Saturday, June 9th, 2012
Nola – Dallas/Fort Worth

So. We’ve decided to add our Cross Country 2012 trek to the Shunpike Expedition.
Final destination: Couer D’alene Idaho.
We have two new travelers this year:
Rivers Gleason, age 7.5 month and Blair Casey, Gleason Family G.M.

We were scheduled to leave on June 5th – but due to an ankle staff infection on Steve, croup and ear infections on Rivers and Strep throat on Michel – Friday June 9th was our day of departure.

We’re driving the MV-1 with a tiny Uhaul attached.

After lots of help from friends, fam, and mostly my parents, we said our goodbyes and rolled out, approx 12pm.



We had no idea what route we were gonna take until we drove away.
We decided Dallas as we approached the interstate.

First stop… Krotz Springs, Cajun Cafe.


Here, we ate boudin balls, meat pies, cracklins. Very HOT.
Good – but doesn’t compare to the Jazz Fest.

Rivers’ new trick.. He sits on his dads lap and reaches for things on the table. Today, he couldn’t reach so he grabbed Steve’s joystick on the wheelchair and rammed them into the table. No one was hurt. It was awesome.

Next stop – fuel up at Shreveport.


Dallas hotels were sold out for some country band in town plus a republican convention.
So – Blair drove his 10th straight hour to Fort Worth.

As we pulled into the last gas station for the night we saw 3 guys riding horses, two chasing after the other one, on the interstate…
Thinking we were probably in a rough neighborhood we drove past a couple of fellas that threw a gang sign to Blair, followed by the fact that there were seven bail bond shops on a street somewhat close to our hotel, we thought it best to get a lock to attach our trailer to the car, so we spent the next hour driving through neighborhoods with all Spanish billboards and signs.


We finally found a truck stop and walked in to a guy sleeping at the counter. We said “hi.” Nothing. We said “Bobby?”. Nothing. Blair yelled “BOBBY!” He woke up, his hands immediately going in his pants, and he directed us to the locks.

We pulled up to our hotel around midnight and there were two guides on horse and buggies riding down our street.

Fort Worth is interesting.

We were all ready for bed after a long, eventful day. Especially Blair.

*** this journey is in memory and honor of Maelan Elizabeth Graffagnini, our little angel watching over us all. ***