• Rev. Sam Martin

Tales Of Our Trip To Norman, OK in 2007

Kelly, Abby & I began our trip on Sunday night after Church on May 6th. We left a bit after 7:30pm and it was our goal to get to Springfield, MO and stay there for the night before driving the rest of the way. We had several heart stopping things happen on the way.

Since I was pulling the camper I was not able to drive at the speed that was posted on the speed limit signs. It was a good mountain if I could make it up without losing speed. We had some very steep hills and we dropped down below the minimum speed on them just trying to get up.

It seemed that we had been driving forever and I said to Kelly that I was going to need something to drink the next time we stopped. It was then I looked down at the gas gauge and noticed that we were below the empty mark. It was passed the red and we were in serious trouble. I said I was getting off at the next exit and when we got to the top of the ramp we noticed the station was closed. It was about 11:30pm at the time. Quickly I got back on the road and the next sign said the next exit was 9 miles. I told Kelly that if we made it to the next exit we were getting off and if the gas station was closed we would just camp there until the station opened in the morning. Driving on fumes for the next 9 miles we prayed up and down each hill. Coasting down and praying on the way up. Finally we got to the exit and as we got to the top we saw the station was open. My heart finally got back to normal after I was next to the pump filling up. I told Kelly from now on we are going to start looking for a station when the tank is half full.

After we made our bathroom breaks, filled up the gas tank and walked the three dogs we got back on the way. Springfield here we come. It seemed like forever but finally we got there and got off on the exit where our Hotel was that we were going to stay at. We hadn't made reservations but we were sure they would have room as it was a Sunday night. Kelly had checked the Hotel out and it was a dog friendly Hotel so we were able to take the dogs into our room. Kelly & I checked in and Abby watched the dogs. It was now 1:30pm in the morning and we were all tired. Kelly went to check the room and I began walking the dogs each one making sure they went to the bathroom good so we didn't have to get up again until it was time to leave in the morning. We didn't want them barking and bothering any of the other people in the Hotel. Finally at 1:45am we got all settled into bed and we fell fast asleep.

At 7:30am someone in the room next to us slammed the door as they were loading their stuff in their car to leave and Ginger barked. Quickly I jumped up and grabbed her and shut her up. We decided to get up and get ready to get back on the road. I got dressed and began walking the dogs and after I got them walked Kelly jumped in the shower and I tried walking Abby up. She didn't want to get up and so I just left her and told Kelly she would have to get her up. Finally we got everything ready to go and packed and after numerous tries Kelly got Abby up. We carried everything out and loaded up for the rest of the trip to Norman, OK to see the Ketners’.

We got back on the road and soon it was raining. The windshield wipers were in terrible shape and were not keeping the windows clean and it made it hard to drive and pull the camper. The rain was spotty but it would rain for a bit and then stop for a while. We only stopped for gas and bathroom breaks. We walked the dogs whenever we stopped and they were good in the van. I tried to buy some wipers when we got into Oklahoma but none of the service stations carried wipers. We just kept going the rain would stop and we would think it was going to clear up and we would get down the road and it would start up again.

Finally we got to Oklahoma City and we did have far to go to Norman. We watched for the signs and then just as we got to the exit near where the Ketner’s lived we gave them a called for better directions. They told us how to get to their house and so we drove over there. I got out and greeted them and got directions to the campground. We told them we were going to go setup the camper and then we would be back. The rain had stopped and it was drying out a bit so when we finally got to the camp site it was nice setup for the camper. They had slabs which made it nice for setting up the camper. When we got everything setup we walked the dogs and put them in the camper and headed out to the Ketner’s. It was about 9 miles from the campground to their house.

When we got to the Ketner’s, Uncle Glenn & Aunt JoAnn had a nice spread ready for us. We had a delicious meal and we sat around and visited and talked about everything. Then we went on the back patio and sat out there and visited. We visited until the bugs got bad and then we went into the house. We visited a bit more and then we told them we needed to head out to the camp site.

We got in the van and headed back to the camper. It was still nice out and the weather looked great. When we got back to the camper we walked the dogs and made up our beds. We decided to hit the sack because we were tired from the long trip and it was getting late. We soon fell fast asleep but it didn't last long at about 2am it began to storm. It was raining and thundering and Ginger could hide under the bed. She woke us up and then we couldn't get back to sleep because the thunder and lightning was so bad it kept us up. Beth (our puppy) did really well for all that was happening. She just snuggled up real close between Kelly & me and fell fast asleep. This was a very miserable night of sleep. Finally at 8am the storm stopped and we were able to get back to sleep. We slept for about a half an hour and Kelly's cell phone rang. It was the Ketners calling as we had made plans to come in and visit for a bit. I called them back and told them about our terrible night of sleep and told them we would be in later.

Abby and I went to the shower house to get cleaned up while Kelly watched the dogs. When we got over there we found out that it was a pay shower. We didn't have money so we had to go back to the camper. (During this whole time it was raining.) We got back to the camper and got some money. We didn't have change but we had some dollar bills so we planned to go back and get change from the change machine outside the shower house. When we got there Abby got her dollars wet and when I finally got my dollar into the machine it said out of order. So I lost my money and didn't get any change in return. So we returned to the camper again in the rain to find some change. After digging in their purses enough money was found so we could take a shower. Abby and I went back and got showers.

When we got back to the camper it was decided that Abby & I would venture out and see if we could find a Wal-Mart. We drove all over and finally found one. I found the wiper blades and purchased them and went out in the parking lot and tried to put them on. After struggling with them for what seems to be 15 minutes I decided I wasn't going to mess with them anymore. We left and got lost on the way back to the camper. I called Aunt JoAnn and after I told her where I was she told me how I could get back to the camp site. I told her about all the problems and that we were going to go back to the camper and then we would come in for a while to visit.

When we got back to the camper Kelly had taken her shower and was ready to go but everyone was tired and cranky. We discussed our options and then decided to go in and visit awhile. We went in and had lunch with the Ketner’s and visited for a while. We decided that we couldn't take another night like the previous night so we were going to be leaving after supper. We planned to go back to the camper and pack everything up so that when supper was over we could just come out and hookup and be ready to leave. We stopped at an auto parts store and the salesman helped me get the wipers on. (The wipers were the exact same as the ones I bought at Wal-Mart, so now I had two sets.) We went back to the camp site and packed up the camper and walked the dogs. The camp host told us since we weren't going to stay another day we could just leave the camper there and come back and pick it up after supper. They didn't charge us another day even though we were past check out time.

We headed back over to the Ketner’s and we had a great meal. They really put out a big spread and it was great. We had a great time visiting. It was getting late and so we had to say our goodbyes and hit the road. With the help of the internet and a few suggestions from others we made plans to drive to Broken Arrow, OK and stay the night and head home the next morning. So we left and went and got the camper and headed out for Broken Arrow, OK.

When we finally got to the hotel it was late and the dogs needed to be walk- ed. We each took one dog and we walked them in the back of the hotel. Our room was right by the door so it made it nice for bringing the stuff in and taking the dogs out. We hit the hay and fell of fast asleep. We woke up bright and early and got on the road for home. We had new wipers but had very little rain after that. We drove straight through until we got home. When we got home we ate and got ready for Church. I was getting the camper leveled before we left for Church and then the phone rang. It was Dad and he said that they would be getting in sometime later that night. I told him we were going to Church and we would see him when he got there.

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My name is Rev. Sam Martin and I am a former Pastor of 34 years and I would like to invite you to join my blog.  Sign up in the box to the right or above if on a smart phone.



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