Wow! Where to begin? We have begun our Eastern Odyssey which will take us to Elmira, New York by way of Michigan and Canada and on the way back to visit friends in Philly and Virginia. We are just at the beginning.
On just our second day out, the GPS was not corresponding correctly with the route that Jim has spent a lot of time creating for our travels. For some reason, or not, the route gets changed every time he tries to upload it to the GPS. GIVE US A BREAK GARMIN!
I started today off driving and all was going well until I took a turn onto Illinois 100 that the GPS directed me to do and all hell broke loose. As soon as I turned, Jim did not recognize the IL 100 turn (having spent hours designing the route) and we quickly determined that we had to turn around. Well. in a 40 foot bus, it’s just not that easy.
We found a place to back up and turn around that involved backing into a narrow gravel drive and re-routing to the opposite direction. It is very wet here in the midwest, compared to just a year ago when it was so dry that while we were camped in Boonville, we actually heard dead trees crashing to the ground. Now the fields are flooded and the farmers are probably wondering where all their seed money went and when it will actually quit raining,
For some reason, what should have been a fairly straightforward turnaround turned into a fiasco. Our Captain Ted hand signals turned into another language that neither of us could understand. Fortunately there was little traffic on the road while we tried to figure things out and we finally got successfully turned around, although it was not exactly pleasant.
Now that the GPS had screwed us up on our route, we happily resorted to maps where we discovered that we could easily re-route and go through Farmer City, Illinois, We have history there, in the form of Scott Whitehouse, who we remember fondly from our journey to the Studebaker National convention in 2007.
If you don’t feel like reading the link, Scott was highly instrumental in getting us going and back on the road in 2007. Not incidentally, he blessed our car with holy water from Lourdes. Needless to say, we were humbled and grateful and have always remembered him with great affection. Read the link.
So anyway, here we are in the same area and we decided to try to get in touch with Scott and see him as we passed through Farmer City. Approaching town, we were delighted to recognize his shop on the road we came in on and we stopped to try to get in touch with him. He is a busy guy, and he wasn’t at the shop but the pizza place next door had his number and we called him. The next thing we knew he was on his way over and we were reunited!
He kind of shook his head at the bus and came aboard and we talked for awhile. He remembered the blessing of the Studebaker (see the link) and at some point, asked if we would like him to bless the bus as well. We were delighted that he would go to the trouble and followed him to his church where he bestowed a heartfelt and very significant blessing on The Mighty Bus. I can’t remember everything he said, but mostly it was ” Dear Father, bless this bus. It is now a transportation of pleasure rather than work and keep everybody safe throughout its’ travels.”
Thank you, Deacon Scott.
Not only that, but we toured his beautiful church built in 1890 and he gave us a priceless artifact from the sacristy for the bus. We are delighted to have it on board and so grateful that we went through Farmer City again. Our mission of getting the bus to visit friends was totally solidified by this and we are renewed by his spirit.
Thank you, Scott. We will carry the spirit with us always and we will always love Farmer City.