June 2, 2014
This blog started out as a way to keep family and friends in touch with us and follow us on our journey in the RV. But it is turning out to be a way for us to remember actually what day it is. We constantly lose track of time and day. Some would say that’s a plus of being retired. Gene also made a rule of not wearing the same clothes for more than three days. Did I have this T-shirt on yesterday? Sniff, sniff, does this T-shirt smell funny? We also have what they call a Truckers Tan. Only my arms are tan from shirt sleeve down from driving.
When I setup our new Garmin for RVers I chose avoid tolls in the tools section. This was a mistake. We avoided about $70 in tolls by avoiding I-76 and I-80, but managed to hit every mountain in West Virginia, and Pennsylvania on I-70. Up one mountain and down the next. Then going through Indiana and Illinois the I-74 pavement was like an obstacle course.
Saturday night we spent at Spring Valley RV Park in Cambridge Ohio.
Sunday night we “Wallydocked” at a Walmart in Urbana Illinois. The deal with staying overnight at a Walmart is they allow you to park in their parking lot over night for free, and hope you will spend some money in their store while you are there. It’s a win-win for everybody. We spent $78 on groceries that we would have needed to purchase somewhere. We also bought gas while we were there. Not all Walmarts allow overnight parking. You need to call ahead and get permission, and when you get there, go in to the customer service desk and ask where to park. There are no hook-ups, so you should have water on board and your house batteries charged. The Walmarts we have stopped at have been beautiful. We parked away from the building along a beautiful grass line, almost like a park setting. Plenty of room to play ball with Max on the grass and just a few trucks. We rented a movie from Redbox there, put the bedroom slide out and had a good night’s sleep.
Tuesday, June 3
Some people when going through IL stop to visit Abe Lincoln, but we kept going and went straight through to Iowa and came upon “The World’s Largest Truck Stop”.
We saw the longest 18 wheeler transporting a blade for a Wind Turbine.
And Gene tried on a couple of hats.
Besides being huge, their gas was $3.29 per gallon and since we are getting 45 miles to the gallon with the Honda Fit, I filled up for $23. We won’t discuss the motor home gas mileage. The Fit was getting such great gas mileage that we decided to tow the motor home!
Anyway, it was a lot of fun walking around looking at all the shops there.
On to the next campground. We pulled into another KOA. They are usually really nice campgrounds with a lot of amenities but a little on the pricey side. We do get a discount for being members, but they are a treat. When we pulled in, the woman at the office assigned us a site and we noticed that all the other rigs were being situated next to each other in a pretty large campground. She told Gene that if you hear a siren go off to immediately head for the pool house. They had tornado warnings for that night. Turned out the wind and rain were heavy, but no siren! We stayed there for two nights waiting for our mail to catch up with us and to take a break from moving every day.
Thursday, June 5
Driving through Nebraska. The road was the smoothest we’ve been so far.
If I weren’t driving a 20,000 lb vehicle I might take advantage of this:
We were going to stay at another very nice Walmart and actually pulled in when we started talking about how it was going. I was feeling a little cabin fever, not because of any small space but just needed to go to a movie or something, like get my nails done. Gene started looking for a movie on the internet when he came across a casino 10 miles back. You can stay at Casinos for free also and for $30 you can get hookups. So, we went to Horseshoe Casino. Since we are self contained we stayed for free.
Just as we were getting ready to walk to the casino it starts to hail. Gene said “hurry up and take the car in the garage”. I ran out and thought I was getting bombarded with golf balls. Driving to the parking garage was like riding over rocks. We were afraid we would wind up with dents in the car or RV. I found a spot to park and waited for it to stop and for Gene, who waited for it to stop. He said “the RV was a rockin and a rollin” and the hail sounded like gun shots going off in the RV. Very scary for the second night in the midwest. I don’t know about these folks out here. I don’t think I could live with the uncertainty of the season. It has also rained about every other night. Which was OK, because we didn’t have to clean bugs off the windshield. Once we got into the casino we checked out the poker room (of course) and it was full also discovered they had grayhound racing, which he has been looking forward to, but missed…again…because of weather. The night was a success though. I won a pretty penny at the slots and managed to walk away with it too! Richard said to Gene “good thing you married her, now you get half!
When we left the casino the first city we drove through was Omaha NE home of Omaha Steaks. My mother’s favorite.
Friday and Saturday, June 6 & 7.
Well, we finally found a KOA that has absolutely NO amenities, but the best WiFi internet service so far.
A little less pricey too, but the site is level and we are taking a breather. So I thought. More heavy rain and high wind warnings. And it came! I was afraid of the double slide being out with the wind but I finally just went to bed and tried to sleep. Tried being the operative word. Woke up to 50 degree weather. Seriously? I wanted to dig out my down jacket from the RV basement. It was windy but the sun finally came out and the temp went up to 60. Since we were literally in the middle of the country in Nebraska, we went to see the Great Platte River Road Archway.
The Great Plains Cultural Learning Trail takes you back to the time when Native Americans and the great buffalo herds mapped the Road that others would follow. It takes you back in time where the Wagon Trains started out from Oregon, Mormon and California Trails. Where the Pony Express started giving way to the Iron Horse and first Transcontinental highway – The Lincoln Highway.
Escalator to the beginning of the self tour.
The end of the tour was moving into the 20th century.
View of the Lincoln Highway (I-80) from inside the Archway.
This Archway spans across I-80 and was the dream of the Governor of Nebraska. We also took a walk around some Indian gardens and an earth hut they lived in with numerous families.
Inside the hut.
We also saw a Sod House. This what the early settlers lived in.
Very educational and felt good to be finally seeing some sights of this great Heartland. During the day while driving the skies have been just beautiful. No smog out here!
We also went by The Nebraska Fire Fighter’s Museum.
Tomorrow will be a traveling day and can probably make Ft. Collins which is our destination for two weeks, or we may stop at a State or National Park and enjoy the area before getting to the campground we have booked for Monday near Mark.