The Start of Great Things

We are embarking on a two month adventure, where we will revisit places where we have had great times, and stop at new places where possibilities abound. We left without still being attached to any electrical cords, or other mishaps. It was quite pleasant. No excitement, no crisis, very anticlimactic, very nice. Pennsylvania is a wide state, and gave us plenty of time to realize what we left behind.  Fortunately, this is a nation of Wal-Mart’s, Targets and hardware stores, and what was left behind was small stuff to make things more comfortable. Crossing Pennsylvania takes about six hours and things went well until we discovered our route went through a tunnel that prohibited compressed flammable gasses.  We were outlawed because of our propane tank. We reached our destination, family just outside Pittsburgh, about a half hour late.

A tasty dinner of sausages and rolls from NJ, topped off with homemade salad and sauerkraut washed down with some very excellent IPA beer, and finished off with great conversation, made for a perfect visit. Late to bed and early up made for a short night, but out to breakfast at a great restaurant, a quick tour of the gardens around the house, and we were off.  On the way out of the driveway, the rear of the rig scraped along the ground, and I broke the connections between the rear fiberglass shroud and the supporting frame. I placed a bungee on the panel to keep it from waving around to keep it in keep it in place. We checked on it periodically, and by the end of the day, Louise and I figured out how to repair the damage.  It’s one of those weird things where the damage didn’t show, so it should be easy, but time intensive, to repair.

Ohio transforms from rolling hills to relatively flat county dominated by farms.  The trees at the roadside varied from looking like early spring to about right for mid May, but the fields that were planted were in the minority, and the ones that had been planted, had only been planted within the last week or two, if that. Many fields had water standing in them, so it looks like that spring has been both cold and wet hereabouts.

We had some difficulty in locating diesel fuel when we needed it in Columbus. The price of diesel was in the $4.00 range, about forty cents more than New Jersey.  The first gas station was on an unannounced exit only, exit from the interstate.  It had no diesel fuel. On the way back to the Interstate, we saw some interesting neighborhoods as a result of using Google Maps.  This was the second time that Google has routed us through a very local, insular neighborhood, that interstate traffic has no business traveling through.  Today’s route was not as bad as the drug den/bordello neighborhood of the day before, but there were plenty of stares.  Fortunately, the residents seemed as amazed to see a 24 foot motor home from NJ driving down their street as we were amazed to be there. When we finally found a cluster of gas stations, either they were out of diesel, didn’t carry diesel, or the pumps were broken.  We fueled up at a Pilot gas station for about $4 a gallon, and were back on the interstate in relatively short order.

whitewaterWe were heading for the Whitewater Memorial State Park, just outside Liberty, Indiana.  The area was very interesting.  There are some outstanding Victorian and Queen Anne style houses that ranged from better than the day they were built to about to fall in the street.  Liberty is the County seat of Union County, and the county building is spectacular, a classic example of what county seats looked like in the late 1920’s.  I didn’t know what they did around here in the past, besides farming, but the housing indicates that there was plenty of money here once upon a time.  Currently, business isn’t so hot, but more than 50% of the storefronts have active businesses.  We have seen worse.

The state park turned out to be more expensive than I anticipated.  There is a $7 fee to enter, and then there was a $20 fee for staying the night, raising the price to $27 a night.  It’s a very nice place, but there are only electrical sites, and no full or partial hookup sites.  The lady at the camping office indicated that even she had to pay the $7 entrance fee if she wanted to visit the park on her off day. She added that the pace is seldom full.  Have you figured out the reason yet? There is a moderate sized lake, some very nice playgrounds and fields, and the equestrian facilities look excellent.  The map of the park indicates that there are some very nice horse trails.  We drove through a section set aside for equestrian campers that looked full featured.

We have a very nice spot, relatively far from the nearest camper (over 400+ feet) and we were able to ‘start’ the trip.  We attended to checking out, in detail, the damage to the rear.  We worked on a water problem in the bathroom, checked the oil (it was fine), checked the house batteries, swept out the RV, checked email, planned the route for the next several days, and pretty much settled in to our home for the next two months.

Dinner was quick, leftovers, but wonderful.  Prime rib bones and slices, broccoli, cooked in special Tupperware from my daughter, mashed potatoes, Italian bread, very yummy, and very quick.  We are off tomorrow to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to see some practice prior to next weekend’s race. Not as good as being there next weekend, but not bad. All in all, a great start to what promises to be a great trip.