Lonnie and Sue - Traveling North America

In Route to East Canada

We didn't get out of Lubbock, Texas until 5:05 PM but we were determined to be on the road today.  

06-19-04SatDay 1Out at:  5:05 PM - Trip meter:  182

We departed Lubbock and took I-27 north to Amarillo then US 287 north to Dumas.   Overnight at Yerby’s RV, Dumas, TX. Got setup at 9:15 PM. 

06-20-04SunDay 2Out at:  8:05 AMTrip meter:  315

Got an early start and took US 285 north to Stratford, then US 54 to Pratt, KS.  Fueled at Pratt and took KS 61 north to Hutchinson, KS.   Arrived at the Hutchinson Fairground, Hutchinson, KS for the 2004 Great American RV Rally at 2:05 PM.  The line to park was ½ mile long.  It appears there had been a lot of rain – water standing everywhere.  There were huge lots for parking – many with generators for electrical connections – but vacant because the parking area is grass and was now small lakes.  Two helicopters were being used to dry out the ground.  Got to the head of the line at 5:53 PM (3 hrs 48 min wait).  Got directed to Lot C – arrived at 6 PM.  Set in line for about 1 hr before they got us parked.  The area were we were to park was extremely wet and we had to wait for the helicopters to get an alternate area dried out.  Note:  we are dry camping on very wet ground.  Got parked and set up at 7:15 PM.  Registration was scheduled to close at 5 PM but we went anyway because thought they may have stayed late because of the parking problems.  They did not.  Was informed registration would open at 7 AM tomorrow morning.  Went to Sonic for dinner.  Ran the inverter but not the generator. Have satellite.  We have DirecTv with an 18" dish.

06-21-04MonDay 3 - We got up early to register.  The first seminar was at 8:30 AM.  It rained hard last night and at least 6 windows were open.  The coach got extremely wet.  Sue had gotten up and closed thevwindows and used all of the towels and one of my jumpsuits to mop up the water.  I did not wake up.  In the morning I turned on the furnace to help dry out the inside; will return this afternoon to turn it off.

We left the coach at 7:30 AM and walked to the fairgrounds to register.  There are trams running but we walked for exercise – about ¾ to 1 mile.  Registration did not open until 8 AM.  Got registered and received a bag of rally material.  Today we did the following:

At 8:30 AM we both went to a seminar called “Alaska – A Great Place To Spend The Summer In Your RV” presented by Mike and Terri Church.  They are full timers but are from Alaska.  Mike was born and raised in Fairbanks.  They have 6 travel books out.  Their web site is www.rollinghomes.com and contains a number of links about data on Alaska.

At 10:30 AM I went to a seminar on “Workhorse and Chevrolet Chassis and Maintenance” – mine lasted the full 1½ hr.  Sue went to one called “Get Away, Stay Connected With Coach Connect Wireless”.   Hers only lasted 30 min.

We met at the registration office, checked email, and went to lunch at the food court.   I had a buffet (no waiting) and Sue had Mexican (a long wait).  I was through eating before she got her food.  She ordered a burrito and a chalupa – each one was a full size meal - she did not know the size of the portions. 

We returned to the coach to turn the furnace off but it seems I set the temperature but failed to turn the furnace on. 

We returned to the rally and went through 2 of the 4 exhibit halls.  Purchased the following:            

1]  a fan for the inside of the refrigerator
2
a wall dispenser for plastic bags, (installed it on 06-24)

      3a replacement water filter for the sink,
      4one of the Mike and Terri Church books “Alaskan Camping”

At 3 PM I went to a seminar called “RV Electrical Circuits – A Laymans Course”.  It lasted the full 1½ hr.  Sue went to “Bugs-B-Gone”.  It only lasted 30 min.  The seminar description indicated it was to explain how to keep bugs and spiders off of and out of the coach but it was just a sells pitch for a windshield bug cleaner.  Samples were given out but they ran out before Sue got hers.  We will go to the Bugs-B-Gone booth tomorrow and get a sample and try it out.

We returned to the coach.  We used all of the battery power last night.  I hooked up the battery charger and ran the generator 45 minutes.  Turned it off while we watched the news then realized we should have left it on and run off of it.  Turned it back on after the news to continue charging the batteries.  Ran it for 45 minutes before I realized the battery charger did not come back on – I have to manually press the on/off button to start it.  Ran the generator a total of 3 hrs today.  Did not go to the show tonight.  It was one of the “Temptations”. 

