Back in the good ole USA

Trip Start Jun 22, 2011
Trip End Aug 31, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Kansas
Saturday, September 3, 2011

3 September 2011 – What a Trip!

The 3 flights posted for McConnell disappeared from the screen and became one lone flight and PAX told us there were only 3 seats available, so we called a taxi for a 0610 pickup. Arriving at the terminal, we were the passengers 4 & 5 to arrive but soon others trickled in.  We felt like we were among friends as most of the folks had been with us the previous Monday trying for McConnell also.  Everyone was now on first name basis and we began to formulate plans for getting from our new destination – Forbes Field, near Topeka, KS to Wichita.  There were 17 seats available on the Forbes flight and only 9 passengers so we all made the first flight out; there would be 3 others departing that day but no one wanted to take a chance on something happening to any of those. 

Once again, our transport was a KC-135, but this one belonged to the National Guard and there were not many more of them than we space-a passengers so the plane was not crowded.  About an hour into the flight, Wendell blew up his inflatable mattress and placed it in front of the cargo crates.  He topped the mattress with his sleeping bag and layed on top with his feet resting on the end of the crate.  I stretched out across three troop seats and, while it was not the most comfortable arrangement, it as certainly no uncomfortable.  The flight would take us 9 to 9 hours and we spent most of the time reading and alternately napping.  After about 4 hours we broke out our box lunches we had purchased and then read and napped some more.  The guard folks were very nice and even came around and helped us take down the backs of the seats to give more space to lay flat and even found pillows and blankets for a few passengers who had not brought them.  I joked with one fellow, asking when the beverage service would be around.  He replied, "Oh, I did that while you were napping."  Yeah, sure!

Upon arrival, the customs officer came on board and asked us the standard questions before releasing us to go inside the terminal.  While waiting for our bags, James called for a rental car, and Sgt. Hart came and told us they had arranged to have a van take us to the agency in town.  That was great news, otherwise we would have had to wait for the agency to drive to us, or find our own way.  Once again, these folks go out of their way to take care of us.  While we appreciate their service now, they do not forget those who served before

At the rental car agency, we loaded six of us and baggage into a Kia van and headed south to Wichita, after a brief stop at the McDonald's across the street.  The drive took a couple of hours but James was an excellent driver.  He had chosen to do the rental since he and his wife, Bernice, would be coming back that direction after they retrieved their vehicle from the base at McConnell.  Another passenger, Barbara, would be returning with them, on her way to see her son who had just been released from the hospital.  We also had a lone fellow, Paul, who would be visiting his children in the Wichita area but had his truck at the terminal.  It was a good thing, because after James, Bernice and Barbara left, we discovered the battery was dead on our truck.  In our haste to leave for England, Wendell had failed to disconnect the electrical from the truck to the trailer and all the batteries were drained.  Paul drove Wendell to get cables but the boost was unsuccessful, so they took me over to lodging to sit in the cool lobby (it was only 103 outside) while they ran to the station on base to check on a new battery.  However, the station was already closed so Paul dropped Wendell back at the lodge.  Due to the heat and lateness of the day, we got a room and called our insurance carrier’s roadside assistance.  Rescue Rangers arrived within 30 minutes and Wendell was back at the lodge with truck and trailer in another 15.  We towed the rig to the Fam Camp, hooked up the electricity, turned on the AC, locked the door and left.  After a quick stop at Subway and the gas station, we headed back to the lodge.   I felt so nasty after being out in the heat, and Wendell was too, we both decided we couldn’t enjoy eating until we had showers.    That accomplished, we ate and relaxed in the cool comfort of our room.  Exhausted from the long day, it was lights out by 10 PM.

Although daylight arrives later here than England, we were still awake by 5:30 AM, but refreshed and ready to get about the day.  After coffee and tea, we dressed, made a stop at the commissary for supplies and headed to the trailer.  Even after sitting on the parking lot for over two months, it didn’t look too bad, but everything inside needed a good dusting and cleaning.  I spent a few hours doing that while Wendell washed dust off the truck.  It was another hot day, so inside activities were in order.   I got to finish the jigsaw puzzle I had started before we left, except for one piece that was missing.  Bummer!  I had gotten the puzzle as an exchange at one of the places we had camped; you just never know what you’re getting when you do that.  Calls also had to be made, of course.  We’ll leave here tomorrow for Greenville to see my mom and take her back home with us for a longer visit.  Along the way, we’ll also stop to see Brenda & Jerry’s new house in Midlothian, and finally an overnight in Waco with Craig, Shannon and Brandon.  Our beloved dog, Nitchie, will be waiting for us in Midlothian and we expect to be back home by the end of next week.

I know you’re curious to find out about the towel in the refrigerator, aren’t you?  While Paul and Wendell were tackling the battery problem, I went inside, took a deep breath and opened the freezer door.  To my relief, it wasn’t that bad.  I just knew there would be a horrible sour smell and gross mold growing everywhere, but no so.  The towel was still wet and a bit musty, so I put it in a plastic bag and set it outside while I cleaned the remaining dampness away.  There was a tiny bit of mold growing on the inside of the freezer door but that was all and it was easily wiped off with a dish rag.  Today, I gave the whole fridge a good cleaning and you can’t even tell there was a problem.  Actually, after all the teasing I’ve gotten from Wendell…and others, he admitted that his departure faux pas was much worse than mine.  The fridge was remedied in minutes; the battery took hours.

A small rain shower just passed over and more is forecast in the night.  It has cooled things off nicely.  I’m hoping to drag some of the rain and cooler temperatures south as we drive back home.  Maybe the tropical storm brewing in the Gulf will send rain up from the south.

This will be my last post unless something significant happens before we arrive home.  I thank you for joining us on this journey and hope you have enjoyed hearing about the places and things we have encountered along the way.  When I do these journals, they are primarily intended for our friends and family, although I know some of you may view them as a result of internet searching and landing on the Travelpod site, so I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting my friends and family through these posts and photos.  Wendell and I are highly blessed to have had this opportunity.  We know the Lord is our provision and protection as we go day to day and place to place.  We will never cease to thank Him for His care and love for us.  So until our next journey, we pray God’s blessing upon you and yours.  Get out and enjoy His wonderful, beautiful creation.
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Vernell on

And may God bless you as you have blessed us by sharing your travels. I have certainly enjoyed everyone one of your postings and the pictures are exceptional! Welcome home!!

Hugs for both and hi to everyone back home! on

Glad you made it back safe and sound and as you said, the dear Lord provided for the two of you to do just that. We have missed you and are looking forward to seeing both of you soon. Bible Study is not the same without you guys so hurry up and get home. We just finished 2 Peter and Allan is trying to decide what to teach next. All sound very interesting to Dan and I. We start up again in a few weeks. We are still very warm and very dry but God will surely bring rain soon. Travel safe. Mona and Dan

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