It got done and we were off! We drove west, west is the opposite direction we needed to go. We then headed east.
Where is San Antonio? Why did we give up paper maps? PHONES DON'T WORK HERE. Where are all the people? There are just Javelina's and deserted gas stations here. It's actually really beautiful.
I couldn't go above 50. From west Texas headed east is mountains and desert, and mountains and desert, and more mountains and desert.
I start to think "I'm just going to live here, where I've stopped, this scenic overlook is a perfectly reasonable place to live at. I am sure someone will bring my dogs to me."
The highways are nice to drive and hitch hike and travel along. Except... semi trucks go fast and sped past me, rocking my 1990's truck and my 1970's Airstream. I got off the freeway as soon as possible and drove on county roads. County Sheriff's do not want my kind in their area, believe me, my kind do not want to spend the night, break down or stop for more then a bathroom break and gas, in their area. They followed me through their counties. I am one of those people who makes full and complete stops at every stop sign, I especially do so when followed by a Sheriff.
Eventually we got somewhere around Midland/Odessa. I can't really describe Midland except to say that the people who do Midland/Odessa Critical Mass are the toughest people I can imagine, and the cities themselves remind me of this:
East to Dallas/ Fort Worth. Have you seen a map of the DFW metroplex? Its a giant mass of freeway and airport.
In north Texas the hail and rain started. The thunder storms that follow me for days, literally five days of the worst, or best, hail and rain storms I could imagine. The hail and rain did not stop. The tires are old, the brakes work, the truck is rusty, I am an inexperienced trailer driver.
I felt like this starting in southern Oklahoma:
"100th MERIDIAN. 247 MILES FROM OMAHA." The hundred meridian indicates a change from arid west to the trees and soybeans of the east. I love trees. There is a scent when you are coming north or east from the desert that tells you there is forest here. It is amazing.
Have I mentioned to you that I have in my life decided that Kansas is actually literally the Highway to Hell? Otherwise how do you explain the drivers there?
Outside of Kansas City on the highway, I was coming around a bend and all traffic came to a dead halt. A (bitchin') Camaro next to me was going 100 and applied the breaks turning sideways on the freeway, smoking and sparking brakes, stopping 15 feet from the wall of cars and trucks. I can only go 50 MPH so I was in the far right, slow lane, where the slow going vehicles spend their time y'all, lane and got off. I stopped at the nearest gas station and spent a half hour doing jumping jacks to get my adrenaline down. I took side roads after that.
Missouri consists of "OH LOOK! St. Joseph Missouri! The Jesse James House and the Glore Psychiatric Museum!" I think as I rummble by.
The storms just kept on. I had to put a coffee cup on the seat back to catch the rain coming through the back window, I emptied the cup out the window every hour or so. I'm not entirely sure if it helped. I become convinced that I have begun to mold and mushrooms and growing on the seat of the truck. It rained and hailed though Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota. 6 states of storms. Half a continent. I checked the Airstream frequently for damage, I've seen videos and photos of parts flying off of trailers in bad storms. None of that happened. I am so fortunate. There was no damage on her. No hail rumples. Shockingly no leaking. No water damage. I still can't believe it.
Iowa has become one of my top ten favorite place in the world.
Y'all. When I pulled into the parking spot I was so exhausted and happy. I did it! I drove a 1970's Airstream I had just purchased home!
I look wilted in this photo but I am as proud as anything.
Now the real work begins.
I clean her, I scrubbed and scrubbed. I contemplated becoming a stock holder in those white scrubbie pads and heavy duty paint primer. I removing hundreds of pounds of linoleum, dirt, and 1970's beaver board. Hundreds of pounds. I filled holes and took out plumbing. This whole thing, this entire project I've decided has to cost me less then a thousand dollars for everything, gas, paint, primer, everything. BUT HEY! I AM A SOAP MAKER! I got soap!
There are three layers of of super duper duper primer and three or four layers of super duper nice paint. I had to replace the caulking in a couple of windows and the vents in the roof, I filled holes where the wiring was coming out in random spots, I chipped off linoleum, I'm not kidding when I say I used the built up rage from years of being mansplained to to get the linoleum off the plywood floors.
BUT I HAD STARTED!
I gotta be honest and tell you the floors aren't done yet. Soon, my darlings, soon they will be.