Monday, February 3, 2014

Hell Of A Ride

This weekends Chili Cooking travels was one for story books. The wife wanted an adventure and she sure got one.

We left Friday at noon and drove the 7 1/2 drive to Rankin TX. I have never been that far West before and now I can say I have.
Remember a couple of posts back where I talked about the Texan bucket list? Well there a couple that need to be added. One is to watch the sun rise over the West Texas plains, it was breath taking. The other is to drive in a West Texas blizzard. You have not lived until you drive I20 in the ice.

 A bunch of us from North Texas took the drive to cook at the Regional cookoff. Even my daughter Jessie and her boy drove all the way from College Station to cook with us again. It was one of the largest and best cookoffs I have been to. 
 Our team ended up winning 3rd in show. Mine and the boy's chili made it to semifinals and only one in our group made it to final table ending with 16th place. Jessie won the traveling trophy for driving the furthest.

Then Saturday night the storm blew in. It dumped ice from there all the way home. The 7 1/2 hour drive turned into almost 10. At one point I20 heading East was shut down and we were stuck right in the middle of all that mess with no way to escape. Rumors were that we were going to be there for a day or so. This sucked but it was no step for a stepper, or should I say Prepper. I just wanted to get home but, I had the necessary provisions for about three days. But before that I am sure panic would have set in and I would have locked it in 4 wheel and took off across the pasture never to be seen again.
This was the first time I have ever been in this predicament. It's amazing what goes through your head. Automatically my mind went into survival mode. I surveyed my surroundings, inventoried my food and water, plus ran through everything I had on hand in the truck I could use. It was 24 degrees so warmth was the top priority. I calculated how much fuel I had left and then figured out run times for the heater. Even though I was almost full, I did not want to get below 1/4 tank for when we did start moving or if I needed to do an emergency escape. We had blankets, heaters, stoves and everything else we packed for the weekend cookoff. My only fear was I did not have enough ammo to fend off all the folks that were around us who were not prepared. I figured on day two while I was on the tailgate grilling hamburgers, I am sure I would have been mugged for my meat.
After everything was carefully planned out we started moving. Ha, maybe I overreacted. We only sat for two hours and here I was thinking were there for the long haul. Thank God we were moving because that would have been rough.

Here is another lesson I learned this weekend. Once we started moving and got to the next town and filled up with fuel just in case it happen again, we ran across a stranded motorist. She had been in a wreck and didn't have anything, I mean anything except a little girl she was holding and trying to keep warm. The store would not let her in because she also had her dog with her. She didn't want to stay in the vehicle because it was in the road and she did not want to get hit from someone else sliding out of control. The tow truck was three hours away due to all the wrecks and she was squatted down crying uncontrollably just trying to stay warm. Me, the dog would have stayed in the truck and I would have been in the store, but in that situation I am sure she was not thinking.
Money would not have helped her, I couldn't take her anywhere because she was waiting on the tow truck, all I could do was keep her warm. It was 24 degrees with a wind chill of 7. Her crying and holding that baby pulled at my heart so without another thought me and Candy wrapped her in our blankets, asked for God to look over her and went on our way.
You can say what you want about helping someone in a survival situation where it's you or them and you have to give up your life saving provisions. Even though in your mind you are thinking they should have prepared for the worse but, when you see the face of a baby girl shivering and cold, I can bet you would have done the same. 
We are iced in at the house now, the fireplace is blazing and I am warm. I only hope that lady and her baby girl is alright. I guess I could have unloaded the truck right there in the parking lot and had her get in and we could have waited with her.           

The wife wanted a story and an adventure, she sure got one. The next time she says that I think I am going to stay home.



  1. What a blessing on so many fronts! That you had a great time with family and friends, checked off a few things from the bucket list, were prepared, helped a woman in distress, and made it home safely. Whew! That's a lot to be thankful and grateful for. I'm glad you made it home.

  2. MDR,

    Now that was a haul and a half!!! You were not to far from Fort Stockton. Congratulations on winning third in show!!!
    You did go prepared with the 5th wheel, blankets, fuel, food, ammo.
    Hubby and I want to camp out in West TX maybe over at the Big Bend area one day when things slow down here. I'm happy you made it home okay. Stay safe with the ice and warm with the cold. Were expecting more snow early in the morning hours here.

    1. I only wished the 5th wheel was mine. We stayed in the truck tent.

  3. You were prepared for e everything but cannibals...Oh, you had ammo..

    Sweetie, I'm afraid I would have had to pull that woman, baby, AND the dog in with me, SOMEHOW. So it's a good thing I wasn't along. You might not have had an extra blanket for me when you left me on the roadside with her.

    1. LJ, leaving her there was a very hard thing to do. She didn't want to get in the truck even though I asked. I did what I could and that was even way more than other folks that were just walking by.

  4. you did what you could and God bless you for that you had your own to think of also

    1. Anony, That was all she would let me do. I don't know what else I could have done.

  5. every one get ready cause IT is fixin to hit again

  6. Just think if you had not been so delayed by the storm, you might have been long past that store when that poor lady with the kid and dog that were huddled outside, freezing. SHAME on that store owner for not letting her and that little child in where it was warm! Rules are rules, but sometimes they are made to be broken ...or at least stretched!

    Congratulations on the trophies AND the adventures.


    1. I felt the same about the store owner HB. I wished she would have let do more.

  7. I am always amazed at people putting their child's welfare on the line to keep an animal. If I were not allowed in with an animal, any animal, and had a little child to protect, there is no doubt where my loyalties lie. At least they had blankets when you left, but three hours is a long time in that cold.

    My best friend died in a fire trying to rescue a dog that refused to come with him. So, I have a great deal of emotion about the situation.

    Congratulations on your wins.

    1. Thanks PP,
      I am sure after the fact she would have done it different, I guess we all make mistakes like that but I am with you on it, the dog would have stayed in the truck.