Tuesday, June 2, 2009

15 Miles To Go

This trip was long and hard. It was absolutely insane with 6 kids. We stayed Friday night in Los Cruces, NM. Long story short, it was 1,100 miles of, "Are we there yet?" "How many more miles?" "How far have we gone?" "When will we be there?"

Yeah... fun times. It really wouldn't have been so bad, but the questions started in San Antonio, which was only about 25 miles into our trip. By Junction Texas, about 200 miles into the second half of a 2100 mile trip, I had told the kids they couldn't ask anymore location questions until after we stopped for lunch on Saturday. That actually lasted for almost 100 miles.

So anyway, we stayed Friday night in Los Cruces. The hotels pet policy said only dogs under 50 lbs and no cats. So basically we had to smuggle two 80 pound dogs and one very angry puddy tat into a hotel room, on the third floor. Saturday morning we thought we would hit the road early, but in reality, after feeding and watering 6 children, 2 dogs and the very angry puddy tat, we didn't get out of Los Cruces until closer to 9 local time. And then we hauled ass... like the devil himself was on our tail. We made Tuscon around oneish, fed children again and turned North. Things were pretty uneventful on the last day. We made it from Los Cruces to Black Canyon City with no major issues.

Then it hit. The last 20 miles or so on the interstate was a 6% mountain grade, going up roughly 4,000 feet in about 12 miles or so. The Suburban struggled with that big damn Uhaul. I thought we were in the clear when we turned off of I-17 onto Hwy 69. There was only about 20 miles to go at that point. I was feeling sorry for the ole truck and was trying to go easy on her. Temps and oil pressure were fine, but she was still pretty sluggish. Just past Mayer Arizona it happened. She just died. Engine shut down, but at least we still had power steering.

So there we were, 15 miles from the final destination, stuck on the side of the road. We think that the transmission overheated, went into 'save my own ass' mode, and just shut down. That's just a theory. Since I don't have a handy dandy trans temp guage, we aren't positive. Stuck on the side of the road with 6 kids, 2 dogs and the very angry (and plotting our deaths) puddy tat. We called Tim's dad to come get the Uhaul and we called my dad to come get animals. For the 20 minutes or so we were stuck there, only one person stopped to see if they could help... a 60ish man on a motorcycle.

Anyway, the dads showed up. Tim's dad took the Uhaul and mine took C and the animals. My poor dogs and cat weren't doing so well, being stuck in the truck with no AC. By then we were able to start the burb with no problems and made it the rest of the way into town with no problems. We haven't had a problem since then. So who knows.

So now we're here. End of trip. End of that story. If I should ever decide to take a 2100 mile roadtrip with half my life in a Uhaul behind me and all my kids/critters in the burb, remind me of all the 'fun' that we had on this trip.