We will be home early this afternoon … good nite sleep .. we are rested and ready for the final leg of our journey .. Hard to believe .. but .. we’ve on the road for almost 2 months ! Alot of things to do when we get home .. cleaning .. yard work .. catching up on bills .. Wedding stuff .. etc .. etc .. We’re a little sad that our trip is over .. but .. anxious to get home … ! We’ll make our final blog entries later this afternoon or this evening …
Arrived home around noon .. backed in driveway with no issues .. Took us approx an hour and a half just to unload Casita and truck … We have alot of laundry to do .. and alot of yardwork .. Grass in front yard must be over a foot high … not sure if my push mower will be up for the task …. have alot of weeds in yard .. and some fallen branches on ground due to some heavy rain storms … If we could get a few non rain days .. we could get all our outdoor chores done this week … including washing truck and Casita ….
Surprised to find that all our indoor houseplants survived .. My self watering ‘system’ worked out great … A few weeks before we left I bought a watering system off the internet .. Pretty simple .. it’s just a ceramic spike that you insert in dirt .. and a small hose that you insert into a water container … by adjusting height of plant … you can control how much water gets absorbed … All of my water jars were empty or near empty when we got home .. dirt in plants was moist so they must have gotten sufficient water ..
Self Watering System
We had a great trip .. time to start planning for next trip ! As we sort through our bills .. we’ll post some numbers on the blog regarding our expenses as well as other stats from trip … our gas bill for truck is going to be huge … Truck had no issues during entire trip .. and only a few minor issues with Casita …
Debris on back deck
Grass in front yard
Rained off & on during the night .. rain has stopped as I’m writing this (8 am) … Skies are not clear .. and rain in the forcast for next few days (??) … Think we see some sun in forcast for Sun/Mon .. Another ‘light’ day of driving .. ie.. less than 250 miles .. we think we’ll camp in Logantown PA this afternoon .. … that will make for a short ride from Logantown to Gouldsboro on Sat … Our next site should have wifi … so we’ll update blog later ..
Check out the line of traffic behind us ...
Arrived at our campsite around 3pm .. Bellefonte PA .. nice campsite near Penn St campus. Only a few dark clouds .. very little rain .. as always .. there were construction delays .. todays delays only 15-20 min .. This is our last campsite .. we should be home early tomorrow afternoon. I’m sure we’ll spend all day tomorrow unpacking truck and Casita and laundry. Sunday we’ll do some food shopping and attempt to cut grass in our front yard …it’s probably a foot high ! Both truck & Casita are in dire need of a washing and cleaning.
Left campsite under cloudy skies and a few light rain showers … Glad we didn’t have to hitch up .. only takes us 30 min or less to get on the road as long as we’re not hitching up. We know we’re heading towards some bad weather sometime today .. sky is very cloudy with dark clouds all around us. Our good fortune of not driving in rain during this trip has ended today .. very hard rain showers for most of the day .. wipers were on/off the entire day … mostly on ! Day was a mixture of very hard rain .. to just rain showers .. Today was one of our ‘low mileage’ days .. plan was to cover approx 250 miles … We’re taking a more northly route home then we did driving out West … going West I think we managed to pay only about $2 in tolls … Yesterday and today was payback ! $4 in tolls in Indiana .. another $4 in Indiana today .. and believe it or not we paid $19 in tolls in Ohio !!!! That’s right .. $19 !!! Yes .. Ohio Turnpike is a little pricey … Glad Casita only has 1 axle .. I’d hate to find out what cost would be if we had a double axle !! Not quite sure what Ohio is doing with all the funds they are collecting from tolls .. roads were not that great .. Encountered a little snafu on the turnpike … we were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic .. (at times not even moving) for over 30 minutes .. why ? because there were signs on the road advising drivers that the 2 left lanes (of 3 lanes) would be closed and that drivers should merge to the right lane … Now .. I 80 (Ohio Turnpike) is a busy Interstate .. OK .. so traffic would normally be a little slow because of the heavy rain .. along come these signs .. and traffic comes to a halt. Eventually traffic slowly started to get moving again … we drove slowly at first .. then we picked up our speed .. half mile .. one mile .. no construction .. no traffic cones .. no workers on the road ! Soon we were back up to 50-60 mph …. NO REASON for those merge signs to be on the road at all .. did they forget to remove them .. ?? did they plan for construction then cancelled their plans ?? We’ll never know the reason .. but .. I do know there were alot of motorists driving Eastbound at approx 12:30 this afternoon who must have very .. very unhappy ! :)..
