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
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
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
I'll check in with you as soon as the next adventure starts (won't
All my love from Texas,