We got a late start. So late most people would’ve said “we’ll leave tomorrow.” But not us, there’s no time like the present, even if its 5 pm, or later. So off we went. We didn’t even make it out of North Carolina that night. Stopped at a rest stop and slept. But that does tend to assist in an earlier start the next morning. We still travel this way today, late start on day 1, early start thereafter.
- Day 2: into Tennessee. Flat tire on the trailer. An ordeal for sure. Matt had to change a flat on the side of I-40. Stayed in the parking lot of an art school this night.
- Day 3: still in Tennessee. Flat tire on the trailer. OMG, are we ever going to make it!!!! This time we were able to move trailer to a restaurant parking lot and then Matt picked up all new tires and changed them out. Stayed in the parking lot of a church that night. Lesson learned: don’t tow heavy stuff on factory tires. We replaced all the tires on the trailer, now we’re ready!
- Day 4: through Arkansas and into Oklahoma. Found a nice little KOA there. Owners were newer owners of campground and had actually been traveling in their RV while homeschooling kids for a few years before. Exactly what we had planned to do. This was getting exciting and real.
- Day 5: through Oklahoma and into Kansas. Stayed in a Walmart parking lot in Salinas. Oh the winds!! Poor Matt towing that trailer, luckily he did by stabilizing sway bars to help.
- Day 6: through Kansas and Colorado, and into Wyoming. Stayed in a hotel. We were a bit overdue for showers. The winds picked up again in Wyoming. The beautiful country here was spectacular.
- Day 7: Through Wyoming and Utah and into Idaho. We made it!!! Mom was very pleased to see us.
We saw some fun stuff, especially the girls, they hadn’t driven that far, only flown. Land forms were exciting; plateaus, mountains, crop fields, snow, wind. Old school map reading was introduced and lots of science and geography lessons took place. This mainly consisted of simply having conversations along the way and asking the kids questions that require observation.
The cats came out of their shells after a couple days. Our old man sat on the dashboard at night and watched the sights. Our little boy mostly hid in the crate. Annabelle sang songs the whole way…mostly “Born in the USA” and “Punctuation” from Leap Frog. We still laugh at this today.
We learned the importance of flexibility and going with the flow and patience. Keeping two little girls occupied in a restaurant parking lot while daddy fixed a tire was a little challenging. Eating on the road to maximize drive time but keep growing kids fed required creativity. Carrot & celery sticks, pretzels, apples and peanut butter & jelly or honey sandwiches were the norm during the day. Can of soup was easy at night. The mornings consisted of cereal, toast or yogurt in the mornings. These learnings would serve us well on future roadtrips. Of which we have now had many.