We left Michigan with the new tow rig today a bit later than planned, and wanted to cover some ground. We were hoping to avoid traffic around Chicago and get past the city before rush hour. Things were going well until we got to the west side of town and the traffic slowed down. Waze showed some slowdowns ahead, but then came the weather warning. Hail expected in two minutes! WHAT?? There was an awesome lightning show and then the rain started in torrents.
We had to Google how long it takes for the freshly installed dicor (roof sealant from the solar panels) takes to cure or be waterproof. Then it was following the radar to see when we were out of the worst of it. There was a little hail. There was “Here Comes the Rain Again” by Annie Lennox (no joke). But…there were no tears, no accidents and we made it through our first storm on the road. Lily and I were playing The World’s Greatest Travel Game, and didn’t seem to mind the storm.
We continued plugging along and really didn’t know when or where we’d stop for the night. The plan is to head toward Mount Rushmore, but that was about all we’d planned! I checked out the apps I had installed (RV Parky and Park Advisor) and checked Pinterest for some fun pitstops. I found the R Place truckstop and restaurant off 80 in Morris, IL and figured it would be a good place to fill up on fuel and get a bit to eat since Andy wanted to keep driving. I wasn’t sure what I could quickly and easily make in the camper.
It was a super cool place with vintage toys and collectibles all over, including inside the tables. The kids were entertained, everyone ate well and we rolled out content. We drove past fields of wind turbines and headed north on 39 toward Wisconsin. Andy was determined to make it through Illinois tonight. I was searching ahead for potential campgrounds, but as it got later, we decided we’d attempt our first night boondocking and stopped at the Walmart in Portage, WI.
We parked on the far edge of the parking lot (so we could put the slide out over the grass) and Andy and Lily went in to check in with the manager there. Apparently, there is a Dunkin’ Donuts inside and someone was promised a morning treat…