This morning, we slept pretty late, exhausted from the weekend. However, with the weather forecast getting increasingly windy and stormy for the next couple of days in the direction we planned to head, we made a last minute decision to head out today. Even though getting an early afternoon start was not ideal, with the sway we were getting last time, we didn’t want to chance travelling the next day if we didn’t have to.
So we said goodbye, hunkered everything down, tested our lights, and headed for a dump station. The easiest one to get to took us about 11 miles out of our way, but otherwise went smoothly. We had made sure to fill our black tank with some additional fresh water before we left my cousin’s so that it could flush properly (the water pressure from having a mostly full tank helps flush out the yucky buildup), something we had forgotten to do prior to this and that was recommended by my mom’s coworker, Nancy Tryon. We also put the trailer hitch one chain link higher to see if that would help our issue.
An hour later, we were passing through Indy again and headed north to Paradise Camping Resort, which we had booked with Passport America rates in Garden Prairie, IL. We plan to do a couple of day trips to Chicago, and this was one of the closest parks, an hour and a half outside the city. We had hoped to take the indirect way to drive there to avoid nearing Chicago, but given our late start, John wanted to take the direct route the GPS gave us to safely get there in daylight.
The sway was definitely improved, and we are still not 100% sure why. It could have been the adjustment to the hitch and it also could have just been that it just wasn’t as windy that day. We will continue to feel it out. We did feel all of the bumps in the road pretty significantly again, but fortunately started to not notice them as quite much after a while.
Most of the drive was very scenic, driving through beautiful, sprawling farms that are much bigger than those we are used to seeing in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. We even passed through an area where there were windmills as far as the eye could see for a stretch of ten minutes. It really was quite a sight! And then…we hit rush hour traffic circling Chicago. This is not fun in a standard vehicle, let alone towing, but John made it through like a trooper.
Once we got to the campground, after having to drive around a bit because the GPS AND Google both took us again to a location that was definitely not the entrance, we ran into yet another issue that the key card the front office had left us did not work to open the gate. Luckily, some kind fellow campers pulled up and let us use their card to get in for the night. We then set up at our campsite, which wasn’t too difficult except for the fact that we accidentally set up at the site next to ours! Since there was no one else camping in our row, we decided to take our chances and just let the office know in the morning, moving it if we had to.
There is water and electric but no sewer hookup at this site, so we had to use the public showers again otherwise, we would likely fill up our bathroom’s gray tank on our first day. I am really hoping our next site will have a sewer hookup so that I can try out our own shower again! Can ya’ blame a girl for preferring to not shower with frogs, even if they are cute???
We then turned in for the night to rest up for our trek into the “Windy City” tomorrow…