Saturday, March 28, 2009

5000 miles in 2 weeks

2 men from the Elders quorom showed up at our house on Saturday morning. They helped load the packed boxes and some furniture onto the trailers for about 3 hours. We really couldn’t have packed things much tighter in the big trailer but there ended up being a little room on the small trailer so it was just about perfect. We ended up leaving around 1:30.

Adam didn’t get a chance to replace the brake line on the Yukon so he kept telling me to be careful how hard I braked but it never did end up being a problem.

The dogs rode in the suburban with Adam. Poor Jack shook and drooled and panted all the way to Georgia and only slept in the motel rooms at night. We bought some Dramamine for him but we didn’t get the dose right for him until the first day I rode in the same car as them. I called the vet and they told me he could have 100 mg instead of the 25 mg I was told the last time I had talked to them when we moved out to UT.

Though nothing eventful happened, it took us 4 ½ days to get to the house. We got there 1 ½ hours before a few people would be showing up to help unload the trailers. Adam’s parents were there to greet us. They took us to a chinese restaurant for dinner and we got back just after one of Adam’s friends arrived to help us. Barry, Lanette, Ammon, Jon, Charmay (and Charmay’s 2 children) all came to help. The trailer was unloaded in about an hour.

We ended up staying a Barry and Lanette’s basement. The next day, Adam and Barry attempted to replace the brake line but they weren’t able to get the correct length for it. While they were doing that, I transferred all the blankets and dog pillows to the Yukon and got it set up for the ride back. We had lunch with Barry and Lanette. The dogs got to run around in the back yard. We spent the night one more time. We left after having lunch with them again.

We drove from Lawrenceville to Rapid City, South Dakota. I think it took three days but there was so much driving going on that I can’t quite remember anymore. It turned out that for Jack’s sake, I had to sit in the back seat the whole way. It was the only way he would actually lay down and relax. He still never slept but at least he relaxed most of the time.

Outside of town, we visited a historic sod house. The place was actually closed but we went around the fence anyway to take a quick peek. There were farm tools and equipment strewn around the yard. The house wasn' t all that impressive. I couldn't really see inside the windows though so after looking through the pics once they were downloaded, I got to see a little more detail. The sun was starting to go down anyway so we didn’t have much time. It was in the 70’s and beautiful.

The stretch of interstate we drove on in the dark was the only stretch of interstate we would travel that was considered scenic and as it turned out, it was too dark to see any of it.

We picked a hotel on the far side of town on a hill. We would later regret the location of this hotel but it seemed just fine on the first night. We woke up to snow on the ground and the wind was blowing so hard that we were barely able to open the hotel door. I was freezing! I wasn’t prepared to be in a blizzard on this trip. The dogs and I fought against the wind on their morning walk. I was actually leaning at a steep angle just to keep standing. The little snow/ice pellets felt like my eye balls were being sand-blasted. It stayed like that all through that day and even the next morning. Luckily, Marlene, Adam’s aunt, lent me a parka for the remainder of our stay there.

We stayed for two days. We visited his aunt Marlene and Uncle Gene, then went over to his Grandma and Grandpa’s house to visit for a bit. Marlene and Gene were gracious enough to lock up their dogs so ours could come into the house and use the yard.

The next day, Gene and Marlene took us to the cabin (under construction) of the Senator. It looks out over Mount Rushmore. Afterward, we went to see Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and drive through Custer State Park. The wind was blowing so hard that I only got out of the car for a minute at Mount Rushmore before retreating. At Custer, we took the wildlife loop road. We saw deer, antelope, prairie dogs, bison, wild turkey and wild burros. That was really neat! Jasmine and Bear were watching as we passed all of them but never barked…they were quite mesmerized. After our driving around, we visited everyone again.

The view from the cabin. See the carved faces up in the highest rock?

Finally, the winds had mostly died down. I was able to walk the dogs without freezing my face off and leaning into the wind.

We had lunch one more time with Gene and Marlene before heading into the Black Hills on our way home. As we neared Casper, WY later that day, it started snowing. We pushed onto Rock Springs. We heard they had a chain requirement before Evanston so we stopped for the night. The next morning, even though the roads were horrible, the interstate was open so we got going and made it home at around 7 PM.


Heather and Thomas Mann said...

Wow! I bet you don't want to do that again for a very very long time! Your poor Jack! Glad you guys made it back safely. Cool picutes!

Valerie said...

First, I can't believe you went that far without the brakes fixed. Scary! I'm glad you guys are okay.

Those are some amazing photos. I didn't know you were going to Mount Rushmore. I love the photo of the farming equipment (I have no idea what that's called).

Tiff :o) said...

We hadn't planned on going to South Dakota exactly...but when Adam got more time off since we were running behind by a few days, we made the trip there anyway. (The farming equipment is a harrow, I believe.)

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