Friday, July 17, 2015
We finished getting everything ready this morning and took our last trip to the chiropractor for a month. After getting back to Melinda’s Mom and Dad’s house, we loaded the last minute stuff in and positioned the RV to attach the tow dolly. Melinda’s Dad helped us out before heading off to work. We drove the van onto the dolly, and Melinda’s Mom took pictures before we set off. We said a prayer for the trip and cautiously, somewhat nervously, pulled out of the driveway. While we headed to the highway, the older kids played Legos at the dinette, and Alton crashed in his car seat.
We had been driving for a few hours when we felt like it was time for a break. Melinda hadn’t had any coffee yet, so we needed to stop at a gas station for ice to make our iced coffee. Unfortunately, we hadn’t planned ahead to find the best location for the RV, which made us just stop at the next station available. Melinda had checked the satellite maps to see if we could pull in easily, and it had looked wide open. However, once we got off the highway to the station what we thought was a huge parking lot was actually a small parking lot with a huge parking lot next to it. . . only 3 feet lower. We made it work and got gas since we were there. We pulled out from the pumps to get out of the way before getting ice when we heard a POP!
Right away Michael knew that something wasn’t right and checked the back. We had popped one of the tow dolly tires. We immediately went into panic mode, but Melinda tried to defuse the situation and get everyone to chill out. This wasn’t the end of the world; this was just a bump along the way. We needed a tire, and we prayed there would be somewhere close to get the right size. We put our priorities in order and got the ice for the coffee first before Michael headed out to get a new tire.
It was very hot outside, and Melinda and the kids were blessed to be able to stay in the RV’s air conditioning while they waited. The girls barely cared what was going on because they were watching Veggie Tales in the bunks. Melinda was enjoying it a little less due to a headache. While stretching on the floor to try and feel better, Alton came up behind her and sweetly leaned on her back and giggled. He is such a joy and brings life to whatever situation. God knew what we needed when he gave us that little boy.
Jason decided to start writing in his travel journal and started with, “It was our first time on a long RV trip. And it’s been great.” Nothing like the perspective of children to bring everything into the right focus.
Michael had to go to a tiny little tire shop that he knew for sure wouldn’t have what we needed. He asked the guy working there about the tire and his response was, ” I don’t think I’ll have one of those. Oh wait, here’s two.” Thank you, Jesus! As annoying as it was to have our journey paused so early in our trip, we couldn’t help feeling grateful that it had happened in the gas station parking lot and not out on the road. It could have been a much worse situation. Michael got the tire replaced, and we were on our way again!
. . .For about half a mile. When Michael looked back and saw the tire he just replaced smoking, he pulled over to the side and did his very best to keep his composure. He walked back to check it out and realized he didn’t know what was going on. Right when he started walking back to the RV to move us off the road to a safer place, someone came up behind us to help. The guy had seen us coming from the other direction, saw the smoke, and saw that the van probably meant it was a family that might need help. He was able to help Michael fix a piece of metal that was sticking out and rubbing against the tire, which was what had caused the tire to pop in the first place. The guy said he had 40 acres a few miles away and a couple kids that would love to play if we felt like stopping for the night. As nice as he was, we were so ready to get where we were going that we decided to get back on the road.
The rest of our first day’s journey was much less eventful, thank goodness! We arrived at Hinton RV Park in Miner, Mo near Sikeston a little after 7pm. We got everything hooked up and made dinner. We ate all cramped and cozy in the dinette, and it was wonderful. We got ready for bed, read Peter Pan, and the sounds of Adventures in Odyssey accompanied the kids to dreamland. Michael and Melinda then crashed like the day required.