Wednesday, December 8, 2004

just one adventure after another

We spent the day yesterday cleaning and organizing Jamie’s toys. We tried to leave Grandma Elinor’s house cleaner than when we found it; we dusted and polished and cleaned. Late in the afternoon we headed out for some shopping and the exhaustion hit me. I’d been staying up too late and was dead tired. One cup of coffee and many peanut M&M’s later, however, I was raring to go and once we’d finished the 3000 loads of laundry and cleaning I couldn’t help getting sucked into some Lifetime movie and stayed up til 2:30. Apparently, my body LOVES sleep deprivation, because I was up at 6:45, nursed Ellen back to sleep and then packed up the rest of the house, hitched up the trailer (by myself - really, it was quite easy; since I couldn’t see the hitch ball, I simply popped in and out of the car a lot) and made two pots of coffee. The only reason I’m awake now is because I’m typing this; otherwise I’d be napping. :) We finally made it out of Neenah by 10am (I had been aiming for 8am, but we had some trouble figuring out the Reese dual cams (until we realized we needed to jack up the tongue).

Course, by then, the kids were up and after nursing Ellen I gave everyone breakfast whilst Jamie finished up connecting the dual cam spring arms.  We’re not sure the dual cams are adjusted correctly; we’re feeling much more sway than we did on our trip down from the UP. I’m hoping to have Spaders in Sioux Falls take a look tomorrow. (actually, when we stopped at the crossing of the Mississippi, I adjusted the links and now we’re riding better than ever) We should have good weather til Sunday; 40’s and 50’s, dry and cloudy or sunny from WI to WY.

We’re taking 21 over to I90 today; taking it slow and enjoying the farmland.  We hope to stay in or near Blue Earth MN tonight, but we’ll see how it goes.  We stocked up on Bison and Elk in WI; we have locally grown and preparred; kippered bison, bison summer sausage, elk and garlic sausage, elk patties and ground buffalo (bison). I also got quite a bit of Applewood (no nitrates) turkey bacon. I was incredibly surprised at the organic selection at Copps food stores in Neenah and Appleton.
THe girls have been playing with the sticker booklets that Ellen, Maca and Jeff gave them pretty much constantly since Neenah. We’re almost to La Crosse (155 miles and 3+ hours later) so that shows how much they are enjoying them. Thanks again, so much, Ellen, Maca and Jeff, for the blankets, presents and the dinner.

Well, whaddayknow we had ANOTHER adventure!!! We hit Albert Lea, MN about 6pm and had decided to stay at the Days Inn instead of the county park so the kids could swim and I didn’t want to try to camp (with no pull throughs) in the dark. We tried the Days Inn and found the hot tub was on the blink and that they would not honor the AAA advertised rate.

Since the park was close-by we decided to simply go there. We did ok; it was very dark and the (not paved) road started twisting and turning throughout the campsite. I hit a spot that looked tight and was inching along when I ran the trailer against a tree. With Jamie’s help (if Ellen hadn’t been screaming I would have taken a picture) I managed to back the trailer up into an adjacent spot as I simply could not go forward. I had a tree on the drivers side blocking the trailer and a tree on the passenger side blocking the van. I don’t know how, but with him spotting trees for me, I backed up the twisty road; into a slot; back into the road again (a 3pt turn) and back down the road I drove in on.
Oh My Freaking Gawd, my heart is still pounding. It looks to be simple cosmetic damage, but we’ll have to wait for the sun to see for certain. So…back down the unpaved road we go, looking for a spot with electrical hookups. I pull into one but it is too short. Ellen has not stopped crying and screaming since I first got stuck and we decide to bag it.

Once again we are welcomed by Comfort Inn. They have a large indoor pool; a hot tub; very very large rooms, expanded breakfast (waffles, juice, fruit, etc.) at $60. The kids are swimming; I’m coming down; Jamie has coffee; I’m typing this from their free wireless; life is good again.

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