4:15 a.m I am wide awake, my head full of what needs to be done before we set out on our next adventure. Ric is sleeping soundly, so I quietly close the bedroom door behind me and set about my business.
Outside the wind howls and as if in response, my right hip aches. Yesterday we loaded most of the essentials and even though hired help did most of the heavy lifting, there was still much to be sorted out. Ric and I were both exhausted by suppertime, without an ounce more of energy to spare.
As we finish our last minute preparations, the blowing snow turns to freezing drizzle – a bitter cold ushering us on our way. The drive out of town is hindered by poor visibility and drifting across the road.
“Should we wait out the weather?” I wonder aloud, but Ric is not to be daunted. Within the hour, the roads clear and though the clouds remain dominant, the drive looks promising.
We’d driven this same route last year – crossing into the States at Port Huron, following the highway to Flint, then Lansing. Last year, I was so sick, we stopped at Angola, Indiana, to get some groceries and let me rest. This year, we sail past Angola. Ric is motivated to get us out of the cold. Snug in the passenger seat, I have no objections.
It is apparent that a snowstorm has passed through recently, and we thank our luck that we’ve caught only the beauty in its aftermath.
After thirteen hours of travel we arrive in Terre Haute, Indiana, where the local Walmart generously lets us stop for the night. It is still below freezing. Ric opts to sleep in the passenger seat, and I, needing a bed, curl up with a pile of blankets, but cannot get warm. We sleep fitfully for two hours, then Ric suggests moving on.
“No, let’s stick it out here a bit longer.”
It will be a long, cold night.