Charleroi, Pennsylvania

Day 772

     Charleroi, Pennsylvania is located 21 miles south of Pittsburgh. Charleroi was settled in 1890 by Belgian immigrants, and incorporated in 1891. The city got its name from the Belgian city. 

     Unfortunately, we must return home. Our long term tenant in my house located in Parkville, Maryland has left to buy her own home. We have decided to sell the property, and our presence is required to do repairs and upgrades in preparation of the sale. Charleroi, Pa. puts us in a position to arrive home tomorrow. We did not unhook from the Sphinx, and because of the long distance did not get here until late, so we did no exploring. 

Technical Stuff:

Jerome, Michigan to Charleroi, Pennsylvania: 340.4 miles

6 hours 53 minutes

10.8 MPG

Diesel: $ 3.20

Jerome, Michigan

Day 771

     In 1869 the Detroit, Hillsdale and Indiana Railway right-of-way passed over two pieces of vacant land on the western edge of Somerset Township in Michigan. One piece belonged to Jerome Smith and the other to Mary Begel. Filled with ambition as a result of the importance of railroads at that time, the two planned the village of Jerome so that it straddled their properties and the right-of-way. The railroad established its Jerome station before the plat of the village was even filed.

     We visited with friends in Jerome, who have a lake house there.

     You never know what you will see on the lake.

Technical Stuff:

Goshen, Indiana to Jerome, Michigan: 100.2 miles

2 hours 14 minutes

10.8 MPG

Diesel: $3.20

Goshen, Indiana

Day 762

     We are back in Goshen, Indiana (see day 420), for our second Forest River Owner’s Group rally. This is a relaxing week in which we will meet with fellow RV’ers (1600 of them) who own RV’s from the same manufacturer as ours. We will attend seminars on topics related to the Sphinx, and attend numerous events put on by the manufacturer, including 4 ice-cream socials. 

     Since we are in the heart of Amish Country, we decided to venturer out and learn more about their everyday life and how they lived.

     We visited a carriage maker,

     As well as a coffin maker

     Tidbit of Information: The difference between a cemetery and a graveyard: A graveyard is always attached to a church. Since the Amish do not have churches (they meet in each other’s homes), they only have cemeteries. 

     We went and had dinner and saw a show, after which the actors came on the bus and answered questions.

     Of course, you MUST have ice cream every single day, so we went to an ice cream parlor called “Rocket Science Ice Cream”. 

     They take the ingredients of the ice cream and mix it in a metal bowl,

     then they squirt it with liquid nitrogen to flash freeze it,

     and serve it right to you.

     Barbara thinks it is the best ice cream she has ever eaten. 

Technical Stuff:

Elkhart, Indiana to Goshen, Indiana: 28.6 miles

1 hour 1 minute

9.1 MPG

Diesel: $3.00

Hollywood Casino, Illinois

Day 759

     The Empress Casino opened on June 16, 1992 as a riverboat type casino in Joliet, Illinois. The casino is on barges on the Des Plaines River in Northern Illinois. Supposedly, because of the gaming laws in the State of Illinois, you could not have gambling in the State, but riverboat gambling was permitted. 

     Empress was the only casino in northern Illinois to have an onsite RV park. We are now staying in this park. Penn National Gaming acquired the casino, hotel and RV park in 2005. They own the brand “Hollywood Casino.”

     While undergoing a $50 Million renovation, a fire broke out at around 10 a.m. on March 20, 2009. The fire was caused by a spark from a welder’s torch which ignited grease in one of the kitchens. The subsequent fire spread rapidly. The casino was able to reopen on June 25, 2009 as the Hollywood Casino Joliet.

     We stayed here for two days. I was able to win enough at blackjack to pay for Barbara’s losses, and for all of our expenses while staying here. 

Technical Stuff:

Kellogg, Iowa to Hollywood Casino, Illinois: 262.8 miles

5 hours 7 minutes

11.9 MPG

Diesel: $3.00 

Kellogg, Iowa

Day 757

    The history of the town of Kellogg dates back to 1865 when the Central Rock Island and Pacific Railroad arrived. The Kellogg town site was already familiar to stagecoach travelers as Manning’s Station, so named for the depot and hotel operated by Dan Manning. When the railroad made public their intention of proceeding west, designating this as a station, Dr. A.W. Adair, from Ohio, laid out the town and on September 12, 1865, had it duly recorded in the court house in Newton as Jasper City. Later, the post office was established in the name of Kimball, as a compliment to A. Kimball, Esq., the superintendent of the Iowa Division of the railroad. Mr. Kimball protested against this, insisting that the name be Kellogg, after Judge Abel Avery Kellogg. Thus the town had four names since it’s beginning, eight years earlier. 

     The town of Kellogg was incorporated in 1873 and made a municipality in 1874. 

     Today was the Kellogg Fire Department’s annual slip & slide event.  The whole town showed up. 

     Most of the above history was derived by our tour of the Kellogg Museum. Our guide was 95 year old Mary Parsons. She moved to Kellogg about 40 years ago. I asked her why move to this very small town, she responded “I didn’t know any better”.

     She showed us this unusual “iceless refrigerator”.

     The cabinet, with shelves and a hole in the bottom, was placed over a well, with food placed on the shelves. The shelves were then lowered down the well to just above the waterline, the coolest area around.

     A photograph of Mary, at age five, along side of the iceless refrigerator was displayed.

     Mary’s maiden name was Tough. She told us that her name is Mary Parsons, but she was born Tough.  And, as a spry 95 years old, she proved it. 

Technical Stuff:

Ellendale, Minnesota, to Kellogg, Iowa: 194.4 miles

3 hours 36 minutes

10.4 MPG

Diesel: $3.09