Friday, October 30, 2015

Cloverdale, IN to Rolla, MO

October 30, 2015

We pulled out of Cloverdale RV Park around 9:35am this morning, stopped for gas then merged back onto I 70 continuing or trek West and South. It was cold and dreary as we started our day but because we had spent the night with full hook-ups we were able to enjoy our coffee and breakfast before we took off.

We crossed the border into Illinois about an hour later and by the sun was out.

Driving through Illinois
We have driven through a lot of constructions zones over the years and I have never taken a picture. Today when we caught people working I decided it was time.

We crossed the Mississippi just a little after noon. Between the construction and the traffic I am not sure of the exact time.

I did get some pictures of the Arch.
Also a couple as we drove through St. Louis.
The road ahead as we make our way through Missouri.

As the day progressed the clouds again took over and now as I write this I can hear the rain on the roof. We are tucked in at a Walmart in Rolla, just off of I 44, with several other RV's and a couple of semi trucks.

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.”
                             – Babs Hoffman 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Algonac, MI to Cloverdale, IN

October 29, 2015

As of this evening I am pretty much caught up with our blog. There are a few posts I will be adding from our last trip but for the most part I am finally in real time. I will never be one of those bloggers that posts everyday but since this is about our memories I am going to try and be a better memory keeper.

Today was a long travel day and one we do not plan on repeating. When we started out this year the plan was to leave the park in Algonac on Monday, October 26th. Then we had water pipe issues back at our house and decided to stay until we were sure they could be resolved. We did not want to get any farther away just in case we needed to turn around and head back North. Then on the 27th we had a few other things that needed to be taken care of before we felt comfortable heading further south. We went to bed with everything pretty much set in the 5th wheel to leave in the morning.  Wednesday dawned with heavy rain and we decided to wait one more day, after all we are not on a schedule we do not have to leave at a specific time. By now though we were beginning to feel the pull to be on the road. So we went to bed last night, except to unhook the electricity, ready to pull out early this morning.

We were sitting in the truck at 5:00am this morning going through our check list and after pulling out the mirrors we pulled out at 5:05am. By around 5:35am we merged into the traffic on I 94 after a stop for coffee. Even though the traffic was fairly heavy it never stopped flowing forward and we were on I 75 and past Detroit  and crossing into Ohio by 7:33am. Going around Toledo on 475 we did have a couple of delays not so much because of the traffic, which was heavy, but the construction which did cause a couple of back ups.

We stopped for Breakfast at Cracker Barrel in Maumee. Ohio and we crossed into Indiana around 10:29am. We did make a few other stops along the way and ended our day in Cloverdale, Indiana.

It was pretty windy today and hopefully tomorrow the wind will have subsided somewhat. The plan is to be Southwest of St. Louis when we stop tomorrow evening.

"We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails."

2015/2016 Adventure Begins

October 1, 2015 dawned and we realized it was now time to get really serious about getting the Crusader ready for this years adventure. We had been slowly taking care of things since we arrived home in May but now time was short.

When we first arrived home I took everything out we realized we did not need and added a couple things we wished we had taken. Plus, I re-arranged some of the cupboards more to my liking. Then the list making started; I am a firm believer in lists.

Now it was time to start packing and checking things off of the lists. With our launch date set for October 14th, as I said it was time to get serious. Well we almost made it we left October 15th which meant a longer day driving then initially planned the first day but not bad for someone who believes in lists but has a hard time always staying on task. (Yes, I admit it.)

October 15, 2015

Today we start our "2015/2016 Adventure".  At 9:37pm Tom backed out of our driveway and off we went. Well as far as The Family Inn for breakfast. We had not planned on stopping but they had parking so Tom pulled over and in we went. In the end it was a good thing because just after we ordered he remember something we needed to go back for. So we ended up pulling out of Escanaba at 10:44pm. Our odometer read 34,008 and gas was $2.39 a gallon.

We will be missing these five.

Our first stop breakfast.

Paying the toll before we cross the bridge
and leave the UP behind.

We are about to reach lower Michigan.

Our destination today was Frankenmuth and we spent the night at Pine Ridge RV Park.

October 16, 2015

Before we continued south we made a short stop at Bronner's Christmas Store. They claim to be the World's Largest Christmas Store. Honestly after shopping there I think most people would agree with me if you cannot find the Christmas Decoration you are looking for here it probably does not exist.
So after buying several ornaments, I was a year behind, for grandchildren and children we are on our way once again.

Our destination today is the Riverview RV and Marina in Algonac, MI, we stayed here in May and though it is small and the sites are tight we do like the friendly atmosphere. After we are set up we drove over to our son and family's home. The plan is to stay here for 10 days and then continue South. We had not seen them since June and we were looking forward to this time. We also planned on having our two grandsons each have their own night to spend at the 5th wheel with us and it happened.

