By Lori Gebbie
Sorry it’s taken a bit to write this next part, but it was one of the harder parts we had to deal with. So, here goes…
The neighbor fixed the van, but we still felt a little iffy on it. We pulled our trailer out that evening and took it to the Circle L Campground in Layton overnight to dump it and prepare for the journey out. We are SO glad we stopped there. The park managers were such great people! So friendly, and very welcoming! Once we were settled in, they stopped by to chat. I guess they saw the rugged shape we were in, and spent some time with us, letting us unload about our journey so far. They left us with some good meditation techniques and some wonderful prayers for a continued safe journey. And we left with 2 new friends who we will keep in contact with for years to come!
But after talking to family, we decided it would be safer to have the trailer pulled by someone else and follow in the van. Well, we’re glad we did, because only 20 miles down the road, we threw a valve rod in the engine. We pulled into Lehi, Utah at a gas station there, offloaded our things into the trailer, and left it parked while we continued on with our hired driver. I rode in the vehicle pulling the trailer, and Robert followed with the other driver and the kitties. My drive was real interesting, I rode with Trevor, the owner of the towing company, and we had a great conversation. He tows up and down the state of Utah, and has several trucks in his fleet. He is also an EMT, so we were listening to the police scanner the entire ride. One of the calls that came through was a man who had been struck by lightning. I told him if he needed to stop anywhere, to please do, we’d already been on the road for a month, what was one more day? But the crew was already there and dealing with the poor gentleman, who was still alive but in shock. We listened to the updates for the next half hour, until another call came through that had almost the entire state in a tizzy. Apparently a car tried to pass a semi, and got sucked underneath it. When they finally stopped, the car was T-boned underneath the back tires. What an awful site, but by the time we got on scene, there were fire, cops, paramedics and ambulances there, so Trevor kept going.
We got to where the 2nd truck had to be dropped off at, and Robert and the other driver climbed into the cab for the last 40 miles or so to St. George. Right as we were passing Zion National Park, there was road construction on the 15 southbound, and without warning, we hit a HUGE drop in the pavement. The new road dropped close to 8 inches back to the old road underneath. There was no signage, it was just a sudden drop, and we found ourselves airborne for a few moments after the bounce. HOLY HELL!!! I was sure the trailer was going to snap off on the bounce, but Trevor was an excellent driver with several years of towing under his belt, and he was able to keep it all under control. I don’t know how he did it, but we settled straight away and kept going, intact. That happened about 5pm on 7/18. And we were lucky, because about two minutes later, a truck went airborne and crashed into a Semi, and the accident stopped traffic for a while. All I can say is, Wow. I still am highly emotional over the incident, and grateful we made it through in once piece. We pulled off at Mesquite to check out the trailer, check on the birds, and to calm nerves. Everything was fine, we didn’t even break a dish! Trevor had another driver take us from there, he had an evening planned, so we proceeded with his assistant, slowly off again to Vegas.
We hit town at 10pm, and once we hit the streets, I noticed that the trailer lights weren’t working. But it was just a short jaunt to my Dad’s house, and within a few minutes we were pulling up. We unhitched and off they went, back to St. George. I highly recommend Trevor and his crew. I wish I had got a card from them, but if you EVER have a towing need in this part of the country, please call them first. (1-435-979-5909)
It was in the high 90s when we got here, so Dad pulled an extension cord to the trailer and we put the fan on for the birds overnight as we settled inside. Boy, it was GREAT to be home again! I hadn’t been back for a visit in about five years. Wow, had Vegas changed! My father moved here back in ’89, when Sahara dead-ended at The Lakes area, but now the Valley had extended miles past his house, the commerce area booming with new retail outlets peppering the streets.
Over the next few days, we unloaded the birds and the bulk of our things, and put the trailer in dry storage for a month or two while we figure out what we are going to do about replacing our vehicle. So for the last 2 weeks, we’ve stayed close to home, healing our broken bodies and resting our worn nerves. I was wondering how Mom and Dad would handle having our small family invade their home. I’d brought cats home before, Bijou lived with them for a while when I was single between marriages, and that seemed ok, but now I was bringing my husband, 2 cats AND 2 parrots into their very quiet home. But they welcomed us with open arms, and so far, things are going fine. I actually think they like the extra company, and the cats have been extremely well behaved. Prinnie still gets loud, and her and Tye go at it in the back room once in a while, but for the most part, we’ve all settled together pretty seamlessly. Robert and I are set up in the front living room, we set up our office areas, and spend the bulk of our time there, drumming up local networking contacts, and reconnecting with old friends in the area.
So here we are, stuck again, but this time we’re home, and we can settle for a bit before we have to worry about taking off again. We had planned on staying here a month or two, anyway, the dry climate is healing my asthma, and it’s so much better on Robert’s back. I had to laugh, this morning it was muggy outside, the humidity had hit a staggering 38%!! (I just checked, in Vancouver WA, it’s 83% humidity today.) My parents have been extremely supportive through our journey, and we are so grateful they opened their home to us.
But enough relaxing, it’s time to seriously get back to work, so we are scheduling shoots now, and contacting local art galleries. We feel that this town is where we need to be right now, the art district is booming, and people are already recognizing our work as quality. Our day trips out to see the local attractions are limited without a vehicle, but Dad has been quite generous with his car, so I’m sure in the next week or so we’ll be able to hit Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon.
So, for now, here we are! Safe and (now) sane in Las Vegas, NV. We are starting to go through the images we took along the way, and as they get finished, I will be posting some of the gorgeous scenery we saw along the way. Thank you all for your prayers and good wishes, they really mean a lot to us.