We hit the road on Thursday, July 11 headed for our first stop: Troy, Michigan. We picked Michigan because four of the angels on the quilt are from Michigan. In fact, the very first angel submitted to the National Angel Quilt was Ashlee Drouillard, and her mom has asked us to bring the quilt to Michigan since we started. We headed to the Oakland Mall in Troy, Michigan to display from July 12-14.
We had a little trouble getting the trailer hitched since mom and I had never done it before and dad was out of town. The trailer was too heavy to lift it to the car. We had to get my brother James out of bed to come help. We tried again and Mom did a really good job getting the car hitch lined up under the trailer. Between the three of us, we figured out how to get it hitched and secured. Then we said good-bye to James and pulled out for the highway.
This was our first time driving the trailer. We pulled off Rt. 80 at one point while we were still in NJ because I wanted a bottle of water. The exit we took wasn’t the best choice. There wasn’t a town or store nearby and we drove a little way on some windy little roads until we came to an intersection. The nav system said to take the next left, which we did. But the nav system had sent us down a road that was a dead end and it didn’t even have a cul de sac. So here we are with a full trailer and no easy way to turn around. Mom got a chance to learn how to back up a trailer. She had a driveway with a car in it, a fence behind the driveway and a trash can in the street next to the driveway. It was tight but she did it and we got back on the road to find water.
We drove through New Jersey, then Pennsylvania which is nice scenery but took a long time to cross, then Ohio and into Michigan. Google maps had said it was 9.5 hours from NJ to Troy, and we needed to be there at 9pm when the mall closed to start setting up the quilt. We didn’t know that there would be so much construction on the roads. It took 14 hours to get to Troy. We arrived at 12:30am on Friday, and started loading in and setting up around 1am. We were really tired, and load in is a lot of work with all the poles, uprights, bases, displays, props, and the giant snowboard bag we use to carry the quilt. We had it done at 2:30am and then went to find a hotel. We got to our room at 3:30 am. on Friday morning.