It is lovely to be back in Manitoba. I have to say it actually brought a tear to my eye when the border guard said welcome home. Travelling is a passion for Graham and I ( and Gavin and Charlie) but there is a warmth in my heart when I return home. Hugs and kisses from family are the best! Nothing quite compares to the wee arms of grandchildren and the somewhat larger arms of their parents. (Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind I remember them as little children).
I have also been blessed by amazing friends and it is such a treat to get together for lunches and dinners and catch up on each other’s lives.
I have posted some shots of wee Gavin as he returns to his home , where he hangs out with his road buddy Betty Boop, and a special visit with his twin McKenzie and her friends! D
As the title of this post indicates, Betty, Charlie, and I visited state #11 on our overlandish odyssey – Minnesota – and are now home, although home is a relative term: Our door mat says “Home is where the welcome mat is”, and it moves regularly with our mobile tiny house. For the purposes of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, we are completing form 8840 this month: a “Closer Connection Exception Statement for Aliens”, showing our home is in Canada more than the U.S.A. But of course our main experience of home comes in reconnecting with our children and grandchildren this week. It’s great to be home again!
For those who are counting, our original plan took us through 9 states on our inaugural journey. But the tally so far adds 2 more: We visited Missouri on the way south, to open a U.S. bank account there. And we visited Minnesota on the way north to have our slide-out toppers replaced. Our previous toppers had been ripped in a high intensity windstorm in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Minneapolis Camping World was the closest location with the time to install new ones this week.
After we left Oklahoma, we drove through Kansas and Missouri, stopping for the night at a rest area just over the Iowa border. We then made our way to Myre – Big Island State Park, just over the Minnesota border, where we spent the evening and night in an almost deserted campground. Following dinner we
invited another couple (Jim & Kim) to join us as we watched the sunset over Albert Lea lake. Being from Minnesota, they told us how the weather had changed dramatically in the past 2 weeks. There had been a blizzard with 2 feet of snow everywhere. Now there was just the small patch of snow and ice showing in the attached picture. Other than seeing snow on the top of a distant mountain at Alamogordo, New Mexico, it was the first snow we had seen since December!
Also noticeable in the attached pictures is the lack of foliage on the trees and ground cover. It’s always interesting to go back in time, as we leave the warmer southern regions where the grass is green, the trees are dense with leaves, and the flowers are in full bloom. As seen by the attached pics, the trees are still bare as they await the warmer spring weather that will soon embrace us.
Before visiting Minneapolis Camping World, we spent the night at a Boondockerswelcome.com location in Buffalo, Minnesota. Our hosts there have a beautiful home on a large acreage overlooking a lake, and we spent a nice evening on their back deck, chatting about past travels, future trips, and dream destinations.
Our last night on the road was in the Walmart parking lot in Fargo, North Dakota, and we are now set up at the Town & Country Campground in Winnipeg. This evening our kids and grandkids will join us for an impromptu pot luck dinner at our “home”, featuring lots of hugs and kisses.
When we crossed the border into Canada yesterday, the smiling border officer greeted us with “Welcome back!”. Yes, it’s great to be home again!