MARCIA POWELL -- TRIP TO ILLINOIS -- JUNE 2011
Dave Fauser (my driver) and I picked up the 26-foot U-Haul truck, hired one Mexican (Juan,) and the 3 of us unloaded Dad’s stuff out of storage. Returned Juan and went to my place. Got the neighbor boy, Garin, to agree to help (paid). We worked into the night. I put Dave to bed on my bed, and I worked ALL NIGHT packing. Even then, it took us all day to pack the truck. We barely fit everything in, and then the concern is if we packed it well enough to survive the trip. Makes me appreciate professional movers. Then we had to go to U-Haul and get my car onto the trailer. Then back to the apartment to clean it. I left the piano with Ralph, still hoping I can find a buyer for it. Dave and I actually headed east at 6:45 p.m. Friday. Stayed all night at Clarion Inn in Indio.
Sat. 6-11: Still had ¼ tank of gas when we left Indio, figuring we could find a station soon. A sign said “Chicarro,” 10 miles, but we saw nothing. Kept going, and the gauge went into red, 30 miles west of Blythe. We pulled over and were about to use a call box when a policeman came by. He advised us to just keep driving until we actually ran out of gas, and then call 9-1-1 for a tow truck. So we kept going--and made it to a station! On fumes and postulates, probably. Whew!
Ran into a traffic jam in Phoenix. Then had dinner in Globe, AZ. Planned on taking route 60 to get to Doc Shillington’s place in Datil, but the staff at the restaurant advised us not to take the Sand Canyon road at night, as it has a lot of hairpin curves—challenging with a big truck towing a car. So we got the last room in town—a huge paraplegic room—for $60!!
Sun. 6-12: Dave did the driving from Globe to Low Show, AZ. Had a lot of hairpin turns going down into and up out of Sand Canyon. Then we found out Rte 60 was shut down because of the big fires in Arizona. I had to decide whether to make a big detour in order to visit Doc Shillington. Decided it was worth it, so we drove north, then east, and then back down to Rte 60 and east to Datil.
Doc met us and had us leave our truck by the Freeway. He then drove us to his place. He has purchased 5 acres with a house. He’s handled the water problem six ways. Showed me his green house; also the underground shelter he’s building. He thinks problems could arrive as soon as August or September—solar system stuff, as well as economic collapse. He gave me some names of others doing sustainable living, but there are very few in the U.S. I want to help network and get more people going on it.
Left after a couple of hours visit and got to April Fletcher’s in Tijeras, NM, around 10:30. Went right to bed.
Mon-Weds. 6/13-15: In the morning we walked around her 10-acre property where they are thinning the forest. She has data about toxins and pesticides (her field). Differentiated between “organic farming” and “sustainable farming.” More to learn!
Got on Interstate 40 and headed east. I drove for a couple of hours. No leg pain, but the seatbelt cuts across my throat. Hard to keep it down to 55 mph.
Crossed north Texas and headed to Oklahoma. Dave got tired before we got to Oklahoma City, so we got off the interstate in El Reno and looked for a motel. Drove way out of the way, meandered through the city, and no motel! Finally gave up and got back on the interstate. THEN saw a motel! Oi vey! Kept going to Okla City, and stopped at the first motel. Full. 2nd one. Full. 3rd one. Full. I felt like Mary—no room at the inn. I asked why, and they said “Summer.” Summer? Sounds weird to a Californian. Anyway, we finally found a room in the Clarion. Took some doing to get the truck parked. Got to bed at 1:30.
Took off Tues morning with the goal to get to Jane’s before midnight. I did another 2 hour stint behind the wheel. Rolled through Joplin (saw one house damaged by the tornado) and St. Louis. Had dinner south of Effingham. Made it to Jane’s 2 minutes before midnight! Went right to bed.
Was awakened Weds morning at 6 by a thunderstorm! Welcome to Illinois. Fortunately, it let up, so we rolled the Mazda off the car trailer. Felt so good to drive my car! Went first to U-Haul to turn in the car trailer. Asked them where to find day laborers to unload the truck. They didn’t have any there! Suggested Home Depot. None there either. They suggested Lowe’s, but none there either. So I started stopping customers going in and out of the store. No one knew anyone who wasn’t working (I thought there were a lot of people unemployed…). Finally, someone said to call Manpower. That wasn’t appropriate, so they suggested Labor Ready. They were also an overkill. I told the lady I was about to cry, and she suggested The Time Center on Market and Washington—a homeless shelter. Found two guys—Joe and Roger, and off we went to National Mini Warehouse on Anthony near Lincoln in Urbana.
We went to work and unloaded the truck. It was challenging because I had to figure out what to put where so Jane and I could get to what we need to get to. Then to U-Haul to return the truck. Had to go get gas. It POURED down rain, then the sun came out. Drove Dave to the bus station and bought him a ticket to Chicago. I then went back to the storage unit and figured out what I needed to take to Jane’s. Trashed her house with all my boxes and stuff. She’s being wonderfully tolerant.
To wrap up, as of 6-21, I’ve found where to shop for organic produce, had the first meeting with my new attorney regarding the legal cycles, met with a neighbor who knows a lot about gardening and sustainable living, started my list of Midwest people, and am working on my business as well as backlogs. AND just lived through my first tornado warning!
Love to all, Marcia (818) 552-2211