Laura Fortune

U.S. Travel

120 Degrees to Los Angeles

Roadtrip, U.S. TravelLaura FortuneComment

July 7

I left Tucson and drove to Los Angeles.  It was a toasty drive, but I had A/C.  My old Jeep didn’t have air condition, and I couldn’t imagine the feeling of the windows down on a highway and hot air blowing around me. 

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I spent the evening on a deck at my AirBnB apartment, prepping for the show that would happen the next day.  Let the games begin.

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Mexican Dentist

Family, International Travel, Life Learning, Roadtrip, U.S. TravelLaura FortuneComment

July 6

My uncle and aunt moved from Breckenridge to Tucson and I was one of the first visitors to their new home.  Since the move they had began traveling to see a dentist in Mexico, a place highly recommended and much cheaper than American dental costs.  I have never had dental insurance and have always paid out-of-pocket for my extensive dental needs, so this appointment to see a dentist in Mexico was really exciting to me. 

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I had never been to Mexico and it just seemed to be a funny reason to go. 

I had a loose crown and it needed to be re-cemented, a simple procedure, from my understanding.

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After the dentist looked over my x-rays, it was brought to my attention that the loose crown was actually a loose tooth implant, and it was infected and needed to be extracted.  I was handed the tooth implant in a plastic bag, a prescription for antibiotics, a list of the costs that I will pay for a new implant and a follow-up appointment card to see the specialist in one month, after the bone in my mouth heals. 

I didn’t expect any of this.  I didn’t expect to have one less tooth for the month, to need to pay the cost for a new implant (it’s less than in the US, but still a pretty big expense), or to need to extend my roadtrip so that I land back in Arizona the first week of August. 

A few days earlier I was hit with the unexpected car loss and readjustment to the change of automobile, and now I was readjusting my trip again. 

It was overwhelming and shocking.  But the tooth problem needed to be taken care of and infection is nothing to ignore.  So I leaned into the change again and carried on.

In five days, I lost my car and a tooth.  Rolling with it.

Alright Tucson, see you in one month. 

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Long Roads

Family, Roadtrip, U.S. TravelLaura FortuneComment

July 5

I left Austin around 5:15am and I headed west.  

This was a long day of driving, but these days feel really manageable to me, and I am happy for that.  I have a lot on my mind and then nothing on my mind for long stretches.  I drove through western Texas, and then a little of New Mexico and my final stop for the day was Tucson, Arizona.  I had never been in these parts of America.  There is not much there.  Long roads, plateaus, dry vegetation, mountains, and more long roads.  Not many people travel this part besides just to move from on side of the country to the other, so the driving was pretty mindless.  But here I am.

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July First!

Life Learning, Roadtrip, U.S. Travel, FamilyLaura FortuneComment

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!

5:45am 

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.