• Stephanie Olson

Highest High to Lowest Low

Updated: Feb 4

April 16, 2019. A date that will never be forgotten. At least not in our family. Let me rewind to three days prior. April 13, we got up early and drove down to Webster City, Iowa. It was the big day. Delivery of our Grand Design Solitude fifth wheel. This day would change our lives. We'd take road trips all over the US. We'd have the chance to show the kids the things they learn about in geography and history. Most of all, it meant we'd start our life of living minimally. We knew once we had the RV we'd want to stay in it all the time, even when we weren't traveling. After we went through all of the delivery steps and left the dealership, we drove it over to a nice, peaceful campground in nearby Altoona. When we got there, we set up and realized we didn't really know what we were doing. We tried to fill the fresh water tank, and water was just POURING out of the bottom. We didn't know we should first sanitize the tank, or that we'd need tape for the threading of the hoses. We met a few really wonderful people that were also staying in the park that walked us through all of these things. Everything was perfect. We had a really pretty spot and we were having unseasonably warm weather. We woke up after the first night and made a delicious breakfast. We were honestly blissful.

After enjoying the two days at the campground, the fateful day was here. We got up early the morning of April 16 so that we could hit the road and head home. We were filled with so much excitement, we could barely contain ourselves. Getting home to show our families our new home was something we couldn't wait to do. We got on the road about 5:00 AM. When we were nearing Iowa City, we decided to exit the interstate and take some local highways so that we could take it slow and enjoy the ride. Shortly after making this decision, we regretted it.

At 6:45 AM, we were on a two lane country highway a few miles outside of Iowa City. We noticed a sedan a mile up the road heading our direction swerving slightly into our lane over and over. We moved as far right as possible but as you can see from the photos we didn't have anywhere to go. As he got closer he began crossing the center line again, this time with no sign of catching himself. Zach laid on the horn, but it was not enough. The driver had fallen asleep, veered into our lane, and crashed into our brand new home. His vehicle hit nearly straight on just behind the driver's side propane tank. His vehicle dragged down the length of the RV, damaging both slides as well as the axles. Don't get me wrong, we are ALL very lucky, as there were no injuries at all, everyone walked away from the crash. That was barely a consolation at the time though. It was one of the most surreal experiences we'd ever been through. Our dream felt as though it was destroyed and we knew it'd be a long journey with insurance companies to get everything taken care of. Our dream of a spring and summer on the road was no longer going to be a reality.

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