Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Our Trip down to Dallas

On Friday morning I met Dan's mom and his sister in Fayetteville to have lunch and to do some shopping at the mall. Once we were done shopping, We parted ways and I left Dan's mom in the care of Caleb for the weekend while Dan, Ariel and I went to Dallas. I quickly rushed home and packed the bags and then we were on our way at around 4:00 which would have put us in Dallas at around 10:00. We stopped at our normal spot in McAlester, Oklahoma to eat dinner and to feed Ariel and change her. Up until this point we had both daylight and no rain and by the time we got done eating it started to pour and it was dark outside which made driving conditions terrible.

We were making pretty good timing considering the rain until we hit Atoka, Oklahoma about 50 miles south of McAlester. Dan was driving and we ended up hitting a HUGE water puddle on the right side of the road and as soon as that happened the battery light on the van came on. Dan thought that the sensors on the battery must have just gotten wet until the temp gage went all the way to hot and the power steering went out. Fortunately we were in a town and not in the middle of nowhere.

We pulled over to a small gas station called "Buddy's Gas Stop" and Dan and I sat there and prayed and thought about the best thing to do. We looked to the left of us and two buildings down there was a hotel....hallelujah! I was pleased to know that we wouldn't have to stay in the van all night with a 6 month old baby! Of course my husband was bound and determined to get to the problem so he got out in the pouring rain and looked under the hood. The main driver belt had slipped off the tension pulley. The belt was in excellent condition and there was no show of wear on it.

Dan needed tools though and we had none. He went in "Buddy's" and asked if they had any crescent wrenches that he could use and they had none. He went to the gas station next to "Buddy's" and also to the hotel and they didn't have any either. Dan looked to the right of us and saw a "Love's " gas station that truckers use and thought that they would probably have some tools. He took the belt all the way off and I was so nervous! Dan said that we would be able to make it to the "Love's" gas station without the belt on since it was only about a tenth of a mile down the street. I wasn't convinced though. I kept thinking about being farther away from the hotel that was so conveniently located to the left of us and didn't want to get any further away from it. I asked Dan to go inside and see if he could call "Love's" to see if they had any tools there before we traveled away from the hotel.

He went inside "Buddy's" and talked to the clerk and he said that just on the other side of "Love's" there was a Wal-Mart and they would probably have the tools that Dan needed. Thank goodness for Sam Walton! So we went southbound to Wal-Mart and made it just fine with no power steering, almost no charge in our battery and with the temp gage on H.

Dan went in and out of Wal-Mart 4 or 5 times to find the right size of crescent wrench but he found but wasn't able to get the tensioner on the pulley to let him get the belt back on without having an extra hand. I went out and helped him the best I could in the pouring rain by holding the huge golf umbrella and the flashlight. Dan climbed up onto the front end of the van and that is when a gentleman pulled up and asked Dan if he needed help. Of course Dan didn't turn an extra hand down so the gentleman got out of his car and came and helped Dan and within 10 minutes they had the belt on!!!

It took two hours total in the rain but we ended up back on the road at 11:00 heading toward Dallas again. We made it to my Aunt's house at 1:00 and we no problems after that. I love being married to a man who is determined to at least try when we are in a tight situation.

Ariel by the way did excellent while we were stranded in Wal-Mart parking lot. I fed her her dinner, changed her clothes, and then nursed her to sleep and by the time we got to my Aunt's house all I had to do was put her in her pack-n-play. I was really glad that we didn't have Caleb, he would have been bored out of his mind and I know that he had WAY more fun at his Granny's house!


Mandy said...

Wow! You weren't kidding about it being a wild drive down there! So, did you eat italian in McAlester? We always eat at Giacomo's! You know, Atoka isn't too far from Ada. My parents could have come to your rescue. (Remember that for next time!) That storm was huge...most of the city of Ada lost their power from it. You guys were so lucky that Jesus was travelling in that van!