Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our Theme Park Trip Across the USA

This was a quick trip between our winter homes in Florida and Georgia and our home base in Washington State.  Usually, I have my husband, Ron, who is also my chauffeur driving me and I can take in the sites and take pictures.  This year, we were driving two cars, so I became fully aware of how great it is to have someone to drive me.  The total trip is 3400 miles, but we got a break for a couple of days when we stopped in Georgia to put things to bed there.  

It was much like being at Disneyworld and being whisked through various scenes with brief glimpses of life therein.  We started out with summer-like conditions and flowers in bloom along the roadways.  The trees still glowed with spring green, but the temperatures were 80+ so it was definitely shorts and air conditioning time.

As we moved north through Alabama and Tennessee, the temperatures were still very warm, but some of the trees were just starting to leaf out.  By Missouri, while still warm, the red bud trees were just in bud, but the grass in the fields was getting green and some fields had been turned over by farmers ready to plant.

Oh, boy, back to late winter in northern Iowa.  We saw flocks and flocks of big white birds.  We weren't close enough to see if they were white pelicans or white swans or white geese and I couldn't get Ron's attention to stop to look.  

In South Dakota, the roads were still bare, but piles of snow lined the roadways and most of the fields were still covered in snow.  We did see huge flocks of Sandhill Cranes - presumably already migrated back to their summer homes.

I saw a great sign that gave me comic relief from the grueling drive in S. Dakota.  I actually saw it TWICE, so it wasn't just a mistake:
DICK'S BODY SHOP
24-HOUR TOE SERVICE
Just what kind of a body shop is Dick running, I wondered.  My nails could use a trim, maybe we should stop?

Then as we entered Wyoming, we returned to full winter when we hit real snow!  Blowing and drifting snow, and temperatures in the teens.  They must put something on the roads, because at the beginning of the snow zone, the roads had piles of wet slush.  A big truck boiled by us, throwing this slush onto our windshields at one point and it immediately froze solid.  We had to pull onto the shoulder to clean them before we could even continue.

In white out conditions, we passed through Wyoming and part of Montana.  After hundreds of miles of white knuckle driving, we landed in Missoula, just 500 miles from home and stopped for the night.  It was such a pleasure to get all the way home by about 2 p.m. and find sunshine and warm temperatures for our unloading. Back in spring, my favorite season!

"Be it ever so humble, there is really no place like home!"