The drive to Pearlington is about 18 hours these days.  We have shortened the actual driving time due to a shortcut we found out about last summer.  However this year’s drive had some interesting twists.

The first day was rather uneventful except that we made longer stops  – just due to the number of people.  We took down the largest team ever – 15 people.  It just takes longer to get this number of people through a meal, bathroom stop, etc.

The second day was fairly eventful.  About 45 minutes into the morning drive, there was a yell from the back to stop the vehicle.  I looked back and saw the whole back bench of 4 looking through the back window at the trailer.  One of the young men turned and said, “Stop the van, the tire blew!”  With that short statement, the van was stopped as quickly as Gary could get it stopped.  Here is a pictorial look at the tire changing episode;

The blown tire!

The blown tire!

Gary the tire man!

Gary the tire man!

New Tire ready being tested prior to putting on the trailer!  Thanks Dean!

New Tire ready being tested prior to putting on the trailer! Thanks Dean!

The girls went exploring while the boys changed the tire!

The girls went exploring while the boys changed the tire!

Tire on - tightening the bolts - we are ready to roll!

Tire on - tightening the bolts - we are ready to roll!

We are thankful for a phone call from Mr. O’Hallaran from Sioux City.  He is the dad of two of the team members.  He did the research for us and found a place to get a replacement tire, called the tire place to let them know we were coming and then called us back and gave us clear directions to the tire place.  We are so thankful for that phone call – it saved us a great deal of time!

When we stopped for supper, one of the girls was feeling very faint and nauseous.  The restaurant that we stopped at did not have a working air conditioner.  We think that the long day of traveling combined with the increasing heat put her over the edge.  I called back to Courtney and had her put out an SOS prayer to our small group.

After a very long day of traveling, we arrived in Pearlington around 11 PM.  We were all tired and slept well.  It was good to get settled, at least a bit and get a good night’s rest!