View of the Marina out our living room window.

October 28, 2015

What do they say about the best laid plans? Well we are still here and the plan is to be on the road early tomorrow morning and hopefully be stopping tomorrow night somewhere South and West of here in Ohio.

We will be missing these three.

Lets be honest as excited as we are to be off on this adventure we will be missing all of our kids and grandkids, we love you all more than we can say.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
                                                     ~ Helen Keller

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

June, July, August, and September

So we made it back to our home in Escanaba on May 17, 2015. In June we went back downstate and spent about three weeks with our son, daughter-in-law, and their children. Our daughter-in-law was taking a six week college summer class and our daughter and her children spent the first three weeks helping out and we filled in the last three weeks. It was nice to spend time with these three grandchildren since, because of the distance we just do not get to see as much as we would like to.

We also spent time with our grandchildren in Escanaba and doing some babysitting while our daughter worked.

During this time we also had the opportunity to get together with family and friends and do some catching up. Tom also took a short fishing trip.

A great deal of our time was spent getting the house ready to be put up for sale. New countertops and flooring in the kitchen was at the top of the list and accomplished. Going through "stuff"' is a very large task and it is now what we have left to do. I am finding that in 45 plus years we have accumulated lots and lots of  "stuff". So it has been a matter of going through everything box by box and repacking what we want to put in storage and setting aside what our two kids need to go through. After I am thinking a large rummage sale.

Otherwise, it was about the day to day things we all do. Taking care of the lawn, cleaning, cooking, and doing wash. Just living our lives.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
                            ~Robert Frost

Crossed the Bridge and back in the UP!

May 15th through 17th 2015

We left here taking back roads, spent a little time on I 69, more back roads, turned onto I 75 North just past Bay City. After having a late breakfast at Cracker Barrel.

You know you are getting close to Mackinaw City when these type of signs start appearing.

Only captured two fudge signs...:)

and two ferry signs.

We ended up spending two nights in Mackinaw City at the KOA. Not a bad park and it was nice to just relax and check out a few shops.


Now Michigan is our home state and always will be but today we crossed the Mackinac Bridge and we are home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we are back in the UP.

We turn onto US 2 and about 3 hours later we are pulling into our driveway.

Passing through Manistique

We can see Escanaba across the bay.

190 Days, 4 hours, and 45 minutes (give or take a few minutes)
and we are parked back in our driveway.

We found this waiting for us on the dining room table
when we walked in.

So concluded our 2014/2015 Adventure. We had a great time and saw a lot of our country we had never seen before. We started talking about this time, as we are already on our 2015/2016 Adventure, almost immediately. There is so much more to see and we will take it one mile at a time and enjoy the trip. Not just looking to reach a destination, a place on the map, but to enjoy all the minutes and miles taking us there.

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."

Michigan and Home

May 7th through 14th

We left Bowling Green and continued North on I 75, took 475 around Toledo, connected with Highway 23 and we are back in Michigan.

Another sign that says Michigan

We continued North on Highway 23 and connected with I 94 heading towards Algonac, MI.

It was nice to spend time together and celebrate Mother's Day with both my kids. I honestly do not remember the last time it happened.

Two of our grandchildren spent a night at the 5th wheel and got to go fishing with Papa.


Decided to include a picture of all the grandchildren.
Not far down the road from our RV Park.
We stayed at the Riverview RV and Marina in Algomac, MI. It is a small park with close sites located on the St. Clair River. Everybody here is friendly and  as I write this we are here again.
We are near a nice grocery store and not far from other shopping. The best part is we are about 30 minutes from our son and his family. This park will always be our destination when we visit with the 5th wheel.

Our time here went by very fast but we knew we would be back in a few weeks so tomorrow we will head further north.

In a houseful of toddlers and pets, you can start out having a bad day,
but you keep getting detoured.
                                                                                    ~Robert Brault

Making our way North to Michigan

May 5th and 6th 2015

These two days were mostly about making miles as we had told our kids we would be there by May 7th. Plus, we had reservations at a RV park near Algonac, MI.

We continued North on I 77 until we connected with I 70 and headed West. We then connected with I 75 truly headed North. We spent the 5th at a Walmart in Piqua, OH.

Driving through Columbus

The next day we continued North on I 75 and spent the night at the Fire Lake Camper Park. It was a nice park right outside of Bowling Green with easy access to grocery shopping.

A familiar sign

Our view of Fire Lake
(Being from Michigan we would call this a pond.)

Some Dandelions outside our door.
For me they say spring is here...and I like them.

"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can."
                                                                                                                                      ~Danny Kaye