06-22-04TueDay 4 - Had breakfast at “I Hop” – had a buy one get one free.  Went to Wal-Mart and purchased groceries and a backpack. 

At 10:30 AM Sue and I both went to a seminar called “Alaska – The Ultimate RV Adventure With Joe and Vicke Kieva”.  Their web site is www.rvknowhow.com.

Toured the vendor booths and purchased:

1]  2 rubber brooms – a 2 for 1 price - $21.50,
2
an Electrical Management System (EMS) for the coach - $416.23.  This system checks the voltage, amps, polarity, and ground.  It turns off the power when there is an irregularity.  Sold by Progressive Industries, 1381 Kildaire Farm Road PMB 281, Cary, NC 27511, 919-462-8280, www.progressiveindustries.net.  Warranty for 3 years. 
3] 
3 cans of artificial mesquite for use when barbecuing - $5.50, www.flavorwood.org
4]  a fold up seat cane for me - $26.76, and
5
a gray hat for Sue - $30.00.

We had a double dip of ice cream in a freshly make wafer cone for lunch - $4 each and well worth it.

At 3 PM we both went to a seminar called “RV Travel and Camping Tips With Joe and Vicki Kieva”.

Let me note here that all of the seminars have been very informative and well presented.  We returned to the coach and ran the generator 4 hours and charged the batteries.  In the evening we went to the show.  It was Bobby Bare and he presented an excellent show.  In addition to songs he provided a lot of comedy. 

06-23-04WedDay 5 - We do not have any seminars until 1 PM so I intended to install the EMS.  However, the instructions don’t make sense.  I will go back to the booth and talk to the vendor about it.  In the meantime I need to acquire a short piece of cable to hook it up.  The instructions recommend cutting the supply cable and installing it in the line but I do not want to cut it – will try and locate some – need 2 to 3 feet.  We stopped at Lowe’s and purchased hardware I need to mount the box.  While there we asked one of the employees where a RV outlet was.  She looked one up in the phone book for us.  We headed out that way but never found it, but did find another one.  They did not have cable.  I believe it may be difficult to find what I need.  In route back we came upon a flea market that another rally participant had told us about.  Stopped there and purchased: 

                  1]  a baking pan
                  27 goblets
                  3]  a cribbage score keeper

At the RV place they had recommended a place I might find the cable and at the flea market the owner had also recommended one.  They were both located on Main Street.  We drove up and down Main Street but never located either one.  However, Sue did see a AAA office.  We will go back there tomorrow – need to get to the rally now.

At 1:00 we both went to the seminar “AM – Solar”.  Very impressive.  We discussed our needs after we got back to the coach and decided to buy the system.  Will go to the vendor’s booth tomorrow.

We went to the registration office and checked email.

We stopped at the information booth and they provided us with a listing of all the RV outlets in town.  Will go and visit them tomorrow.  Need the cable and a bicycle rack that fastens onto the coach ladder rack to hold a stepladder.

Went to the Bugs-B-Gone booth and got the sample they promised Sue.

    Toured the vendors booths and purchased:

1]  shades for the windshield and a shade for my side window 

Returned to the coach, ran the generator 4 hours and charged the batteries.  I transferred fresh water from the jeep tank to the coach tank.  Roddy McDowell is the show for tonight but we didn’t go; instead we went to the Amarillo Mesquite Grill for dinner.

06-24-04ThurDay 6No seminar until 1 PM but there was a breakfast for Good Sam Life Time members between 8 AM and 9 AM.  Tried out the sample of Bugs-B-Gone before going to the rally – it works really well.  Went to the breakfast.  It was a great disappointment – just a muffin and coffee/juice.

Went to the AM-Solar booth.  Purchased a 2-panel solar system, 100 watts each.  However, installation is a problem.  The installers are booked up through Monday.  We decided to stay over in order to get it installed before we go to Canada.  Cost to run the generator for 4 hours is running about $7.50 here and will be in access to $8.00 in Canada.  Paid $795 for the first panel with controls, $500 for the second panel, and $265 for installation.  Total cost with tax was $1,651.  Will call the installer tonight to make arrangements.  AM-Solar, Heliotrope, PV LLC located in Oregon.  Greg and Deb Holder, 541-284-2426, 521-554-7302, www.amsolar.com.  Installer is Ron Walter, 303-579-8677.    

