Jul 9, 2013
|Lampe, MO – Casey, IL
We got started on our adventure at 10:45 AM after getting all the motorhome loaded with our final provisions and clothes. One row of the basement remains empty for treasures to be acquired along the way.
Before departure, our friend Jeff Sapp in Lampe aired up our tires and finished installing a 12-volt electrical receptacle in the back of our Jeep to power the 60 quart freezer we bought to supplement our limited freezer space. Also, Jeff installed a battery cutoff switch under the hood so that we do not have to leave the battery “on” while traveling down the road. Both these installations are well worth their weight in gold!
We stopped just NE of Springfield to get a full fuel load and weigh the motorhome. We were within 200 pounds of our expected operating weight and well under the maximum allowable weight of motorhome and dinghy. In some respects Erne has not forgotten his piloting background and can still run a weight and balance!
We had an uneventful and fast trip across Missouri as we fell into a convoy of trucks and watched the 4-wheelers race ahead to fend off the local gendarmes and the NASCAR starting committee. We were happy to stay right at 65 MPH and enjoy the sun and warm breezes. We stopped just outside of St Louis to fill up again so that we don’t have any fuel stops in Illinois.
Approaching St Louis, we took the bypass around the south side and were soon seeing flooded fields along the Mississippi in East St Louis. As we passed Belleville and O’Fallon we thought of friends Gary and Becky and knew they were enjoying retirement away from the St Louis area.
The ride in Illinois was the bumpiest imaginable. They certainly have been ignoring road repair there and must have other ways to spend all their tax revenues. This continued all the way across the state and we only saw one construction area in Effingham.
At 6:15 PM we stopped for the evening as planned along I-70 in Casey, IL. As several friends have suggested, we chose a set maximum distance to cover in a day and planned accordingly. Casey was just over our 400-mile limit and offered a quiet respite at a KOA campground. We had no problem setting up in 20 minutes with a long pull through site.
We capped the first day with a celebratory adult beverage, a dinner of leftovers to empty our Kimberling refrigerator and soon were settling for the night.
Tomorrow morning we plan to visit the Lincoln Log Cabin State Park before proceeding to Nappanee, IN and the Newmar factory.