~Monday, August 9, 2021
Day 421 (Travel Day)
So excited to get back to some family time as we head back to Mahomet, IL to visit Hannah, Devin and Carson (Easton is visiting his dad in California right now). We’ll be staying at the same RV park we stayed at last time...Tin Cup RV Park. While we were breaking down camp, we were so thankful it was not pouring rain, as forecasted. We were already dealing with zero power, which bears the next question….what will we do to bring in the awnings, slides and the electric tongue jack without power? There are generally 4 things when breaking down that rely on power:
Electric Tongue Jack
Of these 4 things, we were already bringing in the stabilizers manually, since the electric switch has been broken for a few months. We ordered the replacement switch a few months back which is waiting for us at Hannah’s. The electric tongue jack has a way to manually lift and lower the tongue of the trailer to the truck anyway via a wrench that you simply turn, so that problem is solved. However, we know nothing about bringing in the slides and the awnings manually. Even though this is the first time we have had no power and NOT been able to use a generator, we haven’t had to rely on operating these things without electricity. It’s pretty important to know how to operate these 2 items without power, whether a motor fails, or you simply have no power. Time to do a little research I guess.
We gave Hannah an ETA of when we thought we’d be arriving at the campsite (around 6:30 p.m.) With a 400-mile drive today, we’d certainly be tired by the end of it. I hadn’t driven the trailer in a while, so I’d say taking the wheel for 5 hours brought back my confidence. Jeff took the first leg. We got to see sprawling Milwaukee but on a dreary day. I find it interesting that Milkwaukee’s crime rate is one of the highest in the country, yet is considered to be one of the best places to live, with it’s exceptional food/brewery scene, family-friendly activities and employment opportunities.
We had pockets of rain along the way and learned that a few tornados had touched down near Chicago which is pretty close to where we were driving, though still about 150 miles away. We drove by O’Hare Airport which we’d never seen before. It’s absolutely HUGE and completely dwarfs SFO. We did take notice of these large brown roofed huts along our drive today. These apparently are for storing sand and salt for the highways during the winter months. And unless you undercoat your car in these parts of the country, you’re in for pretty bad rust damage as we’ve witnessed a lot on the trip, especially in Michigan.
When we finally arrived, Jeff checked us in and happened to meet the owners of Tin Cup...a very nice couple. Last time we stayed here, he and his wife were at a golfing tournament. He led us to our site #52 which is more in the middle of the lower campground and a much better site than last time. The humidity is really something (about 90%) and we’re hearing those Cicadas again! It sounds like a jungle out here. Our neighbors are very friendly and they too have a dog….a Lab/German Shepherd mix. Sadie and he hit it off right away, though Sadie thought his ball was hers. Very nice couple in their early to mid-60’s and couldn’t stop bragging about their 10 grandkids. Apparently, they keep their trailer here full-time, working full-time jobs in the area. But here’s the funny part. When Devin, Hannah and Carson showed up as a surprise, I noticed Devin hugging our neighbor and thought they were acquaintances from his childhood or something (Devin grew up in Illinois). It turns out she is the Controller for the company Devin works for (but in a different office). Small world. It was so amazing to see Carson running around since the last time we saw him in April, he wasn’t quite walking yet. The dogs had a blast playing together, and it was great to catch up, albeit short since Hannah and Devin needed to put Carson down for bed. Looking forward to catching up with our 6 days here! So good to see them again.