Monday, 26 September 2011

Sept 20th to 25th Elmira to Chicago

Allegheny Reservoir
This is a very pretty part of the world. Not wild and spectacular like the Maritimes, but more civilized, picturesque, and well maintained. The hills are rolling, and there are lots of lakes, so the road is not straight or boring. We noticed lots of old large cemetaries and realized this area has been inhabited for a long time so they have had a long time to collect bodies. The road passes through rural areas with rolling fields of corn, hay,  and soybeans dotted with little villages of lovely old well maintained houses. As Richard said, each village has it's own character. What amazed us was the size of the lawns! Some of them were at least 3 acres! They were all neatly cut and trimmed with no weeds and very little other landscaping. Not a lot of gardeners here. Just a few foundation plantings around the houses and one or two trees on the lawn. I don't know what they do on the lawns but it must take a lot of time to maintain them.
 We stayed in Ashtabula for the night, and the next morning set off together for the first part of the day. Then at Sandusky we split up, Richard and Linde heading North to Winnepeg while we headed West to Bowling Green for the night. Then on to Deerfield near Chicago to see Mike and Lanky Levy, whom Steve has known since his teen years. And that's a long time.!! Chicago was a nightmare to get through as Deerfield is on the North side, a lot of roads were closed for repairs, and our GPS was acting up. We phoned Garmin once we got to the Levy's to try to upload the updates and after 3 hours on the phone with a tech we realized our unit had packed it in. But what amazing service! Even though the warrentee has expired, they will replace it if we mail it to them and they can return it to a U.S. address.
So we have just spent four lovely days with these great friends, visiting, eating, relaxing, and getting cleaned up and laundry done. Their son, Terry lives with them, so we got to visit with him too. On Friday night their daughter, Angie, her husband, Lance, and their charming grandchildren came for dinner.
Steve was concerned about the handling of the car, and phoned the local car club for contacts. He located a place that could handle old cars and found that they were the Morgan dealer for Illinois. The place was filled with MGs, Triumphs, Healeys and Morgans. We needed another alignment and 16 bolts had to be tightened. The front end was ready to fall off. The roads have been so bad that the car had literally been shaken apart. As well the tires which he had switched from the back  at the last alignment had also been chewed up. Now both back and front tires will need replacing when we get home.
This morning (Monday) rested, clean, and renewed we are setting out on the adventure again, meeting up with Richard and Linde near Mount Rushmore in about 3 days.