Linda was up early again and off to the bakery. I got up just before 8 AM, showered and shaved and had a grapefruit for breakfast. I did not have any coffee. I do not eat or drink on lot on days when I have to drive the bus. I checked and adjusted the tire pressures on the bus while it was still cool and cloudy. I then hooked up the car and checked the rear lights. I spent the rest of the morning gathering up last minute things and loading them on the bus. My plan was to leave at noon. There were a lot of last minute things but I was packed and ready to go by 11:45 AM.
I called Linda to let her know I was getting ready to leave, secured the house, and took care of the final departure items. I started the car, put it in D (drive) for 20 seconds, slipped it into neutral, made sure the parking brake was off, the steering wheel was free to turn, and the Pressure Pro repeater was plugged in. The key has to be in the ignition switch and turned to the “on” position while the car is being towed so I travel with two car keys so I can lock the car. I turned off the shore power to the bus, disconnected the power cord, and stowed it. I closed up the utility (shore connections) bay, checked that the air accessories circuits were open in the DS front bay, checked that the inverter was working, and made a final check that all of the bays were closed and locked.
I secured the entrance door (from the inside), checked that everything was ready for travel on the interior, buckled myself in, and started the engine. I gave it a minute to get oil flowing through the engine and start to build air pressure and then switched it to high idle to finish airing up the suspension and brake systems. I switched the suspension system from Level Low mode to driving mode, pulled the tag axles up, let the suspension come back up to ride height, and slowly pulled out. (Lifting the tag tires off the ground helps the bus make slow tight turns like the 180 degree turn to pull out of our pull-through driveway and into the street pointed in the right direction to get out to the main road.) I stopped in the street to lower the tag axles, let the suspension readjust to ride height, and was finally on my way. (The bus is not supposed to be moving when the tag axles are raised or lowered.) The dashboard clock turned 12:00 when I was half way down our street. That’s the departure drill. The morning turned out to be busier than I would have liked, but that was pretty good time management, I would say.
It had rained hard around midnight and there was a heavy cloud layer all morning with occasional mist, so it was a cool, damp morning. I took my usual route north on Hacker Road to M-59 west to I-96 west to the southwest corner of Lansing where I picked up I-69 south. I stayed on I-69 into Indiana where I picked up US-20 west. I always enjoy the drive across this stretch of US-20; it’s a 2-lane highway posted at 55 MPH (except through towns) and is hilly from I-69 west to the Elkhart area. It is not unusual to see Amish buggies along this route but they were out in force today from Lagrange to Middlebury. There was also road construction along the way so it was a slightly trickier and slower drive than normal.
I exited US-20 onto US-31 southbound and was immediately routed onto a new section of highway. I have seen stretches of this highway under construction on trips to Twelve Mile Indiana over the last couple of years but this was the first time I had driven on it. The road I used to take is now “Old US-31.” The new highway rejoined the old highway near Plymouth, Indiana. From this point south to Kokomo US-31 has long been a four lane divided highway, but not limited access. At the point of rejoining one side was closed with traffic routed on the other side, making a 2-lane construction zone. In spite of that I was able to keep rolling and made good time. I was out of the construction quickly enough.
Once the highway made the turn back to the south near Rochester I was in the home stretch. Another 10 miles and I saw the familiar communications towers that tell me to look for the barn on the east side of the highway at SR-16. I made the turn onto SR-16 westbound and another 7 miles brought me to the heart of downtown Twelve Mile, Indiana where Butch and Fonda’s home and business are located. (Twelve Mile, Indiana is 12 miles from Rochester, 12 Miles from Logansport, and 12 miles from Peru, thus the name.) I pulled into the driveway for the grain elevator across the street from their parking area, let the engine idle for a few minutes to cool down and stabilize, and shut it down while I unhooked and parked the car.
Butch and Fonda had gotten home from a day of errands and family visits just before I arrived. They unloaded groceries while I attended to my car. Butch then served as spotter while I backed across SR-16 into their lot and got me parked next to their bus. As parked, the coach was level side-to-side but low in the front. I switched the suspension to Level Low, raised the front end, and shut off the engine.
I use their spare bedroom when I am here, so I unloaded clothing and technology items and took them inside. I left all of my food onboard the bus, however, as I prepare my own (vegan) meals and usually eat breakfast and lunch in the coach by myself (if I even have lunch). I try to prepare dinner and bring it in the house to eat with them if the timing works out, but tonight it did not. They had a large, late lunch and I had a small, light breakfast and a handful of pretzel nibblers and peanuts (literally) for lunch. Linda sent a lot of food with me for such a short trip, so I had a green salad and a hummus sandwich for dinner after which I settled in to visit for the evening. My iPad remembered how to connect to their Wi-Fi and I got my ASUS laptop connected as well. This is the first time the laptop has been to there place and only the second time it’s been out of the house since I bought it.
It was a bit strange seeing the place somewhat emptied out although there is still a lot of stuff there. I was surprised at what the company in Nevada did not take, but Butch and Fonda both explained that the buyer had taken the stuff they were most likely to sell, had space to store, and could afford to ship 2,000 miles to Nevada. Some remaining items with unique value may be sold but much of the remaining inventory will be sold as scrap. Things are a bit chaotic at the moment as they had to move a lot of stuff to get to other stuff and are now going through their stuff trying to figure out what stuff to get rid of and how to get rid of it. They are working towards being full-timers, so they have a big task ahead of them.