The Big Trip


Friday the 28th of March we got up at 3AM, this is something like seeing bigfoot.
I don’t get up before 6:00 unless its an emergency or the stupid fax service decides to send us a fax to our home line at some odd hour of the night.
We were on the road by 4:30 and started our journey to Central America – err, I mean the Mid-West.

Missouri Loves Company

Our first destination was 12 hours later in Jackson MO.
The only thing sweeter than the Iced-Tea in Jackson is Joan (Jo-Anne in modern spelling) – she’s a sweet, sweet gal.
Jessica’s Grandpa Hiram and his wife Joan hosted us for a day and a half.
We ate more food than was necessary, but that is typical for anyone who drives within 20 feet of their home.
Joan is a cook who likes to think of small portions somewhere between 2-3 pounds of whatever it is 🙂

Some ‘Ware’ in IL

Saturday we drove to the Bald Knob Cross.
This is something close to a religious monument, except that its in the middle of a mountain range and its really housing a radio transmitter and looking pretty hideous.
It could be cool to go there when the leaves are not on the forrest floor and instead are attached to the trees.
On the way to the cross is Ware IL.
Ware IL has about 30 people in it and most of them work at a hunting club.
There are at least 6 hunting clubs, when you see the first one it doesn’t strike you, but when you see the sixth one you’re ready to make stop buy the county court house and make sure that there aren’t more any marriages between a brother and sister.
I don’t think that it’s red-neck, because that would be an understatement!
Upon arriving at ‘bald knob’ we walked for 5 minutes and then drove back – 2 hours for 5 minutes of mountain top experience with a monument to man 🙁

Getting Into IN

Sunday Morning we got up and got ready, Joan had fixed us a ‘little’ breakfast that consisted of 5 pounds of breakfast goods, all of which were ‘low in cholestrol and fat’ (where the word low is interpreted as ‘super high’).
Then we drove for about 6 hours and arrived in Plainfield Indiana where we promptly lost contact with our daughter as a swarm of wild relatives erupted from the house and snatched her away.
As we stood bewildered and lost, wondering what had happened to Abby one of Kelsey’s (Kelsey = sister-in-law) dogs licked our hands and brought us out of our confusion.
We went inside and had a good afternoon of relaxing and catching up on important things.

Another Year Closer to Heaven

Jessica, following the traditions handed down by Adam and Eve, had a birthday on the 31st, she’s 25.
To celebrate we went to the Cheesecake Factory in Indianapolis on the 1st.
Which was good, because Karen kept faking us out like we weren’t going to go (we couldn’t figure out a schedule) I think she was going for an April fools joke, but nobody got it.
Jessica enjoys the Cheesecake Factory immensely, and all of us complained on the way home after eating there.
Of course our complaints were of full tummy’s and 5 o’clock traffic 🙂 (Thanks for a fabulous meal John!)

In the Inn in IN

Tuesday we drove to Brown County Indiana and checked into an inn in Nashville.
Not Nashville TN mind you, but Nashville IN.
After a few false turns (Thanks so much Yahoo!!) we made it to the ‘Inn in Brown County.’
This was a cool travel destination because it had (gasp) things for families to do on the premesis.
They had swimming, basketball, tennis, shuffleboard, miniature golf (free as well) and a playground with the most haunted sounding merry-go-round I have ever heard.
I wanted to sample the merry-go-round so I could use it in a song, but since I don’t have a sampler, I just remember what it sounds like.

Trail Dust

Wednesday we went shopping for stuff (you don’t actually hunt for things on vacations).
Jessica bought some stuff, and I desperately wanted to spend about $1,200.00 at a music store on things like an autoharp, a mandolin, and some percussion instruments.
Needless to say, I did not buy those things, but I did come home to Texas and buy a hand drum called a “Doumbek.”
It’s made by Remo and is probably not the fanciest hand drum, but I play it while Abby plays the bongos, which is a kick in the pants.
Speaking of a kick in the pants, we went horse back riding.

We went horse back riding at a stables in Brown County (or a county near there, I don’t recall).
While we were at the stables the ‘stable master’ (I don’t know what else to call the guy in charge of the stables) asked who had ridden before, and who wanted to go beyond a walking pace with the horses.
My group was the ‘experienced’ group (I am not making that up).
So I was excited to go faster than a walk, we cantered (which isn’t a full gallop, gut it’s more stimulating than a walk).
I was the only boy on the trail, and I think I know why: cantering tends to cause damaged body parts on guys as their pelvic region is smashed into the saddle over and over again at a fairly quick rate.

As we were nearing the end of the ride (I suspect 5-10 minutes from the end) we were really going and a woman was thrown from her horse.
We all stopped and the trail leader quickly jumped off.
She of course was ahead of the fallen rider (she was the leader after all) and I came up behind the fallen woman.
I also quickly jumped off and the trail leader looked up at us and (I swear I’m not making this up either) time slowed down as she said the words that every paying horse rider wants to hear:

“W-h-h-a-a-a-a-t-t-t d-o-o-o- I-i-i d-o-o-o-?-?-?”

After a democratic vote (since that’s what should be done in emergencies) we voted the trail leader should take off in a gallop and let the stables know they had a downed rider, and to call 911.
Without much philibustering we decided this was a good idea for the following reasons:

  1. She was the only one who had actually ridden at a gallop intentionally
  2. She knew how to get to the stables from where we were at
  3. The rest of the horses were so keen on staring at the other horses back sides that without the visual aid of a horse tail they may have gotten any of us very lost on the trails.

While we waited for the emergency crews the gal who fell recovered pretty well, her glasses were found, and she was able to get in a standing position.
She was very embarrassed and apologized for ruining everyone’s ride multiple times.
To make matters worse, when the emergency crews got there (an amazing 15 minutes or less later) we all backed up leaving the woman standing alone like a beer in the headlights.
Well, OK, maybe more like a deer in the headlights.
The emergency crew consisted of a Police officer, a fire and rescue bigfoot truck (in case they needed to run over trees, Bambi, ford rivers or use a winch to climb small mountains), and an ambulance.
I think an attorney was following them, there was another vehicle – a minivan.
The emergency crew sprung into action by walking cautiously up to the woman and asking her some questions:

  • Do you remember your name?
  • Does everything feel OK? Are you hurt?
  • Where did you get those pants? I’d like something like that for myself.
  • Who’s the president?
  • Yeah? Which one?

OK, so they didn’t ask all those questions, but some of them were asked.
We got to ride back to the stables a different route so that we didn’t spook the horses riding between an Explorer and Bigfoot.

A Peterman Homecoming

We had a great time – we drove through 4 states, we played multiple games in IN, we had good talks, Abigail was spoiled rotten with attention.
She fell in love with dogs.
I didn’t sleep half as much as I normally do (which is one of the reasons I accidentally walked into the wrong bathroom at the PLainfield Gold’s Gym – oops).
Jessica had a birthday, we all celebrated that by eating too much all week.
We drove home and were relieved to get off of the road.
2,264 miles were added to the Honda and we’re glad that we made it back.
Drive carefully, because if you don’t, I will.

Maranatha (Come Lord, return for your bride, the church)!

Randy Peterman