September 13'th 2008 Hurricane Ike struck Houston Texas. A day or two before the expected landfall Directv made one of the Houston TV stations available nationwide. I think it might have been KHOU. Anyway, we were able to keep up with the storm from the safety of our San Jose, CA home. Since we still have a home in Houston and Cheryl's parents and one sister still live in Houston we were more then a little curious.
Cheryl stayed up Friday night watching the coverage from the Houston station. I came downstairs about 2:00 AM and was watching for awhile. At one point I told Cheryl that it looked like we might need to go help her parents. As it turned out her parents were very lucky. They were in one of the very few parts of town that never lost power. But they did have a lot of yard and fence damage. Our house had some roof damage as well as yard and fence damage.
Cheryl's sister from San Antonio had driven in prior to the hurricane to be on hand to help the parents out. She stayed a week to help with the clean up. In the meantime we were making our plans to load up the truck and hit the road. Even armed with the knowledge that Cheryl's parents and our house had power, we knew most of Houston did not. We did not know if we would be able to get building supplies, food or gas once we go to the area. We knew we had to fix the roof and do a lot of yard work. So we packed the truck with a chain saw borrowed from my father, roofing shingles and a few cans of gas as well and enough food and water to last a week in Houston.
We left for Houston the following Thursday (9/18/08). The plan was to
be in Houston on Saturday, one week after the hurricane and the day Cheryl's
sister had to head home. We managed to make the 700+ to Phoenix AZ the first night.
The plan was to make each days drive just a little shorter.
Friday we spent the day driving the 670 miles from Phoenix AZ to Fort Stockton TX. It was a nice drive.
Both Arizona and New Mexico have nice rest stops. The TomTom sat nav got us
around the morning commute traffic in Phoenix. Once we hit the Texas at El Paso
they had warnings up on the electronic traffic boards telling you NOT to travel
to the Houston area. We ran into the same warnings prior to getting to Fort
|Seen along I-10||Seen along I-10|
|Seen along I-10||The view from one of New Mexico rest stops|
|A bug on the bathroom wall at a Texas rest stop||A Texas rest stop|
|The first project was the back fence||The tree kept if from falling all the way over|
|A few landscaping timbers pushed it back up||Dug out for more cement to hold the posts|
|Next was the fence on the corner lot||The back corner section was broken|
|The problem was the bottom 2 by 4 had given way||The people from the church had fixed the part shared with them|
|We only had to fix this part||A new 2 by 4 and a few new fence boards|
|This part was as good as new||Damage at the rail yard about a block away|
|Missing shingles on the roof||Missing shingles on the roof|
|Missing shingles on the roof and the new shingles||This area was facing the wind and had a lot of damage|
|Tony the roofing repair guy||Tony the roofing repair guy|
|Tony the roofing repair guy||Joey is nice but not a lot of help|
|One of the larger branches that broke off||A lot of it was blown into this fence and damaged it|
|Another view of the fence after the clean up||All the yard waste moved onto the side of the street to be picked up later|
|The corner lot after clean up||The lots between homes after clean up|
|Street view of the yard clean up pile||Cheryl could lost inside this pile|
|We felt like we were driving in a Road Runner cartoon||I think you can see Willy E. Coyote on the top of the hill|
|More cool looking rock formations||Tony's guys were out working hard|
|I gotta go to the can. Man!||Still looking for that road runner|
|Not a place you would want to have car problems||Hate to have to walk to the next gas station|
|About 2 hours south of Buttonwillow CA, Splat on the antenna||Stopped in Buttonwillow and it was still on the antenna|
Over all we put over 3800 miles on the truck during this trip. We got over 25 MPG coming home. Going out to Houston we got between 21-23 MPG. I think the difference was the amount of weight we were hauling. We were also pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the ride was.