Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Stormy Travels but Cooler Temps along Lake Erie

Location: Maumee Bay State Park (el. 600 ft); Oregon, Ohio (just east of Toledo, Ohio)

all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone

Route thru stop #4

I planned to pull out of Carlyle early due to the long tow ahead of me. I figured to start hitching up just after daylight and be on the road by 8 o'clock. I was on the road by 8 but it was nip and tuck for a while. I had checked the weather forecast before going to bed and it showed rain coming into the area but was due to hit around noon. I was OK with that timing since I would be long gone and be able to see the weather system in my side mirror as I would be driving northeast. Around 4 a.m. I awoke to a flash of lightening coming through the window shades followed by a loud crash of thunder. Immediately things started hitting the roof of Liberty. At first I thought it was rain, but then remember those dang gum ball trees I had parked under. I was being pelted by gum balls and branches from the tree. I laid there waiting for a large limb to come crashing through the roof. I grabbed my phone and checked the weather. They said to expect "strong thunderstorms with large hail and wind" for 2 hours beginning at 4 o'clock. They issued that warning at 3:45 am. Well gee wiz guys, an earlier warning would have been nice although even if I had the warning hours earlier I couldn't have done anything about it. So, the forecast called for clearing by 6 a.m. and if they were correct, I could start hitching up shortly after that and still be on the road by 8. All I had to do was lay in bed for a couple of hours while listening to the pounding on the roof of Liberty. About dawn, it dawned on me (lol), that instead of me being ahead on the storm system while towing, I would now be behind it and chasing it. I did some rough calculations and figured I would just be catching up to it as I got closer to the campground. If needed, I could slow down to let it get farther ahead. The rain stopped about 6 as predicted and since I had already been awake, I had everything tied down inside Liberty and was ready to hitch up. I walked around Liberty and did not see any limbs large enough to cause a problem to the roof. I then walked behind her far enough to see the roof all the while hoping there were no limbs sticking out anywhere. Her roof was clear and I breathed a sign of relief as it seemed I had dodged another weather bullet. As I looked around the campground I could see several other campers were not as lucky as me. A young couple with a small child had a very large limb fall and just miss their tent. Severe injuries would have resulted had it hit the tent. After hitching up and driving to the dump station, I saw moderate size limbs across RV's and cars. At least 3 foolish campers had left their awning out and were rewarded with having their awnings either ripped off or laid across their roof. Some of these RV'ers will leave their awnings out from the time they arrive at the campground until they leave. It's just a matter of time before an unexpected wind or storm like this will cause them financial and emotional heartburn.

I stopped at the McDonalds which was conveniently located at the campground entrance. Before pulling of the parking lot, I double checked the weather and the storm system. 
Typical countryside along the way. It is hard to tell if it is Illinois, Indiana or Ohio since they all looked the same to me. I'm not sure why they put the billboards so far away from the highways.

Dark clouds, then clearing a little. They alternated the entire way but I was lucky and missed all the rain until the end.
This is the "Cross at the Crossroads" in Effingham, Illinois. It is suppose to be the larges such cross in the U.S., but I saw another one like it later on that appeared to be the same size, so who knows for sure. It sure stands out on the side of the highway. 

The storm was about 200 miles ahead of me and traveling at 30 miles per hour in the same direction I would be traveling. I would be averaging 55 to 60 miles per hour. The question was would I catch the storm before getting to the campground which was 475 miles away. Sounds like a math word problem from high school with an RV and storm system instead of trains. The best answer I could come up with was it going to be close and I would probably have to slow down or stop for a while to let the storm move on some more. For 8+ hours I followed along while seeing the sky stay dark ahead of me. Everything was working out just fine until a different storm that came in from the west decided to join us about 3 miles from the campground. I found an empty school parking lot and pulled in just as the bottom dropped out with heavy wind and rain. I figured I could just relax and wait it out. It blew through in about 30 minutes after which I continued on to the campground. After getting checked in and set up, I was tired. It was a long day.
This is the storm that surprised me just before reaching the campground. It blew through in about 30 minutes though.

The campsites are large and separated from each other. I chose poorly in the setting sun is hitting the back, right (starboard quarter) of Liberty. I had thought the tree behind me would shade me from the evening sun, but I was wrong. 
Man-made beach inside of the

The campground in on the shore of Lake Erie but the campsites are not within sight of the lake. It is a large and nicely laid out campground. I used their laundry today which is a first for me since state parks rarely have laundries and the ones that have had them, they were too nasty to use. The only thing special to see here is the lake but I drove around some just to make sure. I found the spot where a lot of train tracks end or begin. It seems Toledo is a major rail hub that services Lake Erie. I started to go to the Great Lakes Museum and tour the freighter they have on display but I just couldn't get excited enough to go. I guess I'm getting a little jaded.

I did find a nice little city park just a mile or so outside the campground. 

The lake was a little windy and there was a nip in the air. That house was in a great location.

Whoever laid out this little walkway did a great job. 

A couple of nice thinking benches. I spent a little while sitting here enjoying the cool breeze and nice view. 

I'll be pulling out of here tomorrow with a short tow of only about 140 miles to a campground on the banks of the Saint Clair River. I saw this campground from a boat tour I took a couple years ago and have been wanting to go back to camp there. I will also be able to check in on Lake Huron to see if it is as blue as I remember. The straight shot takes be through downtown Detroit but I've decided go a little out of my way to avoid it. As usual when passing close or through big cities, I'll just turn the music up to drown out the gunshots and look for bullet holes in Freedom and Liberty once I get to the campground. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.  



  1. Be safe my friend. I start to roll Saturday with two days of short tows and then two days of 300 mile tows. It will be good to be rolling again.

    1. I will Barney. I'm glad your truck is ready to roll. Be safe yourself. Be careful of those long tows.

  2. Keep on dodging those bullets. My husband will drive miles to miss cities and sometimes I think we would have been better to just face the mess and drive right through them. Happy you had no storm damage. We have been fortunate too. Hope you have blue skies.

    1. Hello Barb, Dodging weather seems to happen more often than a person would think. I've had people say, your RV has wheels, just move. That's true but sometimes staying put is the smarter thing to do since getting caught in high winds and pounding rain isn't good when towing. Ya'll enjoy Ohio and be safe.

  3. How's your son doing, Darrell? Isn't it about time for an update?