Friday, February 9, 2007

Day 1 - Frozen Sticks on Route 66! (Chicago to Litchfield, IL)

Millie and I packed up the T@B and took off for our journey in frigid, bitter cold, single-degree temperatures just as the sun was beginning to set. I had to make a quick stop to the post office, and couldn't believe that I got my first T@B gawker within 5 minutes of leaving the house!

T@B trailers remarkably bring out the inner child in people. I've never owned a camper that has attracted so much foolish attention from otherwise normal intelligent adults! Every trip thus far has had literally dozens of people comment on the trailer, and today was no different. A lady had followed me all the way through town to the Post Office, just to ask me how I liked the T@B, and to see if she could take a peek inside. She was looking to retire in another 5 years and had already started dreaming about traveling the country in a T@B. Guess snowbird fever hits everyone pretty hard on cold February days.

Once on the road, Millie and I made pretty good time down to southern Illinois. We knew the route well from going down to Springfield Clinic a number of times in the past year to do their software install project. We had actually stayed in Litchfield for their first clinic's go-live last June, so I figured it'd make a good pit stop for the night. Even though the temperatures were still hovering around zero, and that nice new Hampton Inn I had previously stayed at looked like it had plenty of empty rooms, I decided to take the adventure route and boondock in the T@B for the night at the Wal-Mart parking lot. I figured I had my super-hot LP gas heater, so I'd be fine.

Well, the heater was on high all night long and I was under 2 sleeping bags with sweat pants and sweatshirt on, and still was cold. The wind was blowing so hard that it would actually rock the trailer from side to side and at one point, even blew the roof vent open! When I got up the next morning, I was never so glad to quickly retreat to the car and it's heated seats to warm up! The car temperature gauge showed 3 degrees (without wind chill), so with wind chill, it likely easily got down to -20 to -30 degree range. No wonder we were so cold!!! Brrrrr!

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