Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm Back!

I've been out of town a lot this month, but I'm back and have I got stories to tell.

Picture this, driving from the southwest to the deep south in a '75 GMC Rally Wagon, with K and Mr. Man and NO air conditioning,... in AUGUST! 55 miles per hour max! Crazy? Oh yes! But it was seriously loads of fun!

We bought K some books for the trip so, most of the time, K read her new paperback copy of Deathly Hallows or "If I tell you I love you then I'll have to kill you" which, based on the constant giggling fro m the back set, sounded really funny. Oh, and "The Time Travellers" which she liked so much be bought the sequel. This is how K spent most of her time,

She's really a great traveler. She surfaces for food and fun and only starts whining after the third 8 hour day in the car. I started whining on day two, but my tushy was totally asleep and I was hungry, and...

Mr. Man drove and I read the road atlas. The whole trip was about 1300 miles, about 24 hours of driving, and we only got lost once, in Tulsa, because the road we wanted was closed for construction and the detour signs made absolutely no sense. We went the way they said and ended up back where we started, twice. It was nuts. After that I ignored the signs and got through the city just fine.

I kinda hate and love long drives. I hate the driving part, but I love that Mr. Man and I can just talk for hours. Although 24 hours is a lot of time to talk, and there were some lovely companionable silences, we had time to just talk. It was lovely.

Why, you might inquire, did we make this journey in a car that is too old to even qualify for cash for clunkers? Long story short, this was the car I grew up in. My folks bought this van new, and have kept it up ever since. It has crossed the country too many times to count and has been to Canada and Mexico in the same trip. It's a work horse with maybe 30 moving parts that can be repaired by almost anyone and came with the shop manuals that tell you how. It also comes with two front seats for driver and shot gun and two bench seats, with seat belts, for a total of 8 passengers, four bunks, curtains, spare parts galore and the original three on the tree stick shift, in a box in the back. Long story that. My parents decided they just didn't need it anymore so, we flew out and drove it home.

Why did we want it? It is the ultimate camping machine. Just pull out the back bench seat, set up the bunks, stow our gear under the bunks in laundry baskets and you could pull into any camp site and be in bed in 10 minutes. No setting up tents and no worries about lions or tigers or bears, oh my! Once in Canada, a group of bears wandered through our campsite. One bear stiffed at my window and leaned against the side of our van to see if it could roll the yummy insides out. We were too much like a big tin can for them to bother with us, the tents next door were much easier to open. Nobody was hurt, but there was a lot of screaming and running in the night.

We are headed for the hills as soon as we recover and finish out laundry. And the temp goes down a bit. Did I mention, no air conditioning?

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