|Laura & Joan at the distillery|
The long ride home is over. After a wonderful stay at my sister’s house in North Aurora, Illinois along with her husband, we made the final 5-hour leg trip home to Lapeer on Wednesday.
We had dry, but cold weather from Des Moines to North Aurora on Monday. The only obstacle on that trip was some extensive construction on I-88 which was surprising because that is a fairly new toll road.
The highest temperature during the day Monday was a 39 degree temperature just before we arrived at Laura’s house.
My sister was still working (she works from home) so we entertained ourselves by catching up on email and Facebook until she was done working.
As is the custom, my sister cooked my favorite dinner, spaghetti, which I consumed in great quantities. If I haven’t said so previously, my sister is a great, great cook.
In the morning while my brother-in-law worked, we headed to Fox River Distillery near my sister's house to get a personal tour of the place from my sister. I'm not a drinker, but they have won a bunch of awards for their Bourbon, whiskey and moonshine, so we bought some bottles for the Family Literacy Center Auction later this year.
|Some barrels of bourbon|
The next day, all of us went to the Ellwood House in DeKalb, Illinois for a wonderful house tour. Built in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the home was the residence of a man who produced barbed wire and turned it into a multi-million dollar operation.
Our tour guide was wonderful and we learned a lot about the house and its family. Afterwards, we went to a really nice restaurant (the name of which I can’t remember right now) and then headed home for our final night on the road.
My sister and brother-in-law were kind enough to remodel the guest bathroom for us prior to our arrival so we felt very special, although I’m sure she didn’t do it just for us.
The next morning we were up early and then on the road for the short trip home through Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
As we always seem to do, we hit a major traffic jam on I-80 through parts of Illinois and Indiana which was due to a traffic accident. That cost us about 40 minutes, but soon we were off and running and the rest of the trip was uneventful.
From the time we left California we never had a temperature above 57 and Wednesday was no exception although we did hit 57 a couple times during the trip.
Entering Michigan we were immediately struck by the poor conditions of the freeway, but then that is always the case in Michigan. We have some of the highest gas taxes in the country, yet still some of the worst roads. Gas prices in Michigan are second highest to any we saw with the exception of California.
The house came through the winter in good condition (thanks Tim) but we do seem to have a little bit of a septic back up issue brewing, something we are in the process of taking care of. We had a nice dfinner Friday night with daughter Elin and son Tim at Whitey’s in Davison and I have already started back to work driving my bus.
Of course, the weather has turned crappy since we’ve been home and as I write this we are in the middle of a stupid ice storm. I guess if I want to avoid Michigan’s bad weather we’ll have to stay in Tucson until June.
|Laura & Me|
So another winter trip to Arizona is in the books and life is back to real here in Michigan. I thank all of you for following along and the Lord willing we’ll do it all over again next year. Peace!
Mileage out (Des Moines): 103945
Mileage in (North Aurora) 104255
Time out: 10:12 a.m. (Central Daylight Time)
Time in: 3:10 p.m. (Central Daylight Time)
Mileage out (North Aurora): 104255
Mileage in (Lapeer, MI): 104589
Time out: 8:40 a.m. (CDT)
Time in: 3:08 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)