A Memorable Trip Across the Desert~Part 2

30 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


So we headed down the road, as fast as the old flathead “V8” would take the Mercury, and safely pull the trailer, all the time watching the temperature gage closely. If we didn’t come to a “Trading Post/Filling Station” before the temperature gage reached “Hot”, we would pull over and pour the two bags of water into the radiator and take off again. Somehow, we managed to limp from station to station, across the remaining (?) miles of desert and into Albuquerque the next afternoon. I didn’t have to worry about falling asleep at the wheel that night. Whew! Was that ever a stressful trip! Wouldn’t you know it, our friend Leon, thinking we would get into Albuquerque in plenty of time for some rest, had set us up to attend a New Year’s Eve party that evening. Remember, we had not had any sleep for over 30 hours. But, we got cleaned up, left the Mercury dripping in DiVoran’s folks’ driveway and went to the party in Leon’s can. DiVoran’s aunt commented as we walked out the door to our last party for a long time, “Oh, I’m so glad I’m not young anymore.” We managed to stay awake until midnight, and had a great time, but then we slept until almost noon before DiVoran’s dad, Ivan, woke us.



 That afternoon, after a diligent search for an open auto parts store, Ivan helped me replace the leaking water pump. We added antifreeze to the cooling system since the temperature was below freezing in Albuquerque at night. After I drove the Mercury around several blocks to make sure everything was working right, we discovered the antifreeze had eaten thru the seals in the second water pump, and we had to drain the system and replace that pump too. That finally took care of the water pump problem, and we installed the proper thermostats so DiVoran would have a working heater during the winter.



The rest of my leave was spent having a great visit with my folks, my aunt Jessie and Granny. DiVoran and I had a T-bone steak dinner with all the trimmings at our favorite “Mom & Pop “ restaurant down town, and a superb lobster dinner at our favorite seafood restaurant uptown in the Nob Hill area. When my leave was up, I said goodbye to friends and family, left DiVoran with her folks and took the train back to San Diego and my ship. That was a lonely trip, but as usual the U.S. Navy found lots of things to keep me busy for the next eight months.



When I look back at some of the things we did as “Young Adults”, it’s hard to believe we had the nerve to strike out on adventures like that, thinking nothing of the possible challenges we might come up against. Oh well, that was back when we were all young and indestructible. Remember those times? Back in the “Good Old Days?”


6 Responses to “A Memorable Trip Across the Desert~Part 2”

  1. Louise Gib son April 30, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Ah, yes, the “Good ol’ days” My Air Force husband was assigned to attend a 3-month class at a petrolum school in Tillamook, Oregon (a 3-day car trip, stopping only for gas and coffee. We packed our station wagon with clothes, etc.on top of which was a play pen that served as a bed for our 6-month old baby daughter.) We didn’t want to be separated over the Christmas holiday season.
    H-mm, I could write a story about that adventure!


  2. skdarvesh April 30, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    You have a flair for writing. Awesome !!!
    I have also been to Rebekalyns website. It is very interesting and good 🙂


    • Bill April 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

      Louise, Thanks for the comment. By all means write that story.


    • Bill April 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

      Glad you liked the blog. Thanks for your comment.


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