The Coatless Winter Winds Down

March! How can it be March?!

This morning, a reminder to cancel The Apartment’s internet connection popped up on my calendar, so I promptly called Telus and did just that! This is going to be my last billing cycle on hard wired internet and I’ll be back to using my cellular modem on April 2nd. I can’t believe how quickly the last few months have passed!

An email landed in my inbox an hour ago that 100% firmed up my cross-country itinerary. I need to be in Quebec for May 18th so I will be going straight there by way of visiting a friend in Virginia, leaving exploration of the southwest to next winter.

Going to Virginia might seem like a huge detour, but it’s actually less than 1,500KM. When you’re committed to traveling 3,500KM already, what’s another 1,500KM? :)

I will be deviating a little from this route once I figure out the best way to by-pass Chicagoland by RV (I do hope to squeeze in a hop to one of my favourite cities by toad, however!), but for the most part this is a familiar route for me that will still allow me to add a few new states to my visited states list!

As things stand today, I don’t see myself leaving Lethbridge till mid-April, so I will have a solid month to get across the continent, which will leave me with plenty of time for sightseeing, visiting with friends, and working while traveling at a reasonable place. I’m itching to get back on the road, but am glad that I have time to finish up a few projects before I do.

(As for the title of this post, someone was shocked to see me wearing a coat during the day yesterday. That’ll give you an idea of how warm it’s been!)

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22 Comments

  • It looks like we will both be leaving for the east in mid-April. Do you worry about the weather changing your plans? I will probably decide at the last minute which whether to go straight across the US or drop further south.

  • I will only be worried about that if I can’t get across the US border and end up having to travel through northern Ontario. If I get into the US, then I will have enough time to be able to either dip further south or stay put somewhere until the weather gets better.

  • You should probably pick up an NOAA Weather Radio as you will be travelling through tornado country. It will also provide flood advisories. We were glad to have one when we went through the midwest last year.

  • I took a cross country trip with my husband last summer in our new RV (pick up and fifth wheel, bigger than yours!)

    We were coming from Wisconsin on 90, and we took 294 to circumvent the worst traffic/possible issues related to Chicago until we got to 80. We had absolutely no issues, rest areas were easily accessible (and oddly, located OVER the highway! lol

  • I’ve actually been on your route, and it’s a bit too easterly for me. Based on where I’m coming from and where I’m going, I think I’m going to go further west and south to avoid Chicago. I got some advice from someone who did pretty much the same route as me with a horse trailer and they suggested I-74 through Minneapolis, Cedar Rapids, Bloomington, and Indianapolis.

  • Thanks for the tip! Could you give me some info about your weather radio? There’s way too much choice out there. :(

  • The best advice I can give you is to buy a Midland brand. They are available at Staples and Radio Shack. You will want the radio to be able to run on both battery and ac (or have a 12V adapter) because you need to leave it on all the time when you are travelling in “the zone”.
    Get one that you can program to only give you the alerts you are looking for ie. flood or tornado, otherwise you will have to listen to every emergency alert being broadcast in the whole county.
    We bought the WR-120 but I wish we had bought the portable one for when we are away from the rig.
    For comparison:
    http://www.shoplocal.com/dl-62466057-midland-portable-emergency-weather-alert-radio.fp?citystatezip=60601&newzone=y

  • Thank you!

    What would you consider “the zone” to be?

  • Wikipedia explains it best!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado_Alley

    Tornado activity varies from year to year, and this year it is particularly scary. Indiana and Illinois are where you would probably encounter the most activity on your route.

  • Also I should mention, make a point of knowing where the nearest Tornado shelter is when you stop for the night, especially if you are boondocking.

  • Haha, one more thing!

    http://www.weather.gov/

    NOAA weather site.

    BTW I am talking to you from White Cliffs, NSW Australia where we are currently stranded in our rental RV due to record breaking floods in the area. 36 year records were broken and all roads out are impassable.

  • I found your web-site while looking for sushi , oddly enough. I have spent the last hour reading your posts. They are kind of addictive. Best of luck on your up-coming travels.

  • LOL. I once had someone say to me that I should just go ahead and make the mission of my blog to explore every sushi restaurant in North America. :) Thanks for dropping in!

  • I’m getting a little spooked, but remain undeterred. :D

  • Now, that’s far into very scary territory. :D

  • Thanks for that link!

    And good luck. Wow. That’s going to be one heck of a story when it’s done!

  • Why not come a little further south and check out Florida!!?? The weather’s great. It is a little flatter than you’re used to but you can try the beach

  • For this trip, I want to focus on where I need to go. I might do a bit more of Florida next year (I have been to the state).

  • I’ve owned a series of weather radios over the years–most recently, a Midland WR-100. For RVing purposes, they all stank. Why?

    First, setting the channel is a pain. For example, on my Midland, you have to first turn the radio off (yes!), then press MENU, up arrow, up arrow, SELECT, up or down arrow to get the channel you want, then SELECT, MENU, and finally you can turn the radio on. This might be acceptable (barely!) if you lived in a stick house and only had to do the procedure when you first bought the radio. For an RVer who changes locations daily or weekly, it’s maddening.

    Second, the weather radios’ S.A.M.E. emergency alerts are always couched in terms of counties. “A tornado watch has been declared for Yoknapatawpha and lower Texarkana counties.” Fine, but what county am I in now? It’s not easy to find out when you’re on the road.

    My solution: the iMapWeatherRadio app on my iPhone and iPad.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/imapweather-radio/id413511993?mt=8

    Using the devices’ built-in GPS receivers, the app knows exactly where I am at all times, and only gives me alerts for my current location. It’s perfect for an RVer. (It will also work on Wi-Fi-only iPads that have no GPS, but location-finding is less accurate on those models.)

    Of course, the app only works where there’s an internet connection via Wi-Fi or cell phone. But then, weather radios only work where you can get a signal, and there are plenty of places where you can’t. Overall, I think availability is comparable between the two methods–but the iOS app is SO much easier to use!

  • Andy, that’s what I wound up doing on this trip! My iPad doesn’t have GPS, but I’ve been able to keep it connected to wifi when I’m stopped. I had the same concern as you did, getting an alert but not knowing whether it applies to me. It’s nice to know someone else agrees with me that this app is a better solution for folks on the road.

  • This is one of the reasons I recommend buying the more expensive 3G/4G iPad (if it fits your budget, of course), even if you have no intention of using it on the cell network: that model has built-in GPS, which is useful for dozens of applications, from weather alerts to finding campgrounds, restaurants and dump stations, to automatically geotagging photos so you know where they were taken, to locating the iPad itself it it’s lost or stolen. My iPad currently has 59 apps that use location data in various helpful ways. It’s well worth the extra cost to get that built-in GPS, in my humble opinion.

  • NOW you tell me. *shakes head*

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