Last Leg… not quite yet.

IMG_1258Yesterday’s marathon journey was interrupted by traffic stops for replenishing groceries, getting lost in gigantic Walmarts looking for odds and ends related to camping (e.g. electricity converter, kneepad for work with hose connections under the belly).  Then crawling through a major car accident outside Cleveland and a rush hour thunderstorm in Toledo, and finally a 4 hour home stretch racing through fair weather at the 70 MPH speed limit, across Chicago for a wonderful midnight reception with an Order of Saint Lazarus confrere and his wonderful family in Algonquin, a suburb 80 km north of the city.




Sylvie inspects this morning’s sun with my OSLJ confrère Col. Ross, DDS.

This morning we departed with excellent directions from our hosts to get ourselves onto the Interstate Freeway through Illinois into Iowa and beyond into the midwestern states, and we promptly entered the westbound lanes, only to find ourselves an hour later in Madison, Wisconsin of Meryl Streep-Clint Eastwood “Bridges” fame. Yeah, that Madison County.  Very romantic.


Which meant another hour’s drive southwest to get back on track followed by loss of cellphone service. Our Canadian provider plugs us into AT&T, which, as it turns out, is mostly blacked out in western Wisconsin. (Reminder to self: Get Verizon next time in Wisconsin).

Which resulted in the following SNAFU which speaks for itself; E-mail received after I hung up on an irate host!

——– Message d’origine ——–
De: Alec Cooper
Date: 18 août 2017 à 22:09:35
Objet: Re : Reservation Cancellation
À: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Dear “xxxxxxx RV Park”,

Please note the following 
1.  We spent two days travelling from Quebec City.  Due to traffic and other problems we were unable to make the mileage we expected.
2.  In the morning we attempted to reserve in the De Moines area, but all campsites were booked, so we decided to press on and make the journey to North Platte.
3.  By the time we decided it was too far, we were out of cellphone service range.  Our Canadian provider, Rogers Telecom has a reciprocal arrangement with AT&T in the USA, but as it was finally explained to us by a kind gas station owner, AT&T didn’t work in Wisconsin.
4.  We started driving south to Iowa and we telephoned you as soon as we got a signal from AT&T on our cellphone.  Unfortunately, the signal was weak and it broke off in the middle of a transaction my wife was making with one of your clerks, trying to give her a credit card number..   As I explained to the clerk, I had lost the credit card in a thunderstorm outside a Walmart, and cancelled it, so I knew you would be unable to recuperate lost funds.  That is why we were trying to give you another credit card number.
5.  After we regained a signal, which took a good 1/2 hour of driving we had decided to request a hold on tomorrow’s reservation, which resulted in our final conversation which I terminated in the middle of an angry diatribe from the male clerk (owner?).
Please rest assured, we have no intent of reserving at your campsite in the future.  Nevertheless I still wish to honour the fee for the late cancellation.
I will send your cancellation fee to your hotmail address by paypal tomorrow morning.  
I hope you will not besmirch my good name over this, as there is still a chance that we will be pushing on to your neck of the woods to meet friends on Monday.
E Alexander Cooper, MD

Le 18/08/17 à 19:57, xxxxxxxxxx <> a écrit :

Your reservation for tonight has been cancelled;  Thanks for letting us know at 6:30 pm, not having your same valid credit card and hanging up on me when you knew we were going to charge you for one night ($35.00) I tried to call you back with no response.  We will let our other campgrounds in Nebraska know about your lack of character.  DON’T EVER CONTACT US AGAIN FOR A RESERVATION, YOU ARE NOT WELCOME.

xxxxx  RV Park

North Platte, NE


There have been locals on facebook pages who are (understandably) apprehensive about hoards of aliens arriving to upset their clean and orderly country life for a 2 minute eclipse… but I am confident in  dealings I have heretofore enjoyed with the local landowner family who are renting us some prime eclipse viewing land for the day.

Anyway, as far as today goes, we ended up packing it all in at 19h30 in Rock Island, Illinois.  We’re going to give it another try in the morning.   Finally booked us online at Comfort Inn, North Platte tomorrow night before the short drive into the zone of totality to set up my porta-privy observatory on Monday.  Sylvie deserves that!

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