Sunday, June 11, 2017

Leaving Texas Turns Into One Of My Most Adventurous Scary Days Ever


I have been currently experiencing my longest withdrawal from being connected to the online internet world since some time way back in the previous century.

Wednesday morning I left Texas, heading northwest via Highway 287, the road to Amarillo. Destination Sun Lakes, Arizona. Interim destination, on Wednesday, was a town called Albuquerque in a state called New Mexico.

I took a lot of pictures along the way, that day, intending to blog them that night when peacefully ensconced in a nice, quiet motel room.

With Wi-Fi.

However, that Albuquerque's motel's Wi-Fi was in malfunction mode.

The next day all was going well, stopping in Gallup for some McDonald's products, heading west towards Flagstaff.

As I drove along I listened to the Comey testimony til it was over.

I was somewhere in the Painted Desert Petrified Forest Meteor Crater zone of Arizona when my favorite Rabbi called. Perfect phone connection with no cell tower in view.

Soon I was gaining elevation as I got closer to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.

A strong wind was blowing, which I was heading straight into.

And then, about ten miles east of Flagstaff, with me thinking I am only a couple hours out of Phoenix, which I should easily reach by early afternoon, suddenly my vehicle misbehaved, it was like a gust of wind had killed it. I coasted to a stop on the side of the freeway.

I do not recollect the last time I felt so panicked as I did when I came to a dead stop on a busy freeway in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere..

I called Big Ed in Texas. Then I called my sister in Chandler. Chandler is a Phoenix suburb. My sister called others, including my sister in Tacoma. And my brother. All of whom called and texted empathizing with my ordeal with good advice and offers to help.

I zoomed in on the road sign I saw ahead so as to be able to identify my location as the Winona exit 211. I called 911. That soon got me in contact with a towing company. An hour or so later the tow truck showed up. He had a passenger so I had to stay in the driver's seat while my vehicle got elevated on to the flatbed.

It was an elevated scenic ride into Flagstaff, which you can sort of see below.

About a half hour after getting delivered to the vehicle fix-it place the diagnoses was made.

Failed fuel pump.

Soon thereafter a sweet guardian angel showed up on my phone to alleviate me of most of my potential heart attack/stroke inducing stress.

About a half hour before five I was back on the road, heading south to Phoenix. I had never driven the freeway from Flagstaff to Phoenix. That road is one long loss of elevation heading into the Valley of the Sun.

My goal was no longer Sun Lakes and my previously scheduled expected arrival at my mom and dad's. My new goal was to make it to my brother's place in Scottsdale.

I figured I could easily make my way to Scottsdale due to having been there previously. When I realized I was south of the Phoenix airport I knew I was way off course. Asking Google to direct me to my brothers's proved useless.

I got northeast of the airport, parked and called my brother. I told him where I was and he recognized the road I was on and then directed me via surface streets and freeways to his abode. I do not remember the last time I felt as relieved to see someone as I did when I saw Spencer Jack's grandpa.

I had a great time at my brother's. I arrived at his place hungry, having not eaten anything since Gallup, New Mexico. My brother had a virtual buffet laid out of tasty stuff. We went swimming in the morning in his excellent pool.

Soon after swimming I called my mom. Mom thought I was still in Flagstaff. She had not been updated on the fact I had become mobile again. My favorite nephew Jeremy was scheduled to take mom to see dad. Mom said they'd wait til I got there.

My brother gave me simple directions, written down.I barely left his place before my first wrong turn. Called me brother and quickly learned I had gone right when I should have gone left. Soon I was on track. And then right when I was exiting one freeway to another, that being I-10, Jeremy called. That momentary distraction caused me to somehow get on the wrong road. After several miles I realized I was seeing South Mountain where I should not be seeing it.

About then Jeremy called to ask what was keeping me. Grandma was getting anxious. Eventually I was able to tell Jeremy I was on Pecos heading east, that I could see the Wild Horse Casino, which I knew was next to I-10.

A few minutes later I was on the freeway, heading south, and then getting to Riggs Road, which takes me to Sun Lakes and my mom and Jeremy.

A few minutes later I found myself chauferring mom to dad.

The day currently is Sunday. It was two days ago, on Friday, I first took mom to where dad is. Somehow that seems much longer ago.

The location where I finally found myself an Internet connection is my sister's, in Chandler.

It will be good to be back in Texas. I do not know, yet, when that will be happening.

One thing I have noticed and made note of, and have done so every time I am in the Phoenix metro zone, is that the towns which make up the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, particularly Fort Worth, should send a task force to Phoenix to see how nice it looks when towns pay attention to landscaping their roads. And building actual imaginative bridges one might describe as signature. Again, I am referring to Fort Worth regarding the signature bridge thing. Dallas has a couple actual signature bridges.

If Phoenix is too far to send that task force, Albuquerque also provides good examples of what can be done in the civic beautifying department...


Kat said...

Yes! The task force idea is commendable, as are Arizona & Albuquerque area freeway art & landscaping. What a positive impression & all-around difference is made for commuters & travelers by those artful touches. Betsy Price, JD Grainger, could influence such a thing, must not get around much.

Kat said...

Happy travels, Durango. And by the way, if you return via Hwy 287 Thurs through Saturday, Cowboy Roy's BBQ in Estillene, Texas, has melt in your mouth Shiner Beer bread & unbelieveably good pulled pork straight from the pit at Roy Stalnaker's place. Caution: limited hours & days. Sure do recommend it.

Sadie Homesty said...

Have you ever heard of the Dodge Durango? Is it just a coincidence or did dodge name it after Durango Texas?