The month of June ended and we got on the road to the next stop in our journey West. Ohio was lovely, but we are due in California in October, getting there one month-long stop at a time. At one minute to eight a.m. on June 30 we pulled out of the driveway in Conneaut, OH and headed for Chicago. We arrived in time for Jonathan’s physical therapy appointment at 2:10 p.m., five minutes early. We made two pit stops and a stop for gas, wearing our face masks, and washing our hands thoroughly after each stop, finishing with a layer of hand sanitizer when we were back in the car. Fellow travelers were evenly divided between those wearing masks and those not.

What with the temperature hovering above 90o F., the early wake-up time, long drive, and a few hands-on demonstrations of how to assist Jonathan with his exercises, I was worn out. We overnighted at Extended Stay America in Hillside, IL. Most guests wore masks when outside their rooms. This is a place that gives you a hotplate, microwave, and refrigerator. I was disappointed there were no cups and dishes until I saw a card indicating that guests could request any of a long list of clean utensils and appliances. Not long afterward, we had a coffeemaker, toaster, silverware, plates, mugs, and cups, as well as supplies to wash up afterward.

The following day was my monthly eye appointment in Oak Park. This was a big moment because I had my first injection of Beovu, the newest treatment. If all goes well, I will be able to cut back my annual injections by 50%, getting one every eight weeks rather than every four. This first shot of Beovu was my fortieth eye shot, so you can imagine how pleased I will be to have the number of total injections rise more slowly in the future. I took the rest of the day off, mostly because my eye remains dilated after the injection for at least eight hours.

We repacked the car and headed for Minnesota by 9 am on Wednesday, looking forward to stopping at a Starbucks. By the time we found one in a highway rest area in Belvidere, IL, it was almost an hour later, and the Starbucks was closed.

We got coffee, that’s the important part. There were very few people in the rest area, most all wearing masks.

The highway north through Wisconsin surprised us with road work and traffic. Rte. 90 is the main route from Chicago to Minneapolis, but I didn’t think that many people were traveling. Oh, yes, it’s the early end of the July 4th weekend! Maybe that’s it. Jonathan did most of the driving, as he usually does, but I helped.

Castle Rock, WI

We passed the striking rock towers at Castle Rock, WI, then crossed the Mississippi (see the top of this post), and arrived at our new house in Rochester, MN, just after 2 pm. We unpacked a bit and then went to find the grocery store, a big Hy-Vee with a fine selection of items. By the end of that expedition, we were ready to sit still for a while.

Our Rochester place is much larger than we need, but a snafu just a few days ago left us searching for anything available, and this was it. The house is comfortable and has air conditioning, essential in the heat and humidity.

Our new schedule is to get up at 6 a.m., drink coffee, then have an outdoor field trip before the day becomes unbearable. So far so good. The Quarry Hill park in Rochester is full of trails that are empty in the early part of the day. We saw a variety of birds, including a broad-winged hawk (new!), and were home by ten.