Arrival at long last!!!

We’re here!! We’re here, we’re FINALLY here!!! We made it!! Today we got up super early, like 2 am kinda early, and hit the road before daybreak to get through Waco, Austin and San Antonio. The plan was to get through Austin before rush hour traffic and then be driving on to San Antonio while their rush hour was going on. We didn’t quite miss the Austin traffic and believe you me it was a cheek clentcher of a drive!! Come to find out later I35 is the ONLY North/South route through Austin. No wonder it was so congested and backed up!! After that stretch we stopped for some breakfast. A little time to let our nerves settle, it was bad but I still don’t know which was worse – Dallas or Austin. So onto San Antonio we go with an easy breezy drive. Through San Antonio wasn’t bad either, whew!! The big cities are now done & over with.

Big Red was a real trooper in Austin, never fussing at all. She did great all the way through San Antonio too but once we were out she started getting hot again. And then she spiked a fever big time. I nursed her to the closest exit to try to find some anti-freeze/water for the radiator. Hazard lights on we pulled off and parked in front of an old art gallery and liquor store, odd combination I thought. We met the nicest couple and their teenage son. They were so kind to us, allowing us to fill the empty anti-freeze bottles with water, giving us directions to the nearest Auto Zone and we chatted while waiting for the car to cool off enough to give her medicine. He ran the gallery while working full-time as a civil servant and she runs the liquor store. He had to shut down the gallery because of the amount of work it took along with his full-time job. He recently retired and is in the process of re-opening the gallery with the help of his son. It was a great place and from the incredible art painted on the walls I can see the talent and wish we could have seen some of the pieces he’ll put on display. He said he is now getting to do what he wants instead of what he has too and is loving life & retirement. We wished him the absolute best and thanked him again and off we went to Dilley TX.

In Dilley we met up with the supervising officer for this area, Rick, and he led us to our gate. He took us down some old country back roads, not so bad, but then came the gravel road…6 very long miles of rough gravel road to get us here to the gate. Big Red did NOT like the gravel road…she started getting hot almost immediately. So I had to baby her the whole 6 miles while Chris was behind me in the rig and he had a semi behind him. No pressure or anything!! Red was super HOT when we got here but we got here!! Next is hooking up the trailer with the generator, water, flood lights and gas to the rig. Sounds so simple but it took hours to position the trailer behind the rig and then it still wasn’t close enough for us to plug into. Easy enough, we’ll just back this beast up and we’ll be good to go, right? Nope. She won’t start. She won’t turn over. She is just sitting like a ton a bricks making a little clicking sound while all these guys are waiting for us to back up. Chris is so overheated and frustrated at this point. He tells them we’re fine, he’ll fix it and get the old girl backed up in no time. They pack it up, give us a few last minute instructions and head out. Now what?? We desperately need to get the AC on for us and the kids but the cord is about 2 ft shy of reaching. Never fear, Chris is here!! He messes with it a bit and before you know it she is rumbling to a start and we are backed up and plugged into the massive generator. LET THERE BE AIR CONDITIONING!!!! We spend the rest of the afternoon/evening setting things up – slow but sure – while guarding the gate. Chris is going to town tomorrow for supplies and a new phone. Sprint worked in town but it doesn’t work on the gate site. That just won’t work!! An industrial size fan and bug zapper are in order too if you ask me!! Later Taters!!


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