Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 5 - We Keep On Trucking

Day Five dawned dark.  Our location in Indiana was at the very western edge of the Eastern Time Zone.  Consequently it was very dark at 6am.  So the plans of leaving early were but a dream as we did not really want to put things away in the pitch black.  It is considered poor form to rustle about too much before it gets light outside.  But we were on the road again (sounds like a song!) by 7:30am.  Indiana turned into Illinois and by dint of a change to Central Time Zone, we made it to Chicago about 1/2 after we left Indiana.  Huh?  Thank goodness we did the drive through the city on a Sunday morning instead of a workday.  Even  today there was a lot of traffic.  Even with GPS the navigation was especially tricky in one spot and we pretty much slowed to a crawl waiting to be let into the proper lane.  We certainly looked like out-of-towners with our big whale of a 5th wheel and Maine plates.  To add to the fun, GPS directed us to I90 where there were big signs saying "Express Lanes, No Trucks".  We aren't officially a truck (at least that's my story should any law enforcement official ask).  But our concern was that maybe some of the bridges were too low for us.  We committed ourselves to the route and held our breath as we did encounter one 13' 9" bridge.  We are 12' 9".  So we made it, none the worse for wear and without any citations.

 Why yes, it is still there!  This is the view that I want from my rear window.  Another of my jobs is to alert the driver if I do NOT see this.  As you might be able to guess, roadside sights kept me amused for most of our 441.9 mile drive today.

  • EZPass has worked on all the toll roads so far.  The midwestern states seem to be replacing something called IZoom with it.  
  • I saw an interesting sign advertising "Full season control of corn root worm"
  • We accidentally engaged in the sport of turtle tipping this morning somewhere east of South Bend.  The silly turtle really shouldn't have sauntered out in front of such a big camper.  Brett said it flipped over once but did appear to be headed off the road on its own power.  
  • A sign advertising an Amish market prompted the following conversation:  Q -Would you like to buy an Amish?  A-I'm not sure.  Q-What would we do with one?  A- Put it in the living room and force it to watch TV.
  • When all the people riding on 3 motorcycles give you the thumbs up sign, it does not mean that they think you have a nice rig.
 I really need to work on my 65mph photo taking.  This picture shows 2 rainbows that appeared in the sky just before we got to Chicago.

Just when I decided that the scenery looked a lot like Maine, we began to get more and more farm land covered with corn.  Boy howdy there's a lot of corn growing out here.  Somebody told me once that it was tall so I for some reason got a mental image of corn the size of the pine trees along the interstate at home.  I'm happy to report that it isn't quite that tall.  Here we have stopped at a rest area in Wisconsin.  We spoke with a man who was delivering a new RV to British Columbia.  We noticed quite a few trucks from this delivery company hauling new fifth wheels.  I guess that's how all those new recreational vehicles get from Indiana to their new owners.          

Wisconsin was the first place where we encountered bio-diesel for sale.  It is .01 per gallon cheaper than regular diesel.
We crossed the Mississippi River this afternoon.  I knew it would happen but it just took me off guard to do it between Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Somewhere in my brain I equated Mississippi River with the South.  After this rest area, the highway climbs up the Great River Bluffs.  These must have been formed as the river eroded the banks and got to the present location.
 The silo looks like a smoke stack with that cloud just behind it.  And there was corn for as far as the eye could see.
Minnesota settled into beautiful farmland from the border to Rochester where we are spending the night.  Brett likes the fact that the road signs here aren't making things up.  We drove 45 mph through much of Illinois under the "Road Work" warning signs but there wasn't any road work happening.  Minnesota put out a "Bump Ahead" warning and then at the exact spot of the bump, had another sign with an arrow pointing to the bump.  Dear Maine, please come take a look at this.  I'm tired of guessing whether the frost heave sign is serious or just left over from last season. 

 We got to our pretty campground at about 4:30pm and the nice people here showed us to our very easy to get into pull through site.  Did I mention that the two nicest words in RV'ing are pull through?  We set up the electric grill on the picnic table and I cooked bacon and banana pancakes with fresh raspberries.  A breakfast for dinner camping event was had by all.  Then a walk around the campground where we admired some more corn fields and smelled the smells of harvest.  And oooooh'ed and aaaaah'ed over the enormous corn harvesting machines (my phone was being charged so I didn't get any pictures). 
It was another great day on our great adventure.  I wonder what we'll learn tomorrow?

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