At 9:49 on Saturday morning, we pulled out of our driveway for the last time. Of course, we had planned to leave at 5:30, but then it turned out the gym wasn't open the night before as late as DOB was able to go, so we had to wait for him to go the next morning, and we certainly had not finished loading everything, but Cicero was there to tidy up the last bits, and so we at last just went.
Our destination the first day was Madison, which meant seven and a half hours on the road--which we hope will be our longest day. D4 certainly hopes for that, though he did surprisingly well. When he started shouting "Done!" from the back seat, though, we knew it was time to find a rest stop. Very soon. And produce snacks in the meantime.
We managed to survive on picnics for the first day, but below forty degrees picnics start to get a bit less fun. Fortunately we were on a toll road for suppertime, and instead of freezing outside in the dark were able to take our food to a food court at an indoor "Oasis" that crossed the tollway.
To mark our progress, we are creating a paper clip chain to which we add a new paper clip every fifty miles. So far it stretches from the mirror nearly to the dashboard. The big kids get a coloring page for each new state we enter.
Sunday we had an abbreviated picnic on a nippy but glorious mountain park with giant boulders buried in golden leaves. We're now in the north woods of Wisconsin for a couple of days, visiting a friend and watching the snow fall on the autumn leaves. And trying not to think about how many of miles of cold lie between us and our destination.