Nov 20, 2009

Road Trip--in detail

Earlier this month I mentioned that we were leaving on a road trip. We had the opportunity to drive to Iowa to pick up some new goats. Everything fell into place--the right time of year, the schedule allowed it...everything coalesced to make it doable, so we decided to seize the opportunity and do it.

The trip was tiring. Anytime that you drive for 8 or more hours each day when you are not accustomed to it will be a challenge. Making the trip with an often cranky and confused 86 year old and an often cranky and confused ancient livestock trailer only adds stress. But there is something intoxicating about the notion of setting off for parts unknown and seeing things outside of your day to day routine which makes up for the challenges so off we went!

We left on Monday the second of November. I was anxious about the weather on the way up but all reports indicated that the roads would be clear and the temperature...well, temperate! Accompanied by my two biggest shutterbugs, Katie (21) and Sara (16) we had to stop along the way and buy extra memory cards for the camera. As I expected, we ended up with more pictures than I will ever manage to wade through.

We saw lots of beautiful countryside, thanks to my GPS (named "Jeb" after the famous scout of the Confederacy). Jeb felt obliged to take me on every back road possible on this trip. He did this despite the settings being repeatedly reconfigured. This was fine and we enjoyed the glimpse we got of rural America except that there was an astonishing amount of construction going on on these back roads. Apparently the road construction segment of the economy is not suffering.

We saw the Mississippi from the town of Guttenberg, Iowa. This was actually our destination, where the goats were living and milking and crying out to be rescued from the impending winter. The girls enjoyed seeing the lock and dam on the river. It seemed like there would be ample to keep you busy sightseeing in the area for several weeks. Everyone was extremely friendly. When we discovered that not only was a headlight out on the van but that we had not one but two nails in one of the livestock trailer tires we asked Jeb to find us an auto repair place and he led us to Boubin Tire Co. in Manchester Iowa. I walked in and they asked what kind of a day I was having. I replied that that depended on if they could help us or not. They assured me that they would try, what was the problem. "I have a flat tire with a nail in it."

"No problem!"

"On my livestock trailer."

"No problem!"

"With ten goats in the trailer."

" that's baa-aaaaaaad."

Obligatory goat noise jokes out of the way they went to work, fixed it, got us on the road with fantastic customer service. Jeb had proven himself and was forgiven for all of the back route forays.

More to follow on the joys of milking your way across the fruited plain in motel parking lots...

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