We are stopped in a rest area about 40 miles west of Huron, MI, for lunch. In an hour we’ll be crossing the border into Canada and dropping out of touch. In Canada, my cell phone and cellular Internet are outrageously expensive to use, and for the 48 hours we plan to be in the country it’s not worth getting the international option that Verizon offers. So this is my last chance to briefly post until we get back into the USA.
We left Milwaukee in the morning on Sunday, with the only aim of navigating the busy highways through Chicago before holiday traffic got too bad. The drive was decent, and the trip was marred only by a minor mechanical glitch. We had stopped about an hour south of Milwaukee at the Mars Cheese Castle, a small tourist attraction featuring (surprise!) a lot of cheese for sale. Eleanor made the requisite purchases, of course.
My habit is to always inspect the trailer at every stop. This prevents little problems from being big ones, because I occasionally spot something that’s not optimal and have a chance to fix it. This habit paid off on this day because I could easily see from 100 feet away that something was hanging down beneath the trailer. It turned out to be one of four straps that hold the fresh water tank in place. A bolt had stripped out and the strap was dangling.
We weren’t able to effect a roadside repair, so Brett and I removed the strap entirely and saved the remaining good bolt from it. We also used the tank’s exterior petcock to dump about 3/4 of our fresh water supply on the pavement, thus lightening the load on the three other straps. I was glad that nobody spotted this, since it might have looked like we were dumping gray water on the ground and I didn’t want to have to explain ourselves to an angry property owner.
Tow vehicle report: With extensive construction zones in Illinois our speeds were kept down and the MB turned in an exemplary 15.0 MPG for the trip all the way to Grand Rapids, MI, where we courtesy parked with our friends the Fabers. I’ll tell the story of that interesting visit in the next blog …