Because we wanted to be on the road fairly early yesterday morning, the night before we hooked up the Explorer to our Blue Ox tow bar, and Terry put things away inside the motorhome so that all we would have to do was unhook our campground utilities, pull in our slide rooms and retract our jacks when we were ready to leave.
We never leave real early in the morning, because we don’t like to get up real early in the morning. Usually we wait until rush hour is over and all the commuters are at work before we hit the road. Those folks have places they have to be, and we usually don’t, so why get in their way?
In this case we left Hickory Hollow Campground about 9:30 AM and got onto Interstate 80 eastbound. We don’t like messing with all the traffic and hassles in the greater Chicago area, so quite often we will drop down south a little bit and take state routes through Kankakee and over to the Indiana state line. It adds about 50 miles and an hour of driving time to the journey, but it’s worth it for the more relaxed ride.
But this trip we decided what the heck, let’s go for it and see what happens. So we stayed on the interstate and were pleasantly surprised. It’s been several years since we’ve taken I-80 straight through, and the road was in much better condition than we remembered from previous trips. There was a lot of traffic but everybody stayed in their own lanes and we made good time. Before we knew it we were in Indiana and on Interstate 94, which took us into Michigan.
There was some road construction in a couple places, which had the highway down to one lane in each direction with those Jersey barriers that I really hate driving through, but Miss Terry talked me through a couple of tight spots and we made it all in one piece. We got onto Interstate 196 at Benton Harbor and took it north almost to Holland, where we usually pick up US Highway 31 and follow it into Muskegon.
But the interchange was closed onto US 31 and traffic was detoured to the next exit, then onto surface roads for a couple of miles back onto US 31. However, the off ramp lead us to very busy State Route 40, with only a stop sign at the end of the ramp for traffic control, and drivers on SR 40 didn’t have to stop. The result was cars and semi’s backed up a mile down the interstate and up the ramp, all waiting to make a left turn across the heavily traveled roadway. I’m amazed that there wasn’t an accident, either someone trying to make a turn in front of traffic, or somebody being rear-ended sitting still on the interstate. I have no idea why they didn’t have a cop out there directing traffic for the public safety.
Eventually we did get through it all, and we pulled into Fisherman’s Landing, a city-owned marina and campground in Muskegon, just before 4 PM with 256 miles behind us for the day. We signed in, paid for five nights of camping and got settled into our RV site. This is a nice campground, but at $32 a night for 50 amp electric, water, and a dump station, it is not exactly a bargain. However, it’s only a couple of miles from my cousin Berni’s house and convenience is something that we sometimes have to pay a little extra for.
Once we were parked and hooked up I took about a half-hour nap and then we drove over to see Rocky and Berni. We always have a wonderful time when we’re with these two, and the silliness started right away with teasing and joking between the four of us, like we had just left them yesterday and not almost a year ago.
After they made us welcome, we all piled into their car and headed for the local Chinese buffet for dinner, then returned to their house for a rousing game of Mexican Train that lasted until just past midnight. By the time we got back to the campground, our eyes were droopy and our butts were dragging from our long day, and our long week, on the road. But it was worth it; our trip is over and we’re with people we love for a few days of rest, relaxation, and downright nonsense.
Thought For The Day – Never confuse your career with your life.