05 - Kellogg, IA to Gothenburg, NE

The sun rose exposing acres and acres of corn fields which seems so appropriate for Iowa. We have driven through IA several times now and have really enjoyed the trips. It is a beautiful state with green rolling hills and plenty of cornfields.

Another thing we discovered this time is wind farms. Along the trip we saw 18 wheelers transporting the blades for windmills. We then saw the wind farms and one which was having several new windmills erected.

Raise your hand if you have eaten at a Runza. That’s what we thought.....we had never heard of one either. Sandwich place and nice salads.....we had one of each and were very pleased. BUT we had to mention our lunch stop because it is next to Wal-Mart and they have graciously provided a large section of their parking lot to provide parking for 18 wheelers and campers. We figured there were about 10 18 wheelers and 4 or 5 campers. When you are 50+ feet long you appreciate finding a place that caters to you.

Travel has been great. We experienced a little rain but it was gone by the time we set up and dry again when we broke down in the morning. The same was not quite true of the wind. Driving against the breeze and increasing the elevation our mileage dropped to 10.7 mpg and at one time we were 12+. It will be nice $$$ to park Mater and give him a rest and take Sally out.....that is going to be a much easier trip to the gas station!

After setting up in the Gothenburg, NE KOA, we took Angus for a walk and decided to set out and check out the town of 3,000 and see what was available for NE home cooking. It did not take long to check out the entire town and the few places that were open only had a few cars .......you know how to check out a restaurant....see how many cars in the parking lot, right?

Well, we gave up on the town and had one more possibility Randazzle’s. Driving into the parking lot was PACKED with cars, pick ‘em ups, and 18 wheelers. We were please we did not “settle” on one of the others. But, as we got inside there were only a few people eating.....mmmmm...curious. As we climbed back into Mater we saw that the other half of the building was and Adult Lounge......wonder what their food was like......

Off to Colorado tomorrow....on the glide path......only 350 miles or so......we are so excited!

04 - Elkhart to Kellogg, IA

After an uneventful night, we head out at 9:06 am for Kellogg, Iowa. We intend to camp at “Iowa’s Best Burger Cafe and Kellogg Campground”. With advertising like that how can we not make it a destination?

Continuing on I80 we had the dubious pleasure of driving around Chicago. Those who have seen “Mater” and the 38 foot RV let us know how BIG you think they are....well, weaving thru the construction, the never ending lane changes and the 18 wheelers on the route around Chicago will help you realize that we are NOT quite so big as we once seemed! Here is an example: Can you help George find Mater?

We will post some video we took of this amazing driving thru this maze around Chicago.....stay tuned and take the drive with us!

Our next stop was the I80 truck stop. This is billed as the “largest truck stop in the world”......they must have the same advertising team as the Cafe and Campground! Another must....that’s all we can say!

Matt, Tanja and the girls made this a stop on their camping trip a few years ago and told us about the experience. It is like a mini mall spread over a zillion acres. The idea of growing the truck stop started in 1979 and has continued each year. We spent about a half hour wandering thru one of the buildings and then proceeded on our trek to Kellogg....only after purchasing a fridge magnet.

Our journey to “Iowa’s Best Burger Cafe and Kellogg Campground” took us to exit 173 on I80. Much to our surprise it was a gas station which had a campground. The ladies who checked us in were delightful and more than accommodating. Today the “Best Burger was $1 off and the special tonight was 1/2 lb burger with a drink and fries for $4.79! As you can imagine......well, it was flame broiled and not bad.....not what we expected but it will be the best burger WE have ever had in Iowa! The picture show the extent of the seating at the Cafe. And it will be “The Best Burger in Iowa” that we have had until Patty Graff recommends someplace else to us.

The sun is setting and the moon taking over its job, Angus has been walked and we are ready for sleep and whatever tomorrow brings.

We will be lulled to sleep with the rhythm of the 18 wheelers on the road just outside the RV. Nitey, nite.


