I can now remember why I blogged every day when we were on the road before. There’s often too much going on to summarize in a less-frequent post. Life moves at higher speed (figuratively and literally) in this mode, even when we’re not really accomplishing much.
We spent a warm and sticky night in Odessa without air conditioning. We’ve gotten used to the dry air of the desert and it was a small shock to the system to suddenly be smothered in heavy air. We slept on top of the sheets, silently wishing for a small whisper of cool air to slip in the windows. That never happened, even with three vent fans running all night, but somehow we managed to eke out a few hours of sleep.
At 7:15 Eleanor poked me awake and I leapt out of bed to be the first in line at the Wal-Mart Tire Center, only to find out that the tire guys wouldn’t show up until 10 a.m. Apparently they were only doing oil changes at 7 a.m. I put the Airstream’s spare tire on, and we headed to Weatherford, 280 miles away, for our planned service appointment at Roger William Airstream. It was bliss to get into the comfortably air-conditioned car after a night of Odessa heat.
Roger Williams Airstream is not currently a dealer, but a dedicated service center. We’ve often come here for the service and the comaradery of Robert H (manager) and Denver (technician), as well as friends who live in the area. Since our last visit, huge canopies have been installed that cover the parking lot. These were mandated by the insurance company as a hedge against future hail damage, but they make life in the parking lot rather plush. We’ve got a water and electric hookup, and shade from the canopy, all of which make the 95+ degree temperatures and high humidity bearable.
Only a few minutes after we arrived, we received our first visitors. The Hughes family on a three-week trip from Illinois, spotted the Airstreams from the road and dropped in. Sandra read the old “Tour of America” blog and knew all about us. (We’ve gotten used to people we don’t know showing up and telling us all about our lives.) They turned out to be a charming family and we hope to see them again on the road someday, perhaps when they swing through the southwest next year.
Our good friends the Mayeux invited up to their place for dinner, about 30 miles north of Weatherford. Roaming Airstreamer/artist Michael Depraida was there as well, being currently courtesy-parked in their yard. This was our first chance to meet Michael, which is long overdue since he has been contributing to the magazine in little ways for over a year. His art is very popular among the Airstream community, and I plan to feature more of it in upcoming issues. We talked about that as well as the story of how he became a full-time Airstreamer. He’s been on the road since 2000.
It was well past 11 p.m. when we finally got back to the Airstream, and I was exhausted. We’ve been driving too much, sleeping too little, and were in danger of getting run down before our trip really got going. It was a real pleasure to get back to the Airstream, with the air conditioning set to a comfortable 74 degrees, and our beds awaiting us. The Airstream has once again accomplished its mission: I feel revived and relaxed this morning, ready to take on whatever today throws at us.
Administrative note: I’ve been getting tons of comments and private emails from folks since I started blogging this trip, so clearly I need to write more often as we travel. I plan to post every day or two until we get to Vermont, which should be in about three weeks.