Fast forward through Texas

Hey, a day that went entirely according to plan!  That almost never happens, and especially when the plan includes a nearly impossible sequence of events like today’s did.

I started up at 5:30 local time in Santa Fe (an hour earlier than Tucson time, so 4:30 to my body clock).   I was the first guy at the motel’s continental breakfast at 6:10 a.m.  While I munched a bowl of cereal and yogurt I watched the local weather guru predicting a sharp drop in temperatures, gusty winds, and probably snow showers in the coming evening.  Time to blow out of town, I thought.

And so I did, with the ’56 Bubble complacently tagging along.  The trailer towed like a dream all day, even (once I adjusted the tongue weight and got my courage up) at a rollicking 70 MPH along the byways of west Texas.  I kept checking the tires, the bearings, the hitch, and the lights, but found no problems at all. The only minor issue was that a window cracked early on, which I taped up.  It was probably caused by flexing of the trailer body.  The trailer is known to have some floor rot, which will cause such issues.  I can’t blame it for being a bit crotchety, after all it has been on the road for more than half a century.  Eventually it will be all fixed up and I am looking forward to seeing it.

(Sorry for no pictures.  I was moving so fast and stopping so little that I never broke out the camera.  I wish I had taken a few more shots of the Bubble in action.  This is one of those times that I need a co-pilot just to help document the trip.  I tried to recruit a couple of buddies last week, but nobody was available.)

Fast-forward 520 miles:  I landed at my destination in Texas by 5 p.m., dropped off the trailer, visited with my friends for an hour, and pushed on 100 more miles to Paradise TX.  It was 8 p.m. by the time I arrived at Paul & Anne’s house, pitch-black out there in the countryside, and I found the Caravel neatly parked in the same place we had parked our Safari just about a month ago.  It was plugged in, with a full fresh water tank, and the refrigerator cooling.  After 1140 miles of driving in the past two days, the warm glow of the Caravel was a welcome sight indeed.

Now I’m set up inside, refrigerator loaded with drinks and snacks, my clothes put away, laptop and wireless Internet all set up, bed made — in other words, Home Sweet Home.  But I get only one night to relax because sometime tomorrow I will be hitching up and following Paul, Anne and Pat (in a third trailer) over to do some early setup for a weekend rally in the Grasslands.

The weather is supposed to be abysmal tomorrow (rain, 54 degrees) but who cares?  The early arrivals at these things are always good people to hang with — and if I don’t feel like going outside I can stay inside the Caravel and watch the rain while I do a little catchup work on the computer.  Now that the hard part of this trip is done, it feels like any small challenge I might face in the next couple of days will be absolutely nothing.

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Editor & Publisher of Airstream Life magazine