Chapter Seven -- It’s Just a Bump in the Road.
After driving for four straight hours, Kevin decided that they needed to find a safe place and get out and stretch a bit. Tracey had fallen asleep for the past two hours, but now was awake once more and announcing that she was indeed hungry enough to eat a horse, not that she would…. but she was just that hungry and she REALLY needed to go “potty”. In the truck, Roni had come to the conclusion that she and back seats just did not get along real well even though she had rearranged the back seating area five times, she just could not stretch her legs out. So she was relieved when she saw that Kevin had put on his blinker.
Both vehicles pulled over to the side of the road. Erin was sleeping in her seat since Roni had just taken her out and changed her diaper and fed her a bottle.
Kevin was helping Tracey out of the jeep as Brock and Roni stepped up to the trailer on the back of the jeep.
“I think it’s time for some lunch” remarked Kevin as Tracey jumped up and down nodding her head and saying something about looking for a horse. Roni wasn’t quite sure what she was talking about but convinced her to come around to the back of the truck where Tracey told Roni of her need for a bathroom.
Roni spied some bushes off to the side of the road, grabbed a few Kleenex, and told the guys to keep an eye on Erin since she and Tracey had some business to attend to.
It didn’t take too long and they were back at the truck where, after washing their hands with some bottled water and a bar of soap, together they got some thick ham sandwiches made up and grabbed a big golden delicious apple for everyone, except Erin of course. They only had water to drink, but it managed to refresh them. As they munched on the apples; Roni, Brock and Kevin looked over one of the maps that was in the glove box of the truck. They had a map of Utah stretched out over the hood of the truck. Tracey had crawled in the truck and was in ‘her room’ looking at some picture books and sounding out words in them. It had took a bit of wiggling because Erin was right in front of the window but she managed without disturbing her baby sister.
“I’m sure glad that this isn’t summer time, that last stretch will be really hot in a couple more months” said Kevin.
“Are you having any trouble getting up these hills?” asked Brock.
“No, not yet anyways. What I’m worried about is getting more gas. We haven’t passed any cars at all for the past two hours. I figure we have enough in the cans to top the jeep and truck off and then we really need to find some more gas. I think we should go ahead and top the jeep off, but use the gas in the extra tank in the truck and save the cans for the jeep.”
“Good idea and since we decided to stay on the 6, there is a little Mom and Pop store just before we get to the next set of hills. I figure it’s about 20 more miles. And at the rate we are going, it will take us not quite an hour to get there. They have gas tanks and a small restaurant. When I would come this way, I would always stop and have a meal. They used to make a mean breakfast special that you could get any time of the day” said Roni. “I really think we should seriously consider stopping there and resting up somewhat. I am hoping that the owners are still around. But with how things are now, we may end up with nothing. I would be inclined to think they are so far out of the way that no one has bothered them, but after what happened with Tracey’s family; well, I am having my doubts.”
“I know the place you are talking about.” responded Brock. “I know the owners, they are Mike and Michelle Striker and I was hoping to check on them as we came through here anyways. But I think the smart thing to do would be to check the area out before we go in there blindly”
Roni volunteered to drive the jeep and go in alone first but both Brock and Kevin protested that it was too dangerous. Roni just stared at them and then calmly told them that the girls’ safety was most important and that she felt better knowing that they would be safe with the guys.
Just then Tracey came back up and announced that Erin had woken up and was needing to get out and stretch her legs too. Roni laughed and walked back to the truck and gathered Erin into her arms.
Brock was hit hard by the sight of Roni carrying Erin; somehow it shook him to his core. Roni seemed to glow with a deep, serene confidence that clearly showed she was indeed now Erin’s mom. He walked around the hood of the truck to Roni, gently lifted her chin up to face him with his fingers and ever so softly kissed her mouth.
Tracey broke the moment by giggling.
Brock and Roni pulled away from each other; slightly red, but both grinning widely. Kevin slapped his brother on the back and couldn’t help but say “If you’re done, we really need to figure out how to handle this little bump in the road.”