Day 18

Yesterday was Day 18, but I couldn’t post because…

Well, we were just trying to survive.

We reached Texas!

The drive was mind blowing. When they say “everything is big in Texas” they mean everything is big in Texas!

We have got to research what all of these hundreds of miles of giant windmills in the fields do! They are massive and everywhere!

Never have I ever seen a land sea (where it’s flat all the way to the horizon with only fields)


I actually got a bit adventurous and I took it to 84 on the open highway for a half a minute. Shhh.

After being mesmerized by the land size and all the cows for a while, I pulled off the road to some abandoned Route 66 museum and we made a recording studio in the back seat of the car.

I had an audio submission for the Adventures of Rowan due by the end of the day and I knew we would be camping and dealing with many unknowns when we got there.

The girls helped me pad it up with pillows and blankets. It was fun.

We recorded for about half an hour and headed to the Canyon to find a campsite. Fortunately the one I had looked up in line was better than I expected and had plenty of sites.

We chose a nice open spot overlooking the canyon.

The girls put up the tent and I realized that big giant, honking packing list I made did not include tent stakes. And it was windy!

The girls began finding sticks in the brush and carving points to drive into the ground with rocks.

We made due with what we found.

Nina’s job was to hammer them into the ground.

Mimi and Becca began looking for kindling and wood for the fire.

But when we went to scavenge the other tent sites for a couple of metal steaks for the corners, the wind blew our tent over and one of the metal rods flipped out like an umbrella and the whole tent got twisted up. Trying to figure out how to fix this in the wind and sand blowing was just insane.

We hadn’t had lunch. I didn’t know if there was water available at the campground, we had no other accommodations nearby. Nina started crying because she thought we were going to die.

I started praying.

Mimi and Becca has the idea to unscrew the broken rod and get it untwisted. Fortunately a small tool kit WAS on my packing list. (Even though my older kids laughed at me for having it on there. Ahem)

They were able to fix it and the very helpful campground owner, Missy, suggested we move to beside a little cabin where we might have a bit of a wind block.

So we got all set up and went exploring.

There are lots of cactuses around here.

We couldn’t figure out if this was a road runner or coyote poop. Asking

Or this

Nina found all the poop.

We we’re definitely in Road Runner and Coyote country. I’ve got to show the girls that cartoon tonight!

We got a fire started. Mimi got it started with a glint stick for the first time.

We got water boiling for dinner and coffee.

We hung out on this little cabin porch, ate dinner, and played double tic tac tie with sticks and rocks.


We set fire to it.

Oops. Well, at least we know NOT to build a fire in a metal fire pit on a wooden porch ever again.

I was so proud of the girls, they put it out all on their own while Nina and I were exploring!

She wanted to take me to see the sunset.

It was time to turn into our tent for the night.

When the sun went down, it got cold.

We read Pippi Longstockings by flashlight.

Then the wind started to blow violently. I read louder and louder so the girls could hear me over the flapping of the tent.

Nina prayed “Lord, protect us and keep us, be gracious to us, and give us peace.”

The rest of the night was the longest and scariest of all. The whole night it felt like the tent was going to lift off like a kite and blow off the hill.

Mimi had the brilliant idea to tie it to a bush with rope, or I’m afraid it might have.

We were all up much of the night.

I got the biggest blessing when I woke up at 1am. The Big Dipper, clear as day and huge, was framed perfectly in the roof of our tent. I just layed there and counted my blessings that, so far, Nina’s prayer for our safely had been answered. I wish the photo I took wasn’t completely black. It was beautiful!

About two hours later…

Nina had to go pee at 3 am. That was fun.🤪

We did survive the night. Amen.

Here are a couple of videos I took this morning when it was daylight.

See how Mimi’s rope idea saved us!

Looking forward to exploring the Canyon and seeing what a new day to live brings!

Published by gradybunchmom

Mother of seven. Living the adventure on our own terms and loving every step of the journey. Beginning this blog to chronicle our trip across the country and take our family and friends “with” us.

2 thoughts on “Day 18

  1. Wow, what a day and night. Sure glad no injuries occurred. I would have been trying to get in one of those cabins myself! Hey, you guys are probably in country now where there are big poison snakes and wild animals so be careful, very careful. Hope today has been a more pleasant day for all.


    1. I told the girls if this were summer our nights in a tent would be much more pleasant but I would be freaking out about letting them roam around with all the rattlesnakes! 😳


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