February 14th, 2017
Today, our final destination was Dallas, TX after leaving New Orleans, LA. Now it is very important that I stress to you that Dallas was our ending point. You know, northern Texas, home of the worst football team in the NFL etc.. It is also important that I remind you about how we have been traveling the last few days. Two separate cars, each cars driver plugs in the destination to their GPS, meet up there ten hours later. Not too entirely much communication with each other in between, except random pictures sent to each other of funny things seen along the road, or anytime Handclap played on the radio.
Moving on. I was riding with Ryan today, who was in a particularly awful mood for pretty much the entire day, so much so that we now tell anyone who is cranky to leave New Orleans. Ryan doesn’t laugh at this joke as much as Jon and I do. Oh well. We left the sinking city en route to Dallas at about noon, and the drive was expected to take about seven hours, so we planned on about nine accounting for rest stops and food.
Today was also Valentines day, so Jon had the unique pleasure of taking Lauren out to eat $30 steaks, poor guy.
So, anyone that has read the second part of this series can recall me complaining about how the drive from Virginia Beach to Savannah was boring, without many landmarks to look at. Let me tell you, driving through northern Louisiana.. INTO northern Texas? So, so much worse. Not to mention it was raining the entire time, I was with a miserable Ryan, and for some reason we were passing through a cold front, and it was only forty degrees outside instead of the eighty that we were used to. Ugh.
Remember how I told you it was important to note Dallas as our final destination? Well, all four of us have this app installed on our phones, which in short, uses the phones GPS to track where each phone is and gives a location to it. It was basically a long running joke from back home, but turned out to be pretty useful during this cross country adventure, because throughout the day you could look at it, and it would tell you approximately how far away the other vehicle was. Like I said in previous posts, we were normally within a half hour of each other according to this apps tracking system.
About three hours into our drive from New Orleans to Dallas, Ryan and I look at this app to see how far behind we were, and the app told us that it would be a five hour drive from our location, to theirs. That had to be wrong right? So we call them up. Below I will give a summary of what I heard as Ryan was talking to Jon on the phone.
“Hey man, Life360 (the location app) says that you are five hours away from us, everything okay?”
“Ha ha ha, funny. Seriously though, did you guys get caught in some traffic some how? Why are we so far ahead of you?”
“I can’t tell if you’re joking or not..”
“JON WE ARE GOING TO DALLAS NOT HOUSTON”
“I’m not joking, you have to be the one messing with me right now”
“Oh my god. Well, see you in Dallas”
SO! That was something that happened. Apparently, Lauren had told Jon that Houston was the final destination, then fallen asleep for 3 hours. This actually wasn’t a huge deal, as it would really only add about an hour on to their total drive time, and when you’ve been doing ten hour days of driving, an hour isn’t the biggest problem. They simply went west, then north, while we went north, then west. Lets hope nothing tragic happens on this leg of this trip where we would need the other car to come to our rescue.
Something tragic happened.
It was Ryan’s turn to drive, and he was finally starting to lighten up a little from that mornings bad mood, and I had fallen asleep for about the past hour or so. However, it was about to be my turn to drive, so Ryan wakes me up and says that he will be stopping at the first rest stop in Texas to use the restroom and switch drivers. Cool, no problem. We pull over into the rest stop, do our business, remark on how terribly cold it is in Texas of all places, then get back into the car to finish the last couple of hours of driving. We were in the home stretch at this point.
I turn on the car, back out of the (nearly empty) rest stop parking lot… AND… out of gas. I looked at Ryan, looked back at the gas gauge, back at Ryan. He looks at me, down at the gas gauge, back at me.
“Ah, Hey dude, looks like you ran out of gas.” Ryan says to me. I just about cried, but no, its okay we can do this. Lets call up Jon, have him pick up a gas can, drive it to us filled with gas and we can get on the road!
Oh wait, Jon is seven hours away from us in freaking Houston.
That’s fine, we will just google search the nearest gas station and walk to it, buy the gas and walk back. It will take a little extra time, but definitely still doable.
Nearest gas station is a ten minute DRIVE away. We’re fucked.
