December 12, 2010

Changing Plans in Iowa

This is not the post I had planned for today.
This is not what we had planned for our weekend.

We loaded in eastern Ohio Friday morning and are delivering south of Rapid City, SD on Monday morning. It was roughly 1200 miles and we had almost 3 days. It was going to be a leisurely weekend. A long hot shower, real food instead of fast food, a stop at Cabelas for Malcolm and I was contemplating hitting the mall when we got to Rapid City.

We drove almost 600 miles Friday and stopped south of Waterloo, IA for the night. We woke up to rain. Still planned on a leisurely weekend, and yes I'd checked the weather, but the parts of Iowa and Minnesota we were traveling through were only forecast to get a couple inches of snow..

I didn't get the part of the weather forcast about the wind. And if you've been in the midwest, you know what wind can do to a couple inches of snow. Right before we got to Minnesota we ran into signs stating that I-90 was closed. It wasn't too bad really, just snowing and slushy. So we jumped off on an Iowa highway to cut across to South Dakota. But as you can see, things changed quickly.

We finally managed to get pulled off the road into the parking lot of a Pamida in Estherville, IA. Our friend who goes through there on occasion said there was a McDonalds across the road and room to park at the Pamida.
We think this was a bank, but who really knows. Its all we could make out from our parking spot, and only after the security lights came on that evening.

The only reason we had found the Pamida was because the snow cleared for a mini-second just as we were passing the sign by the road. We never did see the building, not once through the long afternoon and night. And we figured the McDonalds would be closed, but it was worth calling to see. And unfortunately we were right. So it was crackers and oranges for dinner, the only meal we had all day long. And my next Walmart stop will be to put in some winter food supplies!

The scenery is a little different this morning. For starters, we could see the Pamida when we unzipped the curtain. They have some digging to do before they can open this morning.
In fact, most of northwest Iowa has some digging to do this morning.

and its cold! Registering around zero, but the winds still blowing a bit, so you know its chillier than that!

The road is mostly clear, but there are still a few trouble spots, one or two where there's just the one lane open, and others where they've already been working with the snow plows. 

 And I keep thinking, if it was this bad here where they were just getting a few inches of snow, what was it like in the western side of Iowa and Minnesota, where they were supposed to get lots more?
We're 45 miles from Sioux Falls. Surveying the damages, on a personal level, in the middle of the blizzard, trying to find somewhere to stop, our truck suddenly dumped all the air out of our air supply and wouldn't rebuild pressure. After Malcolm stood outside looking under the hood and talked to Kenworth on the phone, it was decided that a part on the air compressor had gone out. We thought we were stranded out in no man's land. Then the truck suddenly decided that it didn't want to stop there, and miraculously started building pressure back up, allowing us to make it to the Pamida 10 miles away.

In attempting to get there, we were making a turn and Malcolm couldn't see out the mirrors, so I had to open my door and look back to make sure the trailer was making the corner and not sliding off. And then my door wouldn't latch closed. So for the next 10 miles I was holding my door closed against blizzard winds while snow sifted in around us coating me, the computer, and the floor. And then when we got parked, I had to take the girls out (a whole other issue) and when I got back in, the door closed like normal and latched. Needless to say, we're both using the driver side door till Malcolm can look at the other door and figure out the problem.

The girls...bless their hearts....braved the storm (under force) one at a time to potty. Ella had to go twice because she wouldn't do anything the first time. Ella thinks she can't go unless there is grass, and quite frankly I wasn't going to go hunting for some. She did finally take care of things the second time out and the rest of the night we stayed in and thankfully no accidents. They still were not thrilled this morning, but at least they weren't in danger of blowing away.
(thawing out)

And now, as if all that wasn't enough, there is something wrong with the suspension. Malcolm aired it up manually with the air hose, but it not a permanent fix. Another project for today, but for now its good enough to keep rolling.

Other than that we're still alive and we all have all our fingers and toes. So, no worse for wear, and we'll be in Rapid City in a few hours. as long as mother nature cooperates.


ACountryCowgirl said...

I hate trips like that!!:( I will pray for everything to get working properly and for things to get better:) See now I go and move and y'all will be so close to where we were. Stay safe and warm!!!

small farm girl said...

Oh my goodness!!!!! I couldn't imagine getting stranded in that kind of weather! I'm glad you guys are still safe and sound.

Dreaming said...

Ugh! What an awful trip. It seems like Murphy's Law was with you all the way. I hope things get better...soon!

Meagan said...

WOW! That's all I can say... WOW! Glad y'all are safe! I tried to call you today and then when you called back I was taking a well deserved nap! lol. :-) Love you, Miss you!!!!

Shirley said...

Seems that your truck didn't like the weather either! Glad you made it through safely.

Judy said...

I know how much you had been looking forward to your leisurely weekend! I am glad you are safe! Darn truck along with the weather sure changed things! Nice photos and narrative as usual! Glad your girls didn't blow away! We got some snow and cold but not like lots of places in Norh Dakota.Our son in Williston really got slammed about 12-13 inches of snow. We have all had the below zero temps. More snow to come this week we heard. Take care!!

Janice said...

Oh my Sarah that looked just ugly. I'm sure glad you had a place to stop and be safe.Sorry you didn't get the dinner you were after, hope everything is fixed or gets fixed and you at least won't have to worry about that.Stay warm and be safe.

Cedar View Paint Horses said...

That was a doozy of a storm. We got about 6" Saturday, then another 6" on Sunday and 50 mph winds. The drifting was impressive. Have a 4' tall one by the barn that I need to move tonite. Check my blog in a few days for my post on the storm.

I always thought I'd enjoy driving a truck. Except for the wind, snow, ice, breakdowns, road idiots....