Blogapalooza Fun

It is Blogapalooza Day here at Rare Rocks! This is Angela’s blog party at Just Go! On her blog you’ll find the other partipants in this cyber party. The party game is simple: “Tell us the story of your strangest or scariest trip ever.” (The picture of Claire is so other Blogapalooza-ers can find the right post – mine is a picture of a pumpkin carrying a pumpkin! Look at little Claire!)

My strangest or scariest trip started out just fine. Not normal, mind you, but fine. I believe youth group leaders are some of the craziest people in the world, and mine were no excpetion. (I loved them of course. But, now, looking back, I can see they are a crazy genre of people.)  Our trip was a weekend excursion to Mexico. (Only without airlines or beaches.) We were going to make the nearly 27 hour drive to Monterey, Mexico, and be home by Monday. Crazy, I tell you.

But as youth group trips go, the trip is fairly uneventul on the way down. As a high school senior, I am excited about doing something (anything) adventerous and out of the ordinary. I even get to take a shift driving one of the vehicles for a middle of the night shift! (Did I mention the C-R-A-Z-Y?)

Our destination is a beautiful Bible College campus in Mexico. Once there, we spent nearly two days soaking in the humble hospitality and being reminded of the blessings we take for granted in middle America. We learned to speak what Brother Andrew calls the language of Agape by using Scripture verses to communicate our new found brotherly love between friends who don’t share a spoken language. I rolled out my first real tortilla in their dormitory kitchen and ate real tacos at a roadside cafe.

The trip home is where this story takes its strange and scary turn. Of course we’re exhausted. Of course we’re driving through thunderstorms. Of course half of our travelers battle digestive issues associated with out-of-country travel and we are forced to pull over often and at less than desireable facilities. But it gets worse.

During the first few hours of that drive, we are scheduled to go through Waco, Texas. This is when David Koresh and his followers are under investigation by the U.S. government. (Now I know that Waco is a nice Texas town with plenty of good things going for it, but at that time I only knew of Waco as the place where that weird guy lives with a stockpile of guns.) I hate traveling in bad weather. I hate riding with people who are sick. Just when it seemed that nothing could be worse, someone notices a huge glow on the Waco horizon.

The Branch Davidian ranch we’d been hearing about in the news for several weeks is burning! CNN is broadcasting live the veiw we are seeing from our minivan windows. It is too much. A few people in our caravan mention historic event and we can always say we were here. I just want to be home RIGHT NOW!

And of course we made it home just fine. I can say I was there, but it really didn’t turn out to be the kind of thing that very many people remember. Still, for a girl who usually finds any kind of travel a joy, this one was ruined by that strange midnight drive in the glow of Waco’s infamous cult.

Happy blog-reading today, friends old and new! I hope you’ll come back sometime!



Filed under Fun, General

20 responses to “Blogapalooza Fun

  1. Wow- that experience would have left me with a sick and scared feeling. I don’t blame you for just wanting to be home NOW.

    Thanks for the story.

  2. Oh my gosh, I had totally forgotten this happened to you. It’s so eerie! And therefore an excellent submission to this palooza. I didn’t play, because I could only think of metaphorical journeys that have been strange, and that didn’t seem quite in keeping. Definitely not Waco-worthy. I love paloozas though, and I hope tons more wonderful people find wonderful you because of it.

  3. Lori Gilliland

    I remember this. You forgot to mention that while you were driving, the radio was announcing counties under tornado warnings all around us and we had no idea where we were. I was never so glad to get home. I think I took something to make me sleep the rest of the way home. You’re right. That was a pretty scary experience. What memories!

  4. Lori! The tornado warnings – of course! I knew for some reason the weather was totally freaking me out – of course it was that. I’m so glad you posted as a real live participant in the drama. Ha! Good times.

  5. Ohhh that must have been awful! Love your little princess and pumpkin…

  6. How scary! I’ve been on a few church mission trips like that myself — but never with that kind of ending. Thanks for participating in Blogapalooza!

  7. Wow! That must have been awful. Makes you glad to get home though.

  8. I can honestly say I haven’t thought about David Koresh in quite some time…very scary story!

  9. Kathy Nickerson

    And your parents WANTED you home!!! (Yes, I’m still shouting at the memory.)

  10. Very scary story, for a bunch of teenagers especially. Glad you made it home ok.

  11. You do have a cute lil pumpkin!

    I would have wanted to get out of Dodge immediately too!

  12. Adrienne

    First, that is one adorable pumpkin with a pumpkin! And that is an amazing story – the odds of being there at that exact moment…

  13. Caroline

    Hmm…. what is it about Texas, mission trips and scary experiences?
    Spring Break, 1988. We were traveling through Austin on our way to Mexico and had vehicle trouble. Long story short: 50 college kids, all on the side of the freeway (who wants to stay on the bus, right?), and we witness a high speed police car chase gone horribly wrong. Bad guy is being followed by a string of cops, flys off side of road and down embankment. First cop car does same. The others manage to stop, and proceed to jump and run, all with guns drawn of course.
    Kicker- do we all run for cover? Of course not! We gawk, we take pictures and act like general idiots until the adults (Did I mention I was in college, which technically means I was an adult) made us get back on the bus. Oh,brother…………

  14. Church mission trips are always memorable. I drove from Wisconsin to Juarez… we slept on the bus and stopped for food.

    I also love road trips. It really brings people together.

  15. Brenda

    OMG! This could be why I don’t travel much…one – I get lost backing out of my driveway and two – this is just the kind of thing that would happen…Grin…

    Glad all worked out for ya…

  16. Cheri White

    Sounds very scary to me! What timing you all had that night! I probably would have done what Lori did . . . escape into the sweetness of sleep. So glad you arrived safely home!

  17. i don’t blame you one bit. YIKES!

  18. Oh my goodness! Scary! That really is frightening!

    Church trips are some of my most fun/weird/meaningful travel memories. Now that my older kids are teens, I love listening to their youth group stories!

  19. JES

    What a great story to be able to tell. Not that I know a lot of people all across the country, but I know NO ONE who’s got a story like this one!

  20. Sarah

    Hey Lic, I just found your blog!
    I remember this night. It is hilarious to look back now. Definitely Historic.

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