We've been either working or traveling since our last post. It has been a good time, but very busy.
We worked at an RV Rally teaching weight and tire safety and weighing RVs. It was the biggest rally we've had yet, and greatly exceeded our expectations. It was hard work - especially since one of our scales grew "confused" the beginning of the first day. Consequently we weighed the rest of the time with just two scales instead of four. It was no problem and in some ways weighing with two scales works better than four. The people were great and the rally went well. They even asked if we could stay an extra day to weigh coaches and we gladly obliged.
Once again, we found a great local eating establishment: Shooterz. They serve a pork loin sandwich that is awesome (we almost always ask the server what their favorite meal is when dining in unknown places)! The meat portion was so large that it doubled the size of the bun. More importantly was the taste - outstanding seasoning and preparation! We cut off the excess pork steak and saved it for breakfast. It was such a bonus to get two meals for the price of one, that we returned there for more pork sandwiches - twice. The last time we went was on Sunday afternoon, not realizing that they only served take out pizza and a buffet. When she saw the disappointment on my face, the lady at the front told me to wait a moment. She returned saying that if I would just wait a few minutes she would get them to make our sandwiches. What awesome kindness and service! "SHHH! Don't tell anyone we did this." were our instructions, so y'all must help us keep the secret.
After eating our last delicious pork sandwich, we hitched up and drove a few miles outside of town to an RV park on a small lake to get rest and get some laundry done (Three Fingers Campground). We had been dry camping for eight days at the Winnebago Visitor's Center and were in desperate need of clean clothes and empty tanks. This little RV Park was the perfect place to catch our breath. We had a large site with full hook-ups and a short walk across the road to the lake where we were treated to a beautiful sunset.
It was slightly more brilliant about five minutes before this shot, but you get the idea.
We decided to stay until an extra day knowing that a storm was moving in the next evening. No problem, we would be gone by then! We had been watching the weather pretty closely the past few weeks knowing the air was volatile in the area. We spent the better part of both days at the campground finishing up our rally report, catching up on missed work, and getting a little bit of rest.
Early morning storms rolled through (not supposed to happen for twelve more hours) and we decided to check radar. Sure enough, as this line of storms finished up, another, larger line was moving in. The storms were moving East, as were we, and we were hoping to stay between them most of the day. The second storm had 50 MPH gusts accompanying the front and we definitely wanted to avoid those. If we didn't leave before that storm hit, it would be several hours before we could travel and even then, we would catch up to the rear of the storms quickly. We decided we had less than an hour to pull out if we wanted to stay between the two storms as we drove. It appeared that there was about an 45 minutes of non rain between them and we hoped it would stay that way. We quickly packed up and were hitched by 7 AM.
We could see darkening clouds to the West, but we stayed ahead of them by altering our route to a more southeasterly direction (rather than going directly south) to stay ahead of the rear storm without catching up to the first one. Problem is, Susan gets cranky if she skips a meal and we skipped breakfast in our rush to leave quickly. Subway would be the answer: quick, fast, and (somewhat) fresh! Another problem: the lady behind the counter needed to talk and she didn't seem to be able to talk and make food at the same time. Sigh, not to be rude, but we are storm-running today and need to get moving!
A few sprinkles hit the windshield as we drove away, but we but within five minutes we were ahead of the storm and felt it safe to continue.
A quick pit stop (and it was quick - less than ten minutes) allowed the storm to catch up to us again. Another few minutes of driving in the rain and then we were free and clear.
All was well for the next couple of hours. We had the radar up on one app and the route up on another. With a few lucky guesses we were able to stay on larger roads and still miss the rain or really wet roads. When it came time to stop for lunch, we thought we had about an hour before the storm caught up to us. It was more like 45 minutes.
We had to drive a bit longer in the rain, but after about 10-15 minutes it lessened and shortly after that we were on dry roads again. We encountered a few pop up showers during the last part of the trip, but considering the surrounding weather, we remained quite dry.
Just before we reached the exit for our next stop, we saw an overturned travel trailer and truck on the other side of the interstate. We saw no other vehicles involved. We do not know if anyone was seriously injured, but traffic was stopped for seven miles behind it. We looked for news stories this morning, but could find none. We hope everyone was okay.
We arrived safely at our stop in Joliet, Indiana - just southwest of Chicago. The lady checking the park told us that they had just fixed the pedestal, but something just doesn't look right. We hope they fix it soon. (Trey let them know about the upside down receptacles.)
Just before dinnertime, we went to the grocery store for salad fix-in's and then to Giordanos for great pizza. This will be our go-to meal while we are here. We just can't get enough of this stuff!
We are waiting to meet up with another weigh team to trade scales so that our confused one can get straightened out in Florida. We hope to get more fully caught up on other work during this time - something we haven't really been able to do since we detoured to Texas in June.
We are grateful for safe travels, good pizza, and all opportunities to work. God's provisions are good and God is good even when the circumstances of life are not.