Last weekend I finally graduated from The University of New Hampshire. In the days surrounding graduation, I was charged with the task of packing up all of my worldly belongings, stuffing them into a 14' U-Haul truck and then attaching my vehicle to tow-dolly. Then, at 12:30 AM on Monday Morning, we pushed off from The Granite State of New Hampshire on a 3-Day journey to the Centennial State of Colorado.
We pushed off from my mother's house at 12:30 AM on Monday Morning. It was bitter sweet leaving Derry; a town we moved to so that I could attend high school at Pinkerton Academy. under the darkness of night, we began our trek west. My step-father took the first shift in driving the u-haul. He usually works nights so the night time drive wasn't an issue for him. Mom, she drove the Carolla with Sarah mainly because she doesn't sleep much especially not lately. Through the darkness we made our way through New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and the sun would eventually rise in Pennsylvania. I took over the u-haul and Sarah the car somewhere in Pennsylvania. An accident on I-84 forced us to take a 30 mile detour through amish country where yes, we did see a few amish folks. Yet from here we soldiered on pushing through Pennsylvania and through Ohio.
It was in Indiana where the nations recent fight with mother nature caused some concern. Here we were with all of our belongings in a truck when reports of severe storms and tornados surrounded the area we were in. Rather then sweat it out, we enjoyed the fantastic rays of sunshine that dropped from the heavens.. leading us home. After dinner in Sturgis, Wisconsin; we crossed into Illinois and settled into a Red Roof Inn in Lansing, IL for our first nights rest after 22 hours and 1000+ Miles of driving.
We woke up leisurely on Tuesday, ate breakfast at an East Chicago IHOP, then pushed off once again for our shortest day of travel. I drove with mom to spend some needed quality time with her. I'm really glad she's helping us move because she'd never been across the Mississippi River, seldom goes on vacation, she gets to see our home and new town and she gets a long good bye. I really enjoyed my time in the car with her, reminiscing about people that had come in and out of our lives over the years. It was well worth having her come along.
After crossing the Mississippi we entered Iowa. After driving for what seemed like forever through the flat stretches of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, Iowa offered more variety. The hills were long and broad often times topped with Wind Turbines... and at times we saw hundreds laced across the country-side. This certainly is farm country, rich black soil with tiny green sprouts shooting up from the ground. I actually really liked Iowa.. that is until the severe weather paid us another visit. As we forged across I-80 we came to a wall cloud. Torrential rains and straight line winds were in the forecast. The radio is calling for those in the area to seek shelter immediately yet.. we continued to drive forward. We saw a funnel cloud and frequent lightning, fearful of our stuff, nervous behind the wheel yet we came out the other side fresh as daisies.
As we entered Omaha, NE; we made our way to the Motel 6 which was an experience in itself. Our kitty hated the hotel room and the thunderstorms crackling outside so she chose to sleep behind my pillow.
The alarms went off at 3:30AM and we pushed off at 4 AM, central time, for our final day. The rain came down in sheets in Omaha and it would for the next 5 to 6 hours as we pushed across Nebraska. People told us Nebraska is the worst, we couldn't see it. we were under low lying clouds, socked in as the rain came down in buckets. In the 5 hours we were in Nebraska, we received some 4" of rain. We watched the swollen North Platte River rise even more and the 50mph cross winds tossed our truck.. AND the car left and right as we tumbled down the highway. The wind was so fierce that at one point, the wind blew enough rain up and under our truck that it soaked the ignition and the U-Haul came to a stop under an underpass. So nervous that we had broken down, in the middle of no-where, during and epic storm.. I hunkered down next to the bridge pillar to relieve myself. Yes darlings.. I was so nervous I was shitting myself. Ce la vie. However, after 20 minutes on the side of the highway, we managed to let the ignition dry out, the truck re-started, and ran like a top. We were on our way again.
We finally turned off of I-80 and headed south on I-76. The sun had come out and the winds subsided as we entered into Colorado. We stopped at the border to take pictures at the sign. So many emotions came over me. I was finally here, Colorado. It's always an amazing feeling when your dreams come true. After I got back into the truck and we started down the highway again, I cried and cried. I was crying and laughing, so happy that we'd made it... we were Home.
We took a break from the moving on Thursday and took Mom and Howard up into the Rocky's. They couldn't leave here without seeing the mountains up close and personal. So we drove through Boulder and made our way up into Boulder Canyon where we took them to Boulder Creek Falls. Then we continued to Nederland and Allenspark. In Allenspark we stood at the base of Mount Meeker where we showed mom the Stone Church, visited by Pope John Paul II in the 1990s. Then we made it into Estes Park where we had lunch. This is my office, and it was a real joy to share it with my family before they flew home to New Hampshire.