I wrote my last post a few days ago from the COE park near Confluence, Pennsylvania on the Youghiogheny River. I should have mentioned how the name of that river is pronounced – the locals say YOCK-uh-gainee. Strange. We pulled out of there on Thursday morning. I had filled the fresh water and dumped the holding tanks on Tuesday before we left Gettysburg, so I didn’t bother with the dump station.
Our route took us across the northwest corner of Maryland and into West Virginia. We were constantly climbing or descending short, steep grades that are the Appalachian Mountains. On the descents, tractor-trailer rigs would grab another gear and pass us, but on the climbs, I motored back past them. Our destination was only 150 miles away – we went back to the Walmart in Parkersburg, West Virginia where we spent the night seven weeks earlier at the end of May. The Walmart stop gave us a chance to restock the pantry.
We expected rain Friday morning, but it held off long enough for Donna to do a phone meeting to discuss a work project. We hit the road at 11:00am. We headed west on US50 into Ohio. We ran into the predicted thunderstorms – it rained heavily at times but we didn’t encounter high winds. Lightning strikes hit nearby a few times and it got dark.
The hills became a little rounder and less steep in southeast Ohio. We continued on US50 to Chillicothe where we stopped for fuel at the Flying J. Fuel is about 50 cents/gallon cheaper in Ohio than it was in Pennsylvania. I pumped 70 gallons at $3.21/gallon. Once we were west of Chillicothe, the terrain flattened out. It was mostly farm fields with few hills.
We covered about 180 miles and stopped at Cabela’s in Centerville, near Dayton, Ohio. This turned out to be one of the smaller Cabela’s stores and it didn’t have dedicated RV parking. There was a sign in the parking for truck and RV parking, but no long stalls were marked anywhere in the lot. The lot on the east side of the store was empty, so I parked us across several stalls parallel to the building and facing south. Severe weather was in the forecast. The building to the west of us gave us some shelter from the wind. I was concerned about hail, we kept our fingers crossed. I checked with the customer service gal in the store and she told us we were fine where we parked.
It rained heavily at times, but we didn’t get any hail. The worst of the storm was to the south and east of us. Donna took advantage of a break in the rain to walk to Costco in the adjacent plaza. Later, we watched a couple of recorded episodes of Shameless and the rain let up by the time we went to bed.
Donna was up before me on Saturday morning. When I got up she told me she thought we should get out of the area. The forecast called for rain to continue through Ohio and Indiana for the next four days. We originally thought about going to an Elks Lodge across the Indiana border, but that wouldn’t get us out of the weather. We wanted to find some sunshine!
After looking at a few options, we decided to make a westward push and follow the sun to Springfield, Illinois. This meant a long 340-mile day. I made it a bit longer when I made a mistake on a detour in Indianapolis. I-65 was closed in Indianapolis and we found ourselves wandering on narrow old streets between the White River and the speedway. Our GPS wasn’t much help – it said there were no legal routes for us from where we were. We were oversize for the roads.
Donna scrambled to find a route on Google maps on her laptop. We eventually made our way without any mishaps and got on I-465. We took I-74 and I-72 to reach Springfield. We found the Illinois State Fairgrounds where they have 300 RV sites. I checked us in and we booked a full hook-up 50-amp site for a week. One week cost $125 – our site is basically a paved parking lot with RV hook-ups, but the price is right, the weather forecast is good and there are sights to see in the Illinois State Capital.
The forecast calls for a high of 78 degrees today and the mid-80s for the rest of the week. There’s a slight chance of a passing shower, but no severe weather.