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RVing Into the Arctic Vortex, Part 2



blog-0938438001390827753.jpgIt took two days and 700 miles – all of it in the face of bitter cold and most of it on snow covered and slippery roads – but we finally made it to Minnesota and saw not a single other RV on the road.

“They don’t know what they are missing.” I said to Jen as we dodged logging trucks, snowplows and snowmobilers in the Great White North. Truly, now we know how that saying came about. I have never seen so much white. Not the slushy, dirty snow of the city and suburbs but sparkling clean, pure, deep and bright white.

“Maybe they do,” she responded. “Maybe that’s why we’re the only RV out here.”

She may have a point.

Hours after we crossed the Mackinac Bridge linking Michigan’s two peninsulas, it was shut down to traffic. Same with US 2 west of the bridge, which we drove last night as the snow began. Multiple accidents and white-out conditions were the cause.

Today we left Escanaba and headed northwest, crossing from the Upper Peninsula into Wisconsin and then on to Duluth, MN, where we will report on winter life up here as well as a sled dog marathon. It snowed most of the way. The Roadtrek eTrek on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis handled the roads with ease.

I missed one great photo. An RV dealership we spotted in the Michigan UP somewhere near Iron Mountain has a sign out front of its lot, a lot in which all the RVs were covered with about a foot of snow. “It’s not to late to become a snowbird,” it read. It was on the wrong side of the highway and there was no quick and easy turnaround to get the picture. But I admit, that snowbird idea sounded pretty good at the time.

After two days of hard winter driving, the Roadtrek is a mess, covered with snow, ice, salt and road grime. I’d wash it down, but it’s so cold up here none of the car washes are open.

Like we did the day before, I used Google Glass for a driver’s perspective, and a windshield mounted Go Pro Hero 3+ camera to get the inside the van view.

Google Glass didn’t do justice, though, to what happened when I stepped off a plowed road into the woods…. only to discover the snow was three feet deep. Suffice it to say, I won’t make that mistake again.

We got into Duluth an hour before dark. Tomorrow, the preliminaries for the dog sled race will take up our day. On Sunday it starts and we’ll follow the mushers north along the Lake Superior shoreline in our Roadtrek eTrek to see how folks up here cope with winter.



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