Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Home - And Not A Minute Too Soon

Skip is fanatical about tracking the weather. He has 11 weather apps on his iPhone. I used to mock him until we got stuck driving through an ice storm a few years back when we decided to throw caution to the wind. I now completely defer to his judgement.

We arbitrarily picked April 10 as a departure date from SPI with a tentative home arrival date of April 15. We packed up the car and got going to Buffalo TX on the 10th. We had superb driving conditions all the way.

On the Weather Channel, a terrible ice storm was being forecast for the weekend, so we decided to drive an extra hour or two from our normal pace to get home on Friday - just to be safe.

We made it to Jonesboro AR on night #2 and stayed at a sketchy Econolodge due to an error on my part. I have apps for every hotel chain and accumulate points for free nights and just booked the wrong Choice Hotel. It turned out OK as the motel was within walking distance of a Cracker Barrel. By 'motel', I mean you drive up to the door of your room. It was a bit noisy but I was so pooped that I slept like the dead. I don't think Skip slept as well as I did but regardless, we got up bright and early the next morning and headed for Fort Wayne IN.

The original plan was to spend the night at my sister's in the Sarnia area before doing the last 4 hours on the road before home. But from Fort Wayne, we could certainly make it home in one day.

We had excellent driving conditions the whole way. No bad weather. No major traffic tie-ups. No car malfunctions. As we neared the ramp for the 407, we were fortunate to get off the 401 without a slow-down as we could see cars stopped farther down the road.
The 401 below us as we head eastward on the 407. We most certainly did NOT miss traffic like this on our holiday.
We made it home by 4:30 and just got the car unloaded before the rain started coming down. It had been 14C in Sarnia after we crossed from the US and the temperature had plummeted to 4C by the time we got home.

Here was our 3200km route:

Back in Whitby, it rained for a while. Then when the temperature dropped below freezing, freezing ice pellets started. They lasted for about 1.5 days, covering everything in what looked like newly fallen snow.
Saturday night
Freezing ice pellets covered the driveway and sidewalk Saturday night 
Then it snowed for a few hours, then it rained for a day. I didn't leave the house until yesterday (Monday) when I went out to help Skip clear our driveway and sidewalks. The slushy snow was really heavy. Thank goodness, Skip was able to get the snowblower to move the stuff. It was still hard work, but so much easier than if we'd had to shovel.

It was windy overnight and a bit drizzly this morning but our driveway and sidewalks are still clear. Am I ever glad we got out there yesterday and cleared things off. Several people in our neighbourhood didn't even bother to clear the 10cm of accumulation away.
This morning. Our hard work yesterday paid off. There was only a light dusting of snow overnight. 
We are all unpacked and laundry is done. Our regular activities have resumed. Our wonderful holiday in south Texas is but a delicious memory.

We were so fortunate to have been able to experience the beginning of the migration and are following several of our birding friends on Facebook who are still down there. In the meantime, we're reconnecting with our friends and loved ones here at home and already planning things we might want to do down south next year.  Two things we didn't do were visiting the new Sea Turtle Rescue place and doing a Segway tour of the island. It's always nice to have something to look forward to.

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