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Monday, May 19, 2014

Every Dark Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Just after I posted yesterday’s blog, we heard a knock on the Journey’s door.  I went to the door and met “JP”, one of our blog readers.  It’s always nice to have someone come up to you and tell you how much they enjoy your blog.  JP had recently bought a new to him Journey and had some issues with the generator mount.  He found a post on our blog about having the generator removed for service and it was a big help to him.

Just another reason we write our blog, not just to keep a record of what we’re doing when and where, but hopefully readers find some value and answers to their questions about fulltime life on the road.  We’re paying it forward, when we were researching the fulltime lifestyle, many other people’s blogs were a terrific help to us.

We left our overnight parking spot at Walmart around 10 am and headed East on I-80, under dark clouds and very, very strong winds.

After wrestling with the wheel for a while, we took a lunch break at the famous Iowa 80 Truck Stop.


This place is a hoot, they have so much in chromed truck accessories, you almost have to wear sunglasses so you don’t hurt your eyes.



Not to mention lights of every shape and color.


Even a couple of full size tractors on displayed on the floor.


There is so much squeezed in to see, they had to put this antique truck up on a pedestal due to lack of room.


Right next door is the Truck Museum. 


I toured the museum a couple of years ago when we stopped here.  I found it very depressing because many of the trucks on display I worked on before my Coast Guard career.  Yep, I’m getting old.

We passed on “chroming up” the Journey, but we did splurge on one item.


Since we had to give up our “R Sanity” license plate when we left Virginia and haven’t gotten a custom plate from South Dakota because of all the hoops we’d have to jump through, we had this made up.  Our Journey was “R” sanity during our working days when we’d use it to escape the rat race on weekends and short vacations.

Back on the road, we fought really high winds and after 151 miles, we decided to throw in the towel and stop for the night at a Passport America Campground.  It wasn’t worth the struggle with the wheel and seeing mpg figures around 6.2 mpg, we called it a day.

Passport America parks are a bit of a gamble, sometimes you lose and sometimes you win.  Today we won, big time.  We stopped here:


Hickory Hollow Campground in Utica, Illinois.  Full hook up 50 amp pull through with level, cement pads.  Clean and neat, with free WiFi, too!


Not too scruffy for $19/night.  We might stay two nights if the winds still are blowing hard.

Now for the dark cloud.  Taking the day-night shade off the window to repair it yesterday, I moved my laptop off its usual place on the couch and placed it on the floor.  Major oops, I accidently stepped on it and broke the screen.

It still works but the screen has massive cracks on it.  I’ll get it fixed at a computer shop when we get to South Carolina.  The Silver Lining?

Rick's face looks much better with all the cracks in front of it!  :c)


Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. I can't believe you passed on adding a few additional chrome items to your home on wheels. Passport parks are definitely a gamble. Not only do the parks vary but also when they honor the passport card. We've not used it much because of the restrictions. Strong winds aren't fun and we usually stay out of them when we can. Hopefully the wind will be better for you in another day or two.

  2. I'm having computer issues and I've felt like stepping on it lately. It won't load any of the pictures on blogs. Driving me crazy. But at least I can read the words. We have wind this afternoon but we stopped before they got too bad.

  3. Oops is right.

    Only 151 miles AND staying in a campground? Wow.

  4. I can't believe you stepped on your computer, and then wanted to look at Rick's face! :O

    1. It's tough, but it's there when I look at his blog! ;c)

  5. That truck stop was way to crazy for us. Could not leave there fast enough:)

  6. LOL over Rick's cracked face. You two are really something! Sorry about the laptop though. And sorry for your poor mpg, even Winnona gets better mpg than that.

    I guess SD must have made you surrender your VA plates. Florida did not ask for ours so we put one of them on the front of Ruby and one on the front of Winnona saying RV DREAM. No problems until the US border guards pulled us over and said we couldn't have two state plates. So we got some white duck tape and covered over the Virginia at the top and have been good to go every since. Like the looks of your plate though. Much less tacky than ours.

  7. So, are you saying Rick is not all he is cracked up to be?

  8. Ouch! That must have frustrated the hell outta you. Changing a laptop monitor isn't that hard to do I've heard. That truck stop looked pretty cool, love your new plate :)

  9. Cool plate! Too bad about the laptop... just something else to take care of.
    We stayed at Hickory Hollow last year. It's a good stopping point for a night or two.

  10. OUCH! Glad to hear that the laptop still works, however. Paul you have to be more careful with those big, old feet. LOL

  11. What; no bling for the Journey? How could you pass all that up ;-)

  12. Wow! Wow! Wow! First you put your laptop on the floor. Then you step on it and break the glass screen? Is Marti still going to let you get behind the wheel of the Journey and drive it? That really cracks me up!

  13. As you have told i too have enjoyed reading your post and known about many things. It will be nice to visit our friends in our house and spend time with them!

  14. The truck stop looks like a blast. Sorry about the computer - Ouch!

  15. Too bad about your laptop but at least it still works.
    We will do the same if its too windy we will just shut it down, we are at home wherever we are anyway, lets be comfortable.
    Have never stayed in a passport america park yet, we have enough to choose from with over 700 membership parks much less expensive.

  16. Yep, that would be a really big oops!

    You write your blog for the same reasons that we write ours. It is always nice to know that we are helping out someone with the information that we pass along on our blogs, and it is even better when you get to meet some of these people.

    Hope the wind dies down for you.

  17. See, maybe MCD shades aren't that expensive afterall :)

  18. You mean you draw the line at replacing the computer screen?

  19. We live in Normal, IL about 50 miles south of Utica right off I -55. We have stayed at Hickory Hollow a few times when we first started RVing. The staff is great and during the summer the pool is a welcome amenity. We haven't joined Passport America yet but plan to when we hit the road in Sept. Sounds like a good deal compared to the regular rates. Looks like we might get some weather around here tomorrow so you might want to stay put for sure. Just across the Interstate and a little further east on Route 6 is the Cajun Connection. Great Cajun food. Hope we are able to meet somewhere down the road. Curt