|Mon, 29 Jul: A very long, interesting, and tiring day...
We awoke early, to the alarm, as we had to get Carpe ready to travel a few hundred meters from our overnite boondocking spot to the HWH service facility across the road. Regardless if we travel a few hundred feet or a few hundred miles, the preparations are pretty much the same, so we diligently went thru our departure checklists.
We pulled into the service area about 0730 and got checked in for our 0800 appointment. HWH is the company that manufactures the hydraulic components that power the leveling jacks and slide room extension/retraction mechanism. We have been experiencing a few "issues" (PC version of "problem") and since we were planning to drive right by the factory, why not let the "experts" have a go at them.
Bob pulled the coach into the service bay a bit after eight and they got right to work. We went into the lounge and of the three other couples that were also in for service, we knew two of them. The longer we do this RVing "gig" the larger our extended family becomes. It is unlikely we'll go anywhere without running into someone we know.
Well, we'd planned to have Carpe in the shop all day and start out for New Jersey tomorrow. But, HWH had all the work finished by late morning so we paid our bill and got ready for the road. We hooked up the car and pulled out of the HWH lot at 1115.
Twenty miles down the road we stopped at the Pilot/Flying J in Walcott, IA (just west of Davenport) to top off our tank at Iowa's relatively (relative to Illinois) low prices. Then onward across the Mississippi into Illinois.
At La Salle, IL we left Interstate 80 and headed south on I 39. We really dislike the stretch of I 80 thru Chicago (well actually, south of Chicago) and then the tollways in Indiana and Ohio. So, we decided to try a different routing for this trip.
About forty miles south of La Salle we exited the interstate at US 24 north of Normal. US 24 is a well maintained two lane route that took us east through acres of corn and many small towns. We enjoyed the run and the alternating between rural and then slowing down for the small towns kept the trip interesting.
We crossed into Indiana and the road became much rougher. For some reason Indiana does not seem to spend much on road maintenance as their roads seem to be in universally poor condition. The worst is the Indiana Tollway, where you pay big $$$s for the privilege of getting jounced around.
A few miles into Indiana we encountered an eighteen mile detour that kept our knuckles pretty white. Very narrow and very rough. Once back on 24 it got better and, finally as we passed thru the town of Logansport, IN US 24 becomes a Transportation Corridor, which means it is a divided four lane road.
After a long day we arrived at our destination, the Wal*Mart in Huntington, IN. It was a long (370 miles) day and we arrived just before nine local time (we lost an hour moving into the Eastern time zone). We were very tired but felt good about picking up a day. Carpe averaged just shy of nine miles/gallon during today's run.