This Chipmunk Adventure Heads South

Southbound to warmth and sunshine

After a great visit with my friend Cush and his beautiful daughters Molly and Maggie I turned my van south. Driving down Hwy I57 to the end of Illinois. Ok so I have never driven the length of Illinois only across. It is a long state. I left on Thanksgiving, which I completely forgot about because ours is in early October so the traffic was not bad. Of course I left a little later than planned but it was so worth it. At the very bottom of Illinois is a town called Metropolis. Home of Superman. That would be my first destination of this Southern Chipmunk Adventure. GPS said six hours. Chipmunk time would be the next day.

As I drove south the wind began to pick up. It was a nice day but as I got to the open fields I was fighting to keep my wheels straight. Night time also comes early at this time of year and you know my rule about being parked before dark. No hitting of animals!!! In Illinois, at least in the southern end you can spend the night at the rest stops. I pulled in and made myself a coffee and settled in. It was a rocking but quiet night. I do not have my van completely set up for those north winds so it was a might chilly that night. The furnace would come on often but I was not worried. I had lots of battery and lots of propane. Snuggled in for that night I did not know the trouble I was going to cause myself. The battery would last, the propane? Well you will see.

Rising to a beautiful day the next morning I made coffee, made sure all cabinets were closed and I was ready to move, turned on the radio and down the road I went. It was going to be a travelling good day. 3 hours to Superman. Longer in Chipmunk time.

About 4 hours later in Marion Illinois I had to stop for gas and Cracker Barrel because yes I will admit I am a Cracker Barrel addict, when I heard a noise coming from the back as I shut everything off. What is that?? My eyes widened as I realized it was my furnace!!! Oh no!! It had been running steady for 4 hours! It was toasty back there but not for long because my 3/4 full tank of propane was now empty! OMG! Now I have to find a propane fill that has a vehicle fueling nozzle. I cannot even make coffee!! Oh not cool. Sticky note needed!! Lol!

I called a local RV place called Gander RV to see if they knew a place I could get propane and as luck would have it they have it on site. Come on over and we can help you out. Oh awesome! Problem solved.

But wait…that problem maybe, but when I walked around the back of the van I noticed a hose hanging. What was that? Getting partially under I could see it looked like a propane hose that went to nowhere. That I could see. What do I do when I go Ummmm with the van? I call Tom. He agreed it was a hose going nowhere and was put there for the on board generator that I wish I had. Lol! Pheww. Ok no big deal. I will stop and grab some automotive ties and tie it back up.

Now laying under my dirty van in a parking lot was certainly not on my to do list for today but what must be done, must be done. I stop at Walmart and grab some ties, out to the parking lot to tie it up, it will not take me long.

As I am laying under the van in the parking lot trying to delicately put the tie around the hose and the wires without knocking the dirt onto my face, a gentleman comes along and asks me if I need a hand. He startled me as I did not see him coming, I jumped and the back of my hand slammed into the bottom of the dirty van cutting it and raining a pile of road yuck on me. I politely said no and thanked him. I did not even swear when I cut my hand. I am so proud of me sometimes.

The tie in place I set off to fill with propane and I am back on the road. Still an hour away and the sun is setting fast. By the time I reach Metropolis area it was dark. A Walmart was just on the other side of the bridge in Kentucky, I would stay there for the night. Superman would have to wait one more night!

Finally after a two day trip that was only six hours on the gps there was Superman! The man of Steel. The Statue is 15 feet tall and weighs three tons. At a cost of $120,000 to build all the funds were donated by the community. Surrounding the statue are bricks with the name of each donor on it. In a town of only 6,700 people, that is as impressive as the statue.

The Man of Steel!

It was a cute little town with a Superman Museum on the corner and a very nice restored car out front. As I walked through the main street little shops and cafes dotted the landscape. All with a Superman theme. I looked at the map of the town and all the attractions were within five minute walk of the statute. 

Metropolis Illinois

Heading towards the kryptonite rock was the farthest hike so I thought I would do that first. It did not feel powerful to me but it was pretty big. Back towards the statue the intersections have curbed walking paths. I was looking at the scenery and fell off the side of the curb and went down hard. Oh Ouch. Where was Superman??? He did not catch me before I hit the ground!! Darn. I guess sometimes you just need to be your own Superhero. Scraping my knee and bruising a few other things I got myself back to the van. That was the end of walking for me that day. Time to head south.


Driving through Kentucky and into Tennessee was a breeze and beautiful. A few stops along the way and some nice conversation with the people I met with that Kentucky, Tennessee accent. Haha! It’s so cute! Just keep talking!

Just past Nashville I saw a sign for The Blair Witch Cave.. Exit 11! Oh Ya! I am in. As I pulled off the exit and pulled over a little way down the road to set my GPS I noticed on Google it was temporarily closed. Ahhh man! I would so like to have done that! The woods were kind of creepy though that’s for sure. Back on the highway.


Now what I needed was a shower. After climbing under the van and even though I washed up I still felt grimey. Not really any campgrounds near me and again darkness was setting in. It would be a hotel treat for me tonight. A Hampton with a hot shower and a Waffle House within walking distance! Bonus!

I have never been to Alabama so I am looking forward to seeing what I can discover there. One thing I must do before I leave Tennessee is visit the Jack Daniel’s Distillery and his grave which is only a two hour drive from where I am now. GPS time! 🙂

That will be for tomorrow and next week’s blog. Stay tuned. There are more Chipmunk Adventures to be had with less injuries I hope!


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