I’d just like to say that this last month has been INSANE. We moved out to the Cleveland area of Ohio just under two years ago from the Pacific NW. We expected to stay a little longer than we did, and I won’t bother with the whole story of why we came back now, but we made the decision to return once Miss J finished school this spring.
We had an extremely busy couple of months of packing, keeping the house clean (and vacating it) to try and sell it, making arrangements with movers (for the house, the piano, and the cats), etc. Not all of these plans went smoothly, to say the least.
The worst problem, by far, was the moving company. Long story short: they never showed up, in spite of the fact that I called to arrange it a good 6 weeks before we wanted to move. We ended up renting a smallish and the largest U-Haul we could get, spent two days loading like maniacs (and here I need to give a major shout-out to Eldest Son, Miss J, and the football playing son of our pastor in Ohio for working like BEASTS.) As it turned out, we did not have enough room in our trucks for everything, and had to leave behind some excess furniture. Sadly, this included our bikes. And lawnmower. And numerous other things. So be it. It’s just stuff, though some of it has to be replaced out here. Anyway, we finished up at 10 pm and decided to hit the road for a couple of hours.
Thursday: We started out a bit shy of Toledo. Drove through Indiana, which was mostly pretty farmland. If we had only had more time, we could have stopped for an exciting adventure at the RV/Motor Home Hall of Fame and the Studebaker Museum. Sigh. One of life’s lost opportunities. The only ugly part of Indiana was Gary, which in spite of the song, is NOT the one place that can light my face. We then drove into Illinois, which I can pretty much categorize by Chicago and tollbooths. I guess I’m glad we drove through Chicago traffic during the day, but it was not an experience I enjoyed much.
More driving through Wisconsin, which is very lovely farmland. During all of my driving on Thursday, I decided I should be a farm wife. All of that lovely landscape; working in my garden; sitting on the front porch in the evening with a glass of lemonade…very idyllic.
As we ended Thursday, we got into Minnesota where we had our first semi-major experience: a silly, deluded deer decided to jump in front of the big truck. Now I may not have mentioned this, but Mr. Greenethumb was driving the big truck in the lead, Eldest Son and Miss J rode in the smaller truck in the middle, and I played caboose with our car. We were all incredibly thankful that the Big Truck was in front at this point, because it didn’t even register a dent after hitting the deer. Total hours on the road: about 14.
Friday: From Albert Lea, MN we set off. A large chunk of the day was spent in South Dakota. Now, SD is a lovely place but for one thing. We saw ridiculous amounts of billboards, mostly advertising Wall Drugs. (The kids counted 90 signs, and the first one we saw was actually in Minnesota — 355 miles before the destination!!) However, all of that rolling prarie was certainly beautiful. Over the course of this day I decided that I actually wanted to be a ranch wife. We passed signs for Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home, I saw a cattle drive (cowboys!!), and we drove by a rodeo. We could have gone to the Corn Palace or the tractor museum. But no. “Rolling, rolling, rolling…” was our theme.
In the late afternoon, we crossed into Wyoming. Just about at that time, we saw a thunderstorm ahead of us in the west. Now, I do not like electrical storms. I bravely drove on, telling herself that this is wide open country, and the lightening was actually quite far ahead. Of course, we were headed in that direction, and just as I was starting to get a little more nervous we were bombarded with the heaviest hailstorm I have ever known. It was crazy! We crawled along at 5-10 mph for maybe five minutes before we were out of it. We pushed along a bit farther, entering more mountainous terrain; saw several herds of pronghorn; entered Montana, and gave up for the night. Total hours on the road: about 14 again.
Saturday: up a little earlier and on the road by 8. We drove in Montana until 5 pm. NINE HOURS, and that wasn’t even close to the entire width of the state. Have mercy! (You know you’re in trouble when you enter a state and you see that there are 599 more exits to drive past to get to the next state). It’s gorgeous land however. Hills (mountains) and plains. We crossed the continental divide at 6392 ft elevation. I wish we could have taken the time to go to Yellowstone or Zion while out there, but that will have to be another trip. Needless to say, after the brutality of driving through Montana, it was a blessed relief to drive through the panhandle of Idaho and get through that state in just over an hour. We stopped for a quick bite in Liberty Lake, WASHINGTON, and got on the road again. We had hoped to get all the way back Saturday night, but we all very sensibly realized that was a “lack of genius” plan and called it a night in Moses Lake.
Sunday: Quick (comparatively) drive home in the morning of about 2.5 hours. We hadn’t been to the house for very long when our family and friends showed up with lunch and strong muscles to help unload, for which we are eternally grateful.
And so we are back, with no time of rest for the weary, since we’ve got to unpack, get Miss J registered at school for next year, fix the poor car (which decided to sound like a lifelong smoker with emphysema toward the end of the trip), and get ready for Youngest Son’s wedding next month. When is my vacation??? And when will I have the time or energy to knit again??
Best song heard on the radio while driving: “Life is a Highway”
Most frequently heard song while channel surfing the radio: “Jack & Diane” by John Mellencamp (?!?!?!??)
2nd most frequently heard song: “1999” by Prince. (Again, ?!?!?!?)