By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 6/17/2019
Occurred: 2/2/2017
Topics/Keywords: #Arizona #Cross-Country #FortStockton #NewMexico #Texas #Travel Page Views: 1002
Photos from the first day of John's and my cross-country trip.
Map of our first day's drive.

So Jenny decided she wanted her boat, which was at her home in Chandler, to be brought down to her new home in Key West. Such a shipping assignment would have been horribly expensive (even for someone who owns a boat). Fortunately, her brother, John, and I were available to take on the task.

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John Cilwa

The truck itself was, essentially, empty. After researching, John found that this was the minimum-sized truck that could safely tow the boat.

John Cilwa

Jenny did decide on a few things, mostly favorite toys of her babies, to be taken along. Also, John and I kept our gym bags with changes of clothes in the back.

John Cilwa
John Cilwa

John took first shift.

John Cilwa

I drove truck in 2001-2002, so pulling into a Loves' truck stop was like visiting an old friend. Besides, only truck stops could guarantee turnaround space for our towing combo.

John Cilwa

In truck drivin' school they taught us to look at the side mirrors every few seconds—a habit into which I easily returned.

John Cilwa

"There but for the grace of God go I…" When John and I spotted this accident, the first thing John gasped was, "I hope the horses are all right!"

John Cilwa

I told John that, since I had made this trip so many times before, I probably wouldn't be taking many new photos. After all, after awhile they all start looking the same. But that didn't stop my son from clicking away (through the less-than-pristine U-Haul window, to my horror) and getting in a few nice shots.

John Cilwa

Texas Canyon, location of a rest area on I-10 eastbound and a landmark indicating the imminent departure from Arizona into New Mexico, is always a friendly marker of a road trip's progress. We didn't, in fact, stop there this time but it's still nice to see.

John Cilwa
John Cilwa
John Cilwa
John Cilwa

Rest stops in the Southwest post friendly reminders for the softies visiting from the East.

John Cilwa

The San Simon I-10 EB Rest Area is one of the prettier ones and the last in Arizona.

John and I swapped places for the drive across New Mexico.

John Cilwa
John Cilwa
John Cilwa
John Cilwa

Sunset was pretty spectacular, something we almost—but not quite—get used to, out here.

John Cilwa

But that didn't stop us from driving, for we wanted to get into Texas if possible. And we did, not stopping until we reached Stockton, Texas.

John Cilwa

The day's total: 646 miles.

But the fun wasn't completely over, as the Super 8's parking lot was already filled with semis and cars, and I found myself trying to drag the boat between two closely-parked big rigs. I had less than 2 inches clearance on either side, but I was very proud that after 15 years of not driving truck, I hadn't lost my knack for maneuvering in tight places. Not a scratch!