Amarillo, TX

After a third meal with Jan and Dave, we hit the road. We spent the whole day driving and arrived at a KOA in Amarillo, TX around 10pm. After filling out the late night registration, we jumped into our car to drive to our campsite, but the car wouldn’t budge. It down right refused to shift into drive. Carsten, Nalani and I each took a turn in the driver’s seat, hoping that one of us would have the magic touch. No such luck. Our campsite was just around the corner, so we pushed it to the campsite. Too tired to bother with the tents, we pulled out our sleeping bags and fell asleep almost immediately. Tomorrow we would deal with the dead car.

I woke up early and jumped into my car first thing, hoping that it would miraculously work. It was probably just tired last night, right? Unfortunately, it still refused to shift into drive. I relented and called AAA.

We once again spent an afternoon in a Toyota dealership over-caffeinating on free coffee and eating free food. Blogging, playing scotland yard and perusing the newer priuses that might function better than mine kept us reasonably entertained most of the day.

Around 5pm it became clear that our car was not going to be fixed that day. The next day was Sunday, so the dealership would be closed. Looked like we would be here until at least Monday. We got a ride for the three of us and our bikes to a nearby motel.

The next morning we all decided that Nalani should take the Greyhound home. She had Birdsell business that she was eager to take care of, whereas Carsten and I had nothing in particular that we needed to do in South Bend. We were sad to split up though. The three of us were now accustomed to all being together.

In the end we were stuck in Amarillo for five days. Carsten and I had a surprisingly nice time. We found a pleasant routine. We would wake up and eat our motel’s breakfast of scrambled eggs and salsa. Then we would spend a few hours doing computer work, before biking to the gym for some weightlifting or to the park to play frisbee. We also biked to the Toyota dealership daily to gently remind them of our existence. In the evenings we watched TV.

Our time in Amarillo gave Carsten and I both time to prepare to return to Indiana. Our lives are both more in transition than Nalani’s. We spent a lot of time discussing what we each want to do next year and for the rest of our lives. We served as each other’s life and career coaches.

On Wednesday, the Toyota dealership finally contacted us that we could pick up our car. The bad news was that they still had no idea what was wrong with it. But they had once again “cleared the codes” and test driven it. Everything appeared to be functioning for now. This dealership, however, unlike the one in Yuma didn’t charge us anything for looking at our car, which we appreciated.

We hit the road and drove late into the night until we hit St. Louis where we would spend the next two days college visiting at Wash U. Carsten only has a few more weeks to make his college decision.


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