Pinch of Time

January 25, 2012

When you leave the North Country for a winter trip, be prepared for anything

When you leave the North Country and head out driving to Colorado, you'd better be prepared for anything, especially in the winter time.

With gifts wrapped, bags packed and truck washed, Toby and I left for Colorado Springs in mid-December to enjoy the holidays with our youngest daughter, Carrie, and her family.

Anybody who knows Toby knows he washes his truck a lot, which he did the night before leaving. A few miles down I-87, Toby noticed that the truck-bed cover had opened. We stopped to close it only to find out that the cover track had frozen. We had to tie it shut until we got nearly to Albany where it was warmer. I had the greatest urge to say, "So, wash your truck again in freezing cold weather, and see what happens," but I didn't. We had a long trip ahead, and I thought it best to shut up.

The rest of our first day was relatively calm. We had a good laugh when we saw a very expensive Porsche with Christmasy reindeer antlers on each window — a posh Porsche and redneck antlers?

Our first overnight stop is Austinburg, Ohio. This year, we opted to try a new hotel in that area, America's Best Value Inn. The guidebook gave it four check marks, indicating a good place to stay. The room was great with a recliner, queen-size bed, color TV and a real philodendron plant, not plastic, for less than $60. The manager and his wife were on-site, and a continental breakfast rounded out the perks.

The next day, we veered southwest, to Anderson, Ind., to visit our granddaughter Emily and her new husband, Jared. The back roads we took were beautiful. We drove for miles past huge, pristine farms and quaint country homes. In very rural Mooreland, Ind., we were surprised to find a sign at the four corners informing us that Wilbur Wright was born there (April 16, 1867).

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