Monday, April 14, 2008

Warm at last

As I write I’m sitting in a KOA in Miles City MT where the temperaturehas soared above 80F (26C) to-day. Quite a change from a week ago when we were still dealing with freezing temperatures overnight. And there is NO snow—I suspect that there is still some snow on the ground at home.

But it has been a bit of a challenge getting to this point. We spent 3 days last week organizing, cleaning up on personal business, loading up the “BBB”, instructing our house sitter and all the things needed for the trip.

Tuesday night we went to Thessalon to have dinner with Linda’s Mom at her sister Arliss’ place. Wednesday night we attended services and said “farewells” to our church friends.

Thursday morning I did the car hookup and we were on the road – we had to stop in Sault Michigan for gas and to take on provisions – didn’t do that before we crossed the border because of all the restrictions on meats and fruits. So it was after noon before we were really on the road.

We kept hearing of serious winter storm warnings to the west and we hoped to get clear of Duluth before it hit. We almost made it but in hindsight we would have been better to “go to ground” in Superior.

We had just climbed the bluff going south out of Duluth on I-35 when the storm hit and it came with a vengeance-- by the time we traveled the 20 miles to Rte 210 it was very bad – fortunately there was a Casino at the exit and we were able to get off into the parking lot.

On top of that – for some reason somewhere after Superior, my car braking system had triggered and stayed on (and the warning light - wireless transmitter didn't turn on). So I had dragged the car with the brakes on for a while –the hubs were really hot when I stopped– so in a way the storm at that time was a Godsend because if I had kept going might well have done serious damage or even caused a fire. It doesn’t appear to have done any permanent damage although I think the rotors are warped and will need to be replaced.
It was a wild night – windy – and the plows in the parking lot clunking and “beeping” as they backed –plus furnace kicking on & off at a steady pace so we didn’t get a lot of sleep. (I forgot to take any pictures Friday morning with all the activity checking the car brakes and digging out of the snow banks but this one taken in Brainerd late Friday gives some idea of the amount of snow).

However, we survived and around noon on Friday it had cleared enough that we ventured on to Brainerd MN – for a WALMART night.

Saturday we drove in sunshine heading west across Minnesota to North Dakota. (210/10)

The snow extended as far west as FARGO and people were still digging out as shown in this picture at the Frazee Rest stop.

At Jamestown , the snow was gone and we hiked around the WALMART parking lot before pressing on to Bismarck where we stayed at a KOA— electricity, showers and INTERNET !!!

(Another lesson learned here – the instructions are to pull the accessories power relay fuse on the car when I’m towing because I have to leave the key on in the accessory position to avoid locking the steering. I thought maybe if I had the radio & heater turned off it would be OK to leave the fuse in – well I guess I was wrong because I arrived in Bismarck with a dead battery – and discovered I had left my battery charger at home.

I got a boost from the campground owner and borrowed a charger to charge overnight – yesterday I pulled the fuse and last night I ran the car for 15-20 minutes just to be on the safe side. There’s just too much mechanical equipment involved in this rig to avoid having some problems – or maybe I’m just to dumb and not careful enough to do things right – whatever the reason Linda was a little discouraged about these mishaps – hopefully we will get them out of oursystem and things will be smoother from here on out.)

Last night I flushed the antifreeze out of the BBB’s water lines and filled the hot water tank, and put some water in the fresh water tank – so we are now completely operational – and self-contained for showers and other such mundane things.

With the down day and INTERNET I decided to visit some friends in “blogland”

DeeAndrews asks ”What’s your favorite food” (April 14), gives a wise quote from Thomas Carlyle about sticking to the job at hand (April 11) and provides a lovely story (from 28 years ago) about her son when he was 10 called “Close to an Angel” (April 9) .

I was startled to find that my friend Neva – Dancing in the Light had surgery last week for a spinal cyst – that thankfully was benign and removed successfully – Praise God!!

I dropped by John Dobb’s Out here Hope Remains – I hadn’t been there for a long time and he is such a prolific (and excellent) writer that I need to go back and spend several hours to even begin to mine some of the morsels of wisdom he leaves there to “chew on”. One post that caught my attention was an “Open Letter to Miley Cyrus” encouraging her to remain true to her values as she moves into young adulthood as a star. There might be some wisdom found there for any father who is bringing a young daughter through the early teens.

Well – a closing thought

Yesterday we enjoyed great sunshine and a hike in the Painted Canyon of the North Dakota Bad Lands.

We had planned to attend services somewhere on Sunday but circumstances didn’t work out -- however – we did feel a strong sense of praise to God and wonder at his majesty as we meditated in the great cathedral of His creation.

What we missed was the encouragement of sharing our worship with other Christians.

I was reminded as we sat and looked out over the ruggedness of the canyon and the "burning hills" (lightening starts underground fires in the lignite) of the 8th Psalm

Psalm 8
1O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise
because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;

you put everything under his feet:
7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

We hiked to the bottom of the canyon about a mile round trip -- it was easy going down but it took a few rest stops on the way back up .

At the top we were treated with a herd of buffalograzing in the parking lot .
God is good
God Bless

1 comment:

Neva said...

Praying your trip is all that you need it to be---If you ever decide to drop down just a bit, you are always welcome to visit North Platte. We have plenty of room at our house and/or the church has an RV hookup. On the 25-26th, I will be speaking at a Ladies Retreat in Worland WYO--if you are anywhere close--would love to meet y'all in person.
Blessings to you both,