Hey - push away that nasty old rolling computer chair, grab a cup of coffee and pull up a nice comfy recliner, sit back and enjoy the EPIC ADVENTURES OF SAM AND SARAH! (Part I)That's my way of saying, we had a great trip and a long trip and it might take me longer than one sitting to get it all written down!
Where do we start? Well, how about the beginning, I heard it's a very good place to start! :) As many of you know we had the great wedding of TW Chapman and his lovely fiance, Katie (whom we'd never met) on Saturday. But Sam was a groomsman and there were "activities" we had to part take in before the ceremony. So goal = get to Texas by Thursday afternoon! But as you also know, it's nearly impossible for us to start any adventure on time - otherwise it wouldn't really be an "adventure" right?! So by 4pm on Wednesday, we got on the road and headed East. Heading East is not really too much of an adventure, it's just going East! I'll try to be as detailed as possible in case you'd like to pull out a map and follow our adventure as I talk about it. But I don't have a map in front of me, so you'll have to use some of your own imagination! So at Fargo, we headed South, on I29, I believe. This took us through ND, SD, Omaha, NE, IA, and we eventually ended up at Kansas City, KS at 4am. (Like I said, we needed to make it to TX by Thursday afternoon!) Side note: Kansas City, from what I can see, is a very ghetto town. Try not to visit and definitely don't move there, unless of course you are from there and you LOVE it there or you have family there, or the Lord (God forbid) makes you move there to enter into inner-city ministry. Hey, I'm open to whatever, Lord! ;) Anyway, we find a space to pull our minivan into and settle in for the night.
I should get you caught up on our sleep rig. Normally, since we are such adventurous people, we LOVE camping. (Also, it could be that we are always looking for ways to save $$$.) So we usually take all the seats out of our van and put a blow-up mattress in there and our tent, just in case, and tons of sleeping bags, blankets, etc. Well, we usually wake up halfway through the night with our air mattress flat on the ground and so many aches, we can hardly stand up! So my wonderful, amazing husband had a great idea. As we were getting ready on Wednesday to head out, I was in the bathroom, packing last minute stuff, when I heard Sam say...."What do you think about taking this mattress?" Assuming he was talking about the blow up down stairs that he'd inflated to see if it would stay that way, I went around the corner to say, what other choice to do we have really? And that's when I realized, he wasn't down there??? So what the heck was he talking about? "Honey, honey, where are you?" "I'm in here...." Duh.... Where's "here"? And so without making it super clear - "In HERE" - I followed his voice into the guest bedroom, where he'd stripped our bed and was just staring at the mattress with just the fitted sheet on it! Brilliant!!! What a brilliant idea! So we haul the full size mattress out to the car for it to fit PERFECTLY! We loaded up our car and set off!
So back to Kansas City, I had fallen asleep long before Sam because he was up, watching movies, oh yeah, and driving! So we pulled over at 4am and slept for a good three hours, and then I got up and started the long trek across Kansas! I had no idea that any state could be any more plain than ND, but it looks like ND found it's match - KS is flat, with even less trees, the only positive thing I could see is that the thermometer finally made it up to about 70 degrees! Meanwhile, Sam was "sleeping in" and so I decided to turn the radio on - and I must have gotten sidetracked because after about 10 minutes, I realized nothing was on the radio - it'd been seeking all that time, only to find.... NOTHING! So back to entertaining myself with all my thoughts - which, by the way, kept me very entertained for quite a while! :)
As we rolled into Oklahoma City, we realized, there was no possible way to make it all the way to San Antonio by the afternoon, so we decided to take advantage of the opportuntiy to visit my good friend Amber and her family in Dallas! Sam also realized that we'd only been about 1500 miles already and would probably need an oil change along the way. So we got in touch with Amber and got an oil change set up in Arlington, meanwhile, we sat and visited for a couple hours at her beautiful home with Steve, and her two boys, Austin and Noah! That was such a great opportunity! Now it's 6pm and we had to drive south 3 hours to Austin, TX and then head W another 3.5 hours to the camp where all the wedding festivities would be taking place, so we decided, we'd better hit the road! Let me start by saying that it's always been a dream of Sam's to see the Texas blue bonnets in bloom all across the fields of Texas. We'd been told by everyone that it was a bit late for them, but perhaps we might see some of them. So as we were headed south out of Dallas, we saw so many amazing wild flowers everywhere and as if God gave Sam his own special present, we started seeing the fields lighting up with a blue haze!!! So we stopped, only to find out the blue bonnets were indeed blooming. And so like the crazies we are, had you been heading south out of Dallas last Thursday, you would have seen a couple of fruit loops tramping around on the side of the Interstate taking pictures of each other in fields of flowers!!!
