Oof. Today was a little rough, you guys.
So we’ve been essentially parked south of Chicago for four nights. Then we had a change of guards, except we traded the guard who mostly does all the helpful hitching things for two guards who have never seen a trailer before. And it is like a million degrees with a billion percent humidity. Bottom line: this morning was not a fun hitching experience.
First of all, there are a couple of locks that are extremely picky and, apparently, when they sit in the rain for four days, they do not get less, but rather more, picky than their default state of pickiness. I started to kind of lose it after I’d been struggling with it for at least thirty minutes and was already drenched in sweat. This would have been around 9 am. I ended up calling Richard in a panic and sending him pictures of the hitch lock to see if I was doing something wrong. I really wasn’t sure what would happen if I couldn’t get this thing to lock, or if I broke the key. At the time it seemed like that would be it. We’d just be stopped there forever. The kids were hot and annoyed already.
Meanwhile, Darren was not enjoying the folding and putting away of the wet and sandy tent. Samantha was not enjoying the not ready-to-go-ness of the situation and things got only more frustrating as time went on where I could not get the hitch unlocked.
It is exactly during moments like these when people seem to take the cue that now would be a perfect time to come ask questions about the Alto. Some guy was really intent on explaining to me that air conditioning really needs to go on the roof.
Fear not though, we toughed it out and made it through. I took over the tent operation and Darren got the key out and the hitch re-locked. He is now the guard in charge of locks. We are abandoning the tent idea and Darren will just awkwardly sleep with his mother in the comfortable, non sandy Alto, or else he will sleep in the car. This will hopefully speed up hitching tomorrow. Today we didn’t get out until after 11 and that was definitely not my target departure time.
Ok, so we were all grouchy this morning after that, I won’t lie about it. I’d say it took a good hour in the air conditioned car before we were able to shake it off and bounce back. Then it was a long drive through endless rolling hills of cornfields. The drive time was punctuated with stops for gas, and we felt compelled to stop at Iowa 80, the World’s Largest Truck Stop, as I had done on my way out.
I’d hoped to get to Des Moines and despite the late start, we did indeed make it. We got to a KOA that Richard found for us, and also grabbed the last reservation. That was around 7. He also kindly alerted the staff that I may need assistance with the back in site. As I type, it is now quite pleasant. It has cooled off, the AC is running, and we are all cheerful after a dinner of hot dogs and root beer floats. There are fireflies outside, and bats, and frogs, and lots of campfires. A nice end and recovery after a rough start.
I didn’t take many pictures today. I will share with you a picture of the privacy curtain I sewed that is working very well to create a bit of personal space. I will also share the picture of the hitch lock I sent to Richard in my most desperate moment. Didn’t help, but it was something to try.
Total miles: 368, Engine time: 7 hours, 11 min, 15.7 mpg