This is a layout I made tonight of a trip I took with my brother. It was a nightmare of a trip but we sure had fun! I didn't have my camera but I wanted this story to be preserved for all to enjoy. I used my new Cricut Street Sign Cartridge to make the title and the cut outs of the signs! I love that cartridge! Take a minute to read the journaling:
Sunday, August 3, 2008-- Tim came to me and wanted to know if I would go to Atlanta with him on Monday. I thought, hmmm, I wonder if there are any good scrapbooking stores on the way....so I agreed to go.
Monday, August 4, 2008--Tim called and said we would leave tomorrow and wanted me to buy food for our trip.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008--I left my kids with Luke, grabbed the food, a cooler, a thermos of ice tea, and my overnight bag and hopped into Tim’s truck. He had a trailer hooked up to the truck with some huge woodworking machine on it. We hit the road at 1:00 pm. As we drove through some mountains in Tennessee it began to get dark. All of the sudden, his truck made a CLUNK, CLUNK! Tim says, "Oh, no! Oh, no!" We were careening down a hill and he is saying that! I looked at him as he was messing with the shifter thingy on the floor that makes the truck shift from 4 wheel drive to 2 wheel drive. He didn’t say anymore as we kept flying down the mountain. "What?" I asked. No response. "What? Are we gonna die!?!" That got a response. He laughed and said, "No, we’re not gonna die. Something’s wrong with the transfer case." ...like I know what that is! He explains that it’s the thing that allows the truck to shift into 4 wheel drive. He doesn’t know what’s causing the clunking. He calls Dad and they think we can make it to Georgia and back. Every 45 minutes or so, it would CLUNK, CLUNK, and Tim would have to "put it back in gear." As we got closer to Georgia, the clunking became a little more frequent. At midnight, we stopped at a Super 8 and slept for the night.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008--We got up at 7 a.m. and headed for the woodworking shop that bought the CNC router. We spent all morning there as they unloaded the machine. We got back on the road and headed south to Kennesaw, GA where Tim dropped me off at the Joann Superstore so I could scrapbook shop while he picked up the skid loader he bought. I found all kinds of bargains and loaded my cart. I waited and waited. Finally, he called and said he was there. I jumped in with all my new purchases. I made some sandwiches as we headed home. The clunking was becoming even more frequent. Tim kept insisting that we could still make it home. As we approached Nashville, the clunking began to occur every 2 or 3 minutes! Tim would try to get it back in gear but there was just a terrible grinding. We were in rush hour traffic in Nashville when Tim says, "We’re done!" We exit and limp into a truck stop. Tim calls Eddie and tells him to be ready to come get us. We sat in the truck stop parking lot and Tim decides that he can make it. So we get out of the lot and head up the entrance ramp to the interstate and Tim couldn’t get it in 4 wheel high. We stopped on the entrance ramp. He got out and we sat on the side of the road for a while. He tried to call Eddie again to come get us but he wouldn’t answer. We called Mom to come get us. She didn’t want to come alone so she decided to bring Luke, who was watching my kids. Tim told her to wait, he’d try again. Persistant guy! So we hop in the truck. After much grinding, Tim realized that we had lost the high side of the gears and only had 4 wheel low. This meant we couldn’t go any faster than 25 mph! We needed to get across 4 lanes of traffic to a left lane exit for I-24. Needless to say, we didn’t make it. We kept heading north on I-65. I grabbed an atlas to see if we could find a way that wasn’t interstate. We exited and started limping slowly home. Tim decided we couldn’t make it at that rate so he pulled into Advance Auto Parts. He told them our problem and they started calling around looking for a junkyard that might have a transfer case. At 6:58 p.m., right before closing time, they reached a place that would rebuild the transfer case the next morning. They just wanted us to take the transfer case out and bring it to them. Taking it out was possible but how could we bring it to them? Tim bought some tools to take out the transfer case, stopped and bought peaches from a man on the side of the road, and we limped the few miles back to a hotel that was 2 miles from the transmission shop. I sat in the Super 8 parking lot and ate peaches while Tim took the transfer case out of the truck. Now we were disabled and wouldn’t be able to drive anywhere. We went to our hotel room and Tim showered. Unfortunately, we had only packed enough clothes for one night. So Tim washed one set of clothes in the sink and we hung them over the air conditioner in hopes that they would dry. I fell asleep thinking that I should be home by now...
Thursday, August 7, 2008--We woke up early and ate. We had the hotel clerk call us a taxi to take us and our transfer case to the transmission shop. We arrived at 8 a.m. and they said they could order the parts and we’d be on our way that afternoon. Yes! We weren’t sure what to do with our day, so the taxi driver suggested we spend the day at the Opry Mills Mall. He drove us there and it cost $40 for his fare. We walked in the Opry Mills Hotel (the mall wasn’t open yet) and stood there and thought, how are we going to waste a day? I turned around and saw a Hertz rental place in the hotel. It turned out we could rent a car for $10 more than the cab fare to get us back! Equipped with a little Hyundai, we felt free. We drove to the mall and Tim went in a tool shop. I wandered around the mall. We met back up and decided to watch a movie to waste time. Our movie wouldn’t start for a while so we went to The Rainforest Cafe for lunch. The food was overpriced and undertasty. I went to Old Navy and bought a jacket and then we went and watched Swing Vote. After the movie, the transmission shop called...bad news, one part that they had been sent was wrong and it wouldn’t be there until morning!! We called our preacher, who used to work in Nashville and got a recommendation for a restaurant downtown. We drove downtown and ate at the Tin Angel. After our meal, we went back to the mall and I bought some clean clothes since we’d have to spend ANOTHER night in the hotel.
Friday, August 8, 2008-- We got up and went to the transmission shop at 8. The part had arrived and they were putting it together. When it was finished, we put the transfer case in the rental and rushed back to the hotel. Tim started putting it in while I raced back to return the car within our 24 hour time frame. I sat at the Opry Mills Hotel for an hour while he fixed the truck, showered, and packed our stuff. He picked me up and I realized he forgot my pillow. We went back to the hotel and got my pillow. "On the road again..." we sang. We drove towards home without any clunking! We got into Illinois and Tim realized he needed fuel. We passed a Love’s truck stop; bad experience there on the way down. I picked up the atlas and started asking him state trivia. He got distracted and passed the next exit. Uh, oh! He pressed the accelerator up and down. We were out of fuel! I ran to a house next to the interstate in hopes of some diesel fuel. No luck, but he gave us a hose to siphon some fuel from the skid loader on the back of the trailer. No luck, so we started walking. After a few minutes a man picked us up and drove us 13 miles to a gas station. We bought their last 2 gas cans and filled them. I asked the station attendant if there was a taxi here as I didn’t enjoy hitchhiking. A man at the counter offered to give us a ride since it was on his way home. Sweet! We got back to the truck and got it started. "On the road again.." we sang. As the St. Louis skyline appeared, thump, thump! "We had a blowout!" Tim said. Could this trip get any worse? He pulls over and hops in the back of the truck to grab a little jack. I questioned the ability of that jack to lift the thousands of pounds sitting on the trailer. I suggested that he drive the skid loader off the trailer and then the jack would work. Better idea, use the bucket of the skid loader as a jack! He changed it and we were "on the road again..." But wouldn’t you know that a traffic jam in O’Fallon made it take even longer to get home. Our overnight trip turned into a week long adventure. "Never again," I told Tim. His reply, "You’ll come again because you’ll be afraid you might miss something." We laughed because it’s true!