Friday, March 31, 2017

Last Leg, Early Start, Destination Ontari-ario

On Friday, Mar. 31st we were up by 6:30 and it was nice and cozy in the Suite. The temperature overnight got down to 37F and all we had on was our little Blue Flame propane heater. Wonderful! No flannel sheets yet either and we were toasty all night long.

First priority of the day was to try and reach my little sister, Wendy, to wish her a Happy Birthday. She’s a busy gal back in Owen Sound so we were unable to catch her on FB messenger or on her cell. At least she’ll know we were thinking of her from the message I left. 
My sister, Wendy and me from my teenage years

Wendy, all grown up
Also, a Happy Birthday to my dear friend from school, Rufus, who lives in Hinton, Alberta.

My friend Ruth, really knows how to party

We called ourselves the 3 Musketeers back in the day
Happy Birthday, Ruth!
We had a tea this morning and were on the road by 8 o’clock. The sky is overcast yet no precipitation so far. We exited onto Hwy#21 (Corunna Rd) then onto I-75S to connect with I-69N. The pavement was terrible again only around Flint. Soon we were away from the city and on a smoother highway.
No rain at least
When we pulled off to fuel up at a BP I noticed the road crew patching holes in the asphalt. One truck goes through with 2 guys with shovels and fill the holes, then a large dump truck follows and drives its 2 wheels over the patches, then a pickup truck does the same thing. I’m sure these guys are taking their lives in their hands with the crazy drivers on these highways.
The shovellers

This is the last truck

Like George from Our Awesome Travels and other rv’ers, we like the Flying J for their truck lanes to fill up so it is also nice, when you need another gas station, to find that BP also offers these large lanes. With big units, the last thing you want to worry about when you need a fuel top up is whether you can get in and out.
The bridge to Canada in the fog

Daddy's 'black' fog :)
We’ve had a good drive with little to no rain to speak of. We reached Port Huron and the fog was pretty ‘black’ as my dad used to say.  He was a character and when we disputed that it was white, he said ‘you can’t see through it so it has to be black!’, just to get us kids going.
Short line at the border
The line up at the border crossing was short and fast. In line at 9:30 and thanking the young guard at 9:40 as he sent us on our way. Yay! We were as honest with him as the fog is white (heh heh) and are sailing on our way to Arkona. It is 3C and still foggy off in the distance and HWY-402 is smooth as a baby’s bottom. Home.
Familiar road from Arkona

Curvy road to Rock Glen Park
I have a feeling we're not in the United States anymore
Yah well, how can things that go so right suddenly turn around? Here we are at Rock Glen RV Resort with reservations for a week. Thank you, Gerry, for helping us out with that. Jane and Rob are ‘iffy’ whether we’ll get into an Executive Site but ‘try and if it is too soft, we’ll park you on the road’. Fine.
No longer Fine
The lanes are so narrow in this park for big rv’s and then you have to turn your wheels sharp to back in…………. well, our rear truck wheels sunk and here we sit on the lane, neither in a spot or out.

 We called our affiliated Roadside Assistance and with the help of Clarke’s Towing we were out of that sinkhole. Quite a friendly guy too and we’ve never had to use their assistance before so a bonus in the otherwise topsy turvy morning. 

This debacle only added to Bell screwing up our re-connection to Bill’s Samsung, the employee inputting May 31 instead of March 31. Oh my, it is hard to get good help these days!
We left our mark at the park
We took a break and had a discussion about what to do. Sitting in the lane, we couldn’t reach hydro hookup and didn’t want to mess around looking for a spot that would reach. Discouraged, tired, hungry, cool and damp we called our favourite people at CanAm.
A nice chat with the Clarke's driver
"Have you got a spot for us for a couple of days?" Peggy says "yes" so; the decision was easy. Bill backed the Suite up to the main road and swung it around towards the exit. After advising Jane that we weren't staying and getting our $10 gate pass returned, we left Rock Glen at 12:40. We’ll never see those 2 hours again, I thought as we hi-tailed it to Lambeth. We have offered to help them at their Driving Seminar on Sunday so it makes total sense to park there in the back. With hydro. Kudos to CanAm and kudos to Peggy!

Arriving at our dealers’ was like a homecoming and it felt really nice to be welcomed so warmly. Peggy set us up, as promised, and soon we were settled inside our Suite up close to the building with hydro. Sweet! It is cold and our bodies really need to make an adjustment but we have everything with us that we need to keep warm.

Bill made up a sandwich and I found something to tide me over until dinner time. It will be a soup and cracker night, me thinks! I’m making myself a tea as we speak so that will warm me up for the time being. We will be staying here at CanAm for at least a couple of days, maybe more. I appreciate that you are reading today to make sure we got home safely. The sky today is making it obvious that there will be no sunset so I'll post this instead. 

