"Not all those who wander are lost" J.R.R. Tolkien

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Challenges from the Road

I write this from Rock Island, Illinois, which makes up 1/4 of the Quad Cities situated on the Mississippi River bordering Illinois and Iowa.  Aaaaaahhhh.  Iowa.  Just the thought brings up lovely childhood memories of visiting my mother's extended family and, of course, the Iowa State Fair.  Mmmmmm - corndogs, funnel cakes, and sculptures made of butter.  But I digress.

At the close of our second day on the road we have realized that other than superb vehicular performance, nothing has gone according to plan.  First of all, when you pull 14,000 pounds you just can't make the sort of time a normal car would make.  We left yesterday at 5:30 am and hoped to make Pittsburgh by lunch.  Nope.  We crossed into Ohio about 4:30 in the afternoon with hopes of finding a campground.  Snag number two:  most campgrounds in a northern climate apparently all close after Halloween.  We drove an hour and half south (out of our way!) to Canton in order to find a year round KOA.  After getting completely lost on the way (translation:  huge fight in the car) it was pitch dark and cold and I had grand intentions of making a big supper, only to find that we were completely out of propane.  Supper ended up being microwaved soup and a stiff drink.  Me, not the boys.  Donald trooped out for propane so we could have heat while we slept, God bless him! 

Today began with waking at 4:30 to find frost on the ground.  FROST!!!  I've been living in VA where we don't see frost until February and only a few times then!  It was 25 degrees!  We got on the road at 6 and I spent several hours with my maps and my KOA guidebook in the realization that our travel route would have to be revised.  We intended to go to Minneapolis to visit Don's brother but with the current temperatures and with campgrounds being closed for the winter we opted to go a bit more southerly.  Thus, the Quad Cities.  And it is beautiful weather here!  Warmer than Virginia when we left.  We have the windows open and we went for a long walk with the dogs. 

Speaking of dogs, let's discuss my highly neurotic 4 year old Weimaraner.  Shakespeare will not sit in a car.  12 1/2 hours yesterday and 9 hours today and he stood, quivering from head to toe, the entire time.  I tell him to sit about every 15 minutes because he won't stay put.  When we slow down, to get gas for instance, he begins to really freak out because he thinks he is getting out.  Honestly, I've never seen anything like it.  And this isn't new behavior.  He has been doing long car rides since he was 11 weeks old and we moved with him for the first time.  I'm inclined to think he is just an idiot.  The great thing is that when we do stop for the day he sleeps like a log because he is so exhausted.  And before anyone suggest tranquilizers, we've tried.  They don't work.  Any other ideas out there?  It's going to be a long year for him if we don't come up with something!

Our route tomorrow is straight across Iowa and then up to South Dakota.  Across SD to Rapid City on Friday where my parents are coming to meet us for the night.  Then on Saturday to Bozeman, Montana and Kalispell on Sunday.  Where we get to celebrate by moving our household goods.  Again.  But who knows.  With all the pinch hitting we are doing we could be traveling to MT by way of Texas for all I can predict!  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Just think: all these "snags" will someday be funny stories you tell your grandchildren. Hopefully!