6487 Miles Later …

SWMBO threatened to “chop ’em off!” when my OCD kicked in at the end of the trip and I suggested we “ride around a bit” to even the mileage at 6500 exactly. She’s mean.
So, let’s see. SWMBO’s Mom died the 6th. I flew SWMBO out the 7th. Her son and I followed (driving) the 10th. Part of I-90 was closed so we wound up taking an “alternate route” through Bend, Oregon, snow on the hills and packed on the road, that added several hours and a couple of hundred miles to the trip. Pulled in to Oregon, Oh about 37 hours later.
Got some rest. Holy Fuck, it’s cold in Ohio. “Viewing” on the 14th. Burial the 15th. SWMBO asked if we could stay through Christmas so her Dad wouldn’t have his first Christmas without his lovely-young-bride of 63 years alone. Sure. Except for the endless “cab view train videos” and -2 degree Wx (-25 with the wind-chill) it wasn’t too bad. SWMBO packed up a lot of sewing/quilting stuff from her Mom’s stuff in the basement. That fills the bed of the truck. (And behind the seats in the truck is absolutely stuff with our personal ‘stuff.’)
Took off the 26th heading South. Got caught 5-miles back in a 20 mile backup on I-75 somewhere south of Cincinnati but north of Lexington. Followed a bunch of other cars and semi’s across the “Do Not U-Turn” thing on the highway and back-tracked about 10 miles (seeing miles and miles of cars still in that traffic jam on the south bound side) until we stopped at a gas station (I had to pee!) and used their porta-potty (in sub-zero wx) cause their restrooms were out of order.
I believe we took highway 32 through Sadieville to Connersville to Lee’s Lick to Leesburg then highway 62 back to I-75 (all of it snow covered to about 8″ and following a long line of other vehicles). Almost made it to Lexington before I had to stop for the night.
Where we discovered the “Cracker Barrel” chain of restaurants. OMG, SWMBO and I stuff ourselves on some really good food, had enough left over to take some with us, and it cost only $30 (with tip). It was so inexpensive that I paid for some old Vet’s dinner ($15 & tip) on the way out. So Cracker Barrel has become one of our favorites. (Nearest one to our home is down Beaverton, Oregon way. Bummer.)
Got to Como, Miss the next day to visit my 83 year old Uncle on my Mom’s side. My 87 year old Aunt and her husband drove over to see us. We visited my 93 year old Uncle at his not-quite-assisted living place. Stayed for a couple of days and took off. Took the back way through Sardis and along H-315 to 61 to 49 to I-40 Westbound. Glad to be Westbound.
Visited my 89 year old Aunt in Arkansas for a couple of hours before heading on home. Wx slowly improved the further West we went. Mostly.
Took a couple of days following I-40 to get to 191 North to head to Midway, Ut. Took the “Southern Route” to avoid the heavy snowstorms in the mid-west (and it mostly worked). Didn’t hit much Wx until around Moab, Utah. Then it got snowy. Good God there’s some desolate areas along 191! (And I was actually accosted by a drunk Indian (Native American) wanting “a couple of bucks” at some Burger King we stopped at on a Reservation along the way.)
Took a very snowed over Highway 6, in the dark, and followed that to I-15 North to Provo and the very snowed over Provo Canyon to Heber to Midway. Where we got snowed in for 2 days. About 15 inches of new snow overnight.
Left Midway Wednesday and made it as far as Boardman, Oregon before I had to stop for the night. Made it home around 1300 the next day. It wouldn’t have hurt SWMBO to let me round off the mileage to 6500.
And that’s it. Our unplanned trip of the decade. So far. We’ve been lounging around the house just enjoying being home. Enough so that we’ve only been out grocery shopping and even picked up a pizza to eat at home for date day this week.
Not going to get into how beautiful northern Arizona/Southern Utah is, for now, but know this: I Could Move To Northern Arizona/Southern Utah Tomorrow! That’s got to be the most beautiful stretch of land on this Earth.

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