03 - Harrisville, PA to Elkhart, IN

We were off and running by 8:45 since we left the RV and the truck connected and we had little in the way of hooking up. It was overcast with rain, as we expected, for the drive. We left Kozy Rest Kampground (very pleasant, enjoyable facility with nice management) intending to get to Indiana. This will put us just short of half way - 1,000 miles.

We encountered rain soon after getting started on I80. This continued on and off until noon when we stopped for lunch. In fact, by the time we landed at the Elkhart Campground, it was sunny and 57°.
The change in the countryside was dramatic. Pennsylvania was mountainous and forested throughout the entire drive from border to border. Crossing into Ohio, on the other hand, was relatively flat and agricultural with a smattering of manufacturing facilities thrown in. Indiana was more of the same. We arrived in Elkhart at 3:30. The Bighorn had arrived at its birthplace. We had picked it up here in Elkhart on October 15, 2008.

After running around a bit - including an incursion into Michigan - we wandered around the large, unexciting campground before settling in.

Tomorrow - our destination is Iowa.

02 - Milford, PA to Harrisville, PA

Today we traversed most of PA. We left River Beach Campground at 9:20 and headed west. Our objective was to get in Ohio. However we ran into challenges finding an available campground so we scaled back our objective and ended up at Kozy Rest Kampground in Harrisville. It’s 29 miles short of OH.

The drive was gorgeous but challenging. PA is mountainous (eastern style) from start to finish so the truck was tested and passed with flying colors. We arrived with 11.2 MPG. The foliage continued to impress and the countryside was perfect.

We did have one frustrating experience. When we stopped for lunch at a beautiful rest stop, Maureen opened the RV door to an unpleasant sight of opened cabinets with the contents spewed around the RV and the TV support tie-down broken and the TV dangling. We had obviously encountered some rough roads in our travels. These roads, although rough, were not as bad as Destruction Bay in the Yukon so the mess we were faced with was a complete surprise. We spent about 45 minutes recovering and (gave Angus our sandwiches.....lost our appetites) we were on our way.

We got set up at Kozy Rest by 5 PM. Since there was no real need to go out, we are still connected to the truck.

Maureen quickly figured out dinner and made a delicious pasta using a base tomato sauce that she made from her home grown tomatoes as well as the rest of the Wells, ME mussels.

Tomorrow we intend to get an early start and could be in the Central Time zone if we get a bit aggressive.


01 - Wells, ME to Milford, PA

(Hang in there with us.....within the next few days we hope to be up to date as well as populated with pictures.....the current as well as previous sections.)

Leg 1 is behind us. After completing several pre-departure tasks, we were on the road by 9AM. We had to sweep of the tops of the slides since they were COVERED with pine needles from the wind and storm. We had to store a few items that we had chosen to leave out until the last minute. We then completed the final preparations, closed the slides, disconnected the power, connected the truck, raised the jacks and we were off - after a few photos, of course.

The weather exceeded our expectations, it was sunny and breezy. We chose to go to York to get on I95 and start on the interstate system.

As we proceeded south and west, we were dazzled with the famous northeast fall foliage. This is one of the reasons that we chose the Wells Beach Resort gig. It’s been many years since we had seen the full foliage display.

The trip proceeded smoothly and we made great time. After leaving Maine, we passed through Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and stopped in Pennsylvania.

We arrived at the River Beach Campground in Milford, PA at 3:30. We chose this location due to the distance and it turned out to be awesome. It caters to people who enjoy canoeing on the Delaware River. There are over 300 sites - primarily tent sites in a rustic, gorgeous setting on the banks of the Delaware. It’s busy even at this late date.

After unhooking, we took a ride to New Jersey - yup - New Jersey. We’re located at a strange confluence of three states: NY, NJ and PA. We could tell when we reached NJ because the cost of diesel went from 3.25 to 2.99 within a mile.

Leg 1 was a very pleasant start to our return journey. Leg 2 will barely bring us into Ohio.