Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Florida to Arizona

The intent was to convoy with the truck and Chrissy's car from Orlando, Florida to Prescott, Arizona. We were going to make it a leisurely trip, maybe with a stop in New Orleans or a couple of places along the way where we could leave Grandkitty in a hotel room and see a few small sights.

It didn't work out that way. We got a late start leaving Orlando and within 400 miles, withing getting out of Florida, we were stuck on the side of the road. The truck with the newly rebuilt engine lost power with a puff of white smoke just outside of Crestview, Florida. Thank goodness for AAA.

After a few hours roadside (Ask Grandkitty how she liked that!), we got the truck towed to Main Street Automotive in Crestview. Turns out the new water pump was faulty (and potentially installed wrong), and the head cracked, so we needed to replace that newly rebuilt engine. The guys at Main Street Automotive took really good care of us, though. Knowing that we were traveling and that we had to leave Bruce behind in a hotel, they got permission from their other customers to push us to the front of the list, and didn't charge an outrageous amount for the work done. Ultimately, Bruce left Florida the same time we left Arizona and met us in Washington just a day after we got there.

Chrissy had an orientation for her job coming up in Arizona, and we needed to get her housing, so we left Bruce in Crestview and the three of us (me, Chrissy, and Grandkitty) headed to Arizona. We had already lost a couple of days waiting for the truck to get diagnosed, and rebuilding the engine definitely had not been budgeted, so I decided we were going to drive straight through.

We did get to stop briefy in New Orleans, though.

in traffic. And we stopped for dinner and rest at the rest stop in the Atchafalaya Basin. Grandkitty thought the purple martins were interesting.

Houston was pretty when we got lost downtown because of the construction on I-10.

When the sun came up, we were in Big Bend Country.

And it was my turn to sleep. I did wake up for the border check and hail storm on I-10 in New Mexico, about a hundred miles from the actual border, but mostly, I slept until Phoenix, where I took over driving.

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