Getting home, the hard way

Sunday: Our last official day of this ‘holiday’. Okay, it’s not really a holiday — it’s our life. But the last day of this road trip, anyway.

We had breakfast in the Comfort Inn — and hit the road by 8:00am. Went straight north up into South Dakota. Lots of rain, and some serious headwinds. But the roads were mostly empty and I was hoping that once we turned east we would escape some of the rain. And that’s how it went. We were sailing along towards Sioux Falls. Roads were good. Heavy clouds moving all around us, but not much rain.

Wind and rain all the way home!Then once we got close to Sioux Falls it turned nasty. Huge winds. Hail! I stopped for a moment, but then decided that it was probably just as well for me to keep moving. We turned onto the I-29 and headed north. Wind was seriously pushing us from the west. I had to hang onto the steering wheel with both hands.

Driving conditions were horrible!We stopped at a McDonald’s for lunch. Sue offered to drive for a bit to give me a break. I was probably just as tense as she was for the next hour. Rain pounded us. Fields were already flooded. Every time we passed someone or they passed us, the wind shear caused the van to veer out of its lane. We traded positions again. By now I felt I had a better sense of control behind the wheel.

When we hit Fargo the worst of the weather was behind us. We turned off the I-29 near Drayton and headed for the Tolstoi border crossing. Sure enough, the line-up was only 3 or 4 vehicles ahead of us, no one behind. No one had to open their trunk. A short visit with the customs guy and they were through. Same with us. Didn’t really ask us anything about what we bought. The only hitch was when he asked us about alcohol — Sue volunteered that we had a ‘big’ bottle (1.75 litres) of gin. Oh, oh. What to do. Pour out half of it? Pay 78 cents per ounce over the limit (about $20)? No. It’s lots of paperwork to confiscate the booze. Promise you won’t do this again. And we’re through.

We arrived home at 7:30pm. It is FREEZING COLD here. Two degrees! Once again, it seems we are home too early in the season. The house is all good. Only a couple of burned out light bulbs this time! The kids have turned on the furnace and the water. Internet is connected. Sue calls Shaw Cable and in a couple of minutes the TV is working. A couple of cold beers in the fridge. No supper though. A few phone calls to parents and children. My mom invites us to come over for a late supper. We do that.

And that’s it. We’re right back at home, almost like we never left!