It feels a little strange to be writing about our road trip now that it’s over. Since being home days have started to unfold and routine and old habits have tried to creep back in and push away all of the experience we were sure we’d bring home with us to make big changes. This trip was something so important to us for a variety of reasons but now that we’re home, it almost feels as if we never left at all. For this month’s 10-on-10, I consulted pages of journals that brought those coldest hours right back to life.
We knew it was the end. New Orleans taunted us to keep going, but we knew. It was time to head home. Buffalo, of course, knew too and decided to throw us a snow storm of a party upon hearing we were on our way. There was nothing we could do but take our time heading north and wait it out. We kept our eyes on the radars, looking for a break in weather, but it seemed highly unlikely. We started researching storage facilities for Trudy in the Cleveland area but we really didn’t want to leave her behind. We wanted to end the trip driving up to our driveway, with her.
On day 94 we reached Columbus, OH and found what may have been the last RV available on the North East part of the US. We called the number on the door and the man who answered was as surprised as we were that we were looking for an RV spot in the cold winter that had just hit them. Twenty minutes later he came by to check us in and remind us that he couldn’t plow out the spot and we had to make do.
Day 95. We woke to 1 degree temperatures outside. The dogs refused to go outside. We checked the weather radar and it showed a break around 1pm in the snow storm that was currently hitting Lake Erie. We decided to go for it. We started the engine and pulled out of the RV park. The next 6 hours of our lives are a little bit of a blur. Because Trudy’s heat doesn’t run when we drive we knew it was going to be a cold ride home and we also had the dangerous issue of being unable to defrost our windows. We bundled up in jackets, gloves, hats. We wrapped the dogs in two blankets by our feet so they could generate their own heat. We put blankets around our legs, that helped just enough, but our toes still froze. We stopped a few times to clean off the junk from the front windows. When we hit Erie the whiteout began and the highway was closed for a long portion. We slowly, slowly, slowly, took a back route and eventually got back on the highway near Fredonia. On the other side of the highway we could see big rig after big rig overturned and we were reminded to take it extra slow and to be extra careful.
Just before the clearing, we entered white out conditions from Fredonia to Hamburg. Conditions we would never drive in normally, let alone in a 23 foot camper. But there was something that kept us going, something pushing us along, telling us it would be okay, to just take our time & not rush it. A few hours later, we arrived home.
There is much more from this trip we’re looking forward to sharing. Our experience and thoughts of living with less, what life on the road is really like, the day we broke down on the side of the road. We know the words will find a way to page when they’re ready. For now, follow along with our other 10-on-1o’ers at the end of this post.
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