Our time in Arkansas exceeded all expectations! Quality family time with tons of fun, and help with progress on the bus. Perfect! Here’s a wrap of some of the captured moments during our stay in Hot Springs!Now it’s time to drive the beauty to Oklahoma where there’ll be more family, fun and help!
The journey from Arkansas to our new home in Oklahoma is gaged at about 5 1/2 hours. Hahahahaha! That’s in a car, no baby and not one bathroom break… so you can imagine… we had a car with a baby and a momma who drinks a lot of water following a school bus that tops out at 60mph and drops to 15 on inclines. With all of this in mind, we estimated about 7 hours. Driving through the night is always best for Shanti so we chose to leave right after dinner so she could snooze the whole way.
And we’re off! (notice the hanging camper in the window? Thank you O’Bryans!)
In no time, we were 100 miles in and if had to guess, Shanti was peacefully dreaming of playing with her cousins and eating paper (her two most recent favorite things to do).
As the sun began to drop with Matt driving in front of me, we shared this beautiful sunset (via walkie-talkies).
About 150 miles from our new home, Matt mentioned the bus feeling different. We even pulled over to smell and look at the engine. With no apparent problems, we kept on trekking. About 15 miles after he checked it out we were climbing our way up a hill at a whopping 9 mph wondering if this was always going to be the case.
In what seemed to be a moment of seconds, I saw the bus leaving a trail of fluid and heard Matt over the walkie say, “Something’s not right, I’m losing all engine power“. By the time he pulled off onto the shoulder mid-hill (which you always try to avoid in a beast like that!) smoke was barreling out from under it. As my heart sank, I could hear Matts break when he informed me, “This isn’t good babe”.
So it’s in the middle of the night and we’re in between two tiny towns on a back woods highway. Matt quickly got on his phone to find a local tow-truck company that would be willing to attack this challenge. We were so lucky. Not only did he find a company, but the kind owner also owned a school bus and was eager to help!
Here’s a video of Matt attempting to move the bus across the street and into the opposite direction. The towing man suggested we do this since it’d be tricky to make a U-turn with the tow truck and the bus going up hill on a small highway.
Since moving forward clearly didn’t work, Matt put it in reverse to maneuver backward then to turn it down hill. Unfortunately the back wheels caught the lip of the shoulder and he was going nowhere except backwards farther into the ditch! As you can imagine, my stomach was at my feet watching helplessly from afar.
My job while cringing across the street? Keep Shanti safe, warm and peacefully sleeping during this unexpected event. Success!
While we were waiting for the tow, I pulled our car far off the shoulder (even more than the first picture shows) at an angle so I was in no position to be side swiped while aiming my headlights at the bus. This ensured that any vehicle rounding the corner would clearly see the brightly lit bus.
Within an hour the Mighty Mouse of Semi tow trucks showed up!
It was amazing how much power this monster showed when lifting us out and down to the rescue. I recorded it too!By the time we back tracked to the mechanics it was creeping its way to 2:30am. Of course they weren’t going to be open so we went for a cheap hotel, a rest and and early sunrise.￼
After a nap at Motel 6, we went for a morning bite while we patiently waited for the mechanics to open and take a look at the engine.
Happy baby loving on her daddy at breakfast!
The final verdict brought us gut twisting news… it’s the transmission. Anyone who knows about a busted transmission knows it’s no joke.
Look at our sick girl just sitting there waiting for her surgery.
A few nights in the bus hospital and she’s almost ready to come home!
Here’s Matts silent interpretation of the situation.
Next up, her homecoming and a new backyard!