Monday, November 17, 2008


It's been a long day coming so we were up before the chickens & on the road by 7:15. Pouring rain so we had 12 little paws & 4 big human feet hauling mud into the motorhome right off the bat. Rained all the way to the border at Port Huron & as expected......they put us through the meat grinder again when we got there. Flagged us for an agriculture check & told to pull into a designated area. The guy who came up to my window was cranky, miserable & rude just like the weather. Exit the motorhome, leave the dogs inside, proceed to the building & get in line with about 25 other frustrated people. Not good!! The border officers were brusk with people, firing questions at them & not the least bit personable at all. Finally it was our turn at the counter but fortunately we didn't get the grilling some of the other people were undergoing. Our guy didn't seem too bad in comparison. After a thorough passport check Kelly had to wait inside while I went back to the motorhome with the officer. He stood well back as I put the leashes on the dogs & got them outside whereupon they immediately tangled me in a hopeless jumble of cords. Did I mention the pouring rain, high winds, & cold temperatures. A totally miserable day!! While I wrestled the guys over to a sheltered spot the border officer entered the coach & spent the next 20 minutes in there doing whatever border officers do. By the time he was finished, the 3 doggy guys & myself were totally wet, cold, & frozen. Very traumatizing for the dogs because they didn't know what was going on. Checkers actually slipped out of her collar & started heading for home before I was able to call her back. Finally loaded the gang back in the coach & trudged through the rotten weather to the building for more questions. Finally, our passports were handed back & we were free to go. Total time wasted.....over 1 hour. Couldn't help but notice while I was standing outside earlier that every RV coming across the border was allowed right through. We were the only ones nailed for an agriculture check again. That makes 3 times in a row now!!!!!!!!!!!

The rains continued all the way to the Indiana State line & I figure we have driven through more rain in the past 6 hours than we did for our whole trip last year. Those new expensive windshield wipers of ours were on overtime & worked perfectly. And well they should!! A RAINY PIT STOP SOMEWHERE IN MICHIGAN
By 2 o'clock we were totally road wrecked & decided to pack the day in early. Noticed a sign for Pokagon State Park just after we crossed the State line into Indiana on I-69. Nice park & reminiscent of the Pinery Provincial Park near Grand Bend back home. Found a pull through site, leveled the coach, & called it a day. The doggy gang was glad to get outside & tear up the near empty campground. Took us awhile to get our RV heads on & begin the frustrating process of re-learning our mobile lifestyle once again. Patience Al, patience!!!!!!!

Up at 3:30 & made the cold walk in the wet snow/rain to the shower building about a hundred yards away. Building was heated but cold. Shower was luke warm. I'm used to boiling myself like a lobster every morning so a luke warm shower in a cold shower building did not make for a happy camper. Back to the warmth of the motorhome & awaited the eventual awakenings of the rest of the troop. What a bunch of snoozy heards!!

It was snowing lightly as we pulled out of Pokagon State Park at 7:15 heading south for Indianapolis on I-69. Would have liked to have gone through Indianapollis earlier in the morning but it was mid morning by the time we reached the outskirts. Signs warned of heavy construction on the westerly route around the city so we ended up joining I-70 & rocketed right through the center of town. Turned out OK because we got to see all the downtown skyscrapers & stuff. Thanks to our GPS system (Garmin Gertie) we kind of breezed right through town despite Gertie telling me to, "button it up big mouth I'm doing the navigating!! If you travel & don't have a GPS....GET ONE!!

The next 5 hours were uneventful until we decided to look for a State Park & exited highway 57 south of Effingham, Illinois at a little town called Kilmundy. We snaked through the town until we came to a set of railroad tracks. Too late I noticed the rails were angled across the road presenting a huge angled bump. Because of that angle it set up a severe rocking from side to side motion in the motorhome. Despite braking hard & stopping right on the tracks, it was too late as I heard the crashing & breaking of glass in the coach behind me. Cupboard doors flew open as dishes, cans, food, & just about anything else that wasn't nailed down became airborne. The coached rocked violently from side to side about 6 times before I got it eased off the other side of the tracks.

We were so upset we didn't even stop or look back to survey the damage. Kept on going down a rough narrow road for about 5 miles until we reached the Steven Forbes State Park. We were sooooooo upset with everything. And then the park turned out to be a big bust as well. Rickety old wooden bridge to cross & then we couldn't find a pull through spot plus it was the first day of a deer cull in the park & there were pick up trucks & guns all over the place. Found a quiet area to finally pull over & at least shut things down, have a coffee, & survey the damage. Broken mirror frame & a glass measuring cup that was smashed to bits with glass all over the place. Stuff all over the floors, dogs upside down & us with rattled brains. Took awhile to clean things up. Looked around the outside of the coach for any damage but didn't see anything except for one of the bicycles being slightly shifted on the carrier. I haven't opened any of the bins yet. With all the deer hunters around we decided to get out of there before we ended up with bullet holes in the coach as well.

Headed south west to a town called called Salem, picked up a few things at a Wal-Mart & climbed back on highway 57 south again. Minutes later the CB radio crackled with truckers talking about an accident in the southbound lanes ahead of us so we pulled into a rest area & waited about 40 minutes for things to get cleared up. Drove another 40 miles & pulled into another rest area for the night. We had started the day in the dark & ended it in the dark. We are nestled in with a bunch of noisy diesel belching 18 wheel trucks but we're so tired we're going to try & get some sleep here before heading for the Memphis area early in the morning. What a day, what a day!!

Monday morning Nov. 17...This update is coming to you from a McDonald's alongside I-55 in a town called Portage. It's 7:50 Ontario time.......


  1. Wow, is it always this eventful? When I went through customs at Port Huron I could have hauled in anything. She looked at me, smiled, looked at my passport and said have a nice trip.

    Did you get any sleep last night?


  2. Al, your an old navy man, should know it takes a few days to get your sea legs! If it's any consolation, I woke up to 4" of snow here monday morning. The Bayfield Bunch got outta Dodge just in time!

    the hermit

  3. What a day indeed. You guys sound like you have our kinda luck. We just never know what our day will bring. Gotta have a sense of humor to do the rv livestyle---especially with dogs. We have two wire hair fox terriers and love them dearly. Enjoying your blog! Hope your travel days improve.