I can say now that I have taken a few of these dirt paths and loved them!

Thank you to all of our friends and family who have followed along with us on this first journey to the southwest. Now, we aren’t just dreaming about it, we made it happen and hope to continue to do so for a long time. It has been a real treat to know that you have been with us. 

All comments are welcome.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Beat Goes On and our Rhythm is Pretty Good! However NOT a Nice Day to Travel

We woke up Thursday, Mar. 30th all set for another day on the road. It is to the point now, let’s just get there. I was awake at 6:30 and Bill was still sawing logs so I just relaxed until 7 when I crawled out of bed. It didn’t take long and he was up with me.

Last night after we pulled in here, alone in the lot, 2 other rv’s pulled in beside us and 5 semis around them. Everyone was respectable and it wasn’t a cold night so nothing loud was running. When we got up this morning, all but the motor home beside us had left. They were from Trenton, On and were planning on making it to Tilbury today. They have a long drive ahead of them too.
Our first stop, Indiana Rest/Welcome area
We had a coffee, read a few blog posts and had breakfast. The temperature this morning was a nice 55F and the sky was offering up a few light showers. By the time we were headed out the rain had stopped and the sky was showing promise. 

I fell hook line and sinker for this skyline
Love this octopus tower
We were on the road before 9 thinking we did good to get moving at a decent time. We forgot about the time change, well, kind of. Crossed into Indiana and it was suddenly 10:05 when we stopped at their Welcome Centre to pick up a map. It all works out the same in the end, we’ll still probably drive 8 or 9 hours today.
It was pretty smooth going through Indianapolis and we loved the optional Byway of 465 to I-69N. Much nicer than St. Louis yesterday. I-69 isn’t a pleasant road to drive on at all. Lots of asphalt patches that need new patches and so on. We certainly can’t put blame on the Mobile Suite manufacturer for hitches etc. that break.
Bill and Clemson waiting for me at the Welcome Centre
At 1 we needed a break so stopped once more at a Rest Stop near Fairmount. The sky to the northwest doesn’t look too pleasant, dark clouds and lightening so, obviously, a thunderstorm coming our way.  We were soon in the midst of the heavy rain and poor visibility so slowed ‘er down and took it easy.

Looks good so far

By 2 we were looking for a place to get diesel and found a Pilot Station off exit 309A that fit the bill. After waiting to get in a fill spot the rain stopped for the most part and the sky lightened up. Hoping to make up some time we got back on I-69N.
I was following on this map along with our gps

Before too long the rain returned and we crossed into Michigan and stopped at their Welcome Centre. Had a short break and picked up a new state map here as well. 

We must soon be in Canada; the temperatures are a cool 37F. I have to admit that my body has adjusted well to lower temps. It sure didn’t feel like 3 or 4C. Just don’t ask me to stand out in it for long.
Bad rain and visibility
I had come to the conclusion that we will NEVER travel on I-69 again if we can possibly avoid it. That is until Bill informed me we will be going to Michigan again in August and that is the route we'll take. LOL 

We don’t mind Interstate traveling, we’d rather not have to stop at all the small towns on some of the other routes, it is because of the rough Interstates we have encountered. Driving around Lansing was uneventful and even though busy, if it wasn’t for the rough roads and the rain it would have been a breeze.

Not much else to write about on this wet cool travel day so I’ll close like this: We found a Sam’s Club just before reaching Flint, MI and it was next to a Walmart Super Centre. By this time, the wind was blowing around the 25mph range and there were puddles all over the lot. It was 6:00 and we were ready to stop.
If Sam's Club had said 'No', we were right beside the Walmart Super Centre
Both said overnight parking was available on my gps
Bill went in and checked in with the manager and was met with another friendly greeting. We continued to set up ‘parking lot’ style and I cooked up a couple of hotdogs each for supper. Just perfect. Bill drove through a mess of rain and traffic not to mention poor visibility today and we made it really close to the destination we had in mind.
We are here for the night, all by our selves
Good night from outside Flint, Michigan
Tomorrow we will be in Ontario at our home membership park, with reservations already made. Hoping this finds that your day was dryer and warmer and a good one in general.

Thank you for following along on this journey. I always love to read your comments.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Beating the Storms, Cloudy Extended Driving Day

I woke up on Wednesday, Mar. 29th at 7:15 and Bill had already been up for 45 min. Usually on a moving day he is awake early. He had put everything away from outside last night, not that much was out. The winds picked up around 10:00 and the rain would soon follow. No point in letting things get wet.
Here Comes the sun dobedobe
After catching this pretty sunrise, I caught up on blog posts with my morning tea while Bill had his breakfast and a shower. We seldom eat the same things on moving days as we don’t want to spend the extra time for bacon and eggs and then cleanup. We just like to get going. It was 8:45 when we pulled out of the park onto US-59.

