They say you only get one chance at a first impression and I am hoping you take into consideration that this is my first blog post ever. The content and quality of my posts should improve as the trip progresses, at least I am hoping so. Day one didn’t go exactly as I planned. The Travels with Mabel (TWM) website wasn’t active in the morning and required some time chatting with customer service. I decided to use my phone as a WiFi hot spot and that wasn’t set up either. Sheri spent over an hour chatting with their customer support and by the end of the day both were fully operational. There were the normal last-minute errands that seem to accompany most trips and I had forgot about the furnace filter needing a change. Last minute packing and then it was time to lock the doors and prep for departure.
Hayden and Andreas helped connect the trailer, and a minor connection problem with the lights was fixed with Hayden’s determination. Emotional goodbyes for all of us and I pulled the Arabella out from under the old red maple. Sheri followed for pictures at the World’s Largest Raspberry, yes Hopkins is home to a very large fruit, and then I was on my way towards Minneapolis, Mabel in the back, head out the window. Traffic was heavy at the tunnel but thinned out on the way to St Paul and some construction routed me to Hwy 10 on the Minnesota side of the river. I crossed over to Wisconsin at Prescott only to cross back into Minnesota at Red Wing finally concluding my southern progress will be west of the river.
My destination was La Crosse WI to see my old Aerial Port Commander in Stoddard and the trip was progressing well. Mabel had settled into driving and actually slept in her bed between looking out the side windows. The scenery was impressive with the bluffs and hills dominating the landscape while the river provided a guide south. I crossed over the river and that’s when something didn’t seem “right” with the car. There was a clunking and rubbing/grinding noise that was rather concerning and to make it worse it seemed like I hit every bump in the road. It was later in the day but I did, after a lot of unnecessary travel, (thanks Google) find Dahl Ford who were very helpful, but they couldn’t look at the car until morning.
In came Colonel K to the rescue! Thankfully he had a hitch on his truck and like a veteran Aerial Porter hitched up Arabella and we were off to his home for some much-needed stress relief. The accommodations were top-notch and he cooks a mean steak. Great conversation, a wonderful raspberry dessert and my first Rusty Nail preceded a very comfortable sleep for both Mabel and me.
Each day I will try to note what I am grateful for. I am always grateful for Sheri, the boys, family, and friends so they won’t be mentioned, but should know they are always in my thoughts. For day one I am grateful that my problems occurred in a place where I had support and my Aerial Port family was there in my time of need. Thanks again Colonel!