As promised, I’ll share our return trip back to Pure Michigan from Omaha. It’s great to get away from the everyday grind and enjoy some downtime, but for me, it’s even better to get back home to your own bed and the daily routine. Call me crazy, but I’ve never enjoyed being away from home for more than one week.
Now, let’s get back home. The Lions Forum wrapped up Saturday evening. After saying our “Good Byes”, we returned to our campground and did a little preliminary packing up, then went to bed so that we would be rested for the next day’s journey to Rock Island, Illinois.
We broke camp at 8:30 AM, then drove three or four hours before stopping for breakfast. We also wanted to find a Shell gas station before they disappeared. They are hard to find in Iowa, unlike the Kum and Go stations, which are located at almost every exit. We stayed on I-80 all the way, which means that we had to deal with road construction about every twenty miles. I hate road construction, but the end result is always worth the headaches.
When we stopped for breakfast, I was the only one who ventured in to the cafe. My wife can get by with just coffee, but I need to consume something that had parents, so the corned beef hash and eggs fit the bill. Eating breakfast by myself gave me the opportunity to people watch. Even though it was Sunday, there were still some patrons who were regulars, and it’s always fun to watch how they interact with the servers and each other. Because it was Sunday, I had the opportunity to watch two football games at the same time. There were two high definition televisions with separate games being televised, so everyone was happy. Even the cook came out every few minutes to get caught up on the action.
Before crossing the Mississippi River into Illinois, we stopped for supper at the I-80 Truck Stop. In case I didn’t mention it before, if you ever have the opportunity to visit this truck stop, please do so. There’s so much to see and do. The food is good and the bathrooms are clean.
We spent our final night on the road at the same KOA campground we stayed at on our way west. Since it was Sunday evening, the campground was quiet, so we were able to get a restful night’s sleep. After all, the next day meant dealing with the traffic around Chicago.
Monday and the Chicago experience went well. We timed it so that we passed through on I-80 around noon. There were still a few backups, but if you drive offensively, you have no problem.
This adventure was fun. We enjoyed the company of around two thousand other Lions, and we enjoyed the open country of Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska, but probably the highlight of the return trip for me was seeing the sign “Welcome to Pure Michigan”.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman