Day 5 of My Cross Country Solo Adventure


Day 5:  I fully admit that I was SOO exhausted from the events of Day 5 that I am writing this post on Day 6 of my journey because I eventually checked into my hotel in Tulsa, OK 6 hours late & passed out. What happened that I was 6 hours late?…  This is how Day 5 of my journey started…


Wait, didn’t this just happen to her back in St.Louis? Is she just re-posting? Or is she re-living it? Nope. My Jeep broke down not just once but twice!!  (I must’ve had car failure in my vibration before I started this trip!)   So for those who know me, this sight is the last thing I would ever want. My Jeep is the only material thing I care about.This is how Day 5 began. A six-hour experience… I almost cried & called my mom but I slowly got myself calm. I tried to start looking for a silver lining. At least my radiator cracking did not occur in the middle of the desert. I had only driven 3minutes from the hotel so I returned. I wasn’t stranded. I had food, water, a bathroom & Free Wifi, lol!  The hotel staff were very helpful in finding a good mechanic. Less than 5 minutes from this picture, we pulled onto the Historic Route 66 and arrived here:

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At first I was upset but as Kerry & Jeff & others started working to get the Jeep repaired, I realized that this scene was reminiscent of my boy’s favorite movie, Cars, the Disney animated film. Tucumcari was probably the town that Radiator Springs was modeled after. Mechanic shop after mechanic shop and small corner stores and family run motels. As I was thinking this, Jeff, the mechanic said, “Yeah this is a sleepy little town but when people come through, they get stuck here – just like you.” I felt just like Lightning McQueen!


I sat there for hours as they replaced my cracked radiator and my non-functioning thermostat (at least it wasn’t the brand new water pump that Mark at Firestone installed in St. Louis two days before). Tucumcari’s entire population is just over 5 thousand folks and I think all of the men in town gather at this mechanic shop with their cups of coffee to discuss football or the current events of the town. It was like the neighborhood barbershop and I had a front row seat. If my Jeep hadn’t broken down for the 2nd time, I wouldn’t have experienced Tucumcari. I would’ve checked out of my hotel and left without a 2nd glance.

After Kerry & Jeff fix up the Jeep & give it a test drive, I am back on the road with an 8.25 hour drive ahead to Flagstaff, AZ. Now 6 hours late! I was hoping to check into my hotel in Flagstaff by 3.30p, It was already 2pm…I decide to just start my drive because tomorrow I really wanted to see the Grand Canyon!  I start on I-40 West and choose my song for the day, Pompeii by Bastille, great tune! I begin my trek through New Mexico. My goal is to reach Flagstaff by 10pm. Luckily for me, there is an hour shift  as I cross a timeline in that drive so technically I’d only be 5 hours late, hehehe. Trying to look on the bright side. Traffic is actually OK with the exception of hitting Albuquerque at rush hour. But if I can handle rush hour in Philly then Albuquerque is a piece of cake. More desert landscape that looks like an old Western film…


and soon, I am watching another sunset as I pass this sign…0824151802_0001


I look for things to appreciate to make the drive go by…Sunset as I cross into Arizona is beautiful.  I wish I could say the same for my motel in Flagstaff. No matters, I am late arriving, I just need a bed & a clean bathroom. This motel provides me both & nothing more. OK, Free WiFi, lol! A really challenging day behind me. Tomorrow, the Grand Canyon!!


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