Friday, June 28, 2013

Day Eight - Final Stretch

Knowing that today we would only be driving, no one was in a terrible rush to get into the car. Today was also the only day I didn't plan because up until the night before, I didn't know if we would be staying at a hotel somewhere or driving through the night. Somewhat rested and full of hotel breakfast (yum?), we got on the road around 9am and headed east towards the South Dakota/ Minnesota border.

After 5.5hours of driving, we got to get out, stretch our legs along the side of the road, do our cross the border video, and jumped back in the car. Next planned stop was a gas station in South Sioux City, Nebraska (North Sioux City is in Iowa). Now, when I looked up the cheapest gas on my little gasbuddy app, it said nothing about how sketchy the place was. When we pulled up, a fellow customer had his music blaring on some song with N****r as every other word (but he was black, so it wasn't racist, right?). Then, when we went inside to use the facilities, we were greeted with all the hard alcohol and bongs you could ever desire... or not. At this point I wasn't sure if this was a gas station or some sort of undercover drug house. Freaky! Needless to say, we didn't spend much time here. Back on the road again!

Now, it's hard to explain our route today so I decided to do a screen shot of Google maps.

 It is the quickest route from point A to B with the exception of crossing the border into Minnesota. After getting gas, the remainder of the trip was fairly uneventful. At one point in Missouri, my parents pointed out a road sign directing us towards Oregon: "Ariel, did you send us in the wrong direction?" For a split second, I thought I had!

About an hour later, a deer dashed in front of the car. Jaz and Clarke were reading/ playing games, Blake and I were watching a movie together on dad's phone (Jock The Hero Dog... yeah), and mom and dad were intently watching the road and darkening sky. All I saw was... the road. Thankfully dad has a quick reaction time and narrowly missed the suicidal deer. We nervously tried to laugh it off but after that, we were all a bit on edge that another one might appear (mom more than any of us). As the sky darkened, we had the lovely opportunity to drive through the tail end of a storm complete with lots of lightening. Compared to the lightening storms I've experienced and enjoyed in Oregon, I was a bit terrified of this one. The rest of the trip was quiet, though, as Blake and I finished our movie then tried to sleep.

We made our final stop of the day at the new house at 2am. I honestly thought this day would never come... or maybe just hoped that it never would. In the brief time that we were there (mom was the only one who got out to get the mail), I surveyed the house. It was just as I had expected it though it all seemed surreal. In 4 days I leave my family here to go back to Oregon. I'm not really sure what to call home anymore. Newberg is home because my own little family is there and Albany is my hometown because that's where I was born and raised but Arkansas. I don't know if I'll ever call Arkansas home though it will now forever be close to my heart with those most dear to me, living here. Today we actually get to see the house, meet some of the friends that have been taking care of my dad these last few months, and start the process of moving them in. Dear readers, live long and prosper, wherever you call home.

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