Saturday, August 25: Pittsburgh to Richmond KOA Holiday, Indiana
Weather: Sunny and high 70sF, turning to rain at our destination
Route: Pittsburgh neighbourhoods → I-70W through WV and OH to IN → US-27N
- thanks to Hubby the car was 99% packed last night so I was organized enough to be ready to leave at our planned 7:30 departure time. With only 5 hours/300 miles of driving today we didn't have to leave early BUT...by 8:00 our street would be closed for the annual Community Day Race through our neighbourhood.
- only eating a light breakfast of a few pieces of toast with nut butter and not drinking coffee/tea helped reduce our “out the door” time
- little traffic and light cloud cover made driving easy and kept the car cool for most of the route. There was only one small construction delay driving through Columbus, OH
- our first stop was at 9:30 at a Love’s Travel Plaza in Ohio, where we used the facilities, bought a small coffee to share and switched drivers. We have become fond of both Love's and Flying J Travel Plazas for their consistently clean services and decent food choices.
- at 11:15 we assembled and ate our egg and roasted pepper sandwiches at the “Eisenhower” Rest Area
- at I-70W exit 156A we drove south on National Road E to a Kroger Supermarket with the intent of buying a dinner salad and a sandwich for tomorrow’s hike in Turkey Run State Park. They didn’t have a salad bar or any ready-made salads and they didn’t offer sandwiches-to-order at the deli. We bought .68lbs of roast beef deli meat, some baby carrots and a small container of guacamole to go with the tortilla chips we brought with us. Kroger is in the same family as Fred Meyer so our card gave us a small discount on the deli meat.
- in the Richmond Mall across the road from Kroger we saw a Chipotle. We both got take-out dinner bowls, mine without meat, Hubby’s with carnitas. Sprinkles of rain had started by the time we returned to the car.
- from the Mall, instead of returning to I-70, we toodled through a lovely section of Historic Richmond, where grand old homes hinted at an affluent century from the 1840s to 1940s when westbound pioneers passed through the heart of Richmond on the National Road. During that time the city was also a railroad hub and developed a thriving trading industry. It has grown immensely since being first settled by North Carolinian Quakers in 1806.
- by 13:30 we had reached the Richmond Holiday KOA. Check-in was supposed to be no sooner than 14:00 but Kabin 3 was ready for us. Now there was a steady rain. We sat on the K3 porch looking out over the little pond. I spotted what must have been a large fish stirring up the bottom and blowing bubbles. Hubby read his novel. I booted up the computer to start our trip journal.
- during a break in the rain we walked a few loops around the small property. It was too wet to walk along the Nature Trail. I thought the lightning we saw was moving away from us but several large bolts followed by thunder 10 Mississippis later convinced us to return to the shelter of the porch to eat tortilla chips and guacamole. Good plan! The thunder storm and intense cloud burst were spectacular from the shelter of the K3 porch, even with the loud traffic noises from nearby I-70.
- By the time we ate our Chipotle’s meal at 17:00 the rain had stopped. It was a dry walk to the bathrooms and the dishwashing sink.
- It will be in the 90sF tomorrow afternoon so we want to start our hike at Turkey Run SP as early as possible. Tonight we assembled sandwiches and baby carrots for the hike, before bedding down for the night.
About the Richmond KOA: Although this small-ish property was accessed via small farm roads it sits next to I-70, quite a noisy location even though it is abundantly planted with Osage Orange and other varieties of trees. The holiday property fit a mini-golf, a fishing pond with a sand play pit nearby, peddle boats, multiple playgrounds, a short Nature Trail, ping pong, a pool and indoor table games into its small acreage. There were 4 sinks with soap and paper towels, 3 showers and 3 toilet stalls in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms (no entrance code required). I liked the bright lighting and many hooks near the mirrors. The outdoor stainless steel dishwashing counter and sink had hot and cold water. The driveways around the property were gravel. The shaded tent sites were grassy. The large pavilion near the pond was a great place to picnic. All the picnic tables on the property were well-maintained or new. The free wi-fi (password Guest) gave us a good signal at Kabin 3. We consider this KOA a very good value for the price of the standard kabin. In fact, we re-routed ourselves through Richmond instead of through Crawfordsville for that reason, even though the latter would have put us closer to Turkey Run State Park for tomorrow's hike.