May 18, 2017 (by Angela)
We’ve had some amazing adventures in the weeks since Jim and I re-charted our course from Pennsylvania and headed west instead. After a week of traipsing through southern Ohio and southern Indiana, with a quick dip into northern Kentucky, we landed in southern Illinois where family resides. Before setting up camp in Fort Massac State Park, Jim, Chewie and I delighted in the journey in a variety ways. We enjoyed two Harvest Hosts, a winery in Ohio and a family farm in Indiana, and hiked trails as discussed in Four Trails in Four Days: Using the AllTrails App. Our last stop before going on to Illinois was Scales Lake Campground in Indiana. I learned quite a bit about southern Indiana that I didn’t know, like the state has mountains! (Click on photos, or hold cursor over each, to see captions.)
When we reached Metropolis, Illinois, the Friday night after leaving northeastern Ohio, it was time for family fun. First, we visited and had dinner with Jim’s Mom and Step-Dad. (I love my mother-in-law.) Saturday, though we saw all of the “kids” and their spouses (except the soon to be spouse), it was all about the grands! Jim and I took the four grands in Illinois out for pizza and movie, and then we got to watch the youngest of the four play soccer. Clarissa, who was working on the ambulance Saturday, surprised us all with a quick tour of her “office” at our camp site as she was on her way to grab lunch. Sunday, Jim got to go wedding dress shopping with our youngest (sorry, I can’t post pictures of dresses here); Clarissa bought a very pretty one. Monday, with most everyone in Illinois at work or school, we took a quick trip down into Tennessee to help my aunt and Dad with a brief project. Dad treated us, including our extra helper Clarissa, to lunch before we drove back to the campground. The day ended with Jim and Clarissa making homemade pizza for supper at Clarissa and Josh’s place. Before pulling out and pointing the truck westward toward Missouri Tuesday morning, Jim and I had breakfast with his Mom and Tommy. It was a fantastic stop with family.
As we traveled through Missouri, the only pretty days we had were the days we actually traveled. While parked at Ozark Mountain Spring RV Park, we had 37 hours of straight rain! That was not too bad since the weather was great for the weekend. Our ultimate weekend plans were to visit a work colleague turned friend turned “sister” to Jim. We stayed just inside Oklahoma at Indigo Sky Casino’s RV Park while visiting Susan, who lives inside Missouri about 7 miles from the casino. What a weekend of fun with her! We had dinner out together, had a few drinks, listened to the live band in the casino, and tested our luck with a little bit of gambling. The drinks pictured are “Pineapple Upside Down Cake.” As you can see, we each had cash-out tickets. That pretty much paid for our weekend stay; you can read about the drinks and money won in Fun and Free (or Nearly Free: Our First Casino Camping Experience).
We left northeastern Ohio on Sunday, April 23rd, and we wrapped up two awesome weeks of fun, family, and friends on the road on Sunday, May 7th. Work demands necessitated that Jim and I find a place to stop for a bit, so we moved 37 miles north to an RV park just outside Carthage, Missouri. There’ll be more on Jim’s work and our next adventures soon.
It truly is the journey more than the destination, so have fun frolicking down the road.