We made it to Oklahoma in pretty good time. 8 days of driving and nearly 3700 miles of road are behind us now.
Instead of it being a nightmare of endless hours on the road, we had a great time with all of us together.
Lydia was the big surprise here. I figured that she would be horrible since she's not that great in the car even running around town. But I would say overall, she did as well as any other baby would, maybe even better than other kiddos. I think some of the success was due to her new car seat.
Here she was on the day it arrived just in time for our trip (expedited shipping from Amazon...it came all the way to AK in just 2 days)
A blurry pic of her on our 3rd day on the road
After dealing with some bickering over movies the first day, we banned the dvd players in the car and found it made for a much more peaceful drive. The Leapsters ran out of batteries by the second day, and so the rest of the drive was mercifully free of electronics besides the radio. They looked out the window, talked and giggled with each other, read books, listened to books on tape, listened to music and also spent lots of time talking with us. The bonding time and memories we made can not taken for granted.
I didn't take many pictures. The worry about the roads and also the general dirtiness of the car windows prevented me from pulling out the camera often.
I did take these couple of photos when we took a quick break from the winding roads of the Yukon Territory.
The roads altogether weren't that bad. There was ice in places, but nothing worse than what we're used to driving in in Fairbanks.
We dodged a very scary incident with a hole in one of our tires as we came into a large-ish town. We were able to get it fixed right away. Had that happened on the road with 300 miles between real towns, it would have been terrible. We felt God's hand on us many times, but that incident was one I'll never forget.
The snowy and sanded roads made for a very dirty car and u-haul.
My favorite area on this trip was northern Montana, near Great Falls. I absolutely loved the prairies with the mountains in the background and I think I'd love to live there one day. I didn't take any pictures (stupidly) of this area with it's endless deep blue sky because I was doing the driving through the area and we rarely stopped to take in the scenery.
I did get some photos of the kids when we stopped for lunch in Colorado (or was it Wyoming?). The temperature was a lovely 60 degrees, but with 45 mph winds, it was a little chilly.
Ephraim's expressions are so typical of him these days. He is a little fireball of orneriness.
Lydia looks like she's holding on for dear life here
And Elsa's hand on Isaac's shoulder naturally progressed into holding Isaac's ear (she loves ears and her siblings are a favorite target, but thankfully, they don't seem to mind)
So, we're in Oklahoma, in a small hotel room while we wait for our short term apartment to come available. We are dealing with bout of flu that is slowly moving through the kids. I'm praying we don't all get it, but I can't imagine that any will escape with such small quarters.
It was still all worth it and I'm so glad we came. I even had to get flip flops for all of us since it was 75 degrees yesterday! It was oh so awesome to take off the winter boots!