The rain was quite heavy around 8 and the sky quite dark coming from the west so we were pleased that it had stopped by the time we exited. We aren’t sure how far we’ll get today but we plan to put the push on. Tornado warnings for southern Missouri, Arkansas and Texas are enough to get us moving.

About 50 miles into Missouri, near Mt. Vernon we stopped at a Rest Stop (Truck Parking) with washrooms only for nature’s call and to make a coffee. It is 10:30, the rain has returned but nothing too heavy and so far, I-44 is a good road. 

We are in communication with my sister and her husband who are travelling with their Montana on #50 to Kansas City, north of us. Probably about a day or less behind us in our journey home. They will be at home base before us since we are stopping near London at our home park for a week. It is nice to know that we are relatively close in our travels.
The sun was up there but fighting a tough battle and losing
Interesting, we just passed a business called Executive Coach Builders. Wish I’d got a picture but instead looked it up on line. Large black units that look like a modified Class C motorhome. Never heard of them before but the black ones were really impressive.

 East of Richland, MO and the sky is brighter and the rain is non-existent here. I’m not a sailor but the route seems pretty smooth sailing from my point of view. My driver looks quite relaxed too.

Just for the record, after the 10 hour day, he looked pretty much the same.
Just east of Jerome we hit a slow down with the right lane closed. No worries, most everybody is respectful of each other and glide into the left lane. There are always those who, of course, are 'special' and need to go as far as they can past all of us. I like it best when a transport truck puts a stop to that by riding up the middle of the highway.

As it turns out, we first notice this construction truck with a Wet Paint sign. Hmm, but then we see 3 huge wreckers in the right lane that I was too close to to get a picture of. Now it is clear what the holdup was. A tractor trailer was down over the side in the ditch. Oh my, how did that happen? We certainly hope the driver is okay. This didn’t slow us down too much and we were on the move again to the next Love’s Truck Stop.

Stopping for another pit stop but mostly to top up the fuel and to top up our tummies since it is 1:00. Clemson is such a great little traveler, it is nice to give him the opportunity to do his business and stretch his little legs too.
We have the best little traveler
Sunshine has made an appearance as we pass by Sullivan, MO. Driving into St. Louis keeps Bill on his toes and me watching for our eventual exit for I-70E. At 3:00 on hump day, the 20 minutes through the city made us glad not to be traveling through this city in another hour or two. We are now in Illinois and can breathe easier and look for a stopover.
Had another fun drive around the Pilot Gas Bar/Lot trying to get in
and ended up coming out onto Route 66 to turn around

So we got our kicks on Route 66 again with this old beauts and a fenced in area full of them with
the old time gas pumps too
Some of these large travel centres are not rv accommodating even though they think they are

At 4 we were ready for another pit stop and leg stretch. Bill says he wants to keep going, after getting out for some fresh air. I’m game, especially when it is just a sleep over. He’s calling the shots here and until I notice fatigue, I don’t interfere.

Coming up to Effingham, IL we saw another tractor trailer over on its side off the highway. The cause doesn’t seem like anything other than a driver falling asleep at the wheel, no other visible obstructions or vehicles involved. It isn’t nice to see and again hopefully he got out okay.
Traffic through St. Louis at 3 pm was where we needed signs painted on the highway!
Well, like those truckers, luck isn’t on our side this afternoon. We started looking for a place to overnight around Effingham but it is a hot spot for sure. No room at the Inn, so to speak, and we tried many ‘Inns’. Not to be discouraged we hopped in the truck since it is still daylight and drove on down I-70 towards Terre Haute, IN.
some great architectural buildings along the highway

Halfway across the bridge we crossed the state line into Illinois

Love this bridge across the Mississippi River

The St. Louis arch way back there in the photo
Our situation may be different than others with the need to open 2 slides to get into our bedroom, or at the very least, one slide to get to our recliner chairs. This limits us to where we can park safely without getting clipped through the night. It all ends well though, we traveled on until my gps showed us a Walmart at Marshall, IL.
It was a lovely reward for coming this far to see an empty lot over by the Garden Centre. I checked in with the Customer Service desk and was given a pleasant “Of course!”. Thank you. After being on the road for 10 hours we decided to walk over to McDonald’s for supper. The short walk felt pretty good in the brisk air although it was still about 55F.

Our spot for the night and it was still daylight! Yay!
Goodnight from a Walmart in Marshall, Illinois
That is it for today, just one more overnight before we hit our home province. I hope you had a good day.

Thank you for reading! Your comments are always welcome.