Went to one of the RV stores but they did not have the cable I needed – they referred me to an electrical supply.  Went there and purchased 2 feet of 6/4 cable.  Went to AAA and got maps and tour books for the area between here and Canada and also for Canada.  

At 1 PM went to a seminar on “Passport America”.  We are already members but attended to see if we could learn more about it.  The person that was to present the seminar was not there and the fill-in did not know much about it.  He is just a full-timer that signs up campgrounds for the club. 

Went to the registration office to check our email but after standing in line we decided to just go to the local library tomorrow.  Went to the fairground office and checked on parking for tomorrow.  They have a campground with 211 sites with full hookups.  Was informed the rally was turning the campground back at 10 AM tomorrow morning.  So anytime after 10 AM we can just move in and take any vacant space then go to the office and pay.

Went back to the vendor area and purchased:

         1]  shades for the awning, a front and a side
         2
Bugs-B-Gone – one spray bottle full and one 8 oz bottle of concentrate J & F Enterprises Inc, P.O. Box 1057, Laurel, MT 59044, 1-800-762-8478. 

Ran the generator 5 hours, charged the batteries, and ran the air conditioning.  Called for Ron Walter but he has not received the work order yet.  We will contact him again tomorrow night.  I installed the 6/4 pigtail in the EMS box.  Planning to install the box tomorrow morning.

Went to the show.  It was Larry, Steve, and Rudy Gatlin.  Sue thought it was great.  I enjoyed it but the sound was not very good and the wind was up.  There was a great firework display after the musical performance to close the rally.  Ran out of fresh water so will not be able to shower in the morning.   

06-25-04FriDay 7The rally is over so we have to move the coach this morning.   At 10 AM I was getting ready to move the coach and the driver’s seat stopped working in the forward to rear directionsAll other functions were working OK.  Got moved and setup by 10:30 AM – site #2.  Worked on the seat and found a wire was shorting out against a nut.  Taped it up and put a plastic tie to hold it off the nut.  Went to the fairground office and paid for 3 nights.  Too windy and cold to work outside this morning.  Warmed up in the afternoon.  Installed the screen we purchased for the awning.  Need to tighten the return spring in order to get it to retract properly. 

We ate lunch in a mom and pop diner by the fairground.  The front part where we ate was about 20 feet wide and had a 1-foot drop rear to front.  After lunch we went to the library but all computers were full. 

I went to 3 RV stores looking for a rack to hold a stepladder on the coach ladder.  Did not find one.  Went back to the flea market and purchased 3 books.  At 8 PM we went to the local library and checked email.  Nothing of any importance for either of us.   

06-26-04SatDay 8 - Hutchinson is having a celebration called “Hutchfest 2004”.  It runs from 06/25 thru 07/04.  Most of the events are today and are on Main Street; however there are daily events with a big finale on the 4th.  We went downtown for “all you can eat” pancakes and sausage for $4 each.  We listened to several performers in the talent contest and visited the flea market (10 to 12 booths only).  Watched some kids ride burlap bags down a big slide, a kid trying to cast a rod, and people racing radio controlled cars.  The cars were really fast.  The brochure indicated there was an art and craft show at the mall.  We went out there but there were only 2 booths of scroll saw crafts. 

All of the new coaches and trailers that were on display at the rally had to be moved off the fairgrounds by 10 AM on the 25th. A large number were moved out on the 24th after 5 PM. We watched a steady stream moving out before we went to the show that night. However, they didn’t all go home. There are about 200 of them parked in the mall parking lot. As we drove around town today we saw them in smaller batches in lots all over town. It appears that very few of them have actually left Hutchinson.

A note about the town. It is really clean and the lawns and parks are well manicured. Main Street runs north/south and covers about 2 miles in length with very few businesses off the main drag. The east/west streets are 4th, 11th, 17th, and 30th. Businesses are located on these streets all the way out to KS 61, about 1½ miles east. At one time all of Main Street and all side streets for about 1 mile in both directions were brick. Now the main drags are paved with asphalt but all of the remaining streets in the defined area are still red brick. The houses in this area are predominately wood, large, and wonderful architecture. There are some brick and stucco homes mixed in. We did tour one area about 5 blocks long of lows rent housing but it was not trashy.

