Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Long Day on the Road

Today we only drove about 300 miles, which isn’t really far, but a lot of the roads were very rough, we had to deal with a lot more traffic (especially trucks), and we spent 1.5 hours getting the motorhome washed. All of that makes for a long day for us, about 8 hours. I know a lot of others would think this isn’t very long. But we prefer a 5-6 hour day whenever possible.

We stopped for fuel, then I searched with my Droid and found a Beacon Truck Wash about 50 miles down the road. The entrance was almost hidden behind a huge Petro truck stop. By the time we got to the driveway into the wash and saw there were four trucks and a motorhome in front of us, we were committed. We could have unhitched the car and backed out, but as we were thinking what to do, another truck pulled in behind us.


We were locked in. That was a little before 10:00 a.m. Before long the line started to move.


It took about 20 minutes each for the next three vehicles. Almost an hour waiting and we still weren’t next.


As we followed the motorhome around the curve, we noticed three things. 1. It was a Mandalay, a very nice motorhome, the same brand owned by George and Valerie Mayleben (owners of the RV Driving School). 2. The top right side of the ladder was broken off. 3. The body section over the left rear wheel was gone (plus several other scratches and scrapes). Too bad this RV hasn’t had more TLC (tender loving care)!


Finally, after more than an hour’s wait, we were directed to move into the wash bay behind the Mandalay. The crew started working on our front end before finishing the other motorhome.


Our Phaeton is all clean and shiny now!


We moved uphill into a huge truck parking lot and put one slide out to have lunch.


I drove for awhile, but with heavy traffic, rough roads and (yes, again) a crosswind, I got tired after about 75 miles. Don had been able to get a little nap, so he was ready to take over again. I pulled into the welcome center as we entered Illinois. There was a sign restricting “Trucks/Semi’s” to a max of 8 tons. Since we drive an RV, I didn’t think it applied to us, even though our weight is about 16 tons. But the Rand McNally RV GPS didn’t like the fact that we were over the weight restriction, and I got scolded severely! The “Camper/Trailer” parking sites were pretty short, too. But the place was almost empty, and we got away with parking just long enough to change drivers.

Shortly after we got back on the road, we entered a toll road. The lanes were so narrow that the concrete barriers on both sides were chipped and scraped by other vehicles. Don made it through perfectly without touching anything, but we were both holding our breath!

Then, a few minutes later, we heard a really loud pop like a gunshot. It was almost as bad – a big ugly chip in our windshield. At least it’s down low, so it doesn’t interfere with the driver’s vision of the road.


The GPS took us a back way into Joliet, one which we’ve never used before. It was more direct, but it certainly wasn’t fast. Lots of small towns, traffic lights and construction.



When we finally reached the familiar road leading into Leisure Lakes Resort, we were glad we’d been here before and knew we could ignore this weight restriction.


And we didn’t worry about the fact that this underpass doesn’t have a height marking.


Seeing the RVs ahead should be comforting to those coming here the first time, since this is the only way to get to the RV park.


We have a site similar to what we’ve had before, with a beautiful view of the lake in front. If we were to be here longer, we’d definitely put the kayak in that water.


We went to Portillo’s Hot Dogs for dinner. I chose the Italian sausage sandwich, but it just didn’t taste right to me, and I only ate about half of it. Don enjoyed his beef sandwich, and part of my sausage.


We stopped by the Verizon store on the way home to get Don’s ring-back tone re-established. We pay extra for this and want to keep it, but it expires every year (although the charge of $.99/month continues) and we have to re-establish it. Don’s choice of ringtone, “Anchors Aweigh” (the U.S. Navy Anthem) is very special to him.


  1. Hopefully that chip won't "spider". You probably already know this, but put scotch tape over chip area. There will like be folks that can "repair" the chip at Escapade. We did learn one thing on our last fix: If you have put Rain-X on your windshield the repair filler won't take. When our wipers broke in Alaska, we used Rain-X and now our "fixes" still show (not indivisible).

  2. I remember sucking air going through that tunnel. I can't believe you didn't try out the kayak! I've never tried anything but the Italian beef, but I'll keep it in mind. next time and stay with the beef. See you soon.


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