Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday, 27 July

Yesterday's post got written today because we couldn't get online last night. We are working with our new Mifi and don't have the systems all worked out yet.

Today dawned cool and overcast. We discovered the folly of parking too close to the Walmart building, since we woke up surrounded by delivery trucks. After picking up some supplies, and checking the tires and fluids (oil level appears to be alright) we headed out about 10:00. No particular destination today, but from talking to Vic and looking at maps we figured we should be able to get to Illinois by the end of the day. Same off and on problem with the oil light.

Southern Ohio has the Hocking Hills --- western foothills of the Alleghenies of West Virginia (we live in the eastern foothills).  Once we got past the hills, we were in the Midwest. The land is flat and we drove through large fields of corn (with some tobacco and soybeans). Scattered widely across the landscape are clusters of farm buildings, houses, barns, and sheds.

It was cool when we started but it warmed up as the day progressed, though not as hot as yesterday. The day's work basically consisted of Gene keeping out of the way of the trucks and Jean figuring out the best and shortest way forward and around the few cities we encountered. We managed to avoid the interstate for about half of the day, but eventually end up on I-70 west of Columbus. We stopped at the first rest area in Indiana to walk the dog and have a light lunch. It was kind of a dismal scene for people from central Virginia. It was flat, flat, flat; the temperature was 90 degrees; and the only available shade was a small picnic shelter. The coolest place to eat was in the motorhome with the side door and a couple of windows open to catch the bit of breeze. We finally caught Gene's cousin Juanita on the phone to let her know we were on the way and expected to make Baraboo sometime tomorrow. We had a pleasant conversation and got the arrangements, such as they were, all made.

As the day progressed, large thunderstorms developed. Here on the billiard table, you can see them for miles. At one time we counted four separate storm systems in sight ahead. We got some rain from one of them, the rest thankfully went around us. One, to our south, looked like a real buster, with rain falling so heavily that you couldn't see through it. Luckily that one missed us, too.

As we approached Illinois, the temperature was getting hot again and we decided we needed to be where we had access to electricity. So Jean pulled down the big book and found a couple of campgrounds in the Champaign area.  She settled on one and phoned ahead to secure a spot. It turned out to be a small, very pleasant place, near Champaign but out in the country. Very quiet, with large spaces. It was unique in that our space was arranged as a pull-in, back-out spot. Jean went in to the office to register and came out with a receipt and a cucumber. A real down-home operation. We love it. We pulled in, hooked up, started the a/c, and fell onto the bed for a needed nap. Woke up about 2 hours later, in time for a pleasant supper.

Not as exciting as yesterday, but satisfying nontheless.

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