Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trans America Adventure Day 1

Day 1 certainly kept us on our toes.  We have some pictures but I don't know where we packed the camera cord so they will be posted lated.  I will try and do the story justice in an abridged version. 

Two days ago we had to get 4 new tires and an allignment on the Hyundai, our first big purchase as a married couple, to prepare for the trip out west.  This was unexpected and set our departure back another day.  The delay was welcomed and allowed us to spend more time with Laura's parents and grandparents, which is always a good time.

We got on the road around 9 this morning and soon after we got on the interstate I noticed a chatter on the right side of the Hyundai and the allignment was pulling to the right.  I personally think driving a car that is out of allignment on the interstate for hours on end is one of the most annoying things in the world.  I didn't think too much of it until we were somewhere between Chattanooga and Nashville and the chatter was getting worse.  We found another branch of the same tire dealer and pulled in for them to take a look at it.  They put it on the lift and looked it over the one of their mechanics and their service manager looked at it and said the couldn't find anything wrong with it.  With a clean bill of health we got back on the interstate to give it another try.  Once we got through Nashville my car sounded like it was going to fall apart at 75mph so we pulled over to look for a service station in Clarksville, TN.  Apparently all service stations close at 3pm on Saturdays and we got in town at 3:45pm. Not good!  We ended up getting the car towed to SEARS and when they went to take a look at it they found that the right front tire was about to fall off.  Apparently the mechanic that installed my tires in Georgia two days ago never torqued my lug nuts properly so from Georgia to Clarksville, TN they were slowing backing themselves off as my tire wobbled more and more. 

The final damage was three stripped studs, a chipped brake rotor, 6 hours of lost travel time and two near meltdowns.

We have been encouraged through the whole process today because of how well we have worked together.   We have remained sensitive to each other so that we could get through the hickups and we are seeing a unity and oneness build between the two of us already.

The plan was to get into St Louis around 5pm, walk around downtown a little before we worked out and went out for supper.  Instead, we arrive in Marion, IL just before 10pm, about 2 hours short of St Louis.  Tomorrow we have 10 hours of driving time in order to make our reservation in Hays, KS tomorrow night.

The good news is that Laura and I worked really well together today, even when emotions were running high and patience was wearing thin.  As much as parts of today were not fun, they were good and served as a good start for Laura and I's life together out in the wild west.

Thoughts from the road:

I think rich people in their really nice cars try to recreate car commercials by driving really fast through mountain roads.

We appreciate the hospitality of Tennessee again.

Illionois has really big bugs that make really big splats on my windsheild.

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