Several months of planning, traveling, interviewing, licensing, transferring and stressing have finally come to an end. As most of you know, I have been working very hard recently to complete my move across 3 state-lines to plant my family and I in the Lone Star State. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but the hard stuff is pretty much over and life is once again beginning to normalize.
While the labor-intensive “hard stuff” is over, the emotional “hard-stuff” is just beginning. Yes, I’m very happy here in Texas. I’m excited about my new job, educational opportunities, music opportunities and the biggest one of them all: A chance for my wife and I to start a new exciting life together in this beautiful town. What’s hard is realizing how many friends and close family I have back in California and that I can no-longer see them on a moments notice. While I’m excited and enjoying my new job, I still miss my old one. The friends and experience I gained at the big ambulance service is simply irreplaceable.
The actual process of physically getting here was quite the adventure, and one that I promised I would share with everyone. I have operated some big vehicles in my time, but nothing like the 26-foot-behemoth that I rented to literally haul everything I own. Fortunately my sister volunteered to take on driving “The Beast” with me for the 1,500-mile road trip. We met some interesting people, ate some interesting food, and saw some really cool stuff.
It took me about 18 tries to back that trailer down my street so I could load my car on the ramp. I guess that’s what happens when you have NO experience backing with a trailer. Regardless, we were all loaded up and ready to hit the open road.
Despite my excitement at the time, we were only moving 30mph climbing one of many hills on our way out of the central valley. This was one of many factors that put us way behind on my estimated travel time.
One of the first interesting things we noticed was before we even left the county. A train pulling a caboose? I can’t tell you the last time I saw that.
While not even half-way, it certainly felt like we were making progress once we crossed over the Colorado River into Arizona. This also meant no more 55mph speed limit for vehicles towing trailers. While I thought that meant I would make better time, it actually just meant that the semi-trucks would be passing me left and right. A 75mph speed limit doesn’t do much good when your vehicle isn’t capable of traveling at that speed.
Not long after crossing into Arizona, we noticed a large building shaped like a golf ball. I pulled out my handy Android tablet and read somewhere that somebody actually lives in there. Perhaps a better location for it would be on a golf course…..
We settled down for dinner at the “Roadkill Cafe” in Seligman AZ, which turned out to be a really cool old Route 66 town. Unfortunately, it was already pretty dark outside so I wasn’t able to capture any decent pictures of the town. We toughed it out until we finally hit the New Mexico state-line and crashed for the night.
We started off the next day the right way: Early and with plenty of energy drinks.
I really wanted to snap some pictures of ambulances and fire engines during our drive, but unfortunately I didn’t get a lot of opportunity. This particular engine is from the “Gallup Fire Department”. We stayed the night in Gallup, NM and learned that it is probably the worst town ever, which would probably explain why this crew was speeding away from the town at such a rapid speed…..
My sister and I quickly learned that New Mexico apparently loves explosives as much as I do.
This meant one of three things: Either we took a wrong turn somewhere, Las Vegas was relocated about an hour West of Texas, or there is literally NOTHING on highway 84 if the closest town they can reference is Las Vegas.
We made it! Well, kinda. Still had about 8 hours of driving ahead of us…..
I unfortunately figured out what happens when you drive too long without sleep……This was actually taken at Cadillac Ranch just outside Amarillo, TX. Very interesting piece of art.
Best. Steaks. Ever! Sat down for an awesome dinner in Amarillo. Home of the “free” 72 ounce steak.
Worked on my marksmanship while awaiting a table….
Nothing says “Welcome to Texas” like a country-western band that plays music at your table while you eat. Great people.
As we were rolling into the Dallas-Fort Worth area, this song came over one of the local radio stations. I found it very fitting….
It wasn’t official until I had some Texas beer in my fridge. NOW I can say I live in Texas.