During the show Tuesday night Sue counted 10 grain elevators east of town. During my travels to RV stores yesterday I drove by a cluster of 5 of them. One was the largest elevator I have ever seen. Sue and I drove out to it tonight and drove around it. It is ½ mile long, had 140 silos per row and appeared to have either 4 or 5 rolls – the way the end was constructed we could not definitely identify the number of rolls but this is a very wide structure.

I stopped at Sears and purchased a set of drill bits I could use in my screwdriver. Will have to use it to drill holes to install the EMS – not enough room in the compartment for the drill. Purchased pop rivets at a hardware store to repair the outside compartment door that is broken.

Radio control cars at Hutchfest in downtown.




Downtown Hutchenson during Hutchfest.
Stopped at the library and they were selling books. Went yesterday evening but they were closed – went this morning but they didn’t open until 1 PM. Purchased 19 hardback books for assorted prices - .50, 1.00, 1.50, and 2.00. Purchased 2 soft cover travel books on Alaska for .50 each. Total cost with tax was $25.16. Two of the hardbacks were to replace lost books and one to replace a paperback. We may have enough reading material to get us home but will buy more books if the opportunity presents itself.

When we got back to the campground, from the library, there was a man installing a solar system on a fifth wheel on a site across from us. I identified him as Mike, one of the installers for AM Solar. I went over to see if he knew where Ron was working. Mike was working inside and Ron was on the roof so we made arrangements to meet him in Lyons on Tuesday morning. He said there was a free city park in Lyons with electricity but no other services. Ron will have all the solar equipment. Ron said he had called us this morning and left a message. Sue doesn’t always take the phone with us. There was a message waiting for us from Ron.

06-27-04SunDay 9 - Started to mount the EMS but ran into a problem.  There is not enough room to mount it on the back wall.  I had replaced the door for the electrical cord with a larger one (in the floor of the electrical compartment) and that is where the EMS will have to go.  That means moving the door and covering the hole.  I made 3 trips to Lowe’s to get everything I needed.  It started raining – really hard - and rained off and on most of the morning and did not stop until after 7 PM.  I worked on it between lullsHad to purchase a jig saw to cut the hole in the compartment.  Found a hanger that may work for the ladder.  

Got the door moved and the hole patched.  Screwed the EMS down.  Could not complete installation because now I need 4 feet of wire instead of two.  Will get the wire tomorrow morning and install it before leaving for Lyons. 

Sue and I went to the Cosmosphere and saw the “Island of the Sharks”.  We tried to go yesterday to the 4 PM showing but they were sold out.  I purchased tickets at 12:30 PM during one of my trips out for the 4 PM showing.  It was raining when we left for the show and still raining when we got out.   

Decided I can make the hanger work so purchased a 6’ aluminum ladder.  Will rig it up tomorrow morning.  The florescent light over the sink went out.  I purchased a bulb but got the wrong one.  Will get another one later – probably in Topeka.   

06-28-04MonDay 10Out at: 11:23 AM - Trip meter:  34

Went to the electrical supply store and purchased 4’ of 6/4 wire.  Completed installing the EMS.  The system works just fine on shore power but when I switched to the inverter I get a reading of “open ground”.  When I turn the system off I get power to the coachInstalled the stepladder hanger on the coach ladder and hung the stepladder.   

Heading for Lyons to meet Ron so he can install our solar system.  Went back downtown – west on 4th street – KS 96 west to Lyons.  Got parked in the Lyons City Park, Lyons, KS and setup at 12:50 PM.  This is a free city park – electricity but no water.  Filled the fresh water tank before parking.  There is a shower and dump station.  This is really a nice park.  The spaces are shaded and level with good spacing between sites.   

Went downtown for lunch.  Returned to camp and set out under the trees, read, and napped.  There was a baseball game next to the park so we went and watched the Lyons Lions play.  

Ron came over and we scheduled installation for 8:30 AM tomorrow morning.  I talked to him about the reading of “open ground” on the EMS.  He said that some of the smaller inverters did not make up a ground – that if the circuit was wired okay then it would work.  I had rechecked the circuit and it was wired properly.  

06-29-04TueDay 11 - Ron arrived on time – he is staying in the same park.  He is a full-timer that travels and installs systems for AM-Solar.  Completed installing the system at 2:30 PM.  We unhooked the 2 batteries that came with the coach.  Need to get 2 more T-105 Trojan’s just as soon as possible.  Should have put on 4 when I added the 2.  Sue and I went to lunch.  

