Elkhart, Indiana to Marion, Illinois – Marion, IL

We left Streetsboro, Ohio with the intention of staying in Sturgis, Michigan, just on the other side of the state line to the north of I-90.

A special congratulations go to Green Valley Campground for being the first place in which I literally drove in, paid my fee, and promptly left after circling the area. The sites were incredibly disorganized (I was instructed to bridge two of them in order to fit), and it would have been a PITA to get in and out of any of those I was offered because of trees. Moreover, the tree cover hit the top of our RV going in and out of the park and it hadn’t rained yet. Given the surroundings were nothing to write home about either, we made a phone call and opted to drive another 20 miles down the road to the nearest KOA in Elkhart/Middlebury, Indiana. Like all KOAs, it was fine.

After an overnight stay in Elkhart, Indiana, it was time to head to Kankakee, Illinois where the bus would sit at the Kankakee KOA South for eight days while we visited family and friends in Chicago. I returned once to the bus just to sleep at home, but other than that, we stayed at Jenni’s. Again, the KOA handily met my expectations.

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Elle with her new horse, Forest. Just watch your fingers if you feed him (probably because he can’t possibly see your hand beneath his mouth)

Jenni and Elle’s big event was the arrival of Elle’s new horse on Saturday. Elle was one happy kid that day, and her horse looks very happy to have found a new family as well. We visited him on Sunday, and he was very friendly. He’ll gladly eat out of your hand, but you’d better keep your fingers rolled over because he can’t tell if your fingertips are treats or not (it would probably help if his mouth wasn’t buried under his nose where he can’t see it).

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Tim, Andy, Alayne and me at lunch. Andy was a lot younger and a lot smaller the last time I saw him which was about 35 years ago when he was a pre-teen. We used to be next door neighbors and he and Jenni were best buds. We had a lot of fun camping as a an extended family

Our big event in Chicago was getting to see an old family friend, Andy, and his partner whom we’ve never met but heard about many times, Tim. We went out to lunch for about five hours that day, and we could have spent another five hours chatting. It was so fun catching up on the last 35 years of each others’ lives, as well as our families, and everything that had transpired to bring us to the points where we are today. Hopefully we can do it more often than every 35 years (truth in advertising: Alayne has kept in touch with Andy via social networking, and had seen him sometime over the years, whereas I hadn’t). See you soon, Andy and Tim!

After our brief sojourn in Kankakee and Lockport, Illinois, it was once again time to pack up.

A short 275 mile day from Kankakee laid Marion, Illinois. We stayed at the Marion Campground and RV Park. Nestled just along Interstate 57, it made for a very pleasant stay. You could tell it was mostly people either in transit for a day or so, or contractors/long-term residents who kept their property tidy (a significant change up from Green Valley in Sturgis, Michigan and Gentile’s Campground in Connecticut. At this point, we’ve stayed in enough shitholes and are now well-qualified to rate them, along with our President).

Beyond Marion, we were on to revisit two of our favorites on the way home: Tom Sawyer’s Mississippi River RV Park in Memphis, and Cloud Nine RV Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

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