Weathering the storms…

Family and friends have been checking in with us to see how we are faring on our trip westward with all the storms hitting the Midwest.  Since we left Virginia, we have stopped in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado.  We were supposed to reach our final destination (for this week) today, but fate intervened.  Let’s just say our trip westward has been somewhat challenging.  Or maybe we should just refer to it as being our “breaking in” period.

My friend, Anne, and I managed to make it to DC to see the cherry blossoms this year.  They were the best ever!
My friend, Anne, and I managed to make it to DC to see the cherry blossoms this year. They were the best ever!

When we left Virginia it was a beautiful spring day with the azaleas beginning to bud out and the cherry trees still holding on to their blossoms.  Heading into Indiana our second day out, we ran into lots of rain but no big deal since it was quickly followed by beautiful spring days.   We had several pleasant days in Indiana visiting family and then headed for Missouri.  We ran into a lot of rain throughout the state and by the time we reached Columbia, Missouri much of the U.S. was being assaulted by heavy rain and tornadoes, with a focus on the Midwest.  When we checked into our campground that night, we were given instructions on what to do and how to get to the shelter if the warning sirens went off during the night.  It wound up being a quiet night, but our daughters at home were not reassured.  So the next day (for their peace of mind as well as our own) I purchased an emergency weather warning signal device to keep in the RV.  Haven’t heard a peek from it, BUT we sure ran into some more challenges.

As we drove through the Kansas plains yesterday and into Colorado, we were buffeted by very strong winds.  I slowed the RV down to 20 miles under the speed limit (75 was the speed limit although we would not go that fast even under ideal conditions) and fought the strong gusts of wind for several hours.  Trucks and cars continued to move at the speed limit and above, passing us as we poked along.  But then we started to see trucks lying on their sides along the Interstate, obviously succumbing to the wind shear that can quickly make you airborne.  A fellow at a gas station said they had 24 trucks go down on that strip of the Interstate that day.  I was just very happy to pull into the KOA in Limon, CO for the night without any incident.  Guess I thanked our stars too soon, because when we rolled out the slide-out the roller cover above it was pulled loose.  When we tried to roll it back in this morning it just bunched up and refused to cooperate.  It was icy cold and still windy but Bob climbed on the ladder and tried to tuck it in to no avail.  We finally called CoachNet (a service similar to AAA but for RVs) and they sent out a young fellow who climbed on top of the coach and tucked it back in until we could get to a place that could repair it.  And that’s where we are tonight–in the back lot of the repair facility in Frederick, Colorado dry docking it.  We have an electricity hook up but no water so we are parsing out the water and taking very brief showers!  They will begin repairs tomorrow morning.  And our wonderful campground we had reserved for tonight in Estes Park is only 45 miles away!  But I’m not complaining–we were lucky to get through all the challenges over the last few days with such a minor issue.  There’s a lot of people out there across the U.S. who weren’t so lucky!

Well, if you have been faithfully following our blog, then hopefully by tomorrow evening we will be ensconced in our campground at the gate to the Rocky Mountain National Park–and with any luck I can start posting some close-up (but not too close) pictures of the wildlife and fantastic scenery. We were told we will be the first campers in the campground for the season, so we hope to see lots of wandering wildlife.  No cookouts for us this week since we don’t want to attract the attention of too many hungry critters! You are probably already very tired of my weather reports, so hold on!

Take care, everyone–we miss you!

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