The first week of the Great Great Great Grand Adventure has been more than we could have imagined. We have learned a lot about what it’s like for a family of seven to be on the road in a motor home. We have also learned a lot about our family history along the way as we made stops in Iowa and Illinois, both places of major significance to our family’s past.
And we have also learned a lot about ourselves.
We knew that leaving home would be a challenge and although that is true, we have been so busy figuring things out that we really haven’t had time to look back. Just keeping the motor home batteries charged, the water and gas tanks full, and the gray and black tanks empty, it takes more time and effort than we anticipated. Finding comfortable and secure places to park for the night is as much of an art as it is a science. We have also had to re-evaluate our pace. We blazed through the first few stops so fast that we almost wish we could go back and see them again. Cooking in the motor home has worked our great so far but cleaning up pots and pans with limited water supply can be tricky. We still haven’t spent more than a few hours in a campground but I anticipate that will change shortly as we have determined to get through the next couple of stops and then put down some roots for at least 5 to 7 days in each location. Right now one of our biggest challenges is deciding where to go next. Our original itinerary took us north but now that winter is approaching we are hesitant to venture into places with icy roads and pipe-freezing temperatures. We came prepared for the cold weather but we have been warned by more than one experienced traveler that taking motor homes into sub-freezing temps is risky. However, after careful consideration we have decided to stick with our original itinerary, keep a close watch on the weather, and head south only if the weather threatens to prevent us from traveling safely or from traveling at all.
Even though we have only been on this adventure for a week, we are already seeing deeper into the lives of our ancestors. For starters, Kathy discovered that her mother’s great grandfather and her father’s great grandfather we actually next door neighbors! In addition to interesting coincidences, we are also starting to understand what it was that drove such ordinary people to do such extraordinary things. We realize that they had to press forward. The challenges they faced every day didn’t give them time to look back because they were too busy taking care of themselves and their families. We have felt their strength and courage and now it is our turn to press forward. We are going east and we never know what tomorrow will bring.
By Rob Brown
Follow the Brown family on their adventures at http://www.ancestry.com/adventure