It must have been nearly 7 o'clock in the evening by the time we finally had the house scoured to what was hopefully the landlord's content. My hands had become completely useless, with hardly a fingerprint left from all of the scrubbing and chemicals. But, the job was finally done and we had packed a uhaul trailer with the necessities to get us through two months of living in Oklahoma.
We saddled up. Matt drove, I co-piloted, the kids plugged in to DVD players and head phones, and the dog, the lizard, and the ferret held down fort in the back. The inside of the Touareg felt like a zoo, but at least we were out of there!
A 7 o'clock departure is pretty late but even later when there is a winter storm watch threatening the entire midwest. All day I had been getting texts and emails from friends concerned about the weather and the unlikelihood of the success of our trip.
The cold front that I am referring to ended up breaking major weather records, closing down cities, and trapping people in their houses and cars. But here we were...heading right towards the excitement that was coming.
We drove into the night until the roads were so icy we could only drive on the left side, the right was completely iced over. This was really pissing off the semi truck drivers who were forced to pass us on the right or slow down to our speed. We weren't about to try our luck in the slow lane. Finally we called it a night and checked into a Best Western.
This was to be our only run in with the storm, though every night we watched on the news as a foot of snow blanketed Chicago, and Oklahoma, and Kansas. Really our only sense of the storm was the freezing temperatures which were in the negative 30s at some points! It took my breathe away to inhale that cold air.
|Somewhere in Utah|
With temperatures this cold, we were a bit concerned about the lizard, Mento, in the back who belongs to my son. He's an important part of the clan because he was a Christmas surprise nearly four years ago. He was so small, he arrived in a box you wouldn't be able to fit a base ball in. Since lizards are cold blooded, we had a heat pad plugged into the car and attached to his aquarium, but we were sure the pad wasn't keeping him warm enough. We decided he needed some good old fashioned body heat.
|Happy Lizard on a Road Trip|
The ferret, Tom Tom, seemed to be doing just fine in the car, as he sleeps the days away and isn't restless enough to feel the claustrophobia of his tiny travel cage until nighttime. The second night at a hotel, he caused quite a ruckus!
It was 3 o'clock in the morning and I heard some critter noises. I looked over to where the ferret's cage was and there he was sticking almost his whole body out of a tiny hole in the lid of his cage (meant for a water bottle)! I really hadn't thought he would ever fit through there but here he was, stuck half in and half out of this hole. I took the lid off and was ready to try and cut him free. But as I set him down on the floor, he wriggled his back haunches through the rest of the way! I was laughing so hard there were tears.
The three days of driving were long but everyone was a trooper, especially Matt. He drove the whole way (I don't know why I didn't feel like driving...) and at every stop he was out running the dog and each night he hauled the lizard, the dog, and the ferret in from the car to the hotel room.
When we finally crossed into Oklahoma, we had been through Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and Kansas. What a stretch of flat highway!
|Somewhere in Wyoming|
We lucked out and completely missed the winter storm and found Oklahoma to be pretty accessible despite the state's lack of snow plows. All in all, the trip was easy. Now for the trip back...in only five more weeks!