Nearly all of March was spent with us on the road from Northern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and finally Texas. The main focus was all about sharing God's mission for Japan and bringing people on to be a part of that. We had some great meetings with family, friends, and new faces. We gained some new supporters, ate some interesting (good!) food, and even better, gained some new stories.
We began our trip leaving from Morgan Hill, CA and made our way across the I-40 which we found takes us on a much more scenic and less busy route to my hometown of Payson in AZ. It also avoids both LA and Phoenix, and who wants to drive in LA by choice? Not I. We pulled it off in about 12 hours over the course of one day, but this leg of the trip has been done a few times now. We stopped to stay with my family for a few days while we made a few calls, had a couple meetings, did some car maintenance (Ended up being pointless, read on...), and bought more food because road snacks are important to over-all well-being and keeping Nick awake.
We left Pine and went south through Phoenix, were we made a pit-stop in east Mesa (car things again...) then out east into New Mexico. At this point, crossing the vast empty desert that is New Mexico, it felt I might pass from old-age before I saw another city/town/something with more than a tumbleweed and single gas station, but oh what little did I know. But it happened, we hit El Paso! Texas! I could feel the second wind coming on, this was our destination state, it can't be much further...
6 hours later, I could drive no more. The great plains of Texas defeated me, and nearly the cars gas tank. It had seemed that I was spoiled on seeing a gas station every 10 miles or so for much our trip, but the phrase "everything is bigger in Texas" must also apply to the distance between stations. This dawned on me as what my family refers to as the "idiot light" on the dash for one's gas level had now illuminated, effectively stamping me as the idiot. So I was hungry, car was hungry, wife was just barely keeping my sanity by playing road games, and thus we decided a more lasting stop was needed. We picked a small hotel in Fort Stockton to stay the night.
Two things happened that night. One: we got into the hotel somewhere around 1am. Second: a special thing occurs on Sunday March 12th that a person in AZ doesn't care about. Daylight Stinking Savings Time. DSST. Somehow I managed to plan us into getting a bit less sleep and putting our arrival time later and later, yeah, I am pro at logistics. We still managed to get enough sleep and finish our trip moving into Houston later that evening.
The actual time in Texas was eventful and the trip back trouble-free. My Aunt and Uncle were generous in providing us not only a place to stay, but also fed us with food that was much tastier and classier than our typical value meal road grub. We loved spending time with them and all the connections we could make, both new and old. We are hopeful to go back out (even further east next time!) to keep sharing this mission.