After leaving our dear friends in Minnesota, it was back to the road and through Wisconsin. We stopped at a campground that night that turned out to offer the least amount of sleep we’d had so far, thanks to an extremely loud train roaring past once an hour all through the night. It was also the campground with the nastiest outhouses. But on the bright side, we arrived early enough for the musicians to get out their guitars and get some worship on.
Monday evening we arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to see some more dear friends whom we had served with in Thailand. There’s something about working as missionaries together, stuck in a foreign land with no one else, that strengthens relationships quickly. The Oyers were our adopted little brother and sister on the field! It was neat to spend time with them and we conquered the most difficult cargo trailer-parking moment so far when we arrived at their home.
While in Fort Wayne we were fortunate to be able to catch up with many friends we had served with overseas in addition to the Oyers, and even caught up with friends from many years ago from the Boise area.
After leaving Indiana, we passed through Ohio, where we had the hardest moments in our trip by far. While driving along an Ohio freeway our cargo trailer was hit from behind. It was all Ethan could do to safely bring us off the freeway, with the SUV swinging wildly back and forth after it was thrown violently forward. Ethan got out of the vehicle to find out what happened and all the kids were in tears. There was some screaming as well, and unfortunately Bubba thought the accident had been his fault so he was melting down. (We had discussed on the trip the importance of good behavior in the car to keep everyone safe, and he wrongly thought he caused a bad thing to happen.) Ethan discovered the other driver, a commuter who had fallen asleep at the wheel behind us.
The damage to the cargo trailer was extensive and three of us went to the hospital to be checked out for injuries. Thankfully we were able to leave that evening but it was far too late to make it to our planned campsite so we stayed in a hotel just down from the hospital. Evidence of God’s great goodness: within a couple hours of the accident there were multiple offers from friends for some kind of assistance. One of those couples were Eric and Sheila Ross, who we attended church with many years ago before they moved to Ohio. These sweet people got up at the crack of dawn the next day, bought donuts, and drove two hours to pick us up at the hotel and help us get our trailer back to their place. At their home we were able to rest a bit, let the kids swim, and thoroughly check out the trailer to see if we could continue driving with it. We were so blessed by these friends and their kindness!
We headed out that afternoon to make it to our next stop, which ended up being in West Virginia. What a beautiful place! We found a campsite off the beaten path and it ended up being a wonderful place to connect with new friends. (Shout out to John & Jessi, if you read this!)
Back on the road again meant eating our one millionth peanut butter sandwich, or so it seemed. 🙂 But as we drew closer to our new home no one seemed to mind.
What an amazing moment it was to cross that state line from Virginia to North Carolina! We camped for several days in Mount Airy, the town that The Andy Griffith Show was based on.
Everyone loved seeing the historic downtown and especially the candy shop!
After we stayed as long as we were able to stay in Mount Airy, we moved closer to our final destination and stayed in a state park. During this time we really felt the heat of a southern summer, but it only made getting into a home all the more sweet.
While it took quite a while to get into a home, we were blessed by the time spent growing closer as a family. It’s safe to say no one is eager to see the inside of an airport or drive across the US again anytime in the near future. It’s good to be home.