We thought about several different routes from NM to MN. Maybe I40 through Albuquerque through Amarillo and Tulsa to Kansas City and then north. Maybe the same way but over to Fort Smith and then North. Maybe I25 through Raton Pass and up to Colorado Springs, then east on I70 and then north to I80 and then east.
We checked on the toll road bypass around Denver but it is almost $100 for a motorhome and a tow car. Much cheaper if they are driven separately.
And weather was an issue. So we went for the I25 through Raton Pass route. This is the fourth time through there for us in the coach, pretty easy as mountain passes go. And then up towards Colorado Springs. This was a long day. We stopped at a Walmart. Did a few laps around the inside of the store and an early night. The next day we did a diagonal from Colorado Springs to I70 and then east for about 150 miles and then north on US 385 to I76 and then east to I80 and Ogallala, Nebraska.
We stayed at Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area just downstream from a big dam. It was nice and quiet. The Nebraska SRAs are about $27 a night so it is not a cheap overnight but even at a “free” overnight at Walmart we almost always end up spending something there.
Is it art? A four inch Jackson Pollock? No! Bugs! At every stop we have a de-bugging activity. These were some of the biggest splats I have ever seen … and multicolored as well. We are very regular users of WaxWashAll, a product for cleaning and polishing the coach. A by product is that bugs come off easier. Good thing.
The next day we drove all the way across Nebraska to Neola, Iowa and stayed at the Pottawattamie County Park Campground. Fifty amp hookups, pull through sites and only $18 per night. It looked like an old farm that had a small lake. We are starting to see more of these parks for the benefit of the local folks with campgrounds. And they find that travelers will stop for a fair price. Good for the community. And there were the Nebraska variety of bugs to clean.
Weather was following us. Rain was coming. We headed off toward home.
We were having an intermittent pin lock fault on the slide when it was retracted. The pins were engaged, there are two sensors that signal that each pin is in place. One or the other sensor on one pin is sometimes malfunctioning. When this fault occurs it prevents the transmission from engaging. There is a work around to keep on the road. So I thought we could stop at HWH, the company that makes the slide system, near Moscow, Iowa and see if I could get some help. I knew they were busy but when we got there the Senior Technician talked to me about what was going on, described where the potential problems might be, showed me how to verify that the pins were locked, showed me where to look for wiring faults in the sensor and gave me the part numbers for all of the parts that might need to be replaced. And he was on his lunch break. No charge. These guys are great.
It was just after noon so we headed for home. Pretty rotten roads going north through Waterloo towards Rochester and then up 52. It rained, we drove through that and got home about 5:30. We backed into the coach house (barn) and unloaded just enough to get in the house, make something for supper and start the process of being home including piles of mail.
It is always odd returning, the space feels large, things are not always where we think they are. We wake up much earlier. And there seems to be an immense list of things to do. Life accelerates, hard to control. But we are OK. Glad to be home. Back to familiar things for awhile until we are, once again, elsewhere.
So, we are officially home.
Roger and Susan