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North American Loop, August 5 - November 10 2006

This was our fourth major fall trip. The map at the right shows our path. Primary destination/focal point was Eastern Pennsylvania.
We started the trip in a leisurely fashion, heading up the coast to Bandon, Oregon, for a couple of days, then over to Coburg, Oregon, where we met with friends and then took the motor home in for service, at Cummins Northwest, across the street from the factory where the coach was built. We needed annual service on the engine and generator, and biannual service on the transmission.
Since nothing was running badly we were very surprised to learn, over the space of several days, that we had an unrepairable leaky radiator, a cracked exhaust manifold, and a turbo going bad! Overall it took 11 days and considerable $$ to get out of Coburg and actually start the trip. We did get up to Salem to visit friends on a weekend, and also had to spend two nights in a Motel 6 when the coach was not accessible. Everyone who travels in an RV should have to motel it occasionally to remind them why they prefer an RV!
A covered bridge east of Salem
A waterfall in Silverton Falls State Park
Another Silverton Falls waterfall
One consolation is that there are a lot of geocaches in the Eugene-Springfield area, so we had something to do most days. Saw a lot of the area. The picture at right is of the Cummins and Monaco facilities, taken from the top of Mt Tom. Long telephoto, so we were a lot higher and farther away than it appears. It took us awhile to find a road in, which was from the other side in the Mohawk River valley - there were several caches on the way up, and one at the top.
When we finally left Coburg we decided to scrap our original plans of traveling north to Edmonton before heading east, since we were getting somewhat behind on time. We went east from Eugene to Bend, then across Oregon through Burns to Boise Idaho. We did a freeway stretch from Boise through Pocatello and then up to Great Falls, Montana, where we left the interstates again and crossed Montana and North Dakota on US 2. We stopped 2 nights in Great Falls, one in Malta, 2 in Minot, ND, and 2 more at Turtle River State Park just west of Grand Forks.
Holly swims in the Snake at Declo, Idaho
Scandinavian Heritage Park, Minot, ND
Geocaching in Turtle River State Park, ND
Sammy enjoying an evening walk at Turtle River
Since we didn't want to be on the road over the Labor Day weekend, we stayed 5 days outside of Duluth, Minnesota. This gave us a lot of time to explore the area. Also did a lot of geocaching - lots of active caches in the Duluth area that were quite interesting.
An upside down tree near Duluth
Chair lift on a hill in Duluth, MN
Duluth, MN
Holly swims in Lake Superior near Duluth
Lighthouse at Two Harbors, MN
Ore docks in Two Harbors, MN
Locomotive at Two Harbors, MN
From Duluth we continued east on US 2 across northern Wisconsin into the Michigan Upper Peninsula. As 2 angles southeast from there, we left it at Wakefield and followed state routes toward Marquette. We stayed a few days in Ishpeming, and explored the area between there and Marquette. The courthouse in Marquette was used for the filming of the 1959 classic Anatomy of a Murder.
Waterfall on the Michigan UP
Courthouse in Marquette, MI
On the beach near Marquette, MI
Continuing east on the shores of Lake Superior, we stayed a couple of nights at a campground at the Indian casino in Brimley, from which base we explored Sault Ste Marie a bit. Unfortunately the weather was generally miserable while we were there, so we cut our visit short and started south, crossing the Mackinac bridge into the Lower Peninsula.
Lighthouse on Lake Superior
An ore ship passes the locks at Sault Ste Marie
The Mackinac Bridge
After a few days traveling down the west side of Michigan, generally plagued with rain, we stopped for a few days in Elkhart, Indiana.

Joy's father was born in Elkhart, and we decided to do some spur-of-the-moment genealogy. We found that there was a Langle Park in downtown Elkhart, and with the excellent assistance of a reference librarian at the Public Library we were able to determine that it was named after Joy's uncle Donald. Further digging produced obituaries for several family members, and the location of their graves.

We visited the gravesite, and later made up a web page for other family members to see the results of our impromptu investigations.
Joy's grandfather's grave in Elkhart, IN
Joy's grandmother's grave in Elkhart, IN
We had planned to stay a few days near Akron, Ohio, but the stay was extended for several more days when our transmission cooler sprung a serious leak. That was eventually fixed at a Cummins shop in Cleveland after Cummins in Coburg, Oregon sent out our old one, which had been replaced in the earlier bout of repairs there!

We had some time to explore the Cuyahoga valley and some of the countryside.
A lock on the Ohio and Erie Canal
A quilt in a shop in Strasburg, PA
Finally we made it to our primary destination on September 22nd. We stayed a couple of days in Kutztown, then 8 days in Intercourse. We visited a number of quilt shops and a lot of the other attractions in Amish country.
National Toy Train Museum, Strasburg, PA
"World's largest Pet Shop" Lancaster, PA
Camped next to an Amish farm in Intercourse, PA
We spent one day in Philadelphia, visiting Independence hall and surrounding landmarks.
Liberty Bell
Independence Hall
Independence Hall
Gettysburg battlefield
A couple of days at Gettysburg. We followed an "audio tour" that took us throughout the battlefield and gave a good sense of the battles.
Mississippi monument at Gettysburg
Site of the Gettysburg Address
Gettysburg National Cemetary
Now it was time to head for Texas and the Datastorm rally in Kerrville. Lots of short stops on the way, and we spent one day on the Blue Ridge parkway.
Rock Castle Gorge on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Don and Jade Smucker's hangar at San Angelo
A couple of days were spent visiting our friends Don and Jade Smucker in San Angelo.
We got a little geocaching done at the rally, including one that was at this scale-model Stonehenge.
Stonehenge replica near Kerrville
Geocaching above Sedona, with Joy's sister Carol
Our final stop before heading home was our usual one in Sedona, visiting Joy's sister Carol. We took her out geocaching, which lead to some good hiking in the redrock country.

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