Jan 6 - Journey to the Artic Planned

While others of our ilk are warming themselves in the extreme southern corners of the continent, we're preparing for a trip back to Wisconsin to retrieve the truck and camper. Makes sense, doesn't it? I mean, it's the low-point of Winter. As I write this the temp in our little hometown of Beaver Dam is -17 (that's not a typo... minus 17 degrees on the fricken cold scale. Note the time too... high noon... and the windchill is -39). I've heard that hell freezes over at about -28. 

The plan at this point is to get on an Amtrak's Empire Builder next Sunday, the 12th, for the trip to the Midwest. There's no doubt Amtrak is a convenient option for us; we board the train about 10 miles from our daughter's house in Vancouver Washington and get off about 10 miles from the farm near Beaver Dam Wisconsin. If all goes right we'll be on the train for 42 hours. Of course we could be on board for much longer, (maybe weeks?) as there's a lot that can go wrong. Like ice breakers, trains can get snarled and stranded in the ice and snow too. Rail travel may not be the best way to go for those with tight schedules and places to be. But these two intrepid explorers have spare time on their hands and have always wanted to experience long-distance train travel. We're ready for almost anything.

While hope is not a strategy we do strongly expect we'll be able to get the truck running and dug out of the snowbank within a day or two, do some quick visiting with family, and be heading back toward the Northwest during the upcoming January thaw. Barring that, we'll just deal with whatever comes our way.

My only real concern is warm clothing. After hearing so much about "global warming" a few years ago, I foolishly gave away my polar-rated parka to a homeless shelter. That may turn out to have been a premature move on my part. During the next few days I'll start packing and see what I can come up with.
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