I repaired the compartment door that had the busted pop rivets that Billy Sims failed to repair.  Need to get some green touchup paintReplaced the broom and vacuum cleaner hanger that Ron had to remove to install the solar system.  Cleaned the windshield with Bugs-B-Gone but knocked the spray bottle off the ladder and broke it.  Will have to get another spray bottle.  Tried the spray clean and wax we received at the Oklahoma rally – does not clean bugs well at all but waxes good.  Will wash the front of the coach to remove the bugs then go over it with the spray. 

I discussed braking systems for towed vehicles with Ron.  He installed one on his vehicle made by US Gear – it is $1,199 plus $600 for installation.  Ron said it takes 10 hours to install it.  After our discussion I did more research on braking requirements by US states and Canada.  It seems that very few address a vehicle being towed – they primarily address braking requirements for trailers.  However, I believe the requirements for trailers would be applied to towed vehicles in case of a traffic stop or accident.   

In a number of states and providence’s brakes are not required but in nearly every instance some type of breakaway system is.  The problem is that every breakaway system requires a braking system.  NEED TO SECURE A BRAKING SYSTEM FOR THE JEEP.

06-30-04WedDay 12Out at  9:05 AMTrip meter:  235

As noted the Lyons City Park is a free park but they do accept donations.  We left $10 in the box – also left a lot of money at the restaurant, grocery store, and for fuel.  Heading for Topeka on US 56 east.  At KS 150 took it east.  At US 50 took it east.  At I-35 (a toll road) took it north.   

Note about some of the towns we have seen in Kansas.  They sell fireworks right in the middle of town – don’t know if exploding them is allowed in town or not.   

At I-35 I missed the exit for Topeka.  It was a 90-degree right turn immediately after the toll booth.  I had stopped to get a toll ticket, was pulling out slowly while closing the side window, and within 100 feet past the toll booth was the turn across a line of traffic.  I was not able to get across the traffic so we went south 30 miles before we could turn around.  Turned at a travel plaza that was situated between the north and south lanes so did not have to pay an exit toll before reversing directions.  Toll from marker 127 to 182 was $4.75. 

Stopped at The Shawnee County Campground, Topeka, KS – staying 2 nights.  It is a beautiful park located on Lake Shawnee but the sites are packed together like sardines.  Light sprinkle in the afternoon. 

I called and made a reservation in Kansas City, MO at Lake Longview campground, a Jackson County Park.  We are planning to stay there through the 4th of July. 

07-01-04ThurDay 13  - Went into town for sightseeing – departed camp at 9 AM.

Went to AAA and got maps, tour books, and campground books for the trip back from Maine to Texas.  When we got material in Hutchinson we forgot to get it for the return trip.  Was also missing the Michigan map.

Went to the capitol.  The tour book indicated tours on the hour but when we got there for the 10 AM tour found out they only gave them at 9 – 11 – 1 – 3.  However, we received a really good brochure and did a self guided tour.  The capitol is being renovated – second year of an eight year project.  Most of the renovation being done is to the basement.  It is being converted from storage to a visitor’s center with underground parking for 550 vehicles.  Well worth the visit.  It has one of the old style elevators that has an outside scissors type cage door, an inside door, and an operator.  We were allowed to enter the senate and house of representatives chambers.  The congress meets 90 days every year.

We tried to get in the First Presbyterian Church to see some Tiffany windows but it was locked and no one would answer the door.

Went to the Great Overland Station.  It is a renovated Santa Fe station that was scheduled for destruction but rescued by “Railroad Days Inc”, a local railroad buff organization.  The depot operated from 1927 until 1971.  In 1971 passenger service was switched to another depot when Amtrak took over the passenger train operations in Topeka.  The building was used for railroad offices and as a maintenance facility from 1971 until the mid 1980’s – there is still a large Santa Fe operation in Topeka.  Railroad Days Inc convinced Santa Fe to donate the property so it could be restored.  In addition to the property, Santa Fe donated $100,000 to assist with renovation.  Phase I and II (the outside and inside renovation of the building) was completed this year and it was opened 3 weeks ago.  There is not much in the building at this time but it was worth the $4 each for admission.  Phase III, which is the construction of parking and landscaping, has not started yet. 

Went to the Kansas Museum of History.  I’m old and got in for $3 – Sue cost $4.  It had real good exhibits and well worth the trip.  Rained off and on all day.  

