Friday, November 13, 2009

The Adventure Begins.........The Road Hits Back.....Day Three

The Adventure Begins

It turned out to be just one of those nights. It didn't matter how I laid or what I fluffed up where, I just couldn't sleep. With the drive to Tulsa looming I just couldn't seem to clear my head so instead of sawing logs I thinking about a drive to a place I'd never been.

When my cell phone chirped at me, I couldn't believe my ears. How could it be 4 AM when I hadn't even been to sleep yet? Pulling a pillow over my face I thought I might just escape the reality of the situation.

I watched in my rear view mirror to see if anyone was stirring in the barn. Maybe if they were running late, I might grab a Z or three. I saw the motion light go on and off a few times but I thought it was the wind triggering it. It took a while for me to realize it was Richy going in and out of the barn as he packed stuff in the horse trailer setting it off.

With that realization I was more than ready to quit struggling to sleep. The last thing I wanted was to be holding Jesse up. Finally shutting off the snooze alarm, I began packing up my bedding and getting my truck in order from there I moved on down to the barn my horses were in to rewrap their legs.

When I arrived in the dark barn, I easily found the light switch. The only problem was the lights refused to respond. Even after getting Richy to help, the fluorescent lights just did not want to co-operate so I ended up leading each horse up to the arena level to do my wrapping there. As I finished each horse, I loaded it into the trailer.

By the time I was finished, Richy was finished with his chores as well. As I walked my last horse into the trailer, Jesse, Richy and John were working on loading their last horse as well. They had some little last minute things to do before we actually pulled out. It was 6:30 when we finally got on the road headed towards Tulsa.

I had been unable to locate a station with diesel anywhere near the ranch so was not starting off with two full tanks of fuel. I had asked Richy the night before if we would be stopping to eat breakfast along the way. He assured me that we would sometime around 9. If that was indeed the case, I 'd been fine with the fuel that I had. If not, I was going to need to make a stop.

As we worked our way through rush hour traffic headed towards southern California, I couldn't help but be grateful I was following someone. Those road signs and off ramps were coming up faster than I could keep track. I had no idea "where" we were going just that I was following Jesse.

Traffic has always been particularly stressful for me but rush hour traffic in California seems to have its own unique character. I breathed a sigh of relief when we pulled off the interstate onto a much quieter road.

Only this road made me a bit nervous. It seemed rather desolate with nothing but miles and miles of empty fields. Even the freeway ramps seemed pretty barren, I was beginning to worry about finding that fuel.

I called Jesse on his cell to let him know I'd be needing fuel within the next fifty miles or so. He told me the stations were at least fifty miles apart so to keep that in mind when I let him know I needed fuel. Then we just kept right on flying down the road.

It was probably about an hour before he signaled he was exiting the freeway. My gauge was reading about a quarter of a tank so I was glad we had finally found a station. That enthusiasm was quickly squashed when I saw the size of the station. Jesse has a 4 ton truck and pulls a 5 horse trailer. Between his rig and mine I couldn't imagine how we were both going to get into this place........but we did.........although it took some maneuvering as well as some time.

Once I was finished fueling, I pulled over to the air pump to check my tires. After the blow out of the first day, I wasn't taking any chances. As I just finished up Richy ran by tossing a bag of breakfast from Jack in the Box my way.

It didn't take long to figure out that's what meals would be on this trip. Anything we could grap from a convenience store or those fast food places Incorporated into gas stations. When Jesse Saldana says he drives straight through.........that's exactly what he means.

To me it seemed like forever before we even hit some place I knew. That was Bakesfield and it seemed like we drove right down the middle of town, but I could be wrong about that. We did drive right through the middle of some town in the vicinity however as we made our way towards Interstate 40.

We stopped about every 250 miles or so because I needed to refuel. My truck seemed to be running well and my tires looked good. I had my cooler in the back seat that I was utilizing with sandwich fixings so I didn't have to rely on greasy fast food places. It seemed like it was taking forever and we weren't even out of California yet.

This whole part of the trip is kind of a blur. I had no real idea what our route was. I just followed Jesse. Most of the time the road signs didn't give me enough information to have a clue either. I do know we headed towards Needles but I don't think we actually went to that town.

What I can tell you for sure is we did a lot of climbing..........and a lot of descending........followed by a lot more climbing. It had been many years since I'd driven to Las Vegas from Oxnard, California and I remember these kinds of hills......but that's all I remember.

All I can really say is it was late afternoon when a car pulled up along side me waving frantically. I didn't know what the problem was...........only that I needed to pull over.

To be continued..............

The Road Hits Back.......Not Again

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1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, a cliff hanger LOL. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment.