Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015 at 01:49PM by advodna_dave

The day started out normally enough, but it definitely felt a bit strange to be on the move again after a great four nights in Madison and to be on congested highways after the wide open spaces of the plains. I kept looking in the rear view mirror, just watching how the trailer tracked, happy with how it felt after some fresh grease on the WD hitch, reminding myself to take turns wide and allow for extra space when passing. We took the last exit before the sign for a toll booth, realizing that we didn't have any cash in the car. On the shoulder, I ran back to the trailer, flung the door open with the assistance of the wind and pushed aside the jackets that hang on hooks mounted on the screen door, so I could fish through Ann's purse.

With a $10 in my pocket, I accelerated back onto the on ramp, matching speed with the left lane-dwelling semi's and aimed for the cash toll booth on the right. Car toll was $1.90, but our extra axles cost us a total of $4.00. A couple minutes later down the road, a Honda pulled into the lane beside us and started making those gestures that give trailer owners heart burn. Flat tire? Lost bikes? Dog leash dangling from the clip on the steps (even though I knew Gorilla was snoozing next to me in the passenger seat)? Through his open window, he yelled "You're losing all kinds of clothes all over the highway!" In the curbside mirror, I could see Ann's green jacket - the one that hangs on the *inside* of the door - fluttering in the wind, the rest of the hooks empty.

 Now, I won't go too far into it, but we've definitely had some problems with our door, including another middle of the road yard sale in Whitehorse that I had been fairly willing to blame on user error after Ann had gone back there for something. In any case, this time *I'd* managed to not latch it soundly and now our Fall collection was sprinkled along I-90 in Wisconsin.

Of course, the next exit seemed like 20 miles down the highway, especially as Ann tried to get Mae to nap in the back seat and we each silently made mental inventories of what was lost, but we got off and back on as soon as we could. When faced with another $4.00 toll going the opposite direction, I made a failed attempt to beg for leniency from the toll taker before accepting our fate and exiting on the other side of the toll booth. At this point, we'd spent the better part of the cash I'd found in Ann's purse and didn't have enough to get back through the toll booth, so we pulled into a gas station to use the ATM.

 Halfway up the on ramp, we saw the first items, Wynne's fleece and poof and her Junior Ranger vest which we hadn't even realized was missing! The badges were scratched up a bit and we even found one loose next to the vest, but they were all there! Farther up the ramp were Mae's fleece and poof and then another half mile up we saw my bright orange jacket on the right shoulder. Unfortunately, Ann's new fleece and a cashmere shawl were across four lanes in the median. I half expected to hear her urge me to leave them, but those two pieces were her favorites, so instead she just said, "Take your time."

I watched traffic for a couple minutes, analyzing patterns, slow trucks coming around the outside of the curve closest to us and the fastest cars on the inside of the curve in the farthest lane; They'd be the ones to watch. I waited for a healthy opening and bolted across four lanes to the fleece, then hugging the median made my way to the shawl. The sprint back across was easier to time with the faster cars in the closer lane. I slipped back into the driver's seat, my heart beating as much from the game of human Frogger as from the exertion. Ann and I exchanged nods in the rear view but said nothing; I wasn't quite ready to talk about it and besides, we didn't want to wake Mae who had been soundly sleeping through the whole thing.

#airstream #liveriveted #myrivetedlife #lifeontheroad #rvlife