I’ve been singing “Back home again FROM Indiana” since we pulled up to the house last night. My apologies to the Hoosier state for changing their song.
At about 1:30 Thursday afternoon, we attached the Jeep to Bella-BOW and began our journey home from Nappanee. Our plan was to drive five or six hours to Erie Pennsylvania, stop for the night and then finish the trip on Friday.
Eight hours later we finally pulled into a parking lot in Erie. The distance between Nappanee Indiana and Erie Pennsylvania is 308 miles.
Do the math.
We averaged 38.5 miles an hour. We attributed this turtle pace to the windy conditions, getting used to driving a new coach, and the number of stops we made.
I think we stopped at almost every rest area.
As an RV with a vehicle in tow, we are about 62 feet long and have to use the truck parking at those rest areas. At one point, my pretty girl was surrounded by eighteen wheelers. The big red truck with Jersey plates parked beside us said “hey, how you doin’ ” to her. She rolled her headlight eyes and told him she is engaged to a tour bus. At the next stop, to protect her innocence, we tried to park as far away as we could.
Because it is still winter-ish in this area and there are no RV parks open, we were going to have to park overnight in a Walmart parking lot in Erie. Fortunately, when looking online for anywhere we could park overnight except WalMart, I happened to read about the Presque Isle Casino. Located right off I-90, the casino allows overnight RV parking in a large, well lit, and security patrolled lot and um…..yeah, they have a casino. What could be better?
Unfortunately, we pulled into that lot at 9:30 pm, exhausted from stopping at all those rest areas( and protecting Bellas virtue). We put out the slides and got ready for bed. I’ve never been that close to a casino and not gone in to gamble a little.
Before we went to sleep I asked Travel Dave what his expectations were for leaving in the morning and he said ……I’m quoting exactly here…….”Whenever we get up and get ready”.
I heard that as “it’s ok, get up, take your time, have your coffee, smoke.” Travel Dave meant it as “get up!, get dressed!, gotta go!”.
At 7 am, he was dressed and standing by the driver’s seat. I was weeble-wobbling my leg into my yoga pants and swearing.
At 7:30, as we pulled out of the lot, I waved a sad goodbye to the casino I didn’t get to visit. I had on no makeup, my hair wasn’t combed, and because my fat coffee cup wouldn’t fit in the cupholder, I’d only had about half a cup. I muttered profanity under my breath until I finally got my coffee at the nearest McDonalds with truck parking.
The distance from Erie to home is approximately 328 miles. Nine hours after we left the casino lot we pulled up in front of our house.
36.4 miles an hour. It was raining, windy and there was a Starbucks in all the rest areas. I like Starbucks; they have lemon loaf and donuts.
Last Sunday, it took us thirteen and a half hours in a car to get to Indiana. Coming home in Bella took us seventeen hours.
Now I’m questioning the bucket list trip to and through all the contiguous United States. At an average of 36 miles an hour, how old would we be when we finally completed that list?
As I’m trying to do that math, I imagine Old Driving Dave and Old Highstrung Redhead (driving Bellas granddaughter) trying to find the nearest Walmart in the last state on their list.
(We’d have to use Walmart because where else could we overnight AND replenish our supply of Efferdent, hearing aid batteries and Depends?)
As Old Driving Dave makes the wide turn, he runs over the curb causing Old Highstrung Redhead to swear and lose her teeth.
But hey, by that time maybe Walmart will have a Starbucks. I can forgive a lot of things when I’m pacified by a caramel macchiato and a donut, even if I have to gum the donut because my teeth are somewhere under the dash.
For the next few days, Bella will be sitting in front of our house.
I sure hope no shiny red 18 wheelers drive down our street. Bella-BOW might decide she wants a bad boy from Jersey instead of that tour bus.