August 9 to 17, 2009 - Iowa, Illinois and Indiana

We left Dakotah Meadows on August 9th and drove south into Iowa.  We saw a lot of thunderstorms in the distance but did not encounter any while driving.    After 273 miles we were camped at Squaw Creek County Park in Marion, IA, the same place we camped in April 2004.

That evening the thunderstorms came to us.  All we had was some wind and rain, but the weather radio was threatening hail and very strong winds and once the tornado sirens went off.  The tornado sirens did not stay on long since there was no reason for them, but it did get our attention.  This campground does not leave us with good feelings.  It is a very nice place, but both visits we have dealt with severe weather here.

August 10th we headed east and after 230 miles we were at the Empress Casino RV Park in Joliet, IL.

The campground was nice but not very full.  The casino had just reopened after a fire. 

We did not visit the casino but Bill was tired of cooking so we drove to the north end of Joliet and had a very nice dinner at Texas Roadhouse.

August 11th we drove 134 miles to Elkhart Campground in Elkhart, IN.  We didn't take any toll roads this time since it was not a long day.  We last stayed here in September 2005

The campground has been improved over the years. 

Behind us were Dale and Terry's motorhome, who we met at the Gypsy Journal Rally in Casa Grande, AZ in February 2007.

And Nick and Terry themselves were also here, just up the way.  We last saw them at this year's Gypsy Journal Rally in Casa Grande in February.

We were hungry and needed some supplies so we drove into Goshen, had dinner at Steak n' Shake and shopped at Sam's Club.

We got our windshield fixed, we got our mail package, we drove down to Nappanee and bought some spare parts from Newmar.

Terry, Dale, Nick, Terry and ourselves met at Heinnies for dinner one evening and had a great meal and visit.

We also visited the Shipshewana Flea Market in Shipshewana on the 12th. Mostly we bought consumables, including the black raspberry jam Bill loves for $4.50 a pint.  We also bought a decal for the shower door.

August 14th Linda and Denny came in to the campground for a few days.  We had last seen them in Clermont, Florida in March 2008.   They had already had dinner when we said we were hungry, but they had ice cream at Culver's with us while we ate something more substantial.

With Linda and Denny we visited the RV Hall of Fame Museum on August 15th

Dennis and Carol came in and invited us to fresh halibut on the 16th.  We had not seen them since March in Menifee, CA.

Cookout with Dennis and Carol on August 16th

That night and into morning we had lots of thunderstorm rain.  Officially it was 2.7" in South Bend, but the numbers closer to us were in the 4 to 6" range. 

The rain stopped mid-morning but we now are on lake front property.

Since the rainy weather was still happening to the east we headed to Mishawaka to shop instead of Goshen.  The weather was much nicer in the afternoon.  Since Mishawaka had a Red Robin we had lunch there and it was just as good as the west coast Red Robins.

This photo in Mishawaka is for Ken.

Interesting color scheme.

We also had one meal at Fazoli's in Elkhart while in town.

We got in a lot of socializing this stop, but now we need to work our way back to Minnesota for Diane's doctor appointment.  Diane is doing better each day.

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