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Sunday, February 4, 2024

Day 1 - Heading South

It's time to head on out and go south! The vet said that our little Nicholas could travel if he wasn't bothering his incision, and if it looked good without any swelling or draining. We didn't even need to put the cone of shame on him. He was being very good about not bothering the incision. We also got him some gabapentin and toradol to keep him from bouncing and jumping all over the place like a kangaroo, and to help with pain. 

We actually decided that it would be easier to contain him and keep him from jumping around within the confines of the motorhome, compared to at home. At home with wide open concept spaces and his flying leaps up and down the stairs to the she-shed, he would probably do more damage to himself. By being in the motorhome it was easier to contain him and to keep an eye on him. We plan to just lift him up and carry him to go outside. The side of the bed in the motorhome has two little steps going up to get onto the bed. So he wouldn't even need to jump up or down to join us for naps or morning snuggles. 

By Friday morning, we were good to go! 

We just had a few more things to load in that were waiting by the door. Then we set the alarms and security cameras, turned off the water, ice maker, and drain the lines. Set the furnace down low and notified all of our neighbors. Everyone's taking care of things like our snow removal and our plants. So we can leave with peace of mind. 

Steve rolled out our little cargo trailer from the garage and we hooked it right on the back of the motorhome. Time to head on out and get on the street. We tested the lights and made sure everything was good to go. Our tire pressure monitors were all in place. Everything was aired up and running correctly.

On our year of 2016 Winnebago View, we are able to still leave the rear view camera on while driving down the road. That way we can keep an eye on the trailer. On the newer versions, it will only operate when you are in reverse. The rest of the time the camera screen is on other things like the GPS or the radio. We sure appreciate being able to keep an eye on it while we are driving down the road. Otherwise we would have to get an auxiliary camera and hook it up separately. 

All of the roads were dry and in great shape. We hadn't had snow since the big storm the week before. The temperatures were up in the '40s as we cruised along through Southern Wisconsin. 

We were getting close to the Madison area when our phone rang. It was some friends we know from back in Oconto. They were calling because they were on the highway just ahead of us. They had passed us and recognized our motorhome and thought it was us in the drivers cockpit area. Sure enough! Isn't that hilarious? We had to drive 100+ miles away to see our own neighbors from Oconto!! 

In no time we were crossing over the border into Illinois. Flat flat flat land. But we really enjoyed seeing the beautiful blue sky. We hadn't had sunshine in Wisconsin for over a week. 

Some other years when we have left in the middle of winter, we have driven on ice covered roads or snowy windy sub zero conditions. This was a really nice time to get out of Dodge and hit the road.

I do enjoy using my Microsoft Streets and Trips on the laptop. I know it is no longer supported but it does still operate with a separate GPS dongle that plugs in a USB port. I have an articulating arm laptop holder that lets it set nicely in front of my passenger seat. This way we don't need to use the in-dash GPS and that screen can be reserved for the backup camera. With this big screen of the laptop we can maneuver and change add and adapt things. We can also keep track of our entire trip and make push pin notes of anything of importance. 

Our goal of the first day was to reach this little Shell gas station with a Burger King attached. Why would we want to go there? Because they have six RV slots with full hookups that you can stay at. They are open year-round. For $20 you can slide right in, hook up, dump your tanks if you wish, and even go buy a burger. Lol! 

It is located just south of the town Wenona, Illinois on Interstate 39. We have stopped here as our first stop every time we head south because it's just about long enough driving distance for us of 327 miles from home. 

We chose the furthest slot away from the building, because we knew we can hear the drive-thru at Burger King if we park any closer. Once the drive-thru closes at 10:00 p.m., then it's nice and quiet. You do hear a train every now and then, but it's far enough away from the interstate, that you don't hear a lot of highway noise. Not too bad for 20 bucks! 

We took the dogs out for a little potty break and then they were ready to play. We brought along a tote full of their favorite dog toys to make them feel like they were at home.

We popped a pizza in the convection microwave, turned on our hotspot from Steve's Visible phone, and watched some HGTV programs on Roku until bedtime. It was very relaxing after our first day on the road.

It did get down to 30° overnight. It's kind of nice to be plugged in to show power and not waste all of our battery power to run the main propane furnace. We do have a smaller catalytic Coleman heater but that's not big enough to keep up with 30° weather. When we have available electrical hookups, we can run a supplementary electric space heater as well. Our freshwater tank is above board and remains heated when the propane furnace runs. Both of our holding tanks also have electric heating pads on them. Normally we would turn them on when we have hookups, but we hadn't yet used them so they were still empty from being winterized. 

The next morning we awoke to beautiful bright sunshine again. Both of the dogs had to hop up on the bed and hang out and see what was going on. They join us for donuts and coffee. Each of them get the tiny last bite of our donut, and wait patiently until it's their turn. 

Here is a daytime shot of the six RV slots alongside the Burger King. We were in the one closest to where I am standing because there was grass right outside the door. It was very easy to let the dogs out to do their thing, and clean up afterwards of course. There's enough room to extend slides so that's never an issue. Compared to being in a parking lot somewhere. I think more stations should have these RV slots for overnighters who just need a safe spot to park and then move on the next day. 

That's it for our first day. 

I will catch up the second day blog next, I wasn't feeling that good so I am one day behind.

327 miles traveled

Averaging 13.4 miles per gallon 

but most of it was headwind. 


  1. Good place to stop. Unfortunately most of the overnight stops like this think $40 is a good price. Always great to find a more reasonable one.

  2. Congrats on being able to get on the road. Enjoy yourselves, I am sure the break is much needed. You both have been very busy all year. That does look like a nice overnight spot and yes, more places should have space like that.


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