On to Indy

The trip from Altoona, Iowa to Indianapolis, Indiana is a good bit longer than we like to drive in a day, so we decided to split the trip up with an overnight stay along the way. Since Leslie wanted to visit friends in Illinois we did a long first day leaving us with a short and easy travel day today (or so we thought).

Before I get into what today was like, let’s rewind a year to our first RV trip to Indianapolis for GenCon. We knew that hotel rooms in the area would be hard to get so we made reservations for an RV spot for a week at the Indiana State Fair (which was running at the same time). We arrived in Indianapolis and followed the GPS directions to the fairgrounds. Some fairgrounds are out in the middle of nowhere and others are in more populated city settings – well the Indiana State Fairgrounds are in the city, so we had lots of fun driving our 40 foot home (towing our jeep) around in circles looking for a sign to point us in the right direction. We called and got directions – but still could not find the campground. We decided to find a place to park and unhitch the Jeep.

Well we were lucky to find a closed video store that had a big enough parking lot for us to get in. We pulled in and unhooked the Jeep and sure enough it would not start. We had problems with the battery on the jeep the week before and had AAA come out to jump us. The person told us he tested the battery and it was going, but he did not have the right on and suggested we get it taken care of soon. A day or so later we took the Jeep in to get a new battery. Well they tested it and said it was fine – no reason to replace it.

It was not fine. We called AAA again – they came out tested the battery and said it lived a good life but it was time to replace it and they had the right one on the truck. New battery in place we drove around in circles a little more and found the campground. We went back to pick up the rig and drive over to get checked in.

The cranky man at the fairgrounds campground said they had no reservation for us and they were not only full – but over sold so there was nothing he could do. Oh good – well we got online and managed to find Indy Lakes Campground which had a spot open. We headed over there and all was good.

OK back to this year. We got up and started to get ready. We went to hook up the Jeep and could not find the pins and locks that connect the Jeep to the tow system on the back of the RV. I really thought I put them in the basket where the tow stuff goes – but could not find them. Perhaps I left them on the bumper of the car (we unhooked at the entrance to the campground and Leslie took the Jeep to find a site for us). It would be an understatement to say that Leslie was not happy with me as she got in the Jeep to drive back down the front of the campground to look. No luck. She came back and I went with her to re-trace our path. We also figured that they might have fallen off the bumper on the way to dinner so we re-traced part of the path. Again no luck.

We went back to the RV to get ready to drive them separately and we decided to check the entire backseat of the Jeep to see if they fell out of the basket. Nope they did not. However Leslie went thru the basket and found they had gotten wrapped up in the (Niagara Falls) poncho.

So we got the Jeep hooked up and headed out. We punched in the address of our new campground and headed out. When we got to the front of the campground it told us to turn right which is not the way we entered the park. We started down the road and like the roads in and around many state parks, a good number of the trees were a bit on the low side. Leslie was driving and had me look at the directions, GPS and computer to make sure we were headed the right way. It looked reasonable – that is until we got to the road were supposed to turn on it was a gravel path with rocks and fallen trees blocking the route a few hundred feet in. Nowhere to turn around, nowhere to turn – we can only go forward and hope. After a bit of looking on the GPS and computer and I discovered that we were on a loop that would return us back to the front of the campground (where we would turn left and trace our path we took in).

It was a very slow start to our trip – between the two things a good hour and half to two hours of wasted time. We get headed in the right direction and made the drive of 108.6 miles in about 2.7 hours. We got parked in the Indy Lakes Campground and headed into the convention center to pick up our badges for the convention and meet up some friends for dinner.

After we got home we were sitting inside our RV deciding
what we wanted to do over the next few days at the convention and I started to
write this blog post. We then heard a cracking sound and then a crash. We went
outside to discover that a large part of the tree next to us fell and hit the
front of the camper in the site next to us. The gentleman that lives there was
not hurt – but a bit shaken.

We are starting to think that making plans to come back to
Indy for GenCon next year might not be a good idea for us.

On the Road Again

We arrived in Altoona, Iowa on May 13th to start our jobs at Adventureland. Today we pulled the slides in, raised the jacks and started the big engine that lives in the back of our rig and headed out of Iowa. The original plan was to stay in Iowa thru the end of September, but we had enough of working there (I will blog more about working in an amusement park soon) and remembered there are wheels under our feet for a reason – so we decided to hit the road and head to GenCon Indy and then a few other stops along our way back down to Florida.

Driving one’s house down the road just is not the same as jumping in the car and heading out on a trip. Everything (and we do mean everything) needs to be put away right for traveling or you might have a bit mess (as we learned when we left Seattle and a bottle of red wine vinegar that was left on the counter fell on the tile floor and broke). We were parked in Iowa for 3 months (and a day), so there was a lot of stuff to put away. We were also a bit concerned about traveling again since we decided to do a long travel day (for us) so Leslie could meet up some on-line Disney friends in Danville, Illinois.

Since we took interstates the whole way there was not much to see other than corn and soybeans that did not grow due to the hot weather and lack of rain. We did cross the Mississippi River again today, third time in the RV. We were both happy to see the sign welcoming us to Illinois – we were ready to leave Iowa.

On the Road Again August 2012

On the Road Again August 2012

We drove 371.7 miles in 6.8 hours with an average of 7.0 miles per gallon today ending up in Kickapoo State Park. We got settled in just before Leslie’s friends showed up and after a quick tour of our home we headed out for dinner and conservation.

Going places that I have never been. Seein’ things that I may never see again. It is nice to be on the road again.