Usually when the time comes to head back to Minnesota to our home on the Mississippi we are ready to go, even eager. We look at weather along the way over the next few days, look at routes and places to stop. This year was pretty much the same except that the eager part was not so strong. Weather in Kansas had us delay for a day. It had snowed 5″ or more in Hastings just a few days earlier. Lots of low temps in the 30s. And we knew that we were giving up green grass and trees, sunny skies and warmer temperatures for the beginnings of spring at home.
Days are slowly getting warmer at home, almost everything is still brown, another two weeks until buds on the trees are noticeable. Spring is always full of new energy here. But not quite yet.
And this year we had no idea what traffic would be like and who or what would be open. From Fredericksburg we wanted to go east to Johnson City then up to Marble Falls and then NE to pick up I35 at Georgetown south of Waco. Last time we were going up to Waco traffic was heavy and there was lots of construction. We were not surprised to see the ongoing construction but surprised at how little traffic there was.
And then up towards and around Fort Worth, some trucks, a few cars, it was like nothing we have seen. We just blew through the Dallas/Ft Worth area and headed towards Oklahoma.
Our first stop was at Gone Fishing RV Park near Lake Texoma. It is a smaller park owned by a Foretravel owner and Forum members, Al and Tauna, They invited all Forum members to stop by for a free night so we did.
It was pretty quiet there. I talked with Al for quite a while, he had some FT questions and some stories. I really wanted to pay him something but he said no.
Last fall Al and Tauna had their first anniversary at the park and at least 10 Foretravels came to help celebrate. We wish them all the best.
The next morning we continued on through Oklahoma and into Kansas. We thought maybe we could get to the other side of Kansas City but it was getting late so we looked for spots and found another small RV park, Homewood RV Park, near Williamsburg, KS.
It is owned by a young couple who paused their full-time life for a while to raise their young kids in a fixed place.
Nice sites, up on a hill with nice views. The grass was green and trees just starting to bud out.
We got a good nights sleep and headed to Ottawa KS for fuel. We have a discount card for use at Loves and we get up to 80¢ a gallon discounts. So diesel was just $1.43/ gal. We got 80 gallons. Then north on I35.
Through Kansas City, into Iowa. There was snow on the sides of the road into Iowa. what have we done?
There were almost no cars and fewer than normal trucks on the road. It was not uncommon to see nothing ahead and nothing behind us. It was kind of spooky but made driving pretty easy. We had thought about stopping north of Des Moines but it was early when we got there so we pressed on. We could have driven home from there and arrived before 7 but the wind direction changed to a strong headwind so we decided to stop at a Camp Walmart in Albert Lea, MN. The Walmart closed at 8 and by 8:30 the parking lot was empty, even the almost always present semi trucks we gone. We may have been the only ones in the lot. Good for us, it was the quietest night in a Walmart ever. But spooky!
We had a nice breakfast, watched Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley for a while, and got ready to go. We stopped at the only Loves truck stop in MN also in Albert Lea and filled the tank, another 75 gallons at $1.53 with our discount.
And then the long 80 miles or so to home. We jogged over to US 52 just north of Rochester and then north. Pretty soon we entered Dakota County, crossed the Vermillion River and saw more familiar sites. Then County Rd 46 east and a jog to County Rd 42 that goes along the Mississippi River and a few more turns and we were almost there. Stopped and disconnected the Jeep, Susan drove it and lead the way. Pulled up just past our driveway and backed in the 400 ft or so to the barn.
The house looked fine, inside it was only 50° so the thermostats got bumped up, water heater got turned on and the water pump in the well got turned on.
We went back to the coach where it was warm and had lunch and started the process of moving from one house to the other. No hurry, it will take a couple days.
So we are home, safe and sound, warm and rattling around in probably 10 times the space we have been accustomed to. We find ourselves looking for each other and succeeding. We have to listen more carefully, we are usually much further apart than in the coach. But we are here together, still healthy, still happy and thankful for all of that and especially each other.
The sky and the river are blue, trees are brown. A familiar and comforting view.
And now the long list of things to do at home comes out. All worthy projects. We will get going on them, our summer plans are changing, probably leaving more time than we expected to get them done.
We sure hope all of you out there at the other end of the blogs are doing well. It has been nice to try to keep track of what we do and where we go and what we think about things. Let us know how you are doing. We are trying to stay in touch with as many as we can.
This has been a very different winter. Not what we expected in many ways with much more time on our own but we are very much OK with that. All in all we felt like we had a very good time together being elsewhere.
Thanks for coming along.
More Later, Much Love,
Roger and Susan