Monday, February 6, 2012

Phew 3- Whee!

Ohhhhh. Big sigh. I've climbed out of my pit of despair far enough to tackle the third and last installment of my journey home with Ameranth.

(Well, that's an exaggeration- it was more like a pit of doldrums-which I guess would be more of a puddle of doldrums, because isn't it related to the ocean?- but really, "puddle of doldrums" just sounds pitiful. Anyway. The days are getting longer, my little blue light at breakfast is helping and changing my pill to suppertime has stopped that mid-morning slump and helped my sleep.)

Let's see, we left Sally at my cousin's house to find her own way back to Florida since we were on a time crunch now, and headed east through Montana. It had snowed the night before and we were hoping the storm would take a different route than we planned. Didn't happen that way.

East of Billings Route 90 heads south and we took a very little detour to the Little Bighorn Battlefield Park. I would love to go back in warmer weather- we could only drive as far as the Last Stand hill since icy conditions had closed the park roads. It was definitely too cold and windy, not to mention too far, to walk. Looking at the folds of the hills and gullies, I could easily imagine both sides nervously dreading being surprised by hidden foes.

Watching the clouds and checking the weather forecasts, we decided to stay on 90, rather than heading further south to try to circle the storm. We cut across a corner of Wyoming and made it just into South Dakota before the storm really slowed us down. Dusk, heavy snow and icing combined for an early night in Rapid City. The next day was pretty much a straight drive east, cold and cloudy. We did see some interesting art in a field as we drove by.

65 mph makes good photography challenging. And yes, that is a giant upside-down hammer out there.

The weather slowed us down again, as we had hoped to get further into Minnesota on Friday than we did. But Saturday morning we made it to Austin where we stopped to visit Ladyslipper and her mom. It was so nice to see her again.
                                   She has a little hair now too.
Her toes are long, long enough for a good grip, just like her father's are!
This visit was definitely a high point of the trip.

Leaving after lunch, we crossed the Mississippi River into Wisconsin
 and made it to the outskirts of Chicago in the dark, hoping to make it through before the morning rush hour.  That didn't happen either, but we weren't held up too badly.

Just caught a glimpse of Lake Michigan as we headed through Indiana,
on past Ohio and Cleveland.
 We saw several huge flocks of birds taking off that morning, all at the same time and all headed north. As we commented on their mixed up direction, each group swung around and flew south. I assume they needed to take off into the wind.

Pennsylvania went by quickly and we were done south of Buffalo after a very long day. The next day we zipped across New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and, ta da, we were home again! I think Ameranth and I each drove 6 hours that day. J was very happy to see us, as was Boomer.

No pictures taken of that last day as it was old news to both of us and we were focused on getting home- just in time for Thanksgiving too. I left on November 1st and was back on the 21st, having made a big loop around the states. I don't even remember how many miles it was. I would definitely do it again although more slowly and with more sightseeing! And with J.


Grampa said...

Whew! Finally home again!

The Local Tourist said...

I am so happy you enjoyed your trip through the Black Hills. Please come back soon and see all the exciting changes that are happening in Rapid City. We just built a beautiful city center plaza call Main Street Square. This plaza has ice skating in the winter and beautiful colored water fountains that dance to music in the summer. Not to mentioned weekly events and concerts year-round.

In Real Life said...

Those are such gorgeous pictures! Lady Slipper is beautiful! What a fast trip! Thanks for sharing.