Stopped at Lowe’s and got a bulb for the kitchen light and brackets to finish securing the shore power cords to the compartment floor and wall.  Completed the work when we got back to the park.  Secured the data line for the EMS.  Put roofing material on the underside of the board I had used to patch the hole in the electrical compartment. 

Had a real nice visit with our neighbor.  He retired after 22 years with the Kansas State Department of Correction – a maintenance position.  He said he was a charter member of the RV club that had started the campground in this park 40 years ago.  Had a number of interesting stories about the prison system.  We asked about firecrackers in town.  Apparently it is controlled by city ordinances because Topeka does not allow selling or firing them within the city limits but as noted earlier many of the small towns we have been through allow them to be sold within the city limits.  Don’t know if the small towns allow them to be fired. 

The lake was established in 1934 and is an old quarry.  It is 75 to 80 feet deep in the middle.

The Great Overland Station in Topeka, KS; a renovated Santa Fe railroad station.  Will be used as a museum.

One section of the inside of the Great Overland Station.
07-02-04FriDay 14Out at:  9:50 AM - Trip meter:  79

Heading to Kansas City, MO by way of I-70 east (toll road) to Lawrence and got off at exit 197.  Took KS 10 east.  It turned into I-435 east so continued on it.  At the junction of I-470 took it east to exit 5.  Exited onto View High Drive to Lake Longview Park, Kansas City, MO, a Jackson County park and campground.  Stayed for 3 nights.   

This is a nice park with a large grassy area both out the front door and to the rear of the coach.  The only bad thing is the site – it is extremely unlevel.  Had to raise the front of the coach 8 inches to level it.  That leaves the first step to get in at about 18 inches above ground.  

07-03-04SatDay 15 - I called Michigan State campground reservations and reserved a site at Lakeport State Park ,about 12 miles north of Port Huron in the town of Lakeport.  They assigned me an IDS number of 656182 and a confirmation number of 1755216.  We will be in the south campground in site #328.  Reserved it for 2 nights.  

Left camp at 10:30 AM going to Lawrence, KS for sightseeing.  Drove back to Lawrence the same way we came in – on KS 10.  It was raining so hard coming in that I did not get an opportunity to appreciate the drive.  This is a scenic drive that is labeled an “auto tour”.  The highway is in excellent condition – divided 4 lanes and in better condition than any other highway we have been on to date.  

Stopped at the “Bargain Depot” in Lawrence.  They had a wide assortment of goods that included camping, fishing, and tools.  Purchased 2 foot stools – 1 to use as a front step and 1 to sit on when working out of the storage compartments.  Had one that we purchased in Elk City, OK but I had cut it down for Sue to use under her feet in the passenger seat.  She got two free seat cushions at the Hutchinson rally that she is using now.  They appear to be working out much better than the stool that I had cut down.

Stopped in Lawrence at the visitor’s center.  It is located in the old train depot station.  Went to the Watkins Community Museum of History located in an old bank building.  The building had a very unusual entrance for a bank building.  When you entered the front door there was a large main stairway up about 25 steps to the bank floor and smaller stairways down on each side of the main stairway.  Most unusual for a bank.  Not much of a museum – the only interesting exhibit was a 1920 electric car.  We did watch an interactive presentation, on the computer, about the most interesting events that occurred when Quantrill raided Lawrence in 1863. 

Did an auto tour of a residential area and viewed old houses constructed between 1855 and 1900.  Would have been more interesting if we had done the walking tour.

From Lawrence we went to Lecompton.  Lecompton was the territorial capitol from 1855 to 1861.  Toured the “Territorial Capitol Museum” located in the old Lane College building.  Lane College was established in 1880 but was moved to another town in 1902.  They were housed in a rock building that was about 40 x 60 feet, 2 stories, with a basement.  Not much in the way of exhibits – mostly pictures and documents dealing with the people and history of Lecompton.  Guess it was worth one visit but not a second.

