Safe in Austin
Mar 24 2013

Dear Old Bolds, Family, and Friends,

Under a beautiful full moon I'm writing you from Austin, safe and sound. I sent this photo from beautiful Butterfield Station along the way, about at the half way mark, but I don't think it got to you.

Believe me, this was about the most interesting landmark along the route. I am astounded at the stagecoach stops throughout the desert. How in the heck did they do it back then?

I don't mind saying it now that I'm here, but among the dumb things I have done in my life (and there is a very long list) doing the three-day drive alone pulling an overloaded trailer was about one of the dumbest.

I prided myself on saving a thousand dollars on my move to Texas by renting a trailer instead of having all my stuff shipped. When I picked my 6'x12' trailer up on Saturday, and only then, the UHaul guy informed me I could load a maximum of 1600 lbs in it!

Doing a quick calculation in my head, I realized I had just inventoried about 50 boxes of books (research for my books, and an extensive WW2 collection thanks to some of my Old Bold friends) at about 50 lbs each. I was about to load 3000 lbs. Easily.

What to do? Be smart and try to arrange another solution, say renting a truck and pulling my truck behind it, or getting a last-minute POD container?

Nope, the obvious solution was full-steam ahead.

Once the truck and trailer were loaded I nervously eyed the hitch and rear end of my truck, dipping dangerously close to the ground, and off I went, sticking to the 55 mph maximum when hauling a trailer, just like Dad taught me.

Somewhere around 600 miles out into the God-forsaken, prickly-pear-cactus, red-earth, Tombstone-esque landscape, I noticed that 4 - yes, 4 - of the trucks and trailers that had just blown past me doing 80 mph had blown tires in the span of a couple of miles. All were men (surprise?), and seemed to have some sort of plan to handle the situation, so I didn't stop. But I did notice that there was no cell phone reception, and even if there had been, just where would you tell someone to come? I hadn't been counting mile markers, and exits were about every 50 miles or so at that point. Just exactly how would I get help if something happened, and how long would it take help to get there?

That's when I started to pray - hard. Called in all my angels and sent a special request into Dad up there to cast some white light over me and my poor truck. And pretty much for all the rest of my trip (after the 9 hours to Phoenix, 10 hours to El Paso, and 11.5 hours to Austin) I was a deep religious convert.

It must have done some good because I made it safely. And outside of sneezing throughout the entire state of New Mexico (must be allergic to the state!), failing to find a coffee shop in the first five hundred miles of Texas (Texas - This is no way to welcome visitors to your state), and driving around Texas with California license plates both Truck and I have suffered no long-term damage.

Now that I'm here I'm off and running to set up shop, at least for a little

I'll check in with you as soon as the next adventure starts (won't be very

All my love from Texas,


At the Gen George S. Paton Memorial Museum, Indio CA                At Butterfield station

<Begin      Next>