Well here we go!
The first day of the Alaska trip started out uneventfully. I picked up the four children from their mom at 8 o’clock .Went home emptied the perishables from the fridge, took out the trash, got Leo loaded up, and hit the road. It all started off great. We made the Virginia border, got the obligatory state line picture. We all know going into this trip that there is a good chance Canada won't open the border for us to be able to drive to Alaska in time. They're scheduled to make an announcement on 7/21 so we'll try to be in a decent position by then but if they don' open the border we still have plenty of opportunity for a great trip.
We were pulling out just as thunder clouds are starting to rumble and as we were merging into traffic the rain started, great timing. The next five hours brought about some of the worst road tripping conditions I’ve seen in my life. We drove through the mountains between Virginia and West Virginia with torrential rain and hail but when it wasn’t raining I have to say it was actually absolutely beautiful scenery. We drove through Jefferson national forest and we probably spent somewhere around 4 to 5 hours total less than 20 miles an hour. There were so many people. Loralea made the observation that it seemed like most of the others cars on the road also had roof top carries like us or had hitch carries. So 6 o’clock rolls around and we’re pulling into the West Virginia welcome center. Mind you when we left Raleigh Google maps said we should be arriving at our destination, Indiana Dunes National Park at approximately 8:30 that evening. At 6:30 we’re pulling in the West Virginia welcome center with somewhere to the tune of seven hours of driving left to go because of all the traffic we have been involved with. A quick picture and back on the road.
Chick-fil-A for the dinner and G4 needed some one on one time to re-center his Chi so we took a walk through the Lowe’s and then back on the road we go. Even as slow as we went for most of the day it’s hard not to notice the amount of beauty that there is in this country especially in this drive today. Somewhere north of the West Virginia welcome center I realized that I had forgotten to reset the trip counter when I left home so my total miles traveled when I get back home wouldn’t be accurate I reset it there and googled distance from where I was back home and it said 184 miles so whatever I end up with I’ll just add 184 miles to that.
In West Virginia and their turnpike beat me about the chest, neck, head, and facial area with their toll but we did make good time. I don’t mean we made up for the time we lost around the Jefferson national forest but we made decent time.
As dusk fell and twilight rolled in I realized it was 9:15PM at night and still light out. We pushed on into Ohio. No state line picture to be had there. Their state line sign is in the middle of the bridge, there’s no way you could take that picture. Once the children finish the movie they were watching we discussed whether we should stop then and get a hotel room and wake up the next morning with five hours remaining before we reach the Indiana dunes or if they prefer to take a nap and I’d push on for more miles as long as I could and then stop and get a hotel room for the night and hopefully have fewer hours to travel when we woke up in the morning. The consensus was they wanted to take a nap and not have as far to drive tomorrow in the morning so I pushed on and we made it all the way to Lima Ohio before I really felt myself getting too sleepy and G4 was starting to make his angry of sleeping in this place noises so we first found a Fairfield Inn that turned out to be an all around NO GO so I instead decided on a Holiday Inn which also I knew to be pet friendly. We pulled in, they had a room and it was all good news top floor, they have a pool, AND they have breakfast. Here’s to a long long first day. As of now Google says we are 569 miles from home and 192 miles from the Indiana Dunes national park. It’s late, as I’m writing this 1:25. I need some sleep.