Us vs. Mother Nature
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
"To a Mouse" -- Robert Burns -- 1785
Our first 'detour' was not due to construction but due to time. We attempted to do a wee bit too much all at once. That is how we ended up spending a couple of weeks with my parents before finally driving off. That is also how we ended up spending an additional week finding a larger vehicle to trade our car for! But at long last we took off and started our journey with a week or two of storm-chasing. Unfortunately for us (and a lot of other people) this year's weather pattern is much cooler and wetter than normal, at least in the eastern part of the United States. And that brings about our second detour!
Our initial planned route had us chasing a bit and then driving through the upper midwest to Ohio and Michigan. Unfortunately the entire Mississippi and Ohio River basins and surrounding areas are all at record flood levels! (see maps below) Many campgrounds are flooded and closed. And while we might still be able to find places to stay, who wants to camp outside when storm after storm keeps blowing through? Not us, no thanks.
So we finally gave up on chasing storms through the piney woods of East Texas and parked ourselves in the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge for a few days. It was very windy but sunny and not too cold. No wildfires broke out while we were there, and we spent a few days hiking and thinking. And one thing we have concluded is that to avoid further trip delays and miserable camping we will need to change our travel plans and follow our planned route in reverse!
After walking through our plans and doing a bit of analysis we think we can still achieve our main goals without getting caught in drastic summer desert heat or mountain snows. And as if to reinforce our decision, mother nature brought another round of rain including southwest Oklahoma! Fortunately I saw this coming in the weather forecast and we skedaddled on over to Amarillo for a few days. We'll stay just long enough to wait out tonight's cold snap and then mosey on over to southern New Mexico. Hopefully this time we can find some place to camp that gets at least one bar of Verizon data service!