Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Road Trip

Monday, July 2:
From Arizona to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

We are on our way to New York! I literally got no sleep last night. There was so much still to be done, I didn’t even lie down. At 2am I nodded off a few times over my computer as I paid all my online bills for July, but by 4am I was in the shower and finishing up the packing.

2 July 2012: Stopping for gas and lunch in Albuquerque, New Mexico, around 1:30.
Our plan was to be on the road by 6am, and we weren’t too far off—not at first, anyway. It was just after 6:30 when we left our house. However, by the time we picked up Ed’s mom, stopped for breakfast at Burger King, dropped some mail at the post office, and gassed up the truck, it was after 8am when we finally got out of town.
My memories of the first 5 hours of the trip are pretty fuzzy. Having been up all night, I took my pillow in the cab of the truck and mostly slept. I have vague memories of briefly awakening in Snowflake and Holbrook, and I slept through Gallup altogether! I was awake by the time we stopped for 30 minutes in Albuquerque to have lunch.
Lunch was tuna sandwiches and homemade potato salad.
Dylan (age 15) enjoys his lunch.
I was more alert throughout the afternoon, when we finally left New Mexico and entered Texas. We stopped just outside of Amarillo, Texas, and had chef salads for dinner, using leftover pot roast from Sunday’s dinner.
Crossing the border into Texas.
After that, darkness began to fall and the fuzziness returned. I remember a couple of bathroom stops, and I vaguely recall other moments from the drive, like when Ed told me he was afraid he was going to hit a deer that was in the median (luckily, it stayed where it was). Ed tells me I was no conversationalist during this drive. He’d talk to me and I’d give an incoherent response and then fall asleep again.
I woke up briefly about 10 miles after we crossed into Oklahoma, but I missed most of that state until we arrived at a WalMart Supercenter around 2:30 a.m. (or 12:30 Arizona time). They kindly allowed us to park in their parking lot until morning.

It was a crazy-long drive, 815 miles hauling a fifth-wheel trailer in 16 hours (plus 2 more hours tacked on, one when we passed into New Mexico and one when we passed into Texas). We decided to push it for the first day of our trip, partly because we would be fresh and enthusiastic, and partly because we’ve traveled these roads several times and I knew we’d be anxious to get on to the roads “less traveled by.” By 3am, though, we were all mostly just anxious to get some sleep!
Tuesday, July 3:
From Oklahoma City to Aurora, Missouri

My alarm went off at 6:30 am and I stumbled into WalMart to use their restroom. I‘m sure I looked horrendous after just 3 hours of sleep!

I’ve always dreamed of taking a temple road trip and attending every LDS temple along the way. In keeping with that wish, our first plan for the day was to attend a session at the Oklahoma City Temple. Imagine our dismay when we arrived at the temple in our Sunday-go-to-meetin’ clothes and found that the temple was closed this week for its annual maintenance.

3 July 2012: The Oklahoma City Temple.

It turned out okay, though. We met some nice temple workers who shared stories about the temple’s history and allowed us to come in and see the front lobby. We took lots of pictures and enjoyed the spirit there before heading to Sonic for breakfast.

3 July 2012: Mary and Ed outside the Oklahoma City Temple.

The stake center is right next door to the temple.  When members of the stake walk out of their stake building,
this is the beautiful sight that meets their eyes.

Ed speaks to a painter who was working in the temple.

Next we drove into downtown Oklahoma City to see the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial of the April 1995 bombing of the federal Murrah Building there. It was very sobering to remember the horrific events of that day and the 168 people who were killed in the bombing.

A statue at the Catholic Church across from the memorial.

168 chairs represent the 168 people who died in the blast.

These 2 gates at each end of the memorial are marked "9:01" and "9:03"
bookending the 9:02 time of the explosion.

3 July 2012: Dylan and Mom at the Oklahoma City Memorial.

The survivor tree: this tree actually survived the blast.

3 July 2012: Ed with the survivor tree.
After a short stay at the memorial, we started toward my brother Darryl's house in Aurora, a small town just southeast of Springfield, Missouri.  I say started because first of all we had to deal with a mess in the trailer when the refrigerator door opened and dumped leftover potato salad all over the floor.  Then, when we had barely left Oklahoma City, a tire on the trailer shredded and we had to stop to replace it. 
3 July 2012: Ed removes the shredded tire from the trailer.

3 July 2012: Dylan airs up the spare tire.
Eventually we were back on the road and, except for a picnic lunch stop, we drove straight to Darryl and Tamera's house just in time for a delicious dinner of grilled burgers, salad, and dinner fries.

Our picnic lunch stop.

We enjoyed an evening of conversation with Darryl and Tamera, my niece Brittany and her boyfriend Ben, and Tamera's nephew Caleb  We enjoyed it so much that we didn't go to bed until after midnight!

Dylan with his Oreo ice cream cake on his 15th birthday.

On a side note: Sunday, July 1st--the day before we left on our trip--was Dylan's 15th birthday.  We had a quick family party for him since we were madly getting everything ready for our trip.  But, short party aside, we are very proud of the young man he is becoming!  Happy birthday, my son! 

1 comment:

Grandma Honey said...

Next time we go on a big road trip I ought to sleep through it like you did...it would sure make the time go by faster.
I love it when you take us on your trips. Looking forward to the next installment.