Onward and Upward

After a lot of deliberation and phone calls, we've decided to rent a U-Haul truck and drive home to New Jersey. We can't get a standard rental car because 1) Sarah isn't driving since she just got in an accident and 2) I'm under 21. The U-Haul gives us plenty of space (a 14 foot truck is the smallest vehicle they had available...), and has no age restriction. We get 6 days and about 1500 miles to get from Hot Springs, AR, to Morristown, NJ, which provides some leeway -- we're not getting down to New Orleans, or out to the coast, as we had planned, but we are going to wrap through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and up the Eastern states. We'll be driving about five hours a day, but still doing our project each afternoon.

The car is still in a garage in Hot Springs. The claims representative should be there in the next couple days to decide if it's totaled, or if it will be repaired and hopefully my dad and I will come get it and drive it home in a couple weeks.

We've been staying with Tom and Becky, incredibly generous hosts who contacted us after our CouchSurfing host in Fayetteville made some phone calls. In other words, they were complete strangers who reached out to us when we were actually in need of help. We have one last night here tonight before picking up the truck tomorrow morning.

The bright side is that we can continue making the project, if only for six more days, cutting the trip down to a total of 47 days instead of 60. Thank you so much to everyone's help -- we called dozens of people when we initially thought we might hop from planned stranger to planned stranger, and received a ton of help and contacts through Tennessee, Kentucky, and beyond. Ultimately, renting the truck was the quickest and most practical solution, but we will not forget the incredible responses and help we received.

The accident gets wrapped up. It occurred precisely where the center of Bear, Arkansas is, according to the directions: the intersection of Brady Mountain Road and Owl Creek Road. Hard to see the damage on our vehicle; and the other car is hiding behind the Sheriff's car. But it's in the movie.

And soon, we'll have a post to catch up on Day 38 in Oklahoma, plus some of the pictures from the last couple weeks -- the Grand Canyon, the glow-stick-trick, and the Hateful Hussy.