With the adrenaline pumping from arriving to my old hometown, we unloaded and washed the S-10 one last time, cleaned up the Ford Super Duty, and checked into a hotel less than three blocks from the house I grew up in. Early the next morning provided us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My family and friends had no idea I was coming back home for an impromptu visit and the look on my mom's face when she saw her only son standing in front of his pride and joy in her office's parking lot was a sight I will never forget. The surprises continued as I went and saw my friends and family while being able to hand deliver my truck to its proud new owner. Next, Allan and I went over the truck with a fine-tooth comb. After eating some of my mom's fried food, taking a ride in a 9-second street Mustang, and racking up some road kill, the empty trailer was hitched up and we were driving North to Atlanta for another project.
Negotiations on the rusted but running '63 F-100 went quickly, and after cash and keys were exchanged, 44 years of American steel was loaded up and California was in our sights. Another marathon drive saw us pull over in Marshall, Texas, as we made it through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana after taking the I-20 across and down to the I-10. Mile after sleepy mile was kept entertaining by blasting tunes from our iPod, thanks to the auxiliary input in the Ford's head unit. Somewhere in Texas we ran into our only real problem. Air conditioning was a luxury we had taken for granted as the Super Duty, with less than 10,000 miles on the odometer, suddenly began to blow warm air. After saying some expletives, we rolled the windows down and got a blast of fresh desert air. New Mexico gave way to Arizona, which meant crossing the Colorado River was our next landmark. Arriving in Orange County early Sunday morning, we had made it across country and back safely. Thank the Lord. Sunshine and zero humidity never felt so amazing.
Unloading the '63 and driving it to its temporary parking spot was a feeling of relief and excitement. Back in the Super Duty, we gave the dash a little tap and said thanks for the memories. Tired yet elated, Harley and I drove to our separate homes with plenty of stories and new memories that will, in fact, last us a lifetime. Special thanks to Harley for helping me to make this trip a reality.