Today's route: East Grand Forks, MN to Tioga, ND on Hwy 2 (296 miles). Severe winter weather is occurring in most of ND, and several blizzards are headed toward the Red River Valley this weekend. Although I didn't relish driving through the gale-force winds, the drifting and blowing snow (and frequent whiteout conditions), and the negative temperatures with double-digit below-zero wind chill factors, I suspected that today was our best chance of making it across the state before things got even worse. So the drive was a little scary until midway between Devils Lake and Rugby, but road conditions got progressively better the closer we got to Tioga, and we made it to Dad and Beverly's safe and sound.
Today was Suzanna's 13th birthday! (And she spent a good chunk of it in the vehicle, perhaps viewing the weather outside and wondering if she'd live to see another day.)
After packing up the vehicle and bidding adieu to our friends Jay and Erin, we stopped at a gas station for fuel and for water and snacks to keep us satisfied during the drive to my dad and stepmother's home. We made a stop at Cold Stone Creamery in Minot to buy Suzanna a birthday treat (and to give me a chance to unclench my fingers from the steering wheel and get the blood flowing through my digits again).
|Because what could be a better treat than ice cream when the wind chill outdoors is about negative 25 degrees?|
|opening Christmas gifts|
|Beverly read the girls some interesting facts about Christmas and afterward asked them to recall something that they had just learned, giving each of them another Christmas treat as a reward!|
|Of course, we had to have birthday cake and ice cream before going to bed. Happy birthday, Suzanna!|