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Monday, April 24, 2006

Elkhart, IN - Halfway home!

We have arrived in Elkhart, Indiana - the RV capital of the world (or so they claim). We got here around 3pm. It felt like a long day; guess we're just tired of driving and stopping; driving and stopping; and so on. Looking forward to staying put for a couple of days. The truck goes in the shop tomorrow and hopefully, back out again quickly. There is a large Amish population in this area and I think we're going to do a little sightseeing.

For the most part, the trip from South Dakota was fairly uneventful. We did have a couple of GPS-related snafus (of course, the navigator was completely innocent!), but we got through them with little angst. Well, maybe not so little, but we got through them.

I know I've said this before, but this country is just gorgeous. I know people say traveling through the midwest is boring 'cause the land is flat, but those people are nuts! The farmland is beautiful and Iowa has hills! Yes, it does. Our fuel mileage can vouch for them.

We were told about the windmill farms in the midwest. They really exist! Now, I have to admit my ignorance - I thought the farms with windmills used the windmills to create energy for the farm to use. Not true. Randy told me the windmills are creating energy for the local utility companies to use for the area. AND, the windmills are ugly! They are not the beautiful, romantic-looking ones that you think of when you think of windmills. They only have three blades and actually look like something from an alien movie. You can see what I mean in the picture below. Kinda creepy, huh?

We crossed the Mississippi River (again!) when leaving Iowa and entering Illinois. So, I had to share another picture of it!

And how often do you see people take pictures of gas stations? Well, Randy & I are unique, but you all knew that already. Actually, the picture posted here of a Sinclair station was taken for my own nostalgia. My daddy and his best friend, John, used to own a Sinclair station in Tacoma Park, MD. I don't remember it, but he has stories and John was one of my favorite people. We all thought there were no more Sinclair stations, so when Randy & I started seeing them all over Iowa, I had to get a picture of it for Daddy.

We traveled through lots of quaint little towns as we were riding on US-20 most of the way. So much to see. Finally, we got to the outskirts of Chicago and there was no mistaking that! Chicago made St. Louis and Atlanta look like a ride in the country. Between the traffic and the construction, it tooks us an hour just to get through the city! After that, it was an easy ride to Elkhart.

We're going to be here until Thursday morning, at least. We definitely want to be able to stop in Ohio for at least a day so we can meet up with Roy & Barb, friends we met in Texas. Until then, keep checking the blog. I'm sure we'll have more pictures and stories to share . . .

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