Day 46: Interstate Tour 2018
With 569 miles between Altoona, Pennsylvania and Evart, Michigan, I topped off groceries at Walmart and then hit the road, taking PA S.R. 22 as a connector to The Pennsylvania Turnpike. My old motorhome, Rita, was not a fan of this drive, with its steep grades and battered right lane. Passing through Breezewood, an unusual little town that was actually built as a tourist trap, I recalled my radiator blowing up in July of 2011 and I had to spend a week at a repair shop on the main drag (the building has been converted into a truck wash.)
Imua, however, rolls up the hills the same way she rolls down them; with great enthusiasm.
Back into Ohio and a switch to I-80 and the Ohio Turnpike westbound to Toledo and then northbound into Michigan via S.R. 23 and I-75, which runs clear all the way down to Tampa, Florida.
While driving I-75 in Citrus County, you get your first sign for Bronner's Christmas Wonderland (only 1,125 miles away!) and, if you stay on I-75 all the way through, you'll get a lot more signs urging you to visit Frankenmuth. It's a cute little town with a Bavarian theme, reminiscent of Helen, Georgia or Solvang, California, with more cheese and sausage shops than anything else.
So, I took a slight detour and went over there to see what the place was all about and it's completely and utterly insane. Quite simply, I've never seen this much Christmas booty in one place. They've got themed sections for colors, countries and interests - nativity displays, trees, specially designed wreaths, all dazzlingly displayed inside of a 7-acre building. 7 acres!
I might pop back by on the way south and get some more images and perhaps pick something up for the house. There wasn't enough time to gawk at everything today and I still needed to drive about 90 minutes to the Osceola County Fairgrounds and get set up in my usual campsite behind the lower vendor barn.
I drove the rest of the way, into the sun, gassed-up and grabbed some adult libations (that Bud Light Orange is pretty good and the folks at the gas station were raving about it. Who knew?) before arriving at the fairgrounds, doing the septic dump and cruising over to my site. The place is already packed out with recreational vehicles as some folks have been arriving for weeks.
Once everything was leveled up, slid-out, secured, unpacked and cracked, I set the alarm for an early bike ride and did a little admin in prep for the week. The ODPC Funfest would start on Thursday, but I'd start teaching three 2-hour mountain dulcimer sessions per day beginning tomorrow.
Here we go!