Tuesday, February 5, 2008

...by the hair on my chinny, chin, chin!


I MADE IT! Let's all do a happy dance!!

I would've written sooner, but all the driving and stress finally caught up with me. I pretty much collapsed when I got here and then I started training. It's been non-stop. I'd like to say my trip down was non-eventful, but alas, I wouldn't have a great story to share with you if it was anything less than...non-eventful!

I made fantastic time in the car...of course I was driving 70 - 80 mph the whole way. I spent the night at my friend Amanda's house on Monday night and left at 7:00 am on Tuesday morning. I made it from DC to West Memphis, AK on Tuesday night...by the skin of my teeth.

I hit the worst weather you can imagine between Nashville and Memphis, driving was " white knuckle hair raising" in the pouring rain and unbelievable wind. The worst was about an hour from Memphis. I kid you not, the rain was so hard I couldn't see outside my windshield and the rain was blowing straight sideways right to left. The wind blew a tractor trailer across the road and it almost took off the front end of my car! I immediately pulled over (there was no paved shoulder) and waited out the storm on the grassy shoulder. Everyone pulled over...cars, pick up trucks, 18 wheelers...it was not possible to drive. Later, I heard on the radio that it was an unconfirmed tornado!!!!!!

After the storm passed, I drove into the Memphis area and realized I was running on fumes...the idiot light was flashing, so I pulled off to get gas. Everything was dark...no electricity anywhere! The storms and wind had killed power for over 100,000 people in the Memphis area. I was about to lose my cookies from stress as I was so low on gas and I was completely LOST. I saw a FedEx truck and pulled over to ask the driver if he knew where I could get gas...he said power was on about 5 miles away and gave me directions. He was an angel...he gave great directions and just when I thought I was going to have to push my car, I found a gas station with lights and pumps on and coasted in. Just in the nick of time! The attendant showed me a crack in the window where a trash can had hit it. He said he heard on the news the wind had been blowing at almost 90 mph there!

After getting gas, I drove through Memphis and got a hotel room in West Memphis, AK. The lady at the front desk told me their lights had just come back on..the truck stop next door clocked winds at 85 mph. Believe me, I was thanking God for getting me there with all my fingers and toes when I finally crawled into bed.

I got up the next day and drove another 14 hours to San Antonio...yes, I'll admit I missed my exit in Little Rock and almost ended up in Oklahoma, so I turned around and doubled back. It was okay though, because my little detour took me through some of the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen. After pulling over in Austin for a short break, I made it into my driveway just before sunrise on Thursday morning. I got into my bed, put my head on the pillow...and slept for almost 12 hours. I was so happy to get to San Antonio safely. What an adventure!

I've been hitting it hard with intense training and I haven't had any time to explore the area, but I picked up several magazines and there seems to be quite a bit to see and do here. I plan to take 3 guided tours to see the hill country, downtown San Antonio, and the Spanish missions. I'll let someone else do all the driving (for a change!!) so I can relax, eat, drink and be a tourist! I'll be sure to take pics and send some your way.

Admiralty RV Resort is very nice, but it's completely different from CHSP. CHSP is very "natural" and rustic. Admiralty is more of a motor-home, pull-behind trailer park. Space is tight and shade is at a premium. I'll have more in depth info to share about the resort in my next post.

I'm already working on cleaning and repairing their computers and properly networking their printers...so I'm enjoying myself!

I'll keep you posted!

Barb :-)

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