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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Road Trip Back to Indiana

What a crazy week! It started on Friday the 5th with loading the truck ourselves. I don't know how professional movers get that done in only a couple hours. It took us 10! We were so grateful that Sam, Nick and Todd (friends from San Diego Opera and family friends, too) came over to help for an hour with the heaviest stuff. We certainly couldn't have done it without them!

On Sat. the drive began. We loaded (and I mean LOADED) up the cab of the truck and the Jetta. Luke road with Brad in the truck and Cal and Gracie shared the Jetta. I managed to recline the front passenger seat all the way back, cover that seat, the back seat and the seat wells with cushions, tarps and blankets. It turned out to be perfect. There was not an inch to spare, but the dogs and I were quite comfy. (When I got in the car that morning I couldn't find a spot for my can of Diet Coke or my purse, which had to ride in the back window the entire trip!)

Our trip took four days. It's definitely possible to do it in about two and a half, but with the truck being a bit slow and our stops needing extra time for the dogs, four days made it comfortable. We got quite the routine down. I drove about 15/20 minutes ahead of Brad. We would drive for about 4/4.5 hours until I found a truckstop with a Subway attached, or something. Then we'd meet at that exit, get gas, walk the dogs and shove in some food. We'd go another 4 hours or so until we got to that evening's Super 8 (most of them take pets). Then Brad would go get us takeout while I stayed with the dogs in the room.

Things went surprisingly smooth. The dogs loved the car ride and slept the entire time. Poor Luke was a bit scared every time we would leave the car or hotel, not knowing if he was going to be dropped off somewhere along the way. A couple times he even refused to get out of the cab of the truck! Kind of sad - still a bit scarred from whatever he went through before his life with us. I think the trip was good practice for him though.

Let me say though - four days in the car, during the spring, with large dogs? Not so good for keeping things clean. Brad was wearing his black fleece most of the trip, which shows every piece of Luke's blondish-red hair. Brad walked into a truck stop in Arizona and the cashier said to him, "You either have a dog with you or a really wild woman." Classic. Definitely quote of the trip.

Enjoy the following pictures! I'll post again very soon about our arrival here in Zionsville.

The dogs became very adept at using all the space in the Jetta to spread out and sleep.

The first two days it was too hot to leave the dogs alone in the car with the windows rolled down so far. So, we would pile them all in the Jetta and then eat our lunch - Taco Bell, here - on the hood of my car in the shade. Fancy.

Crossing the AZ/CA state line! That definitely made the move feel real.

I love these fields of giant cacti in Arizona - I always feel like I've entered a Coyote/Roadrunner cartoon.

The landscape is so interesting as you drive across AZ/NM. Over and over again it goes from totally flat to huge, rocky mountains that you go up and over. I've done this drive a few times, and it still surprises me.

Huge desert sand dunes in New Mexico. You may be able to see tiny, tiny little dots on there - those are people on four wheelers. Just shows how huge those dunes are!

I love these pictures of the sky in Oklahoma. A storm was coming in and it was so beautiful. So many people in CA ask me if I miss the mountains when I am in a flat place like Indiana (they don't realize that Indiana isn't completely flat, but whatever) and I always say that I actually miss the FLAT land when I'm around mountains all the time. There is so much beautiful sky! Imagine this sky completely surrounding you and uninterrupted. I love that. And, of course, a clear, starry night is the best.

Oklahoma claims to have the biggest cross in the world. Don't know if that is true, but the sky around it made for a pretty picture.

In San Diego we would constantly see commercials for Sonic though there isn't one there. Very frustrating. Why do they do that? The same was true of Papa John's in San Francisco. Anyway, we got Brad some Sonic for lunch on day three - Oklahoma, I think? Not sure.

It was so strange to see places we recognized after driving for so long in strange landscapes. Here we passed the exit for Brad's family's lake house in Greenville, IL, just an hour outside St. Louis. From there on, it was a drive we knew very well.

Finally back in our home state on day four of the drive!

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