Sunday, June 3, 2018

Day 2 Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota

We woke up the next morning, skipped coffee and breakfast and made the van ready to go.  Heading out, I roll down my window.  Remember, no A/C?  The window rolls part way down and stops.  I hear the motor whirring but the window is not moving.  Then, it falls down into the door and can't be brought back up.  We head up the road for fuel.  Body and van fuel.  We talk about our options.  I jump on the interwebz and search for a remedy.  Seems like this is a common problem with T1N Sprinter vans.  Lots of solutions, mostly all involving drills which I do not have with me.  At least I found out how to take the door apart and retrieve the window.

We discuss our options.  I'm ready to head back and regroup and try again in a week.  Sharon says, others have gone on with much worse problems.  It's no wonder I love her so much.  We jump in the van, drive across the street, refuel and head north into Terre Haute, IN.

Now, we lived in Rantoul, IL twice when I was in the Air Force so we know what IL looks like and our main objective is to get through the state as fast as we can.  We head north on Hwy 41 until we reach I74.  Our plan is to haul butt on I74 to I39, turn north and head for Wisconsin and that is what we did.  IL was a blur to us.  We made no stops.  Well, you do have to stop and pay a small ransom to leave the state to get into WI, but that was the extent of our visit there.

Our general plan is to head straight up through WI until we get to Hwy 2.  This is the northern most cross country highway and one that I have wanted to see for a long time.  But, we only made it that day to Wausau, WI.  We found a nice city park not too far off the highway with electric and water hookups and showers.  It is a small park and there are a lot of people on the walkways and bikeways. The showers are locked and there is no one there to give you the code.  I wait until I see another camper heading for the showers and I get the code from him.  Nobody goes into the women's side that I saw.  The next morning, I see a street person go into the men's shower.  I guess the codes are common knowledge.

The next morning, we get up, cook breakfast and get ready to go.  There is a dump station and fresh water fill there so we avail ourselves of the facilities.  I also had done some research on a/c repair places and find a place just a few blocks away.  We head over there and arrive about 15 minutes ahead of their opening time.  I go in and plead my case.  The manager explains that they are booked up with appointments but sensing the look of despair on my face, he most generously agrees to get us in first. 45 minutes later and a full a/c recharge we are heading north.  We have a/c and a closed window.  The a/c works really well but when I tried to dial down the fan it goes from jet engine velocity to zero.  Nothing in between.  Fortunately, it is cool and we don't need the a/c.  In fact, from this point on I only need to run the a/c for a few hours in the afternoons.  Soon, we are running the heater!  Need I remind you that this is the first part of June?

So, we head north towards Hwy 2 and eventually turn west heading towards MN.  The roads in MN aren't so great and it is a rough trip to our stopping point...Cass Lake, MN  The campground is situated amongst tall trees offering lots of shade.  After getting setup we take a stroll down to the lake.  Stepping out onto a sandy beach we are suddenly attacked by thousands of mosquitoes.  There were so many, we could hardly see each other.  We dash back off the beach to the safety of the woods.  The campground has showers there so we head back to get our shower gear and we each take a leisurely hot shower.  Really nice campground.  Very peaceful.  I think between getting some of our problems resolved and the fact that we are tired from the hot days drive, we fall asleep almost instantly.

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