It is like one of those horrible word problems you had in seventh grade math class.
If Mr. and Mrs. P left home at 8:30 a.m. and drove 11 hours traveling west 615 miles before stopping for the night at 5:30 p.m. but still had 442 more miles to drive the next day, what will be their final destination. What time will they arrive if they left at 9:30 a.m. and only stopped twice for fuel?
No, we're not there yet!
Go ahead and try to figure it out... Right now we are about 102 miles from the Arizona/California border traveling I-40, and I can smell smoke in the air. We are headed into the "Inferno" that is consuming a large portion of southern California. Rick has to be at his first meeting Thursday morning near Los Angeles. (Diamond Bar to be exact) We don't know at this point where he will be working, so we will spend tonight in San Dimas and go from there to the area where he will be working. (Provided we can find a campground open and operational.)
The drive has been good so far. No engine problems or tire problems. The weather has been good and the scenery is beautiful. We got a good night's sleep last night in Flagstaff, so we are in a good frame of mind as we try to prepare ourselves for the days ahead.
It is hard to put into words what goes through our minds on days like today. We try to stay focused on the task at hand, the trip, the miles and miles of pavement that seems to have no end. We hurt and pray for the people and community we will come in contact with in the weeks to come. We hope for "good claims" so that our time spent so far from home and family will be "profitable." We wonder where we will be deployed and hope to find a place to stay so our expenses will be as low as possible. We pray for and miss our kids. And then I wonder how far it is to the next rest stop!!!
This is the first time I have been able to go out with Rick from the first day he is deployed. It is a good thing that men have tunnel vision and can think about only one thing at a time. If I were in charge of this trip, we would have had to stop and see the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, and the Grand Canyon on the way. He, on the other hand, knows one thing and that is that we have to be in California Thursday morning. From the time he was called to go to the time we have to be there, driving 1000+ miles allows stopping for fuel only when necessary. Bathroom breaks and meals have to be taken care of wherever you can buy diesel. Truck stop fast food takes care of the first two meals of the day. We usually are able to have a "sit down" dinner in the evenings. We should have a big bumper sticker on the back of the fifth wheel that says, "This Rig Stops at Cracker Barrels!" It's not your "normal" life...good thing I'm not "normal."
Oh praise The Lord... an unexpected pit stop! I'll catch you down the road!