Sunday, August 28, 2011

Charging Across the Country

Day 2: Sunday Aug. 28

My title tonight is a pun. It refers to: 1) Our steady progress from eastern Ohio this morning to Spring Green, Wisconsin, about 30 miles northwest of Madison, tonight. It was a gorgeous day for a drive. If you can believe it, we saw our first herd of buffalo this morning--in Ohio! Just along the Ohio Turnpike, who would believe it? But most of Ohio and Indiana is much of a muchness--kind of a flat, pretty in a nondescript sort of way, landscape. The corner of Illinois we are forced to endure is mostly very expensive Chicago-area toll roads until we get most of the way to the Wisconsin border. Wisconsin, otoh, is simply gorgeous. I loved it last year and loved it again today. There is something that really speaks to me about this landscape--all the green farms, dairy cows, white farm buildings, and gently rolling terrain. So beautiful. We barreled along all day and made good time, logging a total of 573 miles. This is a lot, even for us--although on our second day in 2007, we drove for 648 miles by getting up at 6:30a.m and drivng until nearly midnight. Today we started at 9:10am and stopped at 7:50pm. It was more than enough, for me at least.

2) We wouldn’t get far without charging a lot (well, three) expensive fill-ups of our gas tank. It seemed that with every 50 miles, the price of gas went up another 10 cents/gallon. The Chicago area was the worst--it got all the way up to $3.99; luckily we still had half a tank at that point and did NOT top it off. Our last fill-up last night, in western PA, cost $3.59/gallon; this morning we paid $3.69 in Ohio, $3.79 in Indiana, skipped the $3.89 and $3.99 in Illinois, and came back “down” to $3.65 just at the Wisconsin border. That price was actually $3.63 for us, because it was a Flying J station and we have a loyalty card for RVers, which gives us 2-cents/gal off (it amounted to $.48, LOL!) But each full tank approaches $100, ouch!

3) And finally, charging refers to all the electronic cords which are surrounding me at the moment. My phone is charging, my computer is charging, and the iPod Touch is charging off the computer. I *love* my iPod Touch-- it earned its keep today. First, it did what it was supposed to do--played music. The Mo Report includes the refrigerator being more or less fine, although the pilot to the gas line blows out on the highway (not so unusually). But the CD player, which was temperamental last summer, refused to work at all this morning. So whenever we get tired of playing Radio Station Roulette, we relied on my iPod for music.

Even more important, however, was what it did this evening when we finally had to decide where to camp tonight. This afternoon, we made reservations for a tour of Taliesin tomorrow morning at 10:15 a.m. So where to spend the night? Last year we were here for 3 nights and stayed in 3 different places--two state parks, both beautiful, and one private campground, with lots of “facilities” but not so beautiful. The latter, however, is only 10-15 minutes from the Frank Lloyd Wright visitor center where our tour leaves from. And, it has wifi. We decided to choose the practical over the beautiful (especially after we missed a turn which took us toward the parks.)

At this point, we tried to program Magellan, our GPS, with our true final destination. But although I had the campground name (in our log book, which I keep daily for every long trip), the name was not in the AAA data bank, nor was it in the AAA camping book. Now what to do? I have an old copy of the Trailer Life Campground directory, and was just about to go dig it out, when I remembered: THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT! I looked at my iPod and there was the Woodall’s Directory, which is published in TWO paper volumes, each several inches thick, but which is stored on my cute little iPod with the Woodall’s App. There was the campground, with the address for the GPS and the phone number, so I could call and warn them we were arriving. And in truth, we would not have been able to find this place without that address.

So now we are parked in a nice grassy spot away from everyone else, with lots of electricity to charge up all our indispensable gadgets. Joe just made us a yummy dinner of cheesey-scrammies and kasha. There is a hot shower handy, and a lot of places for a dog to be walked in the morning. And the wifi has so far been excellent, at least for my little iPod. I hope this blog uploads as smoothly as my email downloaded on the latter. It is now almost 11 local time, which is midnight DebandJoe time. But we can sleep in for a while, and have a quiet anniversary morning before going to our tour and then heading west again. And I promise to get my camera out tomorrow--that will give me another gadget to charge, I suppose.

Note to blogwatchers: we will be Ontheroad for the next couple of days--so if you don’t get a daily blog, do NOT worry. We will probably be Walmarting or something of the sort, and there’s no guarantee we’ll find wifi on the way.


Steve said...

The mention of scrammies reminded me I have not eaten yet. Scrammies for lunch for me. Although not Joe's

Tom M said...

Our last travel diary has the price of gas at $00.65/gallon. That was so long ago.

We never left home w/o a copy of the KOA campground and woodalls guide.

Don't know what Scrammies could be. Just the name would turn kathy off!