We spent a couple of weeks preparing to roll out of Arizona. We had a list on the refrigerator that listed things like – pump up tires, replace an air conditioner, change oil, and fill the crack in the windshield. The moment we started rolling away, I opened up the window to feel the wind of adventure blow through my hair. It felt so good to be moving again.
The difference in bug splotches is one indication of the diverse areas we drove – desert to mountain, and mountain to plains. Like a thrown drip painting, the windshield became a splattered canvas.
I squished my fluffy dog, Tootsie, snuggled between me and the open window. We smelled the smells and stuck our heads into the rush of the wind. The music moved our bodies and we wondered at the rainbow falling from the sky as we put our hands up in the air as we rolled down the hill. Okay, that was just me, Tootsie kept her paws on her blanket. Meanwhile, Jon gripped the steering wheel with both hands and listened to every squeak and rattle as he tried not to get blown off the road.
And that is the reality of how it looks when we travel. I am carefree, and Jon feels responsible for the travel and mostly the rig. We had just got done sharing how we were feeling when a gust of wind tried to blow us off of the road, and instead billowed up the awning that covers our slide when it is slid out.
BANG, BANG, BANG! Wide-eyed we locked eyes. Jon found a slice of a shoulder to pull over on the desert freeway. Soon he was out the door and on the roof. I spotted his head peering over the side of the camper as I looked in the driver’s side mirror. He shouted for our son.
I ran out and got stabbed in the legs by the dried stalks of grass. My heart beat faster as the State Patrol walked up to ask us if we needed any help. I tried to talk to him as Jon wrestled with the awning blowing as we casually sent our son up on the roof to help with the mess.
I told the State Patrol our issue and thanked him. “You are actually driving on a good day,” he said. “Last week the wind was blowing over semi-trucks.” My mouth fell open.
He walked back to his Mustang and I assumed he would stay there to help encourage the semi trucks to move over to the other lane, but instead he smiled and just drove off. That’s when disconnecting the awning became an Extreme Sport. There was a moment that I didn’t really want to know about where a semi-truck came within inches, and a jacked up pickup truck came swerving. (photo of Eli pulling the awning off the roof)
The guys unattached the awning that had so proudly beat up the other newish air conditioner and had hit so hard in the roof that it left us a hole as a momento of its wild rebellion.
The awning rode with us inside because of its length until we parked at our new campground where Jon patched the roof hours before it rained and we chucked the awning out the door. So, here we sit a little diagonal for the days of rain so no water runs through our living room. Everything is back to normal except when I go outside I tend to walk and lean a little bit to the left.
(photo by Johannes Plenio)