We definitely need new batteries. When we were boondocking Saturday night I ran our Onan generator for three hours. We turned everything off before we went to bed about midnight and the batteries were at 12.4 volts. When we woke up at 7 a.m. they were down to 10.8 volts. These are Interstate batteries that we got from Camping World about three years ago, but they are crap and have never performed well.
We had Lifeline AGM batteries in our MCI bus conversion and loved them. Even though we don’t boondock often any more, I think we’re going to go that route again, since we plan to upgrade to a residential refrigerator.
Bad weather was predicted for much of the Midwest and we wanted to get to Elkhart before it hit, if it did. From our overnight stop at Vandalia, Illinois we drove another 31 miles east on Interstate 70 to Effingham, then took Interstate 57 north 120 miles to U.S. Highway 24, then followed it east into Indiana.
A few days ago I posted a picture of a giant cross near Groom, Texas, and we saw its twin standing next to the highway in Effingham.
We always like traveling on the two lane roads through small town America whenever we can. That’s where you’ll find Main Street alive and well, not dead thanks to the big box stores and malls that build on the edge of town and bleed it dry.
People in small towns take pride in their homes and it is reflected in their tidy lawns and the flags they fly out front.
Small town houses have their own character, not like the generic cookie cutter houses you see in suburbia.
The farms outside of town are just as neat and clean.
U.S. 24 is a good two lane road that took us through several nice small towns and past a lot of farmland.
At Reynolds, we turned north on U.S. Highway 421 and followed it north 58 miles to the Indiana Toll Road. About 5 miles before we got to the Toll Road we hit a rough railroad crossing that rattled the motorhome and jarred our teeth, and about a mile past it the driver of a pickup pulled up beside us honking his horn and pointing. I pulled as far over as possible on the very narrow shoulder and he told me we had lost one of the big chrome hubcaps on the motorhome when we crossed the tracks, and it went sailing off into a field beside the road.
There was no room to turn around, but since we had replaced that very hubcap a couple of years ago, at a cost of over $140, we didn’t want to lose it either. So I pulled as far off the road as I could, which still left half the Winnebago on the pavement, and put on my emergency flashers. Terry started to walk back toward the railroad crossing when a farmer and his son drove across their yard in his pickup truck and asked if she was okay. She told them what had happened, and he insisted she climb in and they drove her back to the crossing, right out into the field, and retrieved the hubcap, then brought her back to the RV. Meanwhile a couple of La Porte County deputies were coming down the road and they made a U-turn and parked behind me with their roof lights on to see if I needed any assistance. Did I mention that small town people are really friendly?
The wind had been bad all day and was even worse when we got on the Toll Road, but we only had 52 miles to go and managed just fine. I sure was happy to get off in Elkhart, and a few minutes later we were pulling into Elkhart Campground. We have been coming here for so long that this place feels like home to us. Owner Bob Patel and our pal Al Hesselbart greeted us with hugs and made us feel welcome. It sure feels good to be here!
We left northern Arizona Friday morning and arrived here in northern Indiana four days and 1750 miles later. We have a lot to do in the next few days; picking up the the new issue of the Gypsy Journal at our printer in Michigan and getting it mailed out, and then we have to start preparing for the Escapade rally. I am doing four or five seminars there and we’ll have a vendor booth, so there are RV guides to print and Power Point presentations to go over. But first we plan to sleep in today, so if anybody calls or comes knocking on our door, we’ll be ignoring them. We deserve the rest!
Congratulations to Brad Kalberer, winner of this week’s drawing of an audiobook of Big Lake Blizzard. We had 187 entries this time around, and if you haven’t won yet, don’t give up. A new drawing starts this week.
Thought For The Day – Some people create their own storms, then get upset when it rains.