Our destination was a KOA campground in Benton, Illinois just a short distance from the RV dealer who could fix the trailer on Wednesday. We arrived mid afternoon and as we expected, the large slide would not extend at all. We had moved the electronics, books, etc. into the bedroom before we left in the morning, pretty much taking up all of the narrow space around the bed.
The campground was fine with lots of amenities, but mostly unusable: the pool was empty and we couldn't get to our TV to use the cable, for example. It was not the quietest place with an interstate immediately to the east, busy two-lane on the west and small airport to the south.
When we checked in, the host told us that they were under a tornado watch until 8:00 pm--about five hours. The line of storms came through a couple of hours later but we escaped with just heavy rain. The "large hail" forecast did not materialize. The tornado siren went off and we headed to the office as instructed, but no trip to Oz this time. We found out later that tornadoes had touched down and done damage both north of us near Vandalia and in the next county south. We were lucky.
To celebrate--and because we couldn't get to the refrigerator or kitchen in our camper--we went out to eat. The seafood place we went to was fine--not spectacular--and we were the only customers. The evening was spent reading and checking email in our 8 x 8 bedroom--kind of a post-apocalyptic feel for some reason. A shortage of outlets meant that the ones we had did double duty keeping everything charged. Oh, the hardships!
Wednesday morning, we headed over to Larry's RV to drop the trailer. These guys were fantastic. They were done in less than two hours--just long enough for us to go have lunch. By 2:00 pm, we were back on the road. It is easy to forget how looooong Illinois is, and Benton is actually south of St. Louis. So, in order to avoid setting up in the dark, we broke our journey outside of Springfield at a great campground that is part of the Lincoln New Salem restoration. We were here once twelve years ago; this time we are the only campers besides the host. It was a delight to have the use of our living space again.
Today, we expect to make it home, barring tornadoes and breakdowns. I'm not really ready for the journey to end, but it has been an eventful one.