At this point, we had to just start asking anyone who came into the rest stop if they would drive ten minutes away to the nearest gas station, buy a gas can, put gas in that gas can, then drive ten minutes back for us strangers. We were not optimistic. Somehow though, in some miracle the very first person we asked said they would do it. Incredible. Obviously we offered him the money to pay for the gas and the canister, and this guy even offered to wait until he got back with the gas for him to give us the money so that we knew he wasn’t just going to run off with it. Seriously, if somehow, some way, this gentlemen ends up reading this. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. The world needs more people like you.
About a half an hour later the man came back with out gas can, filled with gas, and actually refused the money we were trying to give him. We had spent some time chatting with him about what we were doing, and he mentioned that he wished he would have done the same thing, and it was his pleasure to have been a part of it. Again, remarkable. Thank you Texas man. The next step in the process, was actually getting the gas into the tank. Neither Ryan or myself could figure out how to put the stupid gas can together. I mean seriously, it was embarrassing. We tried for about ten minutes just smashing the two pieces together like a bunch of cavemen. Eventually we called handyman Jon up and got it done, but lost a lot of pride in doing so. I can’t even fight that one though.
Another half an hour later and we were gassed up and ready to go. Now the reason we had chosen Dallas over other places in Texas was because I have a lovely cousin in the area as well as some other family that had offered to allow us to stay at their home while we were passing through, in exchange for feeding the fish for the time that we were there. Not a bad trade, I’d say. We stayed in Dallas for two nights, the first in a hotel paid for by Jessie (cousin) and the second in her home. It was nice having a day off of driving, especially not having to pay out of pocket for the time we were spending. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
We finally got to the hotel we were staying at after about ten hours (today was supposed to be a short day, but ended up being just as long as all of the rest) and almost immediately passed out. Waking up the next morning in a failed attempt to get brunch, we drove to the house to meet up.
Let me also express how nervous I was at this point about introducing Jon to family. I mean these people are respectable people, they do meaningful things in society, and Jon is.. just.. vulgar sometimes. Hes a manual labor guy, which is great, but it just means that his sense of humor is much different then some peoples, and I was beyond worried that he wouldn’t know how to turn it off and act for a few hours. But hey, he did good. I think.
The first thing we get to do as soon as we walk in the house is test out the new Playstion VR which is AWESOME by the way. I never really believed that Virtual Reality would feel immersive, but it totally does. The games are super simple, but its a start. We messed around with this for probably an hour or two while I caught up with the family that I haven’t seen since I was ten? Something like that.
They soon left, and we spent most of the day just taking it easy. I know we probably should have been in downtown Dallas for most of the day, seeing as we were traveling via car explicitly so we could see these cool cities up close and personal, but I was just straight up tried and needed a day off from all the running around. We did some chores such as buying some more snacks for the road, and (finally) installing a real radio in the Falcon for about $30.
Later that night we went over my other families abode for dinner, which was absolutely delicious. Again, more catching up, as there was a lot to do. They showed me pictures of a house they were rebuilding, and we checked out a sick treehouse that had been built in the time that I had been away. I just admit, ten year old me was a little upset that it didn’t exist when I came around every year.
When we left there, Lauren and Ryan elected to finally drive down into Dallas and walk around for awhile. From what I understand it was a pretty simple city. In comparison to some of the others we saw anyway, it still was a major city which made it pretty awesome in it’s own right. There were some really cool fountains and a free to enter art museum that I unfortunately missed out on as I was feeling a little under the weather that evening. I will say this though, driving the outskirts of Dallas in the evening when all the lights are visible is stunning. I think besides Vegas, and road trip destination Seattle, it was the prettiest city that we’ve driven through at night.
By the time Lauren and Ryan got back from the city, Jon and I were fast asleep and dreaming. Seeing as I know that the particular person whose house we stayed at reads this blog, I was extremely tempted to throw in a fake party story here. Oh the potential I’m missing out on…
The next morning (after feeding the fish) we headed out of Big Shoe, Texas. Our next destination would be Santa Fe, NM. However in order to get there, we would have to drive through 500 miles (again, exaggeration) of Texas desert. The only thing keeping us going was the thought that we might see a real life tumbleweed.
Do we find the tumbleweed? Does Ryan get a speeding ticket for going 79 in a 75? Can we find the magical 6in tall waterfall? Come back in a few days to find out!