On the Road Again

We are on the road again. This time we are going to Indy for a month to hang out with my Sis.
Yesterday, we drove halfway and stopped in Effingham, Ill. We took our Red Toyota Highlander with us this time because our usual tow vehicle is in the shop. “Red” cannot be flat towed, so I drove. The drive was nice, as breaking up the 500-mile trip into two days makes for more leisurely travel.
Our first challenge on this adventure was crossing the “Mighty Mississippi” River. With the I-40 bridge at Memphis closed indefinitely for repairs, the traffic on the one usable bridge can back-up at times and create a “parking lot” on the I-55 Interstate. We opted to get an early start yesterday (6:30 am) in order to give ourselves ample time to cross that bridge! Surprisingly, the traffic flowed well with no delays. (Thank you, Lord!)
After stopping for breakfast and then again for lunch, we arrived in Effingham at about two in the afternoon for our third Harvest Host boondocking experience. For those not familiar with Harvest Host, it is a network of Farms, Museums, Breweries, and Wineries that allow RV travelers to stay as guests on the host’s property for “free.” The stay is free, but the expectation is that the traveler will buy a little something in exchange for their lodging.
So last night we boondocked (camped without electricity, water, or sewer hookups) at Tuscan Hills Winery. For us, camping without services is not a big deal, because our “Lil House” can carry one hundred gallons of fresh water, forty-gallon holding tanks, a solar panel for limited off-road electricity, and a generator that can supply power for all of our electrical needs. Out of courtesy to others, we don’t use the generator after NINE or ten PM, unless we’re alone and have the host’s permission.
At first, we had the whole backend of the winery parking lot all to ourselves. Parked at the far edge of the gravel lot, we had a view of a field of soybeans out of our front and side windows. Later in the afternoon, three other Harvest Host families trickled in. It was nice to know that we would not be spending the night alone. (But that would have been ok too.)
It was our plan to enjoy Pizza at the Winery for dinner, and as good luck would have it, two of our three neighbors decided to eat at the Winery at the same time. They say, “Misery loves company,” but so does enjoyment, so we ate dinner with our brand-new friends. The host let us visit as long as we liked. It was a really enjoyable experience!
As I write this, we almost have the winery to ourselves again. One other camper remains at the other end of the parking lot. We are just chilling and enjoying the morning. Joe is listening to music and cleaning up the breakfast dishes; (he made us yummy omelets for breakfast). Lucy is sleeping on the floor, satisfied after her nice morning run. Eventually, we will pack up, pull in the sides, and head down the road. But, for now, we are content to just be here (at least for another couple of hours). So, for now, (as they say in Italy) – Ciao and God bless!

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