Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tess has a Crick in the neck - Lose a day of Travel. Gain a day of Rest!

No seriously... Tess woke up with a crick-in-the-neck so bad that she cannot turn her head ! You just never know what will happen out here in the Wild, Wild, West. SO we will be staying and resting here in Greeley, Colorado for the day. Which is really fine with everyone involved. [ I think that Tess' mom, Sue, sabotaged Tess' pillow in order for us to stay longer! ]

In the meantime enjoy this picture of the beautiful scenery here in Colorado.

Oh yeah... and we have finally found a place to live! I just spoke to a guy who will be subletting his room in "The Lodge" (how fitting !). It is a big house just on the outskirts of Portland. So, now that we are 2 days from arriving, we have a place to arrive to!

The Lodge

Friday, May 27, 2011

We're Not In Kansas Anymore

Oh Kansas, what a state. I've driven through you a half dozen times and you're always the same . . . flat. We took off from the Casa de Both and had our most tiring day of driving yet. 10 hours driving across Kansas and into Colorado was more strenuous than we thought it would be. I think the trip is finally getting to us but we're staying positive. Although Kansas is flat and uneventful I love coming across the hundreds of wind turbines that stretch for a number of miles. They are so alien and yet elegant. We saw a blade on the back of a semi at a stop and I can't imagine how they drive it down the road they are insanely big! Now we're at my parents house in Greeley CO for a days rest. Maybe we'll hunt some bison to haul it back to the wagon, only 100lbs though, everything else will go to waste!

(the big skies of the plains are so awe-inspiring)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The House of Both

The Both's household was a wonderful sight to see after the day of tornadoes which caused a 3 hour delay in our trip. Andrea and Brian could not be more welcoming, sharing their home, food and amazing children with us. We walked into their very big, very cool house and were met with a trip down memory lane. Hanging in the foyer was a drawing of a wastewater treatment plant that Aaron and I both admired in Brian's apartment when we passed through a few winters back. It was fun to see it again and crazy to think that the last time we saw it Andrea and Brian were only dating and here they are, married, homeowners and parents. Alot can change in a few years time!

The first night we were there we went out to Hickoks for some delicious burgers and headed back to their place to relax with beer and conversation.

The next day we woke up late, relieved to be taking a 'brake' from driving and spent the day with Andrea, Ezra and Arlo. We took walks, chatted and enjoyed each others company.

There's a fountain across the way so we splashed around in that for a while . . .

Took a walk with the wagon, riding optional . . .

Arlo napped . . .

I think both of the kids took to us pretty well . . .

Later that night when the grill master (Brian) got home from work we feasted on steaks, grilled veggies, watermelon and potato bread from their favorite local baker. All of it was fantastic!

The next morning we enjoyed croissants filled with all sorts of things from the same bakery as the potato bread, we could definitely see why they love the place.

Conversation led to thrifting, those who know us know we LOVE to thrift and can't wait to hit up the thrift stores in Portland. Andrea and Brian share our love of thrifting and somehow the topic of owls emerged. Aaron and I told Andrea about an owl wall-hanging that didn't make the cut for the move but that we loved. We told her about two grumpy owls with the signature "Screech". Andrea got up, went upstairs and came back with whats shown below. We couldn't believe it! The same picture! What a small world it is!

Reluctantly, we packed up and rolled out with full tummies and happy thoughts. We can't wait until the Boths come and visit us in the pacific northwest!

( I think Sagan is going to miss Turkey)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I hate tornadoes !!

We had a stressful, terrifying day of dodging tornadoes, but we made it safely to Kansas City, MO.

It all started when we were cruising down I-70 when the very dark skies started to worry me, and I thought... oh yeah Tornadoes exist....and the worst tornado season in about 100 years is now... and we are just on the outskirts of tornado alley !!!!

So I installed nifty App on my smart-phone: FOX StormWARN. It overlays National Weather Service severe weather polygons (flood watch, tornado warnings, etc ) and RADAR over your current location and gives you Weather-Alerts for wherever you are.

The App then alerted me that basically all of MO, IN, and IL were under a Tornado WARNING. We stopped for gas, and a police officer advised us to NOT continue west on I-70, as a tornado had touched down about 15 miles west of us and was headed north-east towards I-70 and us! We decided to get back on the road and go back East, very fast.

As we were fleeing one tornado, we noticed a very ominous cloud barreling up from the South. It was very difficult to see what direction it was moving and therefore also difficult to guess which way to run, so we decided to stop and call someone for help looking at the RADAR (my phone lost internet signal).

I called my brother Jacob and he told us that tornadoes were basically all around up and down I-70. By this time, the tornado siren starts going off, and we freaked out, grabbed the dog and ran into the Target (whose parking lot we had stopped in), to join the shoppers in the center of the store to wait out the storm (or our impending death).

We survived! Although the tornadoes touched down at several points all along I-70, they apparently didn't touch down too close to us, although we did learn later that the crazy churning cloud right above us, which seemed to be following-us, was in fact a funnel cloud that could have easily developed into a tornado. Whew....

What did we learn....? Tornadoes are terrifying, gigantic, incredibly fast moving, unpredictable, make-you-feel-completely-insignificant, unforgiving bastards.

Once we got the all clear we finished the trip to Kansas City to visit our friends Andi and Brian and their 2 kids, 2 cats, dog and lovely house. Which is where we will be tonight and tomorrow! AND they have a basement: a novel, reassuring thing to have in these parts, which Target stores lack....

Best pun of the day goes to our friend Mike, who when he found out we were seeking shelter in a Target responded, "Don't get blown away,........ by the savings!"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First Stop - Middle of No-wheres-ville

If you are wondering how a large dog fits into a packed-to-the-brim car throughout a long road trip, the answer is.... snugly. He isn't to thrilled, but he has been very good and just sleeps in his nest in the back seat almost all of the time.

When he is awake, he is co-pilot.

Well we made it to..... Ferdinand, IN (Between Louisville and St. Louis). Got a "dog" room at a Comfort Inn and picked up the worlds worst pizza for dinner. Sagan got his very own queen-size bed.


So today, after a very positive meeting with our Landlord (we got all our security deposit back), we loaded down the wagons with all the necessary items and set off. The cars were very loaded down, but amazingly we fit all the stuff we needed to, and could still see out most of the windows.

My grandfather just recently told me that a Bowman was a member of the Lewis and Clark party, so in the spirit of previous Bowmans, I set off to venture into the unknown, with nothing more than a motor vehicle, smart-phone, GPS, Internet, Google Maps, and the sum of all collective human knowledge in my hand. Its gonna be tough......