After leaving Mt. Airy, NC, I spent the next night at the Bean Pot Campground in Crossville, TN. What a lovely campground. The folks were wonderful and helpful and the park lovely, with RV sites nestled amongst freshly-budding dogwood trees. But what actually amazed me was when a huge RV came in towing (well, look at the picture!) a car and a boat, stacked double-decker style! And I’m still scared of the thought of towing a little car behind Winnie.
Next I spent 2 lovely days in Metropolis, IL (the hometown of Clark Kent) where a gaggle of my cousins live and surround. If you don’t have a map, Metropolis, known as the hometown of Superman (see photo for proof) is located at the very tip of southern Illinois, just across the Ohio River from Paduach, KY.
I parked Winnie in cousin Robbie’s drive and soon cousins Mary, Gae, Sherry, Rex and Max, along with their spouses, and even some of their children and in-laws arrived to say hello and catch up. It’s been 9 years since I have seen the majority and 40 years since Mary and I were last together.
These are folks I grew up with and we had a ball telling stories about all the fun we had running barefoot across the farm pastures (warm cow poop), chigger bites dotted with bright red fingernail polish covering our legs, fishing in the creek, throwing rotten eggs at each other, jumping out of the hay loft, and locking each other in the corn crib! And we remembered all the wonderful food our mother’s made – hand-churned, homemade ice cream, crimped-edged, fresh-fruit pies, cobblers, fresh-baked rolls and bread, and real cream right from the cow – who’s name we knew! Relatives are wonderful – even if you don’t see them often. They remind you of the person you were and have almost forgotten.
After leaving Metropolis, I drove north on I-24, but for the first time, my GPS took me off the interstate and onto US 51. It winds directly through Decatur, where I stopped to see more relatives. Had a wonderful lunch with my cousin Gary and his parents, the last of my uncles and aunts, Doris and Nobel.
From there, just another hour to Carlock, IL where I had a reservation at the Kozy Kampground. It sounded so nice in the campground book – but it’s not! It isn’t that the sites are bad – they’re fine. It’s just that it’s right next to the freeway where trucks rumble by 24/7 and there’s the railway track that borders the south side and trains run throughout the night (they don’t tell you those little details). And to top off an almost sleepless night, the rain started about 2:30 a.m. and pounded Winnie’s roof.
But I did meet a lovely couple from South Tahoe, CA who pulled in towing an Airstream Flying Cloud. Of course I had to say hello as I still covet one of these wonderful trailers. John and Susanne are new RVers and are traveling Route 66 across the country. John is an artist and a muralist and Susanne a retired school counselor. We enjoyed a few glasses of wine while I gave them ideas of what to see and do during their visit to downtown Chicago. They are heading off through the Badlands to see Mt. Rushmore as well, so we might be lucky enough to meet-up again. They also told me all about the Burning Man festival which is held annually in desert outside of Reno each year. John does body-painting during the festival and they invited me to join them this coming September. Take a look – http://www.burningman.com/.
Well, must think about getting out in the rain, unhooking and getting on the road. Today I want to get into the middle of Wisconsin – Osseo hopefully. Then to Minong for a few days with Don & Carrie, into the Twin Cities to visit with Eric & Eileen, Albert Lea to say hey to Dave & Theresa and from there – straight west across South Dakota!
Until next time…take care of each other.