Tolls and Trains

Trip Start Nov 15, 2011
Trip End Nov 14, 2012

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Where I stayed
Chicago NW KOA

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Sunday, June 24, 2012

We left Bremen early yesterday morning, to avoid any further interaction with the campground staff.  Pla-Mor was a reasonably nice site, very large, but over half empty, probably due to the staff.  We had a large pull-through site, and while we were getting parked two members of staff arrived to tell us how and where we should put the trailer - not where we wanted it.  Later in the day they 'assisted' a very able driver to back his trailer.  He had already parked but they said he had to go further back, which he did under their instruction, hit an obstacle, and damaged his trailer!

We decided to use the I-90 to go through Chicago to Union to our next stop.  Unfortunately the I-90 is a toll road and it cost us $25 in tolls, but we did get to drive the Chicago Skyway.  Seeing the skyline is as close as we are going to get to Chicago, for us it proved far too difficult and expensive to drive into the city.

Due to our early start, and the fact that crossing the state line into Illinois meant we gained an hour, we arrived at our next campground at 10am.  We quickly set up and decided we'd go right away to visit the Illinois Railway Museum, the reason we are in Union. 

The museum is billed as America's largest railway museum.  After seeing Colorado we were a bit sceptical, but in fact Illinois is bigger, and much better laid out.  They had steam trains, diesels, electric cars, trolley and motor buses on display and running.  The electric cars run continuously around the site, and the diesel takes you on a five mile trip along the tracks; you can ride as many times as you like.  They have restored much of the stock and it's displayed in the sheds, but there is still a lot of rusty stock standing outside.  Cliff had a walk around and said it reminded him of Barry Scrapyard in the UK.

The steam workshop is not open to the public, but of course Cliff managed to get a look inside!  We had a great afternoon.

We chose the Chicago KOA because it was close to the museum, normally we wouldn't use a KOA as they are very expensive.  However, what we didn't realise was that the KOA is right next door to Donelley's Wild West Town - a small theme park.  On a Saturday, the rides and activities are open until 10pm so we spent the evening listening to the roller coaster, the pop-pop of guns, and the clanging bell of the train, interspersed with a not very good country singer.

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