Days 3 and 4….

by John McNichol on August 6, 2016

Hey, All!
Nope, I  didn’t disappear. Just got very, very busy.
Starting over from…

Day 3
I rolled through Wyoming, and saw the most beautiful mountains I think I will ever see. The best parts couldn’t be photographed, since I was in motion and had to make time each day.


Colorado was beautiful too, and I made such good time through that region that I was able to set up a time to meet an old college friend I hadn’t seen in over two decades.

And then, well…
When I started up the Uhaul, it began making this annoying bleeping sound, and a red light with “brakes” kept flashing. Fortunately, I patted myself on the back for getting the insurance and roadside assistance, and called in. It took the better part of two hours, but I got back on the road. Unfortunately, It meant I couldn’t se CeCe, but another time.

By this point, my GPS was telling me I’d get to my hotel at about 10:30 at night…at it was only 3:30! Time to put the pedal to the metal! I didn’t want to be doing too much night driving in unfamiliar territory if I could help it.

Well, no. Driving through Denver was already a challenge. Colorado Springs wasn’t so bad, and when I hit the mountains I thought I was home free…then a 6(six) car pileup happened about a half-mile in front of me….another hour+ out of my schedule.

Drive, drive, drive, relatively clear as the sun slowly sank down. I had to slow down once the night came, and my GPS slowly added minute after minute to my ending drive time.

I finally entered Clayton, New Mexico, at 12:15 am. Tired, glad I’d finally found the Super 8 I;d made a reservation at last week. Then….

No one at the desk.
Rang the bell. Called the desk on my cell phone & watched their phone ring, yelled loud trying to find someone, even went into areas marked “Employees only”

I had been traveling since 8am that morning, but I wasn’t angry or frustrated, just mildly peeved. I think all the prayers said for me were doing their job…

Finally, the manager walked in, explaining he’d just stepped out…
And he couldn’t get my keycard to work.

A teenage boy showed up, apologizing for having had his headphones on when I was looking forhelp, and said he knew how to get the cards working.

He did, and then my room door wouldn’t open anyway, because the battery in the lock was dead.

This was starting to look like a bad movie. “I’ll go in through the window, if it helps,” I said. They were very polite, and I didn’t get surly. but I *was* tired, and knew I had to get up at 6am to get driving by 7am.

Finally, they got me into a different room. and…

Cigarette butts in the toilet, TV didn’t work when I turned it on to relax, even the clock was blinking with unset times.

Forget it. Said my prayers (I’ve been getting time on the road to say 3 rosaries each day, very cool…), set my alarm for 7 instead of 6 to get an extra hour of sleep, read a little bit, went to sleep. And…

Woke up at 5:30. Couldn’t get back to sleep thinking about all the stuff I had to have in place for Monday when Jeanna and the kids get in.


Got up. Hotel had breakfast, which was good. Asked about a discount for my troubles the night before.

“You know,” said the lady at the desk, “did they ever get you to sign anything? No? Then it’s free. No problem.”

Well, now. Ok. No bad review on Yelp or complaint to the Super 8 folks. I’m not worried about hurting their business, since I doubt any of my blog readers will be rolling through Clayton, NM. :)

Went outside- and the sunrise was beautiful. Took a little walk since now I was waking up with leg cramps. Weather was beautiful, at 7am.

Took a few pics, into the truck and rolled out.

To Texas- New Mexico in the morning

New Mexico in the morning outside the Clayton Super 8- Beautiful

to texas- New Mexico in the AM with uhal


Rolled over the Texas border in an hour. At one point, stopped the truck, and then just…


I was on a ‘highway’ that was one step above a dirt road. Grass farm fields on each side. No noise, just a solitary cricket.

Looking around, then taking my Dad’s advice and walking around the truck a few times to stave off the dang leg cramps. The place was peaceful quiet, and perfect.

to texas- roadway
Back in the truck, driving. Smooth ride, no  problems!

to texas- rattlesnake warning

Yes, this was really outside the Rest Stop! :O Welcome to Texas!

Three hours fro Dallas, I called my Real Estate agent, David Ross (best in the state, hands down. Went over and above for us again and again!) about parking the Uhaul in front of the house…

“John, Randy (Randy Huntress, our loan officer) has been trying to get ahold of you all day!”
“I’ve been on the road, my phone only does texts. What’s up”
“The wire transfer of funds for your house needs to be completed.”



At the rest stop, with the engine running so I can use the AC and keep from roasting alive, I end up using my cell phone to:

Call Randy, get the info still needed.
Call my bank in Vancouver, finding out what needs be done.
Call Jeanna, give her the info, so she can go down to the bank since they won’t let me do it over the phone.
Talk to Jeanna an the bank, then Randy again to get it all set…


More driving. Last 1/2 hour was toughest of the day, dealing with the Dallas highway. I do think we’ll be happy here, but the highways, as my old editor Todd once put it, seem to have been designed by Dr. Seuss. All curves and exits on both sides of the highway, sometimes giving you only seconds to crosse 2 or 3 lanes to get to your exits. Even the GPS had a hard time keeping up, but….

I made it at 8pm. Still light outside, and I was able to send the night with a lovely couple I met through the Irving Catholic Online Network (ICON). The W____’s not only love their faith, but actually have more than a little of the culture that would fit right in with the Northwest/Portland area, loving gardens and a simple lifestyle of service to the faith.

Next up: Day 5! Started the new job, neat colleagues, and we bought a van with Randy’s help!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Andre August 6, 2016 at 4:58 pm

Wow, sounds like you had quite an adventure, at least in the sense of what G.K. Chesterton say about an adventure only being an inconvenience rightly considered… :D
Well, good luck with the new job and the new home! At here’s to hoping that you find a home for the final book in the Young Chesterton Chronicles series soon too! ;)

Still keeping you in prayer, and God Bless!


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