JULY 15, 2016
There are good travel days; there are bad travel days. Today definitely ranks in the not-so-great category.
The next leg of our trip took us from the Elkhart, Indiana area to the northwest corner of Illinois near the popular tourist town of Galena.
I had taken a good long look at this portion of the journey ahead of time on Google Maps and found that that program’s recommended route took us through the suburbs of Chicago (which I was determined to avoid. It’s bad enough driving through heavy metro traffic in a car. In a 44-foot motor home, forget it). I also found that Google’s suggested route included several long stretches of road construction projects.
So I mapped out my own route with the aim of avoiding anything resembling urban traffic or road construction delays. Still, while we were traveling today, Deanna decided to log on to Google Maps and Waze, just to see what those programs suggested. And as we’re rolling along just fine down I-80 and making (I thought then) good time, Miss GPS (or Siri, or Miss Google Maps, or whoever that lady is with the robot voice in the smart phone) kept telling Deanna, Take this exit to such-and-such Interstate, or, Turn right in one-half mile. Directions that I pretty much ignored. So the comments I’m hearing from the passenger’s seat included a lot of: “Are you sure this is the right way to go?”
Well, yeah… I’m pretty sure. I mean, OK, my route takes us a few extra miles out of the way, but it avoids all that suburban Chicago traffic congestion, all those road construction back-ups and delays.
So you can probably see where this is headed, right? Yup, we ran into road construction. Right there on I-80. One lane closed, moving parking lot, bumper-to-bumper, etc., etc. If the drive into Kentucky a couple of weeks ago left us stuck in the Mother of All Traffic Jams, then today’s back-up was sort of the Wicked Stepmother, or at least a particularly annoying aunt.
Being stuck in a barely-moving mode was teeth-grinding stuff and set us back probably twenty minutes or so, but once we worked our way out of it, I thought, Well, at least the weather’s been good for driving.
That’s when it started to rain.
We finally reached the campground where we had a reservation (thankfully it had stopped raining by then) and found out the place was simply not made for a larger motor home like ours. As I was trying to back in to our campsite, I came within millimeters of clipping a large tree and the front hitch of a small trailer. It wasn’t pretty.
But all went much better once we got ourselves parked and set up.
And one more bit of positive news: the repairs held; the electric toilet is still working! You take your small triumphs where you can get them.
Once we were set up and in place, we had a few hours to rest and prepare for a .. (get ready for it).. ghost tour!
Yeah, it’s sort of kitschy, but we enjoy doing ghost tours. Tonight’s tour of the old and historic village of Galena thankfully did not require us to walk great distances. We rode in a tourist bus, with our tour guide being a vaguely creepy-looking young woman dressed in an antique-ish black mourning dress.
Before we took off, the tour guide asked for a show of hands: Who here tonight believes in ghosts? And everyone on the bus raised their hands except one person: Me. I’m a skeptic. Somebody’s gotta do it.
The tour included a stop outside of Galena’s Old City Cemetery, where various local prominent citizens, along with supposedly a murder victim or two, are buried. Deanna snapped a picture of a few tombstones and found that the image included a white streak along the left side that she was immediately convinced was somehow meaningful.
Is it a ghost?! Some sort of paranormal “orb” (as our creepy tour guide suggested)? Or… a bug (my guess).
Anyway, it was a fun night in which we learned a lot of local history (why I enjoy ghost tours) and a great way to wrap up what had started out as a totally annoying day.
Tomorrow, shopping, eating, sightseeing in Galena. And maybe if we’re lucky… chocolate.