You hit it out of the park and claim that home run!
Today’s adventures started last night about 10:30. We gathered with a group of top notch students and boarded a nice comfy chartered bus & set out in an adventure to bring home some National JROTC trophies!
We said our goodbyes and made sure we all had our students accounted for and off we went for a nice comfy night on the ole bus…
Or so we thought…
Then life threw us a curve ball and caught us totally off guard. 30 miles outside of town our charter bus decided to die & shut itself off as we traveled down one of the busiest interstates in the country. We safely pulled off the road & onto the shoulder.
My “bus” hat immediately went on and I couldn’t help but add stuff our “green” driver forgot. Little things like flashers on when he got off on the shoulder and departed to the outside back of the bus to see what happened (engines are in the rear of the bus on these beasts). Then after a bit returned to say we were going to pray it started again and got it up the next exit where there was a big truck stop and hopefully a mechanic on duty. He had just added about 2 gallons of antifreeze to the bus and we were hoping that’s all this was. Prayers worked and we made it fine to the truck stop.
The other teacher and I got off to see what the issues were with the driver and see if we could help him do anything. He said he was going to try to go purchase another two gallons of antifreeze as it lost the two gallons he’d just put in less than a mile back… again my bus driver/supervisor head jumps into high gear. I could tell this “kid driver” was trying hard but wasn’t sure what he was doing. So, teacher and I decided to dig in with our flashlight and look for any and all the leaks &/or wet spots we could find on the engine or around the antifreeze/radiator reservoir. We helped him add his water now to the reservoir and stayed back by the engine as he restarted the bus.
Almost immediately we spotted a leak on one if they seals right under the reservoir… then we looked under the bus… can you guess what was going on here?
Yeah… we found the leak, or rather open drain! So kid driver calls the mechanic and his boss back and explains what we found (mind you it’s now 12:15-12:30 at least).
Boss man and mechanic agree they need to find a local mechanic to run up from Spfld and check it out. Teacher and I both say, New bus please. Kid driver sends our request to the Boss man. But he insists a mechanic needs to fix it first?
So… here we sit while an hour later a mechanic shows up. Fixes the clamp. But not the dumping issue. He states it needs towed for that and off he goes. 🤔😳 So here we sit again. Now 1:30am. We set into logistic mode and decide how this is going to work so we don’t loose anymore time here.
Finally about 2:30 Boss man locates a friend company out of Branson who can gave us a sub bus and driver to get us to St. Louis where his company’s bus and driver can grab us and we can continue on to our next driver switch in Kentucky. (P.S. this was our idea… boss man wanted us to wait another 4 hours for his bus to come get us…um NO – we have timelines here we HAVE to meet!). Well about 3:40 we start wondering where our “Branson” bus is. It shouldn’t take him that long to get here! So kid driver calls the Branson driver to find out an updated ETA. Oh he’s from Joplin and is still over an hour away. 😳. (Have you ever seen a tired momma/driver & a tired Master Sergeant that’s been up for over 24 hours be told that they are now 6 hours behind schedule?! – it’s not pretty!!!)
5 am comes and we are whisked away on sub bus. Driver is Awesome and has driven for music star after music star. He’s a hoot and does all he can to turn our mess into a masterpiece. 👏.
We make it to St Louis in record time and all enjoy our 2.5 hour nap!
Now we have safely made it to our third bus and driver. We are about to meet our fourth and final driver for this leg of our travels.
HOME RUN YOU ARE OURS!
Ozark Tiger Battalion Teachers & Parents, you have raised and taught an amazing group of kiddos! They are troopers like I have never seen or met before. Not a one of them has complained or grumbled. They have rolled with the punches of switching luggage to three different buses and eating meals and snacks at all the wrong places and times. Ozark you ROCK!
Now let’s go get those medals you deserve!!!!!