Wednesday, February 9, 2011

(43-197) SICK Road Trip

For the most part I have a very high tolerance for pain and physical discomfort; which is why I don't usually let a cough, a cold, or congestion slow me down.  Surely if I have a fever, I wouldn't dream of contaminating others; but if it's just a matter of me suffering; I can usually withstand more than most. 

I took my temperature as soon as I got up this morning and I was very relieved to see that it was under 100; however, much to my surprise, the nasal congestion had kicked in.  I took some sinus medication and cough syrup; and I worked.  The meds didn't seem to be having much of an effect, but I thought to myself; "I can take a road trip in this condition.  I've done it before."  And indeed I have. 

In January 1997 Luis and I moved from Florida to Arizona by driving a Uhaul and towing our car.  We spent the first night in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and got an early start the next morning.  We'd been on the road for about four and a half hours and we needed to stop for gas just past Houston.  It was raining as we pulled off the exit, and I remember this clear as day - there was a gas station on our right, and a full-service 76 truck stop on the left.  Luis headed towards the truck stop and I questioned him about his choice; but he said that he just thought it was convenient; boy was he wrong!. He filled up and we thought we'd be on our way, but the Uhaul wouldn't start.  Long story short, it turned out that the gas pump had been left open during the storm and there was water in the gas; so we weren't going to be able to go anywhere, anytime soon.  We weren't the only people who'd had this unfortunate experience, but sadly, because we had the largest vehicle; we were the last to be assisted and it took FOREVER.  We spent the entire day at what can only be called a sociological smorgasbord.  A trucker could wash everything from his rig to his laundry, not to mention himself; (or herself, of course.)  One could rent a bunk, rent some porn, buy a gift; eat a meal AND call home on one of the phones that was conveniently located at each table in the restaurant.  The owners of the truck stop offered us a complimentary lunch and ultimately dinner; but I was leery about the fare.  By the time the Uhaul was ready, it was too late to get back on the road.  Lucky for us (yes that was a sarcastic lucky;) the owners of the truck stop also happened to own the motel across the street; and they allowed us to stay there free of charge. 

As if what seemed like the longest day of my life, hadn't been bad enough; as we drove the Uhaul across the street to the motel, Luis noticed that the hitch for the trailer was breaking.  We called Uhaul and they said that they were going to send someone out to help us; but the weather was still bad and it was going to take a while.
It was a pretty sleepless night for both Luis and I.  Luis had to go out with the Uhaul driver when he arrived; so they could fix the trailer and hitch and make sure that the Uhaul was OK, after what it had been through with the water in the gas tank.  As for me, I was getting sick; REALLY sick.

We went over to the truck stop for breakfast, and I bought tissues and some cold medicine.  The truck stop owners gave us a complimentary breakfast and a cooler with some beverages and snacks.  But me being me; I politely pushed the matter further and they saw their way to give us $50 in cash as well.

We got on the road and suffice it to say I was miserable.  We felt like we had to make up for lost time, so we drove and drove; and Luis laughed at me because my nose was so red from blowing it so much.  Luis said that I was going to make a scary first impression on Bobbi; who'd been kind enough to offer to put us up for a week; even though we'd never met in person before.  But I felt awful and there was nothing I could do before we arrived in Phoenix. 

I can't believe that this fiasco took place 14 years ago.  I suppose that it would have been easy to think that we were heading for a disaster considering our mishap at the truck stop, the broken hitch and my catastrophic cold; but we maintained the attitude of "what else could go wrong?"
When all was said and done, we arrived safe and sound; just a lil worse for the wear.  It was a SICK road trip; but totally worth it.
Till next time...

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