May 22, 2007

2 Days in Mahomet

R&S Sales in Mahomet, IL., our dealer, had an open house/customer appreciation day on Saturday, and, with impeccable timing, we arrived just as lunch was being served. Before firing up The Bus and heading over to our site at TinCup RV Park, Dar wanted to walk through some of the RVs they had on display. People are people, and just like owners of traditional houses, some RV owners are always looking for some new decorating idea or new feature they’ll want on their “next one”. I just know that somewhere, deep inside, she’s got a wish-list that I’ll have to contend with someday.
Arriving at TinCup mid-afternoon, set-up was easy and it went a lot faster than the first time. Basic set-up is just getting properly positioned on the site, leveling the unit, hooking up electric power, fresh water, and sewer, and then opening the slide-outs. We have a livable unit in only 15 minutes or so. As we travel around the country we’ll also be doing a lot of what they call “boondocking” (living in the “boondocks”, I suppose) which means living totally self-contained and not hooked up to anything. Our fresh water tank holds 105 gallons and with judicious use of all resources we could live for at least a week, maybe two, totally self-contained. That capability really expands the range of places we can go and stay. I’ll write more about boondocking as time goes along.
Since we only had one day with The Bus before this, our main objective is to learn and use every system and appliance. Just as anyone has to go through a learning-curve on a new appliance, we have about 50 things and systems to become familiar with. There’s no point in getting more detailed here, but everything we tried did work.
Sunday afternoon a break was in order, so we explored Lake-of-the-Woods park. This large park, located within walking distance of our campsite, is owned and managed by the Champaign County Forest Preserve District. It runs along both banks of the Sangamon River, and offers hiking, golfing, fishing, picnicking, a covered bridge, a botanical garden, and the Early American Museum — more than enough to explore in a few hours. It’s been my contention that many people, maybe most, have been convinced to seek recreation mostly at big events, big cities, big concerts, places like Las Vegas, Disneyland, a Cubs game… while smaller things like this park are largely unknown and really under appreciated, especially beyond the local area that tends them. This park, which we didn’t know existed before arriving in Mahomet, in some ways represents what our Sabbatical is all about — experiencing and living in rural America, learning its history, and enjoying those smaller, low-key, simpler recreational opportunities. There’s a few pictures of this park in an album titled “Lake of the Woods Park” in our photo albums — please check it out.

Beyond Branson; Pondering Future Travel

This past Tuesday, we moved from Branson to a very nice Corps of Engineer’s Park on Wappapello Lake.  We’re in the Redman Creek CG. This fac...