Read Part 1 HERE.
When I left you, my sister and I, with my two kids, were an hour outside of Topeka. It was dark, raining hard, with no safe shoulder to pull off on, and not near an offramp when my windshield wipers die on me!
Melissa tries to get them going by physically pushing them down... only to have them get stuck again. We give up and continue to drive SLOWLY(flashers on) in the right lane, both carefully watching the road to make it to an offramp where we (hopefully) can asses the situation. Thank goodness there weren't much for cars on that boring road.
We come to an offramp and see what used to be a gas station. It was lit and covered! Next to it is the only store -- an adult book store. I think it was the back of the store too and thank God, nobody came out to talk to us. Didn't even see a face look at us through those sleazy windows!
Lissa is on the phone with my dad and I'm sitting in the car since Ryan calls me as soon as we pulled under the covered area. The hood is popped and we're trying to figure things out. Our consensus?? The motor for the windshield wipers had died. Nothing we can do about it until we make it to a mechanic.
By then the rain had let up (stopped) so we continued to venture on our way and prayed that God would hold off the rain until we reached Topeka.
Long story short, we make it to Topeka and as we enter the city it starts to rain again. Very funny, God. But, we did find our hotel and meet up with Ryan safely.
Our plan is that tomorrow on our drive out we'll stop at Whiteman AFB where Ryan was stationed as an enlisted man. I was looking forward to seeing what his life was like during that time. And that night we'll stay in St. Louis.
Morning of the next day begins and we stop at WalMart so we can get some RainX to hopefully help if we run into rain again. Since we shouldn't really encounter anymore wet weather on the route we can take care of the windshield wipers when we make it to Dayton. (ha, ha, ha)
We are back in the car and I turn the key to start.... aaaaaaaand nothing.
"Honey, I think my starter has gone out."
Ryan gets it running with some effort and we drive it immediately to a Sears Auto Repair Center.
I'll not bore you with details. Just suffice it to say we then spent the next almost 6 hours hanging out at the local mall. It had food, it had a play area, it had bathrooms... we could deal. We are thankful we at least had a place to go and be safe!
|on a little ride at the mall's play area|
|round and round|
We head out on the road again... much later than we planned... with a new starter, working windshield wipers, new transmission fluid and the filter to go with it, and some noted problems with the brakes.
Ryan couldn't get pet-friendly (affordable) hotels in St. Louis so we went about 20 minutes away to Alton, Illinois. It was nice and relaxing after such a LONG day. We did not get to go to Whiteman to see Ryan's past, unfortunately, so we'll have to plan to do that another time.
The next day Ryan says he will head straight out to Dayton while the rest of us check out the St. Louis Arch.
After a little bit of miscommunication with Garmin we make it!
What a nice break! St. Louis was wonderful. I'd love to go back and see more of the city again sometime.
|a neat place to check out|
|there was a GIANT cross on the side of the road|
We stop outside Indianapolis to get gas. Go to start the car.... and it won't start. WTH?!?!
I carry a rechargeable jumper/air compressor with me so we jump the battery and go on our way. We then refuse to stop again until we make it to TLF in Dayton.
But make it, we do! Our first night in Dayton we actually have a Pet-friendly TLF room so we gladly settle in and go to bed.
We made it. We were safe. But we still had a ways to go to finally "LIVE" at our new base.