Well, we finally pull into Austin around 9pm, and with our directions to this camp, which had no cell reception, we continued on! We were in a bit of a rush, so we didn't take the time to enjoy the sites, only to realize that we had a little less than a full tank of gas and there was the promise of more towns along the way! So off we went - WEST. We were two hours into our westward journey and realizing our fuel gage was steadily going down, down, down.... But there was one more town we could go through... We passed through the cutest little town called.... Fredericksburg, TX, go figure! We loved it, and if EVERYTHING wasn't closed there, we might have been tempted to stop, but alas, the camp was calling us! So at the last town, the road didn't even take us into the town, but we still had more than a quarter of a tank, and there'd been places along the way... We were in a rush... Well, they weren't kidding with the mileage on the last bit of the trek, it took a long time! We were about to make one last turn, when we saw a gas station to the right of us - so we pulled in there with less than a quarter at this point and thinking that even though it was midnight, we'd just try to see if it was open - so as we pull up with all the lights on, we saw a great big beastly looking creature - kind of scary considering we hadn't seen a light for the last 30 miles! Anyway, to our surprise, there was a PEACOCK fighting himself in the reflection of the gas tank!!! Seriously! I nearly hit it! It was a peacock. It was kind of mad that we interrupted his fight, apparently he was winning! So he walked around making the most awful sounds, letting us know that he was not happy with our interruption! Well, needless to say, the gas tanks were off and the store was closed. If we'd been able to get gas there, this would NOT be the EPIC Adventure that it was, silly!
So we head down the road towards this camp and when I say there is not a light to be found anywhere, I'm not even kidding. So it's midnight, we're driving down this road in the middle of NO WHERE with less that a quarter tank of gas and no signs pointing us to this camp! Finally, we saw a little sign confirming we'd found the camp! Phew!!! Now, we just have to find everyone! We pulled in and it was this gravel road that wound and wound all the way - then we see a sign that says, "6% grade, honk as you drive down." I guess it was a blind curve, luckily it was midnight and didn't think we'd really encounter anyone else, but seriously, what the heck? Where ARE we? By now the gas light had been on for a good, long time! Remember, no cell reception, so we drove around this camp, and then around the camp again, we didn't see anything that looked like TW's vehicle, not that way - that's the river, not that way, that's someone's private residence, not that way - that's nothing. Where is this pavillion that they are getting married in? Well, we figured, we'd just have to camp here because we can't see - there's no light anywhere, we have no cell reception and we're running on fumes! (I know the lesson here is not to let the gas get below half a tank, but Dad, what can I say? We just didn't know, but seriously, I promise not to let it happen again!)
So we pulled into this road that was off to the side so that it didn't look like it would bother anyone and laid our weary head's to rest! The next morning, you would NOT believe where we were. We opened our eyes and instead of this beautiful wedding site, we see....a broke down pavillion and across the way - a dump. Seriously, like the dumping grounds of all old appliances. We'd never met Katie, so we had no idea what to expect. There were rocks and scruby old nasty trees - needless to say, NOT the most wonderful wedding site - but whatever - everyone is different. We looked at the pavillion and we looked at each other. We looked at the tossed off appliances and looked at each other.... I said, "Well, you know what they say, Everything is bigger in Texas - Hey friends, welcome to our wedding, please, pick an appliance on your way out to remember us! Do you think they are the favors?" We got pretty cracked up over that! So we drove around the desert a little and went back to the Camp Office and saw a guy wandering around, so Sam jumped out and told him we were there for Katie and T-dub's wedding and could he point us in the right direction. He said, you just go down this road and make a right - INTO THE RIVER... Then you drive THROUGH THE RIVER about a quarter of a mile and you'll see it on the Left. WHAT?!?! DRIVE THROUGH THE RIVER?! T-dub's idea of another crazy perfect camping spot - that'll have to be another story for another time.... Anyway, whatever. We followed his directions and drove right through the river and pulled out onto this road that had cliffs that shot up about 300 feet on each side and you would not believe the sight we drove out to.... It was the most.....
Well, what do you know? I have been typing for a really long time, and I really need to hit the grocery store. So until next time for Part II of the EPIC ADVENTURES OF SAM AND SARAH....
We're actually happy to be back in the Tundra.