Well, damn! we are back on the road. Our house has still not closed but all is in good hands with our realtor, CC Cossette at https://www.assetsrealtygroup.com/ Our first stop was in Bennington, Vermont where we bid fair adieu to our daughter and son-in-law and Connor. Man, we miss that little fellow! Luckily, Brooke helps keep us connected with Facetime and videos.
While we were visiting Brooke and Dan, we were lucky enough to be able to park Shiny at Debbie and Marty’s house in Sunderland, Vermont through the Airstream Courtesy Parking program. Fellow Airstream owners let you park on their property. It’s a great way to meet new people and it’s another tool in our tool box of “Where to Stay”. We did have an exciting moment when a delivery truck got stuck in the yard and Larry and Blue (our Truck) saved the day!
We headed west, repeating our route of last year and stayed in Lagrange, Ohio with friends we made on our previous trip. Lou and Larry are great hosts indeed. In Ohio it began to feel like we were in farm land and middle America.
We took a short trip over to a suburb of Cleveland to meet up with some musicians for a great jam session and a soup pot luck. Everyone brought a pot of home made soup and 6 small containers of soup. When the party was over, all of the guests took six different soups home. What a great idea!
We headed north from Ohio to our nation’s newest national park, Indiana Dunes National Park. The park is on the southern tip of lake Michigan. It was new territory for us and it was fun to explore. It got pretty rough when the winds blew and it’s hard to fathom a lake that big. It has smooth stones alone the shore just like those by the ocean. And, who knew that a Revolutionary War skirmish was held here with none other than Lt. Tom Brady!
We headed south from the dunes and spent several nights with Rick and Margie, friends from NH who now live in Coatsville, Indiana. It was great getting caught up with these old friends.
From there we arrived at the southwest corner of Illinois in a very beautiful state park, Ferne Clyffe. There were plenty of hikes along cliffs and waterfalls and fishing ponds. There was a beautiful waterfall there and I sat by myself with my drum and made this recording for you! https://soundcloud.com/user-986986455/fern-clyffe
Our next stop was in Mansfield, Missouri which is where Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie books, lived for 60 years after having moved here from South Dakota. According to the 2010 census, 1,296 people live in this town. It is a beautiful area and also seemed like most everyone has moved away. There were many abandoned buildings and homes and so it struck me as a bit sad. We had some great ribs here that were cooked right outside the local grocery store. In the store, you could see offerings that I am not used to in New England. We also learned about ‘Sub’ Mays who was from Mansfield and who played for the Red Sox and was famous for his “spitball submarine delivery”.
Onward to Pittsburg, Kansas where we stayed at Four Oaks Town Park. We needed to be near good wifi, a notary, and overnight mail service for our house sale and this fit the bill. The place was inexpensive but not much more than a parking lot. We watched the traffic go by. It was not too glamorous but that’s part of the deal, right?
The last stop in this episode was in Oxford, Kansas. I’ve got to say that it was an eerie place. There were many shuttered businesses. I saw almost no one walking along the side walks and the streets were busy only with tractor trailers and work pick up trucks. But, as ever, there is beauty every where. The small park where we stayed was lovely and the juniper trees were laden with berries.
We were kind of jumbled up for this leg of our adventure. So much was going on – getting over the whole cancer business, leaving our home, family and friends, trying to come to grips with what the heck we had gotten ourselves into. And then we were just trying to enjoy where we were at the moment and to not be so ‘destination’ oriented. It’s taking a bit to settle into our groove. I have to laugh when I think about ‘living the dream’ when it’s 43 degrees outside, raining, and street lights are glaring down on Shiny. I figure out the password to the bathroom at the park only to find a dark, dreary and cold room that is likely hiding Jack the Ripper. It strikes me as funny when people tell me to, “Be Safe.” Little do they realize that the biggest health risk I take is emptying the holding tanks! That’s all for now. I hope you are making the most of YOUR adventure wherever and whatever it may be.