The Bill and Kit Excellent Adventure Journal-Issue #41
Wednesday, May 13, 2009:
Left early from Lebanon Hills Campground in Apple Valley, Minnesota for points east. We took CR-42 through Hastings, Minnesota than CR-10 toward Prescott, Wisconsin crossing the Mississippi River. Traveled through some very pretty pasture and farm country and enjoyed passing through many small country towns. Hopped on US-94 to get to I-94 and then I-80 to make better time.
Crossed over into Illinois around 4:15 PM and a short time later encountered our first tolls in four months. Then they seemed to come every 15 miles or so. It was kind of frustrating, there were signs all along the turnpike that implored folks to slow down to conserve fuel but the state saw fit to have everyone slow to a crawl, throw a few quarters in a tool booth basket and then accelerate to merge with the locals who, by the way, are traveling at 80MPH through the same area due to the Turnpike Gadget on their dash.
I think I figured out why the eastern states have tolls…..how else can they pay for those tricked out toll plazas and all the folks to staff them? Plus the Toll Collector’s supervisors, managers and directors salary.
Since we were going broke paying tolls we decided to camp out at one of their Turnpike Travel Plazas to stay on budget.
It worked out very well and in the morning I was able to walk across the parking lot and pick up some Egg McMuffins for breakfast. I did get some curious looks however…..I guess I should have wrapped a larger towel around my waist. Oh well, lessons learned.
Thursday, May 14, 2009:
Pulled off the interstate at Elkhart Indiana, the home for about 90% of the RV manufactures in the US. And also the home for the RV Museum and Hall of Fame, a must stop for any serious RV fan. The place was really neat with rigs from the early 1900 to today’s modern and well equipped RV.
Below are some random shots of the RV’s on display. I particularly liked the Griswaldmobile on the upper left. Oh by the way….that’s the back of the thing.
Decided to continue east on some back roads that only Lucy (remember Lucy?) would know about. At one point we nosed over into Michigan, rolled along US-12 and almost as quick pulled down into Ohio stopping for the night at Pleasant View RV Park in Van Buren.
This large RV Park on a small manmade lake featured mostly seasonal sites. There were many park model trailers and large RV’s which appear to have been sitting on their sites for many years. There was a small 12 site “overnighter” section where we selected a nice secluded pull through site.
Friday, May 15, 2009:
Leaving the RV Park on TR-218 heading east we drove through Fostoria, Ohio, a really neat and well taken care of small town. Then we drove a variety of county roads toward Akron, Ohio where we stopped at a nice county park for lunch. In talking to a park employee who was the “Aquatics Landscape” caretaker, he informed us that this was Springfield Lake; one of the few natural lakes in Ohio and one of the cleanest in the country due to their aggressive management of natural aquatic shoreline plantings. It was a really peaceful and pristine location except for the fellow in the photo below who decided to hover about the lake.
Come to find out the Goodyear Blimp hanger and airfield was just a few miles away and this is the time of the year the company trains new pilots for the upcoming season. It was fun watching the huge blimp lumber along while increasing and decreasing altitude and making a variety of sharp turns…..all right over Springfield Lake. Couldn’t have had a better lunch time show if we had paid admission.
Continuing easterly we entered Pennsylvania where we stopped for the night at the PA Turnpike’s Sideling Hill Service Plaza for another freebie overnight stay.
Tomorrow we head for the Philadelphia area, which is my mom’s home town, for a Byrnes family get together. Mary Kate has kindly offered us her long straight and flat driveway for dooryard surfing which we will be taking advantage of.
Love, Dad/Mom, Poppy/Guma, Bill/Kit