We hit the road Saturday morning so Chris and I could bring home something I looked 3 years for and then had to wait over a year to pick up!
My aunt and uncle took the kids for a long weekend to allow us to prep for our big trip! It looks like they’re having a great time as usual.
While I was at Day Camp and the Back Handspring Clinic all day Friday, Chris picked up the trailer after quite the ordeal trying to get my car lights to work. Whew! One obstacle down. Stephanie helped me after the clinic so our space was ready for the equipment.
On Saturday morning, we headed out for a long drive. We crossed Mississippi and then Arkansas
before finally reaching Oklahoma while we still had a little daylight left. Pulling a trailer sure adds to our time on the road and sucks the gas right out of the car.
Along the way, we passed these 2 friendly travelers at least 3 times! And there were a couple others we tagged back and forth with as well.
I saw several interesting things along the way, but my photographer was resting his eyes. 😂
Alas, we arrived after 11 hours of driving! But first, I have to tell you about how this came to be.
I was expecting a very rainy drive to Arkansas on my solo trip to pick up our vaulting table I had been searching for for over two years. I had my fingers crossed that we could shove it into my Nissan Pathfinder so I didn’t have to pull a trailer. 😂
The day was March 13, 2020. It was Friday the 13th AND a full moon. I had a route and set out with my mapping app leading the way. When I got north of Birmingham, it went haywire rerouting me every other minute for about 15 minutes. It was a rough start! But, once I was headed west, all was fine. I listened to the radio and tried to take deep breaths as the world around us was in complete panic as the coronavirus started spreading through the U.S.
While up around the Tennessee area, news broke that the first Alabama case of COVID-19 had been identified in Montgomery, Alabama, after multiple speculations in several other cities around our state.
My phone starts blowing up with family and friends giving me updates and sending me warnings and advisories.
The radio stations were saying, “Don’t touch anything others have touched. Don’t breathe air anyone else has breathed. Stay home if at all possible.” It went on and on and here I am on the road far from home. I took precautions where I could and continued to my destination.
There I met a kind married couple who graciously helped me strategically mastermind the vaulting table into my little car. It was raining on us, but we managed to close all the doors. Hooray!
It was then I found out he actually had more equipment that I needed, but the coronavirus put everything on hold. He kindly held onto that equipment and I checked in regularly to make sure he still had it.
After over a year of waiting and a couple date changes, the day finally was upon us!
We arrive and the man says, “I hope we’re not putting these in your car again.” I burst out laughing based on last year’s strategic experience and knowing this equipment is 11.5 feet long. 🤣
We headed inside to look over the equipment and then get it loaded. I wanted to hold my breath as I said, “We should have 2 inches to spare.” And thank goodness we did!
After a short visit and 11 hours driving, we hopped in the car and started back. Around 13 hours on the road, we were ready to stop for the night, but all the hotels were sold out, so we kept driving another 2 hours until we finally found a vacancy. At 15 hours of driving and 11:30 at night, we headed to bed.
In the morning when the alarm sounded, we were eager to get home but much less enthusiastic to hit the road, however we pushed through. As we rolled up the on ramp to the interstate, I said, “Bumpity bump. Yankity yank. Here we go again.” The trailer bounced terribly on any uneven or sectioned road including every bridge. It was exhausting! One by one, we drove through each state counting down our miles to go.
When we reached Birmingham, home was on the horizon! Yay!
And then we arrived at the gym where we unloaded the parallel bars! Happy Dance!
We have some adjustments to make before they are all set up and ready to use, but I am thrilled to finally have them! This is a men’s gymnastics event but a very versatile set. Everyone in the gym benefits from them. We’ll use them for a variety of bar drills and skills, strength training, obstacle courses, games and challenges, and much more.
The boys’ equipment is coming along! We actually have additional equipment from this trip that we’ll be putting out pretty soon, so I’ll give an update when it’s closer to ready, but for now I’m very grateful to provide this amazing piece of equipment not only to all our boys, but also to every gymnast in our gym! I can’t wait to use it! And I bet Mr. Jacob will be thrilled too!
Have a great and successful day!
Sara Beth Gilbert