Stopped and had lunch at a Service Center on turnpike after we passed the ‘merge’ fiasco .. needed the break to get something to eat .. and get a break from driving in the rain … After lunch we continued our drive for another hour to our campsite in Streetsboro Ohio .. it’s a KOA … probably one of the most expensive campsites we’ve stayed at during our entire trip .. $44 ! We’ve found that Mid West/East Coast campsites are much more expensive than campsites out West … It’s a nice site .. trees .. grass between sites .. 2 lakes .. etc .. etc .. We’re only staying for one night .. so we didn’t unhitch .. I’m thinking we’ll see more rain again tomorrow .. so .. it will be nice to get a quick get-way .. One more overnite stop in PA .. then we’re home !
Good news .. we missed really bad storms that caused 300,000 folks to lose power last night in Chicago area … Although we had thunder/lightning storms .. we were lucky to miss the more violent storms .. Seems as though storms are hanging around the area .. and will follow us back to PA … We’ve got one more night in Indiana .. then one overnight stop in Ohio .. last stop will be somewhere in Western PA .. Per yesterday’s post .. we’ll be heading out to Middlebury area flea market and downtown areas .. we’ll be sure to take our rain gear with us …
Spent most of the dat in Shipshewana .. huge outdoor flea market … a mass of cars parked in an open field .. It would take more than 1 day to check out all the venders. Walked around for awhile .. then checked out an auction building .. what chaos .. one auctioneer would be loud enough .. but .. imagine up to 10 going at the same time .. in the same building .. it was wild. Kept our hands in our pockets as we walked through the building .. :). Before leaving .. we bought a soft pretzel .. it was one of the biggest I’ve seen .. made right in front of us .. very tasty ! Next we checked out a Quilt & Auto exhibit. Nice quilts .. and a Hudson collection .. biggest collection of Hudson’s in one showing … Most of Hudson’s were donated by a local Indiana resident .. Mr Hostetler.. I’m old enoughtto remember seeing the Hudson’s on the road .. ! No cameras were allowed in the auto show .. Ok to take photos in quilt show as long as you didn’t use a flash ..After a few quilt vendor purchases .. we were done for the day .. ! A large Amish/Menonite population in the town of Shishewana .. alot of carriages riding around town ..
Tomorrow morning .. we’re off to Ohio … rain continues to stay in our area … showers on/off for most of the day.
Long travel day .. arrived at our campsite around 4pm …. We haven’t encountered any major traffic or even toll roads until today. Traffic near Chicago and Gary Indiana was a mess… traffic .. road construction .. bumper to bumper .. lost at least an hour in the traffic chaos.. A word about Indiana drivers …. they are the worst we’ve encountered on the entire trip .. maybe it’s because temps were in the 90’s today and it was humid .. but .. drivers here are scary … from what we’ve seen today .. they don’t believe in common road courtesy .. they will attempt to pass you any way/anytime they can .. very weird and little bit freaky ….. Need to go into aggressive driver mode .. or else I’ll get run over … reminds me of NYC drivers !! Indiana is also they only state we’ve paid tolls ..
Anyway … before we got to our camping site .. we stopped at RV & Motorhome Museum .. it was just off I 80 so we pulled over and checked it out … Had some pretty old trailers & motorhomes that were interesting to look at … place wasn’t that big .. so there weren’t too many trailers on exhibit … from what I’ve read .. museum is having money issues (who isn’t ??) and might not stay open .. ( I tried to photo titles with trailers) .. After unhitching Casita at our campsite .. we went out for dinner .. went to a place called ‘Das Dutchman Essenhaus’ … an ‘Amish Country Kitchen’ restaurant … very good food .. the place was packed .. One of their ‘specialties’ is broasted chicken … it was excellent ! After dinner .. we split a slice of apple pie & ice cream … yes … I do expect to gain 10 pounds from this trip !!! We’re only 2 miles from Michigan border .. Area we’re camping in is very close to Elkhart .. the capital of the travel trailer and motorhome industry … in our short time here we’ve seen at least 6 manufacturers … sure there are alot more … also .. area is also noted for their Amish population … Tomorrow we’ll check out a town called Shipshewana .. an Amish area that ‘boasts’ of having Midwest’s largest outdoor flea market.. and a historic downtown area that has 100 plus local merchants .. and .. I’ve just been informed .. tomorrow there is also a Quilt show .. I’m getting tired just thinking about tomorrows adventures :)….
