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Journey to the Other Side

About six months had passed since my hurried marriage and the subsequent loss of my brand new husband to the Army.  July 8, 2011, after basic training and advanced training, I was given him back decked in digital camouflage and a tight body.  To say I was ecstatic is an understatement.  But with his return came the third of my life changing events; shiny new orders to move to Georgia.   And now begins my ordeal.

After debating over renting a truck or driving our four door ’03 Honda Civic across country from Sacramento, California to Savannah, Georgia, we packed our

necessities into the car and set off.   Planning our trip to take us through Wright, Wyoming so that we may stop and see my husband’s sister, we did not know what issues would arise.

Even in the beginning we had problems.  Going through the mountains into Nevada, our recently repaired air conditioner stopped working.  After heaving a heavy sigh and hoping for the best, we continued on.  Besides that small hick-up the trip to Wright was mostly uneventful.

The Salt Flats, Utah

The little over a day drive took us through the flat Nevada land to the flat Utah land.  I will not go into much detail as it was incredibly dull. The first sign of excitement did not happen until we entered Wyoming.

Our car weighed down almost to the bump stops; we had a small issue getting through the rolling hills and mountains that mark the border of Wyoming.  We groaned and whined through it, the engine of our 4 cylinder sounding more like a jet about to take off then an economy car.  With a little love and care (and a higher octane fuel) we got through it.

Then we ran into our first snag.  About 50 miles from my sister-in-laws place, we were pulled over by the police for speeding.  Feeling stupid we handed over the registration, insurance and my husband’s license.  A license that was tucked behind his military ID.  Seeing the ID, the office asked if my husband was active duty.  At his affirmative, the man walked away and came back a few minutes later.  “We’re gonna give you a warning this time.  Slow it down.”

Surprised, we thanked the man and continued on.  An hour later we reached the very definition of “small town”. Wright, Wyoming.

I am going to spend a little time describing this place.  It seemed as if the entire town was built on the concept of smaller is better.  Constructed because of the coal mines that were near there, everything screamed functionality (even if the functionality was hilarious).  From the small “mall” to the “duck pond” and even the people that lived there.  Everywhere we went we could not help but either laugh or place our face into our palms.

Let me start with the mall (where most of the humor was built).  Inside is

a ridiculously over priced food mart, a restaurant, the 4-H sportsman club, a salon, the Rusty Nail bar, an arcade in the middle of the walk way, the post office andapartments for people to live in. Yes, some of these things seem quite normal, but… who would want to live in a mall?  Maybe it’s because I am use to large cities or things that make sense, but I could not bend my mind around some of the things I saw.

The fishing/duck pond was filled with water fowl excrement; yet, people still fished there despite the putrid smell.  There was a fountain in its center that was rather lovely to look at when viewed from a safe distance of at least half a mile while up wind.  When up close, it tended to spray you with rancid water that made you smell like you were rotting.

Walking around the area my sister-in-law lived, we viewed true ingenuity and use of Duct tape and aluminum foil.  To most of you this is called “Red-neck fixers”. To them it’s call, “It ain’t broke yet so why replace it?”  Some fix-em-ups included: aluminum foil black out curtains, Duct tape trunk lock and aluminum foil and duck tape weather vane (I doubt it worked very well…).

Among the aged, rusted cars that barely ran was one gem of American Football fandom.  An SUV had been painted and stenciled to show one man’s love for the Steelers.  This true show of American loyalty either makes you want to cheer for the guy sticking to his team and the free publicity that team is now getting or lay your head in your hands and wonder where everything went wrong.

Bite work with Rio, Little Red has his back.

Our visit with my in-law was sadly very short.  During the time there we spent our time watching and playing with her beautiful show dogs.  Always happy Belgian

 Tervuren (Rio) and sweet a Pomeranian (Red, short for Little Red Camaro), running the dogs through bite work routines and obstacle courses.  I watched as she
groomed local dogs, learning more than I ever knew I could about them.

We also went to the coal mines for a tour.  A tour I will say little about because of a privacy

agreement that I signed.  Let’s just say that it was awesome, huge, dangerous and a lot of fun.

When we left, the day was watery and we spent our time saying goodbye (a goodbye that lasted about an hour because we forgot our pillows at her home).  After our quick turnaround, we were on the road again for our uneventful trip.

Leaving Wyoming and entering Nebraska we ran into the road construction from hell.  Apparently the summer months were the only time Nebraska could get work done.  This fun filled afternoon had us running off course.  But this is where the logic fails.  The road workers had closed off every entrance into Missouri (the area we were SUPPOSED to drive through next) as if it made complete sense to do so.  After a long round of extravagant cussing and getting almost hopelessly lost, we ended up running southwards to Kansas.

Seeing on the map that Lawrence, Kansas was not that far away; we decided to go.  My mother is a fan of the television show “Supernatual” and I knew she would laugh if she found out we ended up there.  So detouring a little off the path to our new home, we stopped for lunch and looked around a little.

Lunch was in an unusual burger place called “The Local Burger”.  All of the meat was provided by local farms.  Cuts included: your traditional pork and beef, elk, buffalo, chicken, vegi patties, a bean burger and tofu burger.  Suffice it to say, I

chose beef.  The food was good and not too expensive and the girl behind the counter was happy to tell us all about where the meat came from.  Not that I cared, I was too hungry at that point to really listen in.

Back on the road again, we passed through Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and finally into Georgia.  We spent only one more night on the road in Kentucky before our last push to our new home.  The last four hours from Atlanta to Savannah seemed the longest yet.  All we wanted was our new apartment and to sleep for several days, but that was not meant to be.

We entered Savannah around 6 p.m. Looking around we could see exactly why it was called the “gem of the east”.  The area is beautiful.  Tall trees lined the road, their branches draped with Spanish moss.  The air was heavy and humid causing us to pant slightly when we walked around.  People were nice and greeted us in ways we were not accustomed to in California (they actually made eye contact with you).

Unfortunately, we arrived in Savannah too late to get our new place.  Seeing how the rest of the trip went, we were not surprised.  One last night in a hotel and the next day, we started our new life.

The BEST holidays

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