The sun beats in through the windshield, giving me that scorching ant-under-a-magnifying-glass feeling.
The windows are down, blowing a violent, torrid wind into the truck, which keeps the temperature barely tolerable. Our truck didn't come with A/C, given the fact that we bought it in the glacial state of Alaska.
Headed west toward California, it dawns on me that I get to be in this sun-beaten position for the next 10 plus hours. Oh joy, oh bliss.
At least three of our five children are sleeping, always a plus, and enough motivation for me to endure - it means we can drive without the inevitable "Are we there yet?" or "Is this California?" (no, it's only Delta, Utah)
But unavoidably, we do have to stop. The veggie tank is on 1/2 full, the diesel tank is on empty (it's always good to have some in the tank, just in case), and it's 150 miles to the next smallish town.
We try two restaurants before finding some good stuff at a little Mexican place. I sit in the cab with baby Atlas, while the two older kids help daddy filter the veggie from the bin into our tank with the electric pump.
The veggie bin
That's my hubby's swear word, so I know something unpleasant has happened.
Slipping on the flip flops, I mosey toward the back to check it out.
"They splashed veggie on my new shirt," he calmly explains. It was a nice Patagonia brand that he just scored at the thrift store.
"And now the veggie pump isn't working."
Hmmm, that could be inconvenient.
Greg checks the fuse. It's blown.
"I had another box of fuses. What happened to them?"
Now begins one of our ongoing 'differences of opinion'- I go on 'cleaning rampages' in which I would be willing to throw away money that got in my way, and then he can't find anything when he needs it.
OR He doesn't put his things 'away' in a place where he will know where they are, but leaves them in various locations around the truck. Then after I straighten up the inevitable mess, how am I supposed to remember what I did with it?
A few moments of huffing and puffing and frustration occur while he searches in vain for the fuses in a haystack.
But then it's over, and we're playful and teasing, a reminder of the 'long-term' perspective - our relationship is more important, despite the irritations.
"What do we do now?" is the question.
Hopping over to the gas station two doors down, we put in some diesel, and buy a box of fuses.
We try them in the pump, fully expecting to fix the problem, pump some veggie, and get on our way to our beach vacation.
We plug it in, turn it on, it sparks then…nothing.
As he fiddles with it. I entertain baby, hide from the blistering desert sun, and think about 'going with the flow.' Who cares if I wanted to get someplace by a certain time?
He blows two more fuses, while I walk Ki to the gas station for a potty break. At least it's a break from the sweltering heat, and I fill up a refreshing cup of ice cold water.
Hubby decides that we should search out some help. We visit the car part store with no luck, before searching out a phone to call Charlie for some real help. This is one of those times we could really use a cell phone.
Thinking we could buy a prepaid sim card for our inactive Blackberry, we stop at Verizon. They don't have any, but discovering that Greg just really wants to make a phone call, the customer service rep generously lends him a phone.
Getting expert repair advice from Charlie, we drive over to the Delta park, to lounge in the grass, climb on the playground and eat some watermelon while daddy goes to work fixing our pump.
The grass is cool and revitalizing, and it's nice to just sit and enjoy being with the kids. I'm honestly appreciating our traveling detour and 'enjoying the journey'.
Greg fidgets and tinkers some more. Still nothing. The motor must be burnt out.
"Ahhh, the adventures of traveling," he comments.
"I was thinking that we better get used to it again. There will be plenty of things like this, only worse, once we cross the border."
There's always those inescapable hiccups in plans, detours, diversions, obstacles and impediments. Learn to expect and accept them, and they won't ruffle your feathers.
We could of been very put out by this 'travel lemon', but instead we focused on what we could do to pass the time agreeably. Eating watermelon is always a favorite past time.
Weighing our options, we decide pumping veggie the 'old-fashioned' way would still be worth our time.
So we head back to the veggie bin, and Greg fills up our tank with a gallon scooper. Each ladleful is worth $3 +, so it's a fair exchange rate.
Three fingers mean $3+ a gallon
That's what we call 'liquid gold'
Now haul it back to the truck
Greg pours it through this funnel into our tank
Regardless of the whole 'enjoy the journey' thing, I'm glad when we're finally back on the road. It's still a long way to Cali.
Atlas, who'd been fussing, drifts into a peaceful slumber, and I settle in for a nice long drive.
"Mom! Kimball needs to pee!!"
"Pee in a bottle! And make sure it gets in there."
Ah, the joys of travel.
Miles to go before we sleep
- A Journey of 14 Hours With Kids Begins…With a Good Attitude – Driving from Nevada to the California Coast
- The Joy of Arriving After a Long, Hot Journey – Santa Cruz, California
- Sun, Sand and Sweet Sustenance in Santa Cruz, California
- Sunday Stroll in Santa Cruz, California
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