01.20.09

The Ocean Highway

Posted in Excerpts at 12:36 pm by admin

EXCERPT – Chapter Seven – THE OCEAN HIGHWAY

Drying Engine on Ocean Highway

Drying Engine on Ocean Highway

Aunt Martha’s two eldest sons and a friend of theirs insisted on accompanying us on the journey( to Florianopolis).  This made it possible to take both the truck and our own ‘39 Chevy.
Dorothy and I looked out our windows.  We’d entered a part of our journey when there was no passable road, and the only possible driving route was along the beach.  For the next one hundred miles we’d be doing ocean driving, just like the journey from Rio to Porto Alegre. Except this time there were oven more rivers and creeks flowing down the beach into the ocean, and the ocean was rough, crashing wave after wave onto the shore. All the while the rain came from the South, pelting almost sideways in the driving wind.  The waves were nearly impossible to dodge, and inevitably one finally crashed over the truck, killing the engine.
“Get out! Dad yelled.  “We’ve got to unload the truck!”
Much later, my father sent a letter to his brother, describing the scene.  “You should have seen it,” he wrote.  “Marguerite, Dorothy, and Gracie barefooted, carrying suitcases up on higher ground.  The trunks, the refrigerator, everything had to be carried and rolled away in what seemed to be no time.   With the waves dashing against us, we were able to jack up the truck, place boards under the wheels and, with my Chevy car, pull the empty truck to higher ground. ”

Graceann’s Comments

I can still see the excited look on my father’s face whenever we would have to take this beach road. This was very dangerous, many trucks and cars were swept into the ocean by the fierce ocean waves, especially during a storm, such as we experienced on this trip. I’m sure Dad felt invigorated, like a “real missionary” risking everything to save souls for Jesus, also knowing that he would be protected by the Lord.  Mother prayed constantly during these adventures, and she knew we would be safe.  However, Dorothy and I were not so trusting, and the terror of these trips stayed with us.  I had many nightmares thereafter, and for years after relived many of the adventures we had, especially the ones that Dad loved.  Even today I am a little neurotic about adventurous traveling.
Five years ago when I visited Brazil, there was only a two lane highway from Florianopolis to Porto Alegre, but they were in the process of building a freeway, and it  looks like it is completed now, highway 101.  Porto Alegre and Florianopolis are the two main cities in the south of Brazil and there is constant semi and truck traffic. They are  466 meters apart (290 miles) and it takes 6 hour and 15 minutes of travel time today.  It took us two whole days to get there in 1940.

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