Tuesday, May 2, Perrysburg, Ohio
We sleep until 9:30. We decide not to take showers. I check the tire pressure, but the hubcaps block the gauge I have on the front tires. The rear tires are OK. We are at 268.7 miles.
When we are about ready to go, I decide I want to get a Rand McNally Motor Carrier’s Road Atlas from Walmart. I go in. They don’t have it. Just as well, I forgot my wallet. I use their bathroom. I continue to avoid number two in the RV. Somehow it is 12:45 when we leave the parking lot.
We stop at the Admiral Perry rest stop and get gas. We’re at 347.3 miles (plus about 16 miles from the RV rental place to our house via tollway). Another 24.5 gallons for $65.81. I’m not used to these numbers with my Honda.
Rest stop at 4:45 pm. We passed last night’s prospective destination 15 minutes ago, which we cancelled by not showing up, losing $31.92. Looking at getting into the West Chester KOA after 10:30 tonight. We call to let them know. “When do you think you’ll get here?” he asks. “About 10:30,” I say, optimistically, if not honestly. They say it’s fine. They’ll leave a packet outside the office with directions to our campsite.
After driving many hours, my hands don't want to close all the way, so I frequently flex them and try not to grip the steering wheel too tight. Age.
Cathleen is driving on I-80. Traffic comes to a complete stop 40 miles into Pennsylvania. Google Maps tells me that we can save 49 minutes by exiting and taking local roads to the next entrance. We go for it, passing over the Allegheny River and through a picturesque little town called Emlenton (pop. 582). Large old houses inhabit the gently sloped wooded north bank of the Allegheny River, which eventually meets the Monongahela and Ohio rivers at Pittsburgh, 70 miles SSW. A deer crosses the road safely in front of us. The detour seems to be a double blessing.
|The bridge over the Allegheny River to Emlenton, Pennsylvania (courtesy Google Maps street view).
|Looking east over the Allegheny River from the same bridge (my photo).
The distant bridge is I-80, whose traffic jam we are avoiding.
I pee in the RV bathroom while Cathleen is driving. It’s worse than standing up to pee in an airplane bathroom during turbulence, but better than trying in a Porta potty in the back of an otherwise empty moving truck. I’m guessing about the latter. I emerge unscathed.
Cathleen drives the steep, winding Pennsylvania mountains like a champ. At the bottom of one hill, we stop for gas, and I take over driving. It’s after midnight. But we are determined to get to our reserved KOA.
Bumps, braking, swerving and the like make things move around, prompting us to wonder aloud what fell, shifted, or opened a door or drawer. They all latch closed, but that’s not always enough. At one stop, we see that my acoustic guitar has opened the wardrobe door and fallen out upside-down. Fortunately, it is in its hard-shell case and emerges unscathed.
We arrive at the KOA a bit later than our 10:30 pm guess. It is 2:00 am. The place is silent and quite dark. It is a hilly forest setting, but with a variety of unlit RVs all around. We retrieve an envelope from in front of the office. The map is clear. We drive three fourths of the way around the campground to get to our site. The pamphlet mentions quiet hours from 11 pm to 8 am. The speed limit is 5 mph, and the crunching gravel road is hilly. We get to our site, one of the last remaining vacancies. We must back in. We decide that I will back up in the dark with Cathleen standing outside behind, directing. I keep saying “Shhhh” whenever she speaks. We are eventually parked. Cathleen goes in to set up the house for sleep. The cats are freed from their little houses (but stay in the RV). I go out to hook up the water and electric for the first time. It’s not difficult. We have a sewer hookup, but I will not do that in the dark. By the time we get into bed and fall asleep, it is 3:30 am.
To be continued...
|Campsite hookups at the West Chester, Pennsylvania KOA, next morning.
The white hose is fresh water. The yellow cord is electric. Out of sight is sewer.