Cindy decided that we had to take a week out of our lives so that we could drive to Louisiana to visit some of her friends. They are special friends. One, Barb, is the sister of Cindy’s best friend, Marilyn, who recently died. The others are Barb’s son Michael and his family. On any other occasion I would love to go to Louisiana, but let’s face it, this trip was going to involve a lot of crying.
I didn’t want this to be a totally lachrymose occasion, so I planned on taking at least one photo each day that had no wet tissues or hankies in sight. I also wanted to document anything that caught my fancy or curiosity.
Day 1 4/10/2017
from Our trip album ~ an almost empty restaurant despite the good food
There were few opportunities to take pictures on the drive down. We were booking it. Do people still say booking it? I took this when we stopped to eat dinner in Southaven, Mississippi. We covered a little over 500 miles on the road that day.
Two things of interest happened on the drive. The first was when we pulled in to the Trail of Tears Rest Stop in Illinois. I knew that the Trail of Tears refers to the forced move of American Indians from their land so that it could be taken by immigrants and children of immigrants. But I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that the Trail of Tears might also refer to parents taking very young children on their first long car trip.
There were the usual amenities at the rest stop, plus a couple of picnic tables. We had packed the fixings for sandwiches and took this opportunity to have some lunch. Cindy and I alternated using the facilities and insuring that nobody stole our sandwiches. When I was returning from the clean restrooms I noticed a pickup truck in the parking area, and beside it was a girl lying face down on the asphalt. I guessed that she was alright since there were two adults walking around her and the truck. After a bit she popped up onto her feet and walked around smiling. Very curious.
Later during the trip, while Cindy was driving through a part of Arkansas, she determined that we were getting very low on gasoline. It was so low that she decided that she needed to get off of the Interstate at the next exit to fill up the tank. Unfortunately when we got off the Interstate there were no gas stations at the intersection. So we turned east and headed for the nearest town a few miles away. We arrived at the hamlet and found that there were no gas stations there, so we turned around and headed back towards a town west of the intersection.
Before we got to that town Cindy spied a young man walking, so she pulled over to ask him where the nearest gas station was located. He thought for a moment and told us to turn onto a dirt road. He said that we should follow it until it came to a T intersection and to turn right. In a couple of miles we would find a gas station in a town that he named. So off we went down the dirt road. In the meantime I Googled the town he had named. Google told me that we should turn left rather than right when we got to the T intersection. Against her better judgement, Cindy followed Google Maps rather than the young man.
Around ten or twelve miles later we arrived at the location Google Maps had led us to only to find an empty field. In fact, at the arrival Google Maps provided a photograph of the empty field.
By this time Cindy was split between panic at having a gas tank that was almost empty, and anger at me for convincing her to believe in technology. The sensor in her gas tank indicated that she only had enough gas for a few more miles. We started searching frantically for another nearby town with hopes of finding gasoline. We came to another small village with no gas station. We saw a gentleman using a weed whip in his front yard and pulled up to ask him the location of the nearest gas station.
He asked us where we had come from. I told him and emphasized that we just wanted the nearest station. He gave us directions for which we thanked him, and set out on our renewed quest. A couple of miles down the road, the electronic gas tank sensor decided that we were out of gas, but we kept purring along. We went on for another ten miles or so before we got to the gas station where we filled the tank and returned to the Interstate highway.
Cindy praised God for keeping the car running. At first I thought that maybe it was similar to the fishes and loaves, but upon reflection realized that it was more akin to the Hanukkah Miracle concerning the oil that fueled the Temple’s menorah. I, on the other hand, decided that the sensor was faulty and that we couldn’t trust it to be accurate. You can decide for yourself.