Monday, October 29, 2007


Up about 5:30 A.M. under clear skies & 48F temps. Rolled out of the campground at 6:15 Ontario Time. Traffic was light as we headed for Chicago & pretty much stayed that way right through the city. With the help of our Garmin GPS system (Garmin Gertie) we breezed right along on I-94 & transitioned onto I-80 without any problems & before we knew it we were out the other side of Chicago. Good thing it was early Sunday morning though because I would never want to go through there at that time during a week day.
We Cracker Barreled ourselves about 9:30 somewhere well west of the city. A nice sunshiny day with a light breeze but cool. Noticed a rest area with a sign that said Wife so we stopped there & were able to pick up a few emails. Connection was very slow so we didn't try sending anything. The picture shows Kelly sitting at a picnic table with the laptop.
Didn't sleep well the night before so we were both really tired & decided to find a State Park around 1 P.M. Noticed on the map an Army Corp of Engineers place called Coralville Lake so got off I-80 & headed in that direction. Twisting, winding road but we finally found it. Then, the roads got even more twistier & windyer. Some tight turns, crossed over a dam, made a hair pin left turn up a road into the parks service area & was a dead end with no room to turn around. (the downside of a motorhome towing a car is that you can't back them up) Needless to say we had to un-hook the car & then get the motorhome turned around, then hook the car back up. Luckily for us, unhooking the car can be done in a matter of seconds (once we get good at it) The area we were in was beautiful but we decided not to look around there anymore & headed back to the interstate & resumed our tedious trek west. Kelly spotted a State Park near Grinnell around 4 so we decided to try it out because I was totally beat from driving since 6 in the morning. As usual, it turned out to be a difficult park to find. I think one of America's best kept secrets is it's hide-a-way State Parks. Usually poor signage & directions to get to them. Had to stop in Grinnell several times asking for directions but the locals didn't seen to know too much about Rock Glen State Park. We made our second fuel stop of the trip here as well. Finally, one kid sent us out north of town & we found a road leading to the park but missed it. Remember, no back up!! It was a narrow road we were on so we had to continue straight until we found a little hamlet called Newberg, about the size of a postage stamp. It had one main street & one back street so that was enough for us to go around the block & head back the other way. I'll bet the folks in Newberg will be talking for quite some time about the day they saw a big white bus pulling a little gray car come into their town & actually use their back street.
Finally made it back to the road the park was on but a sign said road was closed for construction. We were desperately tired so decided to take our chances & look for the park anyway. Again, it was a very narrow road & I had visions of having to unhook the car & back the motorhome all the way back out to the other road. Came to a construction barrier & was just about ready to resign myself to the fact we were totally doomed when Kelly spotted what looked like a sign way down the road near the bridge construction site. Got the binoculars out, focused in on the sign & holy smokes, it said, Rock Glen State Park. Wow, what a piece of luck. Around the barrier we went, down the road about 300 yards & turned left right into the park. Nice place on a small picturesque lake. Only about 2 or 3 people in the whole place so we had our pick of sites. Luckily again there was some "pull through" spots & we managed to wiggle into one finally. Our overall length with the car on the back is 53 feet so sometimes we have to add a little waggle to the wiggle. We have electricity but no water again so sometime in the next few days we'll have to find a site with water to replenish our fresh water tank. If we're smart (which I'm not) we'll not push as hard to-morrow & try to have an easier day. We may keep heading north for Nebraska or drop south to Kansas where the temps might be a bit warmer & we'll have a better chance of finding a State Park that hasn't turned their water off for the season yet.
And here's my question for the day...........Why can't the Cracker Barrel restaurants butter the toast before serving it instead of bringing 2 slabs of dry bread with about 45 cubes of frozen butter!!!! And while I'm at it......why not include the price of coffee with each breakfast!!
Anyway, that's it for another day. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Monday Oct. 28 Emailing 2 updates from another Iowa Rest Area just west of Des Moines.... Connection slow so wouldn't upload the picture:((

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like once the cobwebs are cleared away your in for a great trip!!!!

    The hermit