart of the beast! This was a terrifying experience for me. It does not storm like that in Utah! The truck sounded like it was going to fall apart. The wind was absolutely howling, the lightning was non-stop, and the rain was incredible. I didn't dare drive much over 40 mph for most of it. I felt like I was in the movie Twister. The flashes of lightning were creating a strobe light affect in the cab of the truck. The forces of nature can be very incredible. I'm glad I lived through that experience, and didn't put the truck on its side.
I also wanted to mention that Texas is not what I expected. It was green and full of trees all the way across the state. It was not the barren desert I had thought it was. That is New Mexico! From what I've seen of it, it is miles and miles of nothing. A lot like central Utah, but without the mountains. It got somewhat better towards the end of the trip last night, as we climbed to over 7000 feet in elevation.
Saturday we didn't push as hard. We stopped to see Billy the Kid's grave. There actually was not too much to see. We also stopped to see Allison's friend Sonya. She is married to a Navajo indian, and is living on a reservation right now. It just so happened that there was a pow-wow going on that night, so we went to a bit of that. My goodness, they have some elaborate outfits they wear. It was actually pretty neat to see all the work they go to in order to preserve their ancestry. I can't remember the last time I dressed up in my Swedish or Norwegian outfit!
I should mention the other two members of our caravan. Caleb (9 months) has been a very good baby on this trip. He is very sweet and has a good personality. He is very spoiled, but there's nothing wrong with that. We also have the Showgren's pet rabbit Shark Bait with us. He has been a very good bunny, and seems to be enjoying the trip.
Sunday was pretty tame, compared to the other days. We had planned on going to the 4 corners monument, but by the 3rd day we were ready to just push on home. Of course, once we hit Utah we were immediately in road construction, and the roads sucked, but after we hit I-70 it was pretty much smoot sailing the rest of the way in.