Our slog across approximately 2200 miles of America’s freeway system ended up taking us five and a half days. The trailer was overloaded but we chose a southern route so avoided steeper mountain passes that way, finding the greatest pull probably being the one east out of Albuquerque.
We had good, although hot weather for the most part, only hitting a spate of rain for an hour in Iowa. By then, the Midwest humidity was in full gear but since we had left Yuma in monsoon season, it too had been humid. It was sad saying goodbye to the few friends and neighbors currently there knowing that I wouldn’t be returning although Marc will make at least one more trip and probably two, to complete the move.
We managed this lengthy trip without any major catastrophes with the rig or tires but did have a tremendous scare at a rest stop west of Amarillo, TX. Marc took Rocket out on the leash for some exercise and needed to attend to something so he handed off the leash to me. I continued walking Rocket through a weedy picnic area when Rocket headed toward something lying next to the raised cement they use to elevate the picnic tables. Marc returned and reached out and grabbed Rocket’s leash and yanked him back just as I spied a good sized rattlesnake which promptly coiled and sent his rattle buzzing. What a close call for our kitty and probably even myself, wearing my sandals! Marc wanted to go back and shoot it but I said “Let’s just get out of here” but upon further reflection we probably should have. I shudder to think how some little kid could have gone running over to that picnic table and been bitten with the snake so well camouflaged in the weeds. The picnic shade ramadas are apparently loaded with rattlesnakes throughout New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma so we avoided them like the plague from then on. In fact, in New Mexico, this is the way they build them since it lessens the chances of snakes.
I had never been through some sections we drove so it was nice to view Oklahoma and the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas. Yes, I was surprised to see there are hills in Kansas! Oklahoma was immediately much greener and cleaner than the panhandle of Texas and is a very godly land; it was hard finding a radio station which wasn’t religious. Well, that was also the case in Iowa as well. We noted there had been lots of new building around Des Moines since we had been there on one of Marc’s projects back in the ‘90’s.
For the most part we stayed in truck stops and WalMarts, paying for an RV park only on our first night out, at the Escapees park in Benson, AZ. Our final night was at a small truck stop in Dow, IA next to the cornfields and we made an early escape at daybreak headed for our new home state after a brief sojourn into the corner of Minnesota. Minnesota by far has the best highways but we found more courteous drivers in every state compared to what we had become used to in California. It was refreshing to see folks exit from the right lane of the freeway for instance, rather than from the far left lane in a steep dive-off as they cut you off, as they commonly do in California. Finally, we approached the Mississippi River amidst one lane of construction on the bridge and entered into Wisconsin at Lacrosse.
Our first order of business was to find a place to park the RV and we were lucky to find Rivers edge about ten miles north of Stevens Point right on the Wisconsin River. Their only full hookup spot was adjacent to the bar and grill but it didn’t prove to be a problem; the nearby whizzing freeway was much more bother to our sleep. We paid for a week and ended up here five days as we fortunately found an apartment in short order.
One of the best things about the apartment find is that the complex of 16 units is located in the rural village of Amherst (pop. 1051) which is also where Marc’s company is located so he is within ¾’s of a mile to work. No commute! Given that the large parcel backs up to cornfield, the owner kindly is allowing us to park the RV and Freightliner here for a nominal charge. It made unpacking the unit of every item in it much handier although we did do two days of running back and forth in the vehicles from Rivers edge as well. Every rental requires a minimum of a year’s lease but we figured that is fine as we can’t really do much until our Yuma property is taken care of anyway.
It seems downright thrilling to actually have space! And real walls surrounding us! I guess I never realized how much I have missed that because suddenly I am as contented as our cat Rocket is here. We have 1100 s.f. with two bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a single garage and a gas fireplace. It is typical here that landlords pay for all heating and the gas, so ours will be cranking this winter as we get acclimatized! Expect to see some upcoming fall shots in the blog, Wisconsin’s most glorious time of year, as I have a chance to get out once fully settled.