Well it’s been about a week and a half since I dropped Sue off at the airport in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, there is much to keep her busy down in Florida and it doesn’t look like she’ll be able to rejoin me on the road. The upshot is that I’m gaining a fuller appreciation for the things she takes care of while we’re traveling, which include route planning and navigation as well as all or most of the food planning and preparation, among many other things. The astute reader may well ask, “Wait, then what’s left for you to do?”, to which I simply walk away in a huff.
No, I don’t – that was a joke. Kind of. But really, I do most of the driving (which is how she ends up doing most of the navigating). That is because I’m a terrible passenger. I also wind up fixing most of the stuff that breaks (as it happens, stuff breaking on an RV is not an infrequent occurrence), and I have responsibility for managing water and waste (i.e., dumping the tanks), and for maintaining the vehicle (check the oil, tires, etc.). And I do the dishes. Whatever else comes up (laundry, choosing a hike or selecting a campsite…), we mostly share. Oh, Sue does most of the blog posts and photo management, although we collaborate more than it might appear. And even though only one of us is the “author” of a particular post, we typically both do significant editing of each others’ posts. We use her computer to organize the photos (um, except when it’s in Florida) because it has a bigger screen, so she does most of that work, but we collaborate on selecting photos for the blog and for our Flickr albums (all of which, by the way, can be viewed here, even by those who don’t have Flickr accounts).
So I’m working my way east, following a pretty direct route mostly along I-80 (for ease of navigation), watching the weather to make sure I’m not going to freeze up before I can finally dump the tanks and winterize, and seeing what I can see along the way. Also doing some time and route management to make sure I arrive home on November 1.
Here are a few of the places I’ve been in the past week or so:
The Abraham Lincoln Rest Area, just east of Laramie (on the Lincoln Highway, of course).
Cozad, Nebraska is a town on the 100th Meridian, which roughly divides the US into the arid west and the humid east. John Wesley Powell recognized the significance of this division when he was exploring the west and laid out a plan for managing rivers, dams and irrigation in this region. Here is a pretty good book about that.
Gretna, Nebraska was the starting point of a day I spent on a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha.
Coralville Dam, just north of Iowa City, IA, is a federally managed watershed, so my National Parks Senior Pass got me a 50% discount on a campsite where I spent a couple of days staying warm and dry (with electric heat!), practicing some songs on guitar, and going for a short hike.
The RV Hall of Fame is in Elkhart, IN, and if you’re at all interested in RV trailers and motorhomes this is a must-see. They allow museum visitors to spend the night in their ample parking lot (you have to bring your own RV, though).
Another Walmart shopping and overnight stop in Perrysburg, OH gave me an easy drive to Mosquito Lake State Park, a huge campground that is open year-round (and not very busy right now…).
Next, I plan to hit another one-night stop in the middle of PA, then on to a NY State Park campground near Albany that is open until December; from there, it’s just a couple of hours of driving to get home.