So, our final day here in deepest Ohio. The weather's been good; warm and sunny, if a little cold at night, so no complaints there, and getting warmer each day. Even though we've not availed ourselves of the campground's facilities, I have to say that it's been a very good place to stay. Our site was on the lake, our neighbours were all pretty friendly and the services provided have been good. It's not really near anywhere, here, so other than for locals escaping the city or people like us have a need to be in Columbus, there's not much in the way of a reason to be here. It's the kind of place that we'd come back to, if we had a reason to be in the area.
Packing up went quite well, other than the process of dumping our waste holding tanks takes a little longer when using our handy-dandy "Sewer Solution" (Here's an eight minute video, if you're interested). It's a good system and works well for us as our waste valve is really low down and most sewer connections at campgrounds end up being sited higher than we are; pooh won't flow uphill so you have to have an alternative! This system will flow uphill, with the aid of the water feed, and can go some distance, too. It can also be used to flush the tanks out, so all in all it's pretty good way to do things, albeit that it's a little slower than a standard, gravity aided dump. But, even with the slow-poke Sewer Solution, we were all packed and ready to roll with a couple of hours to spare before official check-out time.
On the drive in when we arrived on Tuesday, I'd missed a turning notified by the SatNav; it was quite close to the campground so my failure wasn't a problem as the machine calculated a new route without us having to turn around. However, when we were going into Columbus on Wednesday, without Towed Haul, the SatNav took us down that same road that I'd missed before and it took us over a delightful, wooden, covered bridge. Very pretty except that the available headroom on the bridge was only 8'6" and the Airstream is 10' high - it was a good job I missed that turning on the way in! So, on this trip home, I ignored the SatNav instructions and avoided Chambers Road, not wishing to either damage a covered bridge or loose our air conditioner from the roof of the trailer!
The run up to Findlay and Interstate 75 was fine, just a few roadworks and very little traffic. Once on the main road to Detroit, though, it was an absolute nightmare. It wasn't that we were getting held up, but the entire section from Findlay to Toledo was under repair; that's 47 miles of cones, narrow lanes, speeding trucks and very bumpy roads. It was the same on the way down but somehow seemed worse on the way back. Around Toledo wasn't much better; urban motorways in the US are a bit scary at the best of times but many of the Bridges through Toledo are being replaced so it was a good 15 miles of construction sites to negotiate there. It's quite hard work navigating and towing a two and a half ton Airstream under those conditions so it was a welcome relief to stop at big Meijer's store on the Ohio/Michigan border for a rest and some lunch. We had planned to stop before getting to Toledo but the road construction and the forest of cones meant we couldn't turn off the I75 where we wanted to, but this break in the driving worked well for us; the parking lot was big and sparsely populated and there was a gas station there, too.
There's something immensely enjoyable about getting out of your car and into your own, private space when you're on a long trip. We had sandwiches from the fridge, cold drinks and, of course, a nice toilet at our disposal. Sometimes the towing thing can get irksome, but when you arrive at a big parking lot like that where there's plenty of space to stop, you can make full use of your private lunch area.
Gassed up and heading north again, the last leg up to Detroit went quite quickly, albeit that Michigan's roads are diabolical. It was a bit slow getting off the Interstate to get on the Bridge To Canada but in no time we were high above the Detroit River, $12.50CDN lighter for the privilege, and heading for Canadian customs. Me being me I managed to pick a line the that stopped dead whilst the officer in the booth clocked off and his or her replacement didn't show. We had to do a mid-queue line swap, with Mrs T negotiating with another driver so that we could change lanes. But, a few cursory questions from the border guard, and a passport check later and we were back in Canada and heading home.
All in all, that was a good trip. Road construction was a nightmare and made the drive much less enjoyable than it should have been, drivers in the US go way too fast, especially through construction zones and Michigan roads are a disgrace. On the plus side, though, Columbus was a pleasant and very clean city, both downtown and in the suburbs, and rural Ohio was most peaceful. It wasn't a big, long trip, either, with us getting home in around five hours, even with the stops.
The Toadmobile performed well, with the higher octane gas returning 17.6 litres per hundred kilometres, which in old money is 13.4 miles to the US gallon, or 16.1 miles to the Imperial gallon. Good figures and consistent, especially as that's just about identical to the fuel consumption on our last run out to Alliston.
I'm not sure when our next expedition will be but I think it'll be a weekend after the schools have started again. Still, that gives us time to clean Towed Haul up again, and will give us something to look forward to once work starts up again.
Until next time, happy travels!
Mr Toad - Airstreamer
The Old Blog