Went to Constitution Hall.  It is an old wooden building, approximately 25 x 60 feet, constructed of wood with a rock foundation.  As mentioned above, Lecompton was the territorial capitol from 1855 to 1861.  Kansas had to have a constitution before it could be admitted as a State.  Four constitutions were proposed and voted on before one was adopted.  The second one was written in Lecompton.  The territorial legislative committee that wrote it was composed of 100% pro-slavers because the anti-slavers had boycotted the convention.  This particular constitution was voted down 5 to 1.  Since the legislative power in Lecompton was pro-slavers the anti-slaver legislatures had set their offices up in Lawrence and met there during the late 1850’s.  The anti-slavers considered Lawrence their capitol.  After Kansas was admitted as a State in 1860 another election was held and Topeka was selected as the Capitol in 1861.  The museum was mildly interesting – would not visit again.  I might note here that Lecompton appears to be a town of less than 1,000 people – not much for a previous capitol town.

Left Lecompton heading back to the campground by way of a Davenport Winery in Eudora, KS on KS 10 east.  Purchased 5 bottles of wine - $7.75 was the most expensive bottle.  Arrived at the campground at 6 PM – toured about 140 miles today. 

At about 2 AM Sue woke me and said there was no water.  I went outside to check and the top of the outside water filter had cracked.  Removed it and hooked the water direct.  The campsite is flooded and water is running into the sites across the road. 

07-04-04SunDay 16I checked the site and ours is still fairly wet but the ones across the road do not appear to be much more than damp.  It looks like it dried out okay after I stopped the water flow.

We departed camp at 11 AM to go sightseeing.  Stopped at “Missouri Town 1855”.  It is a village of 25 old buildings that have been moved in from other location in Missouri and assembled to represent a town as it would have been in 1855.  The buildings were furnished in period furnishings.  There were docents at each location in period dress.  Events were scheduled throughout the day.  While we were there they had a watermelon seed spitting contest, a three legged race, and speeches.  One man gave Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech.  It was in the wrong era but was a very good presentation.  Sue used her digital camera to make a short video of the speech.  This was her first attempt to use this feature but it turned out good.  The village was located in a very picturesque field and was well worth the visit.  They were starting a town ball game (don’t know what it was) as we were leaving. 

We went to the “Truman Presidential Museum & Library”.  Got there at 2:30 PM and it closed at 5 PM – not enough time.  We need to return the next time we are through here.  Need to plan on 8 hours to really see all of the exhibits and read the documents on display.  The 2 films took 1 hour.  

Returned to camp.  The water was leaking again – this time at the quick coupling where it was connected to the coach inlet.  I believe there was too much water pressure – retighten the coupling and installed a second regulator at the faucet.  

Making an early departure tomorrow morning.  It started raining at about 1 AM in the morning.

Truman Presidential Museum & Library in Kansas City, MO.
07-05-04MonDay 17Out at:  7:40 AMTrip meter:  427  

Still raining this morning.  Had to break camp in the rain.  The rain stopped before we got out of the park area – about 2 miles from the campground.  Going to drive all day.  Headed out on I-470 east.  At I-70 took it east and stayed on it the rest of the day but will take the bypass at St Louis.  Set the cruise at 65 MPH through Missouri but when we got to Illinois motor homes are restricted to 55 MPH.  Over half of I-70 is in terrible condition.  I have been on gravel roads that are better than parts of this highway.  It’s beating the hell out of the coach. 

Arrived at Hawthorn Park Camping Area, Terre Haute, IN – a county park, got set up at 5:15 PM, electric but no water or sewer, overnight.  It is a wooded park with trees that appear to be about 40 to 50 feet tall.  They are straight like pine trees but are not pines.  The roads in the campground are extremely narrow and I had difficulty getting the coach around.  It was a lot like running an obstacle course.  It has been raining so is too wet and muddy to go walking around.  Got TV on the antenna but to much foliage for the satellite.  Would like to camp here again.  

07-06-04TueDay 18Out at: 7:20 AMTrip meter:  359 

Thunderstorms and rain last night – sprinkling while breaking camp this morning.  When I hooked up electric yesterday the power pole was so far away I had to use the 30 AMP extension.  The connections were lying on the ground so I disconnected power about 1 AM this morning; was afraid it would short out.  

Got back on I-70 east.  Took I-70 east through Indianapolis to the junction of I-75 north just north of Dayton.  Took I-75 north through Toledo to Monroe, MI.  Speed limit in Ohio was 55 MPH because the coach is over 4,000 lbs.  In Michigan the speed limit is 70 MPH with 55 MPH for trucks over 4,000 lbs.  Not sure how the motorhome is classified so I stayed in line and traveled with the trucks – going more than 55 MPH.  Traveled across Indiana, through Ohio, and into Michigan today. 

