Monday, April 25, 2011

"We're Not in Kansas Anymore - ToTo!"

 On "Day Eight", we would drive from Concordia to Vermillion, SD for a quick overnight at a "Wally World" before continuing on with "Day Nine".  This is a new route for us and remained relatively uneventful as far as traveling goes for us.  We keep seeing the price of diesel creeping up from the $4 mark with the "talking heads" warning of $5 a gallon by Memorial Day.  Our one comfort in this is that we will long be at our destination by then (or so we hope!)
The real "drama" began on "Day Nine" as we watched the flood waters that are building up alongside the highways of North Dakota.  We are firmly reminded of the parallels of our journey with the Israelites as they found themselves traveling on dry ground through the midst of the towering waters of the sea.  

As we headed northward, each mile left us wondering when a sign like the one pictured here would appear and leave us with no way to go forward.  Our only reassurance that we would be able to continue on our journey was our faith in HIM to make a way for us. 

 We stopped to have lunch near the Park River.  I couldn't resist a picture of the picnic area or the pet area as our dog, Ariela, stared in puzzlement at the sound of frogs coming from all around us.  As to the pet area, I hope you're traveling with your goldfish!  Ariela has not been willing to show off her swimming skills for us yet. 
 Here a friendly trucker stopped by to give us a "heads-up" about conditions ahead.  The flood waters had overtaken the roads south of Winnipeg and we were facing a detour.  This was a slight matter of concern as our next fuel stop was scheduled for somewhere in the middle of the flood and the detour would force us to find another place to get fuel on the fly.  This can be a big concern at 54 feet and nearly 13 feet tall!  You can't just pull up to the pumps anywhere.  

Standing between us and a gas stop, however, we had yet to face the "dreaded border crossing" where the "agents of pharoahs" would do their best to make us feel like "criminals" or worse.  We'd done all that we could to prepare ourselves by reading all of the information on their websites and preparing all of our "required" paperwork well in advance.  

Those who had gone before us warned of lengthy searches and endless questions by hostile border officials.  We could only pray that we had everything in the right order.  It seems that whatever we had done to prepare would be "wrong" as those who "control" such matters can always find something to make a "point" about and would, if so inclined to do so.  

Our delay here lasted about 30-45 minutes and we were back on the road.  Finally, we had "crossed over" into what is for us, "the wilderness" and it is "the wilderness" that stands between us and our destination.  We have some grace here as the Canadians are far more friendly and hospitable than the people that the Israelites would encounter in their travels.  We found ourselves in need of help far quicker than we expected and the detour around Winnipeg turned into an unexpected blessing.  

The "umbilical cord" that connects our fifth wheel trailer to our pick-up was shredded at the plug.  How? Why? We have no idea to this day as to what happened to it.  It was fine at the border crossing and destroyed somewhere along the way to the "Wally World" in Winkler, Manitoba where we planned to stay the night.  This left us with no lights, signals or brakes on our trailer.  NOT GOOD!

A quick call to a "soon-to-close" RV dealer in the nearby town of Morden secured us an emergency repair by a willing volunteer from among their service techs.  He made the first repair of the cable but a further modification was in order as the cable was now too short because of the damage to stay plugged into it's socket.  We went back to "Wally World" for the night and reported back to the dealer in the morning to resolve this matter once and for all.  

As travelers, we find ourselves dependent at times on the kindness and mercies of strangers.  The Scriptures often warn of the consequences of doing harm to travelers and foreigners.  The Israelites are reminded that they also were once travelers and strangers in strange lands.  

"You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." Exodus 22:21 (NASB)

"You must not oppress foreigners. You know what it's like to be a foreigner, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt."                          Exodus 23:9 (NLT)

It is our prayer that those who honor these commandments will always be led to others who also keep them when they are traveling for it is a blessing to keep the commandments of our LORD.  We are grateful for the help that we received at Sun Valley RV in Morden and we find ourselves "back on the road again"!

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