Life seems so uncertain these days that I was really worried this trip wouldn’t happen, or at least not in the configuration I wanted. Damned if it didn’t happen though. The Blackwelder-Voelkl-Shanks caravan did it. We chased the Big Boy and the Big Boy was as glorious and exhilarating as ever.
More importantly (well, to me) it was the whole family on a trip, getting hot and sweaty and tired and giggly all together. It was perfect.
Well, except for the panicked phone call from Owen telling us that they had a flat tire in Memphis (where they’d stopped for Leo to check the train yard for something that turned out not to be there) and it turns out that Leo doesn’t have a spare tire. Really? Did I know that? They were reportedly not in a great area either (“well, Mom, the buildings are all boarded up and most of the cars have the windows broken out”). They were pulled over on an underpass and it sounded pretty much like a nightmare. I told them to get on their phone and look up ‘tow trucks near me.’ They did and waited and waited and waited. Eventually Trinity called another one. The three of them squished in with the tow truck driver, Trinity sitting on Owen’s lap as the driver gave them his take on Memphis (it’s grimy, but it’s not Chicago) and that when it is raining when the sun is shining it means the devil is whipping his wife. I can’t even wrap my head around that one.
We pulled into Little Rock and checked into our motel and worried. And worried. We finally got a call that they were back on the road. I was so relieved. Yeah, Leo paid a lot for a short tow but the tire place got them in and out super quick and God knows it could have been SO much worse. At least we know what we’re getting Leo for his birthday.
They eventually tumbled into our room and told us the whole saga, laughing like little puppies. I’d picked out a place for us all to eat but with the pandemic restaurants are closing so early so we were too late and had to skip it. We got some so-so food delivered and collapsed. I drifted off to sleep worrying about finding spots to see the Big Boy without Leo. Leo, Owen and Trinity were in one car and we would be on our own. I wasn’t sure I could do it without Leo’s master navigating…
This picture isn’t the best because it was 97 degrees and I had just gotten off the phone with a panicked Owen.
Onward. To the Big Boy.