A day earlier….
“I’m starting to fear for our safety, Eric. Some of our neighbors keep calling CPS and the cops on us for homeschooling the kids, our house gets egged, and someone keeps smearing dog or cat poop on our doors. Along with the graffiti on my car and neighbors who slam their doors every time they see us outside, this is the last straw for me. We should take up that offer to move to Wyoming,”
“I think you’re right, Karen. I was hoping that things might get better. It’ll probably take us a week or more to get there if we go by the back roads. Selling the house and moving all of our stuff would take too long, so maybe we should take only essentials, like food and our camping gear,”
“You want us to camp on our way there?”
“Renting hotel rooms would cause too many questions. If we eat at a fast food joint, or buy anything, I’ll pay in cash. We don’t want the TSA to find out where we’re going,”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right, dear. What should we tell the kids?” asked Karen, as she ran her fingers through her hair.
“Tell them exactly what we’re going to do. They’ll understand. Let’s go talk to them about it.”
Their four children were summoned to come to the kitchen table to discuss with their parents what the family was going to be doing. After listening to what his parents wanted to discuss, Nathan, who was the oldest, asked, “What about our friends? Shouldn’t the Tyler’s come with us?”
“They can’t. They have a responsibility to the older members of the congregation to watch out for them, but when I go inform the Pastor about what we’re doing, I’ll ask again. I’m pretty sure it’ll only be us though. Besides, you can make new friends in Wyoming,” answered Eric.
“I guess.” Nathan shrugged his shoulders.
“Here, we have a map of the roads we’re going to travel on,” Eric laid out a map of Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming, “we’ll be going through the Indian Reservations here in Arizona because the TSA doesn’t have jurisdiction there. If we can find out the places to drive through in Utah without being harassed by the TSA, we should make it. We’ll be camping out the whole way, so bring warm clothes and all of your blankets. Everyone understand?”
“Yes, Dad,” the four answered.
“We’re also leaving all electronics here. We don’t want to be tracked. So no cell phones, tablets, iPads, or portable games. Where we’re going will be pretty much off of the grid.” the kids began whining about how that wasn’t fair. “Enough. That decision is final. Ok, get to work packing the essentials; we’ll be leaving in the morning.”
The family spent the next four hours packing their warm clothes, blankets, camping gear, and getting it into their Suburban. The next morning, Karen asked her husband shortly before they left the house, “Do you think we should lock the doors to the house?”
He thought about it for a few minutes before answering, “Probably not. I don’t think we’re coming back, so we don’t need any of that stuff. If anyone is that desperate for a newer TV, mattresses, washer and dryer, and all of that other stuff, then they’re welcome to it. Come on, let’s go.”
Before leaving the driveway for the church, Eric said, “Let’s pray. Dear Heavenly Father, please guide us on this journey. Help us to avoid being seen by government forces. Please help those who aren’t able to make this journey, and please protect them. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Once Eric got back into the Suburban after talking to Pastor Tyler, he asked, “So, where to next?”
Karen looked at the map and said, “Ok. Our route will have us driving up State Highway 77 through Globe, Show Low, and then to Holbrook. Once in Holbrook, we’ll have to travel on or next to I-40 for a few miles, then we’ll turn off again onto 77, which looks like a farm-to-market road on the map. I have us going through Chinle, which is just outside of Canyon De Chelly, and we’ll camp out for the night. Since we have four wheel drive, we can get off the main road to do that,”
“Sounds like a plan. Before I drive away, does anyone need to use the restroom?” Nobody said they did. “Good, because we’ll be in this car for at least two hours before we reach Globe.” Eric put the Suburban into gear and began driving north.
A day earlier….