We made it through Chicago or rather around Chicago. We were of faint heart and elected not to try to trace US 20 through the surface streets of Chicago and environs. We came through Rockford and continued south to I 80 and, despite dire warnings from a trucker we bypassed the big city at around noon with no effort and nary a stop. Easing on to the Indiana Toll Road (I90/I80) we continued on to Elkhart arriving just after Duncan RV Repairs closing time of 5 PM. We were delayed 12 minutes at the toll booth when a trucker got stuck in the Zoom Lane without a valid pass and no one could get the gate to open. We backed the coach and car, with me holding the steering wheel of the car, about 20 feet to clear the barrier and use the other lane.
We parked in our assigned slot #6 and rapidly realized that there was a major rail yard across the street and next to the repair facility is a scrap metal recycling yard that was on 24 hour schedule. It was noisy although free. We seem to have joined a long term club “Waiting for parts at Duncan RV” One couple who work part time for Fantasy RV arrived a week before us and parts for their refrigerator arrive a day late and then fail immediately so new ones must be ordered. Almost everyone needs glass repair, Duncan’s specialty. We didn’t on arrival, but after our first day in the shop where they only did an oil change and lube, we too need a new driver side windshield, a stone chip turned into a crack before our eyes. . .
Days pass, it is now Friday, we arrived on Monday afternoon. We have camped at Elks and Walmart, only staying over in Duncan’s lot Wednesday night in hopes of getting some work done first thing in the morning. The new windshield is fine, but the tape needs to be removed and everything cleaned up. Oy, the gasket is not right, “its OK we have it in stock and there will be no cost.” Finally at 11:30 we leave the grounds for the last time, we hope. We have a new driver windshield and new topper awnings on our slides with new hardware to keep them from rubbing as well as fresh oil in the engine.
Next stop Sam’s Tire on the road to Cleveland. We arrive at 11:50. The Michelin truck has come and gone and they have forgotten our XZE 245/70R 19.5 LRG tires! I express myself in words best not repeated and we set out down the roads on tires I have not trusted for the past 500 miles. Only 800 miles to Rochester. Here’s hoping they hold together for the trip. So far they are showing no signs of overheating so I guess we are OK.
We resume our travels on US 20 with the GPS complaining bitterly “take the next right – recalculating” trying to get us into the OH Turnpike. Finally, as we tangle with Toldeo, OH traffic and complexity we succumb to the siren song and get onto the Interstate. Can’t wait to see the toll bill. Having decided that Google knows best, we follow blindly into a back entrance into Punderson State Park that is marked “Authorized Vehicles Only” Oops! A groundkeeper greets us and explains that the road does indeed go through although it is a bit narrow and has some low hanging wires. Oh and he acknowledges that many vehicles including semis have made this same wrong turn thanks to GPS. We loop around out onto the main road and following his directions find our way to the main entrance. When we called earlier we were told that all the full hookup sites were taken but there would be no problem getting a 20 amp electric site. A review of the campground map shows there are 5 fhu sites (fhu = full hook ups) and 195 sites that mostly have 20 amp. There are plenty of open sites so we settle down in this surprisingly beautiful state park just east of Cleveland. We will stay at least two nights while we visit the Slepians and catch up on some sleep.
We may make one more stop before Rochester although we are only about 5 hours out.