Stopped at Sterling State Park, just west of the town of Monroe, MI, for 2 nights.  The park is located on Lake Erie, has 256 paved sites, all with electricity and a few with full hookups.  The park is fairly flat with no trees in the interior but a few between the beach and the sites.  The sites are rather close together – I can stand in our site and see all of the others – sardines come to mind.  We are in site #65, a pull through about 90 feet long.  We have been in rain for the last 2 weeks.  When I exited the coach the first thing I noticed was the cracked ground.  It looks like they have not had rain here this year.   

This is really a nice park even though the sites are close together.  The roads are nice and smooth – makes a good skating rink.  The beach is long and clean.  We took a walk on the beach. 

07-07-04WedDay 19 - Wind blew pretty hard last night and still blowing this morning.  It sprinkled a little last night but not enough to wet the ground.  This park has the best shower I have ever seen in any campground we have been in.  Each shower is an individual room with a small dressing area. 

It was still a bit windy in the afternoon but we took a walk on the beach anyway. 

07-08-04ThurDay 20Out at:  10:55 AMTrip meter:  111 

Going to Lakeport on I-75 north to Detroit.  In Detroit we will intersect I-94 east and take it to Port Huron.  In Port Huron will intersect MI 25 north and take it to Lakeport State Park at Lakeport, MI.  Had prepaid for 2 days when I made the reservation.  When I checked in they charged me an additional $8.00 per day entrance fee for the coach and a flat rate of $6.00 for the jeep.  I started to cancel and go somewhere else but since we need to get our mail we can’t continue down the road.  Got setup at 3:50 PM.  Another pretty campground – 356 sites.  We are in the south area and the sites are located with good spacing with a row of trees separating each row of sites.  We drove through the north area and they are packed in there tighter than any campground we have ever visited – real trashy looking – a lot of tents, kids, and bicycles.

07-09-04FriDay 21 - Departed camp at 11:30 AM going to Detroit.  Located 2 libraries that are just off I-94 – could not find a library listed in the GPS Atlas for either Lakeport or Port Huron.  

We are in serious need of a “Brake Buddy” (a braking system) for the jeep.  Stopped at a RV store on the way to Detroit.  They had one for $1,240 – think that is a little too high.  

The first library we stopped at was closed – went to the second one.  Sue paid the bills and checked her email while I looked in the yellow pages for RV stores.  I only found one that advertised accessories – noted the name and number.  After Sue finished I checked my email and looked up brake buddy at Camping World.  They had one listed for $1,139 club price.  After we left the library I called the RV store.  They had one for $1,139 but was located 70 miles away in the wrong direction.  

We went back into the library and took the cell phone.  Got yellow pages for a different part of town.  Located a RV store that had a “Brake Buddy” on sale for $995.  We went there and purchased it - a saving of $245.00 plus tax.  

At I-94, exit 243, we took MI 29 – a state highway that followed the coast of Lake St Clair and the St Clair river.  The river connects Lake Huron and Lake St Clair.  This highway is not marked as a scenic drive on the map but it should be.  The houses were set on the water frontage and the highway ran in front of the houses – you could see the water between the houses.  Probable 40% of the drive was like this.  There were numerous areas where the highway was to close to the water for houses so they had constructed small parks.  

MI 29 went back into Port Huron and turned into MI 25.  As we entered town we had to detour around Main Street.  The reason was because there were city blocks of old model cars parked in the street as if lined up for a parade.  As we returned to the main route of M-25 we were in the mist of old cars.  We traveled side by side with two 57 Chevrolets, a 59 El Camino, an early 60’s Corvette, and two Bugs.  People were lined the street, sitting in lawn chairs, for 4 to 5 miles.  The cars seemed to be parking in the mall at the edge of town.  Some of these cars went back to the 20’s.

While in town we stopped at Wal-Mart.  The checker there asked me about the traffic.  I mentioned the old cars and she said that was because this was “cruise night”.  I asked her how often it occurred and she said once a year.  It seems Port Huron has a different weekly event all during summer.  Next week is “cruising” for boats.  Motor boats will travel up and down the river and people will set on the shore and watch them the same way they were sitting along the street to watch the automobile “cruising”.  The following week the sailboats will have a race. 

07-10-04SatDay 22Out at:  11:30 AMTrip meter:  108

We had to wait in line to dump before leaving.  There are 356 sites here and there are only 2 dump stations.  Crossed the border into Canada.

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