5am Saturday July 1, 2017 Tallahassee, Florida
My Jeep was packed and I pulled out of the driveway at my Mom's house. We did our traditional honking and waving, she ran towards the sidewalk to wave more, and I passed her with a shout out the window, "I feel like I forgot something!!" She waved it off and I continued down the road. West coast bound. Here it goes!
My truck jerked forward and the Check Gauges light came on. The coolant gauge went way up and my truck felt like going over 60mph was a struggle. My mind raced. I needed to find a mechanic. I needed to find a new way to get to my destinations. Can my truck be fixed? Can I just make it to Austin? Ohhhh, that didn't sound good, can I make it to Pensacola? Whoa, that isn't right. I hope I make it to the next exit.
6:30am Defuniak Springs, Florida
I made it to the Wal-Mart parking lot, actually the Auto Center. Smoke billowed from the hood.
I don't know the time frame of all the other events that happened that afternoon. All I know is that at some point my Mom showed up, a tow truck arrived, the mechanic said the engine is fried, the first car rental place didn't have any SUVs available, so we drove west to the Pensacola airport where the line was 20 people deep, after all, it was a Saturday afternoon on July 4th Weekend.
I reached the rental car counter and they had my car ready. "Ma'am, because it was a sameday reservation, we couldn't guarantee you an SUV, so we have a mini-van."
Noooooo!! Please do not make me drive a mini-van for the next month. Please.
We arrived to my new van, and once I saw how to make all those seats disappear into the floor, I was sold. I fit everything in the back to one side and had room to spread out my sleeping bag. My jeep didn't have A/C, or a great sound system, but here I was, with all of those luxuries.
All the sudden my trip felt brand new and I immediately extended my time away. I was going to take the trip around the country and up the west coast that I have always wanted to take. I have a car that I trust and that I can sleep in if I need to. I had the space to fit my display and better gas mileage than the Jeep.
In my experience I try to make the best decision I can make at the time, and then life happens and decision ends up being made for me. It was always meant to be this way.
Eight hours after my initial departure, I was back on the road. I drove through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and I made it to Austin, TX at 2:30am CT.