The Long Ride Home February 2011

We tried to leave early on Sunday morning. Honest we did, but it never seems to work. We could get up at 6am and still not leave until 10am. I don’t know why we have such levels of disorganization. Perhaps we bring too much stuff??

So we finally got moving around 11am on Sunday and had beautiful weather for driving. Dry roads, clear skies with bright sunshine. It made us a little sad to be stuck in the truck as we headed up towards Jacksonville. The temperature stayed in the low 70’s all day as we headed north.

There was no excitement as we drove. There was the steady reassuring hum of the diesel engine and the occasional snort from Gizmo, but otherwise it was a fairly quiet ride. We talked and talked. Mostly we talked about the adventures, but we also talked about our childhoods. It was  great way to learn more about each other.

There’s nothing to do on a long road trip, but sit and talk. It takes an hour to get into a driving rhythm and then it’s hard to get out of it for a rest stop, because you know it’s going to take another uncomfortable hour to get back into driving mode.

We drove for six hours before our first stop for fuel. The dogs ran around and we ran around. We tried to stop at the inexpensive gas station for fuel, but it was labeled as gas and we didn’t want to make that mistake again. Plus, it seemed dangerous. It was daylight, but there was something uncomfortable and seedy about the gas station. There was a black cloud that hung over the place and you could taste recession. So, we go back in the car and drove to the other side of the interstate and went to the BP for road grade diesel. Finally, we were ready for another long bout of driving.

We stopped overnight in North Carolina and the temperature was 63 F at midnight. This wasn’t too bad. We got up in the morning and it was still 63F. We drove all day Monday and the temperature didn’t start to really drop until we hit southern Pennsylvania. Then it fell. Hard.

Within a couple of hours we went from blue skies, sunshine and 63F to overcast and 43F.

Still 43F didn’t seem so bad. Within half an hour that 43F became 29F with snow showers. We were still wearing our sandals when we got out at the gas station. I dug out dog coats and our coats, however none of us were all that interested in trudging around in the snow. Brent was visibly depressed at the lack of sunshine. Taz was the only one who seemed excited as she tried to race around the parking lot through a foot of snow. Perhaps she was getting “truck fever”.

It took us two hours to drive out of the storm and onto dry roads as we went east across the I90. Soon, we’d be home.

We crossed the border without incident and arrived home to frigid temperatures of -10C (14F). The snow had stopped, but it was only 7pm and the temperatures were still falling. We emptied the truck into the kitchen and then braved the cold to unload the kayaks. Driving through the snow storm had caused the knots to freeze and it took longer than we thought to pry the kayaks loose with numb fingers.

It was after 9pm (and -15C) when we finally sat to eat something that didn’t originate in a deep fryer. We looked around the mess of the kitchen and giggled. Tomorrow was another day.

It took nearly a week to get things straightened out again. The farm is back to running on its normal un-schedule. I just went for my first horse ride in over a month and it made me realize how out of “horse” shape Autumn and I really have become.

I missed the animals and did a quick check to make sure they were all safe. Autumn and the goats came to the fence to greet us as soon as we opened the door to the house. I could hear her nickering and the goats baying. I grabbed carrots and apples and headed out to pet my pets hello. What a nice welcome home.

In the barn I pet a roosting chicken and talked fondly to a pair of snorting pigs. The cats went crazying meowing and I finally felt home.

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