Hey everyone! THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR US!!! WE NEEDED IT! We are probably the only ones that can turn a 20 hour trip into a 35 hour trip.
But hey, we have a few great adventure stories to tell. The trip began with a delay in getting off. Eric had packed the trailer two days before the trip but the van had to be packed the morning of (as well as all the other to do's to get away). This delayed us in leaving. We then hit bad road work that added a few hours to the trip. By this point, we canceled our hotel reservation because we knew we wouldn't make it before 2 am so we decided to stop for resting and keep on. By the time we got to Santa Rosa, La Pampa, we gassed up and drove on to General Acha (90 km) and took an hour to rest before heading into the "ruta del desierto."
We started up again and stopped twice to get gas at the two little towns right before entering the long ruta but they were both closed. We figured that with over 3/4 tank of gas, we'd have sufficient to get us through but because of the trailer and extra weight of luggage, we ran out 50 km from the gas station. We tried to flag people down, we tried using the SOS pole (right next to our car) but it didn't work, so we took turns sleeping during our 4 hour wait and enjoyed the beautiful stars and meteors we saw. Hey, with plenty of water, food, and a 'porta-potty' who can complain!?? :o) A gas truck did stop and siphoned out some gas, which he gave us. He wouldn't let us pay him; he was a very nice Correntino. Eric was able to share a little with him and ask God to bless him.
We drove behind him and 10 km from the station, we ran out again! Another gas truck stopped and gave us more. Pulling into the gas station Eric noticed the radiator gauge showing overheating (it hadn't done that on all the trip), then it dropped to cold really fast. He wondered if the gauge was going out (since it did this a couple of weeks ago) but after we rested a bit and the engine cooled off, he checked the water (and coolant) level and it was low. He had just had the cracked water resevoir replaced in B.A. and the hoses checked. Anyway, he filled it up again with water and coolant and bought more coolant and water to have in the car (more than we were already carrying). He was checking for leaks, etc. We decided to drive on to Neuquen and see how the temperature was going. We kept telling each other that in a few days, this will be really funny! (Are we having fun yet???) Anyway, the temperature was ok so we only stopped for gas in Neuquen ;o) and kept on going. Eric let me drive a few times (I had never driven with a trailer) but honestly, he did such a good job picking a trailer (to bring our luggage) and getting the hitch and all equipped that it was a smooth drive - trailer and all! However, once I began to see the hills and mountains up ahead, before Piedra del Aguila, I asked that he drive again! I am so proud of Eric, he is one amazing man (can I just brag like that for a minute?). Well there's more to the story but we won't bore you.
God is so good, we saw Him provide in specific ways through every challenge. We met many special people along the way and had great opportunities to give witness for Christ.
The kids did GREAT during the trip. They're just glad we're out of the car! We are so happy to be here. Eric will not be sharing tonight at the missions conference, but rather will share with the group tomorrow night so this will allow him to catch up a little on sleep.
Our special thanks to Grady and Claire for holding the ropes for us and for keeping the bunch up to speed on our wanderings.
Kristi (for the Stanton clan)