We made it! Today was a long day of traveling and trying our best to stay warm. I thought we had left the cold weather behind in Indiana…but it seems that we brought the cold weather along with us! Our group boarded our flight at 8:00 am and proceeded to hang out on the tarmac for over 2 hours until our plane was warm enough to take flight (it was too cold for the engines to start). According to local news back home, it was -11 degrees outside but felt like -29 degrees. After defrosting our plane, our group was able to make the first leg of our trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.
Unfortunately, because our flight was delayed our group had to book it to our next flight in another terminal so we wouldn’t miss it. After arriving in San Antonio and getting our rental van, our first stop was Torchy’s Tacos! I don’t know if it was a long day of traveling or having amazing tex-mex food again but those tacos hit the spot. After a quick lunch, our group made our way to Harlingen, Texas.
The ride to Harlingen was a long one (about 4 hours) but it went by fairly quickly. The drive was a bit unnerving because there is a stretch of highway that maybe had one or two small towns and a ‘no services for 60 miles’ sign posted along the side of the road. Upon arriving in Harlingen and checking into our hotel, we made a quick trip to our favorite grocery store: HEB. For dinner, our group got some tamales and then sat down to start our nightly ritual. As we sit here around the table, I know we are sharing a similar feeling of exhaustion from the long day of traveling. What makes this comical, is that this will be the LEAST tired we will feel during our time in Harlingen. I’m excited for what tomorrow brings and to finally get this field season started.
Texas raised, this cold weather is something I was hoping to leave behind in Indy for a while! Regardless, I’m sure I speak for the whole team when I say that the weather will not get us down. If Texas and Indy have anything in common it is the flakiness of the weather; warm one day, cold the next. According to the forecast, the temperatures during our time here will range between 30 and 75 degrees; luckily my boy scout days taught me to come prepared for anything.
As I type this blog post, our team is being debriefed on the situation here in Willacy county. While I am the rookie, this field season will be new to everyone as we are in a new county, on private property with potentially dramatically different soil than past seasons. The many unknowns that make this trip new and unnerving also make it exciting. Tomorrow morning we get to sleep in a bit as large power equipment prepares our site for us, a nice reprieve before our next eight days of early rising. Even so, only a few hours remain before our team is out in the field working tirelessly in the effort to bring peace to families of those lost to the harsh south Texas environment.