Really … really nasty rain/wind/lightning/thunder storm last night … from midnite on till the morning .. skies where flashes of light all night .. raining hard at times .. pelting the Casita .. Checked local weather forcast last night .. 2 severe weather alerts … severe thunder storms with possible hail AND a Tornado alert !!! Needless to say we did not get much sleep last night .. got up for shower at around 6:30 .. a lull in the rain .. so I decided to take shower early (used campsite showers) .. Rain seems to come down in waves .. hard rain .. then stop for awhile .. then rain again .. We’ll try to time our departure so we don’t get too drenched packing up water/sewer hoses and electric cord … Haven’t made reservations for our next stop .. we’ll do that while on the road .. We’ll be on Rt 80 for most of the day .. I’m sure … update blog when we land at our next campsite … It appears as if weather forcast was way off .. this morning forcast was calling for severe thunderstorms all day and tonite .. we encountered not a drop of rain as we made our trip to North Utica. Because we were in a hurry to break camp .. we skipped breakfast .. thought we’d catch a bite to eat somewhere on the road .. sure enough .. we found a Cracker Barrel … (they seem to everywhere .. EXCEPT out West) … Terri had a some ‘incidents’ with the waitress(s) .. first of all .. we’re all for hiring senior citizens .. most stores won’t hire them … they hire kids or foreign exchange students (that’s another story .. for another day) … anyway hostess who sat us was really old … could hardly understand what she was saying .. but .. we give her credit for working being on her feet all day .. OK .. we’re ready to order .. another senior (senior) citizen takes our order .. she was having a bad day .. or .. she just wasn’t a happy camper this morning .. food ordered .. we’re ready to chow down .. Terri puts down her tea cup .. (Terri NEEDS that cup of tea in the morning.. she carefully mixes in right amount of milk .. etc) .. a waitress comes from behind her .. and fills her cup … (without asking …) with coffee !! Waitress looks at TG as if it’s her fault .. because TG didn’t stop her .. STOP her ??.. maybe she should have asked first … don’t assume everyone is drinking coffee !! No big problem .. waitress brings another cup of tea … OK .. Terri prepares her biscuit .. slices it .. butters it .. and is waiting for butter to melt a little .. Our waitress picks up my plate because I’m done .. waitress picks up TG’s plate .. with entire biscuit on it .. without asking .. and before we could stop her .. her biscuit was gone !!!! I’ll admit .. we’re getting a little punchy with all the miles we’re logging .. but .. we couldn’t help think this was pretty funny … gave us a good laugh to start the day !!
Morning skies ....
Stopped for lunch around noon at a place called ‘Grandma’s Restaurant’ .. just off I 80 .. Had the misfortune of selecting Grandma’s Meatloaf off the lunch menue … Stomach is still digesting ‘the loaf’ … Across the street was ‘The World’s Largest Truckstop’ …. actually .. the truckstop is reason I pulled off I 80 :). but …. didn’t want to deal with ALL the trucks .. so we had lunch across the street .. Exit 284 in Walcott Iowa … Finished lunch … continued on our way .. arrived at our campsite approx 3:30 .. 300 miles driven for the day …. Decent campsite .. staying for tonite only .. then on to Indiana !! This was the first campsite that we pulled in without making any pre registration .. we wanted to check the place out before making the reservations …
'World's Largest Truckstop'
No hitching up this morning .. so we got an early start this morning … Shower .. disconnect water/sewer and we’re on the road .. Since truck needed gas .. (it seems as though we’ve been stopping for gas almost every day on this trip) … we decided to stop at a Flying J and it’s attached restaurant ‘Denny’s’ …. Cruised along through SD with no adventures .. when we crossed the border into Iowa we noticed quite a bit of flooding .. we’re thinking from Missouri River .. Numerous farms as well as some playgrounds .. and assorted other buildings were under water .. Towards the end of the day .. we ended up on familiar territory .. Rt 80 … think we’ll be on Rt 80 for most of trip home … Drove pretty much non stop today .. covered approx 270 miles .. no ‘interesting’ side trips .. ie.. like the Corn Palace’ … Our campsite is pretty decent .. temps up in the mid/hi 80’s this afternoon … Slight issue with wifi .. I’m able to access internet with the Macbook Pro .. TG has issues with her Macbook .. it can only pick up internet at the office .. which is a bit of a distance from the Casita .. I’m thinking 2 problems .. campground putting out weak signal .. Macbook not ‘strong’ enough to pick up the weak signal .. Not much going on tonite .. we’re staying in Waukee for tonite only … then we continue our road trip …
Today's route ... Sioux Falls SD to Waukee Iowa