Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chicago to Cleveland

We slept surprisingly well in the parking lot off the interstate in Chesterton, Indiana. In the morning we headed to the auto parts store to get supplies to fix the muffler that got broken by the freaking hellish tollway the night before. I'm surprised the whole camper didn't rattle apart on that road. Alex bought what he needed to fix it while I made reservations at Maumee State Park on Lake Erie in Ohio. We drove 195 miles to the park without incident or muffler. We checked in at about 7:00 and found our site. It was a really pretty grassland/wetland area with tons of deer. Trixie loved it! We got to plug in the rig for the first time and use the fridge and microwave; we made lean cuisines or something and ate like kings. That was an awesome night's sleep. In the morning I took Trixie for a nature walk while Alex started trying to pull the broken muffler and exhaust system off the camper.

All he had was a vice grips, nail from a tent, and a hammer that the park ranger was nice enough to lend us. Some other park workers said we couldn't use their angle grinder or any power tools because it would be a liability. Weiners. After several hours and lots of swearing Alex was able to peel the fitting off the old muffler like a can of sardines.

He finished up right before we had to check out, only to find out that the muffler he bought the day before wouldn't fit. So then we drove to Sandusky without a muffler to their Autozone and got another one that didn't fit, but the clerk at the store was awesome and let us borrow a pipe expander and combination wrench to try to make it fit. That was hilarious because you really need a vice and a big extender bar to use that tool. Alex improvised by wedging it under the camper tire and holding it there with his feet while I stood on top of the wrench, then we'd rotate it and repeat. A hundred times. In the Autozone parking lot. But it finally worked! Then we were off to Cleveland.


  1. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!!!! Thank you Rachel! I hope that you saved that muffler, because I would like to buy it for my Crankshaft collection. What a great story! :)

  2. OMG you guys what an adventure and what great the pictures! Good luck! Ronnie & Dave