The Journey Begins: June 29, 1970 2


English: Stuckey's advertisement from 1976 Ran...
English: Stuckey’s advertisement from 1976 Rand McNally Road Atlas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As God is willing we are finally on the road. It is 3:45 and our mileage shows 51,518. The air is clear and warm. With all the shifting and tussling to get things in the camper and car I could use a shower. I never thought we’d leave. It took every ounce of forbearance to keep from screaming at the kids. They were forever getting packed and in the car. The pop-up camper is crammed to the gills (though I guess campers don’t have gills), so let’s say there isn’t an inch to spare inside the camper. Robbie spent $6.40 filling the tank at the Gulf station.

The worst thing – there was a terrible accident. A car went clean off the road and up into a house trailer sitting hundreds of yards off the highway. Fire trucks, police and ambulances, with wreckers fighting for space between them. It must have just happened. I check the kids in the back seat. Their eyes are wild. I tell them to look away. I must learn to be thankful for the things that slow us down in life.

Robbie tried to take a wrong turn but connected in time to get on the East-Tex freeway. The traffic is fast and furious. After our accident last year I still tense up in heavy traffic if R tailgates. I loosen my grip on the seat. R says there is a fierce tailwind so that is why the car is swaying so much. It couldn’t be because of the boat on top or the heavy loaded camper trailing behind. (!)

It is 40 minutes from our house to Baytown (Mileage 51,558). The air is heavy with the smell from the paper plant. We are going 70 MPH on the Freeway when some colored men in an old green car pull out in front of us doing 20 MPH. R swings around them just in time and he honks at them. We are back in the right lane again when the green car honks and speeds around us. I look at R. He looks angry. I tell him best not get upset, we’re just starting out.

We stop at Stuckey’s at 5:15. I get a sandwich as I had no lunch to speak of. Cold apple cider for everyone. Nut butter crunch is so good.

Becky dropped stuff out of her purse all over the floor. Her hairbrush went into the toilet. I tell her I left the Lysol spray in the trailer and just throw that nasty thing away. It only cost 69 cents.

Got gas before entering Louisiana as gas has a 12 cent tax there. Gas (Gulf) $4.39 for 11.6 gallons

On the road R keeps pushing up his dark glasses every minute. Why does he do that?

I glance back and see that Jon and Jeff have added dark glasses and a hat to my wig holder. Very funny.

Cross the line between Texas and LA – the Sabine River that is. The kids all holler “Leaving America and entering Louisiana!”

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