We awoke in Bertha, dressed got on our way and started the truck only to discover the gas tank was empty. We had somehow been relieved of a half a tank of gas overnight. No leaked gas on the ground and so we reported it to the local police. The very nice officer said Bertha has been having issues with attempted break-ins over the last few days and this fits a pattern. He was very upset and apologized profusely.
We picked up a tiny window alarm at Walmart that sets off a 120db siren if the wind is opened and we are going to rig it so it goes off if someone opens our little gas door. That should fix the parasite issue. We also stopped at a wonderful Amish/Old Order Mennonite country store and walked out with $50 full of old style pickles and preserves. Yum!
We then rolled by a nice little country town Goodyear and got the tire that was so bald it had gotten dangerous replaced. Somehow that didn’t get done before we left. With exchange it ended up being the same price as back in Canada. Then we drive north around Mineapolis through some very pretty country and got safely into Wisconsin. We are currently nestled into an empty spot in a Flying J between two other RVers as we plan on being on our way early in the morning. We have only done this once before but it was another 24 miles to the State Park and it was dark and I was beat. Lots of RVers stay at Flying J truck stops for quick overnights. I’ll write about the experience tomorrow. Next stop Milwaukee to visit my SL job boss and friend. This should be our last day of driving until 8:00pm. The rest of the trip is slower and has open campgrounds all the way along.
Update: The overnight at the Flying J was just fine. We took the advice we had heard from other bloggers and parked our RV next to other RVs and away from the big trucks. We also put our rig off the main entrance and exit. The result was not too bad for noise. We actually slept well. Mostly it felt very safe. It was weird because so many people were coming and going and yet I think that was why I felt safe. We had RVers on both sides. The truck drivers were all polite and the staff at the Flying J were friendly and professional. With so many people coming and going I think something like someone trying to siphon off our gas tank would be noticed by someone. The other bonus over a state park was we had really great internet. We saved the $22 fee for the electric only site at the State Park we had planned on staying at. We did pay the $10 dump fee Flying J charges and we filled up with gas before we left. That’s how they make their money I guess. So on the one hand a state park and more cost poor or no internet and frankly, this time of year, possibly the only ones around and an unsafe feeling with a pretty view and then Flying J with no view, lots of truck noises and safety. Savings $12 net. After getting to Madison WI we paused our trip to stop at camping world. I positively drooled over a camper that is the same size as ours but had a four foot slider and the size difference was amazing. The layout was also wonderful. The bedroom had a real door! We also renewed our Good Sam membership card because this gives us the dump fee at Flying J for $3 and saves us $7. We would only need to stay overnight at a Flying J and dump four times over the course of a year for it to pay for the membership plus we do occasionally shop at Camping World and that means a 10% discount. We will be doing the Flying J boon docking again. Who needs a fancy view when you arrive after dark and leave as fast as you can in the morning?