Jan 22nd - Jan 28th

I left Buffalo, NY and headed for well.. West of Buffalo, NY. There was a crazy windstorm as I crossed under lake Erie. A tractor trailer and a box truck got blown right off the road! After seeing that I figured it was a good time to pull over and make some dinner. Pasta and chicken meatballs and some carrots… My lettuce froze over the weekend 🙁 Cooking went well, set off my smoke alarm…it’s only a few feet from the stove. It made me feel at home hearing that familiar alarm and frantically trying to get the batteries out of it! Dinner was good and peaceful as the wind rocked Milou side to side.

After Dinner it was off to find a place to sleep. I ended up at a Cabelas outside of Cleveland. Free camping and helpful place to shop 🙂

Jan 23

Slow morning… I made some coffee. Then some eggs with green peppers, ham and cheese on toast. Pretty tasty little snack. All was going well until I had to go to the bathroom.

Now as some of you may know I installed a composting toilet in Milou. Partly for convince and partly to get RV insurance. Many wanted to know if this smelled? The idea of pooping into a bucket under your bed seems a bit strange, well at least for anybody of this century… Actually, I don’t really think that was what chamber pots were for. Regardless the Airhead (composting toilet brand) does not smell. It does, however, freeze. Me, being indoors in Buffalo, NY and letting Milou drop to negative temps had some consequences. Now you might think gee Chris did you not think about this and the answer is no. I did not think about it or really care to much about it but today I cared. So I did my best to warm it up. Ways to warm up frozen poop dirt:
-Blow warm air on it from heater
-poor room temp water on it
-poor boiling water on it (don’t drop the teapot lid into the toilet)
I dropped the teapot lid into the toilet. This toilet was becoming less convent and more of a pain… Long story some what shortened. I put a glove on and broke up the frozen poop dirt and made enough room for the agitator to move. Did my business and I lived to tell the tail. And most importantly it still does not smell! Although, Milou has a faint onion oder…. I think the defrosting onions are starting to turn :/ time to give them the heave ho.

Not much else happened today, I bought some Grocery’s and some cheap diesel! $2.19/gal!

Jan 24th

I parked again at a Cabelas. Convenient that there was one right outside of Detroit! In a town called Dundee. Makes me thick of Mick, altho a bit cold for crocs.

I woke up to crunching snow, I was not sure what was going on. Thought maybe someone was sneaking up on me! Turned out to be a local construction crew had been using the lot to store some big telephone trucks and they were back to pick them up.

Today I was off to Milou’s birthplace, well sort. I went to Dearborn Michigan to visit the Henry Ford Museum and Rouge Plant. My mind was blown! I have never seen anything like it. They are very very dialed in what they do. From a far it looks as though all the truck parts just snap together like LEGOS… I wish I had that “experience” when working on them 🙂 The museum was really cool, filled will all sorts of things, not just car. I definitly would recommend checking it out. My favorite exhibit was about the Dymoxin house. Read more about it here -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dymaxion_house

Dymoxin house
Jan 25th

A long debate about whether to head north to Michigan or West to the mountains. Looking at the forecast has been key in this trip.. The sub negative temperatures posting for northern Michigan, the lack of climbing partners and long drive quickly lost its appeal. So west I went.

I headed for Des Moines to visit my close friends the Bracketts (Ben and his brother Parke). This was not a quick ride and the weather was awful. Lots of snow, highway closures, trucks and cars blown off the road. Interesting thing to note is for some reason after an accident here they leave the car wreck for days. Just wrap it in caution tape, almost as a lesson to others.

Made it to Iowa where I was warmly welcomed and swept off to a late visit and dinner at Jane and Teds house’s (Ben and Parke’s parents).

Ben and Puppy
Jan 26th

I slept indoors last night at Ben’s house. It was cold out and an indoor bed still has an appeal 🙂 I spent the morning grooming, reading and catching up on personal affairs. Ben and Parke had a soccer game and we met up after for a delicious brunch at Parke’s. Carly (Ben and Parkes sister) and her Fiancé stopped by for a visit. It was great to see them.

For an afternoon activity we got to play security guard and check up on an issue Ben had with one of his properties. Some may think this is boring, I was very interested. It is not every day you get to walk around a forgotten 40,000sqft exercise facilities. Complete with pools, racquetball courts, tennis courts etc. Urban exploring!

We went home and changed, then met up with Jane and Ted for an aperitif. After this Ben took Parke and I out to an awesome “speak easy”/invite only Mexican restaurant in Des Moines. It was delicious and from there the night fell into many more drinks and bar hopping in the cold.

Debris from forgotten building
Finishing up a yummy dinner
Jan 27th

Woke up with a headache and a blurry mind. Ben, Parke and I met up with Jane and Ted for a deliciously greasy breakfast at a local diner.

I said my goodbyes and was on the road by 1300 hrs. Headed for North Platte NE. I hope its warmer there!

Jan 28th

Woke up at 5:30 to the whole ambulance listing and shaking. I felt like I was on a boat. The wind was howling across the open plane. Milou had her board side to the wind and was doing her best to not roll over. In a half stupor I got up and decided to re-orient her. Figuring it would be best if I parked facing into the wind and this might cut down on the swaying. In the back of my mind I was thinking a tornado was going to pick me up like Dorothy. I fell back asleep and woke up a bit later to a howling wind but a bit less motion. The wind here was a sustained 35-40MPH with guests over 65mph. Very very windy. I took my morning slow and the wind died down some. I didn’t make it to North Platte, NE last night only made it to Kearney but Milou got a bath today and I washed the road salt off my shoes. So we are feeling clean and headed for Wyoming!

A windy place to park
scrub scub
Not sure what I will do but I am expecting
Beautiful end to the day