26 July 2008


Of course we knew that it was inevitable, but we didn't know how hard the parting would be. This morning it was time for us to say a fond farewell to our rented RV. He's been home for the last four(ish) weeks and I know that I'm going to miss him, the almost daily ritual of arriving at a new campground in a new place and attending to his power and water needs, and also of being constantly on the move.

As we needed to make an early start to deliver him to his, no doubt temporary, new home in Saint Paul near Minneapolis, we had set our John Wayne alarm clock for seven o’clock. The Duke didn’t let us down and by half past we were back on the road.

The storm that we had been warned about hadn’t appeared, but our last night was not the best for sleeping. Maybe I was had the end of our journey on my my mind? The air was warm and very still, so in the wee small hours I gave up my place on the coach-bed and moved to the floor in the RV’s kitchen area. This was close to the open door and occasionally a soft breeze would blow through, making breathing and sleeping a little easier.

For our short hop to St. Paul and my final spot behind the wheel, the traffic around Minneapolis stayed light although the promised rain did make a short appearance. It’s funny how it always seems to rain on the final day of a holiday, almost as if that is a signal that we are on our way home.

The Cruise America rental office was not hard to find, and with little fuss, we handed back our set of keys, completed the return paperwork and calculated how many miles we’ve covered. We’d driven our mobile home for over 3179 miles. I’ve been really surprised how much I’ve enjoyed this part of the journey. I’ve learned to love living and traveling in a motor-home and it’s going to be hard to leave it behind.

We took a short, fifteen minute taxi ride to Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport and arrived in plenty of time for coffee and a wander around the shops. Our plane was on-time from gate F14 and despite the best efforts of three shouting, screaming toddlers sitting three rows behind us, I was asleep in my seat before our North West flight made it into the air on our way to New York City.

By Andy Clarke

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