Breaking Away (Leaving Indiana)
Thursday, May 6th, 1999
After a year and a half of planning and preparation, we finally departed from Evansville (Below right, pulling away from the log home in southern Indiana). Delayed by a day as a storm front swept through, we decided to hold off beginning our adventure. It blew and rained, but we sat securely in the driveway of our sold, empty house. We were able to do a little work at the computers and continue organizing space in the new home on wheels.
We are still a little crammed in with extra boxes and belongings; however some will be dropped off in Illinois and others in Kansas. Some items will be organized and weeded as we proceed westward.
We also are carrying print and promotional material for our publishing and staff development businesses. As we use these up, we plan to adopt a more 'just-in-time' production policy and not maintain a large stock of inventory. Other full-timers have told us that this 'paring-down' process continues for another six to twelve months into our first year of full-timing. We'll get there. 
Today's drive was under three hours, northwest to Lithia Springs Campground at Lake Shelbyville, IL. We arrived in the afternoon, found our campsite under the trees, backed in and setup. It seemed remarkable that the first people that we talked to at this campground, on our first day of full-timing, were fellow Escapees (full-timing Rvers), David and Linda Mirenic.They were out for an evening walk and stopped to visit. Dave and Linda were at the park to work as gate attendants for 4 months over the summer. We believe they said it was their fourth year, and they had become very familiar with the area. They told us about the 'Boomer' group within Escapees and later dropped off some of the newsletters. It looks like this is a group for us.
Saturday, May 8th
We were in central Illinois to visit Larry's parents who live about eight miles south of the campground in Clarksburg, IL. Larry's hometown of Findlay is nearby. But mainly, we came to see daughter Brooke, graduate Saturday morning from Eastern Illinois University with her degree in English and a technical writing emphasis with her minor study in Spanish. The picture on the right shows Larry, Brooke, and Pam, Brooke's mother. We're all very proud of her.
Brooke has edited our last two books and helped to greatly improve the published products. She is working this summer in her hometown of Charleston, IL and is considering completing a masters program in Journalism at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Saturday evening the Johnson clan (parents, two brothers and sister along with their families) gathered at our campsite for an evening cookout and lots of visiting. The kids played hard, the parents gabbed and caught up on the family doings, even got in a card game or two (On the left; Larry, Annette, and Larry's parents, Sylvester and Lillian) - - well into the night.
Sunday, May 9th

Son Benjamin drove from Charleston, IL and arrived for a late lunch. Here (to the right) he is trying on his new hiking boots. Afterwards we took a short hike around the lake and made plans for his joining us for a few weeks of vacation later this summer. We all visited his grandparents later that afternoon.

The campground at Lithia Springs is excellent. It contains lots of campsites with large spaces and trees and 30 amp. electrical hookups. There's no water, sewer, cable or pull-throughs, but the campground does have a dumpsite and water fill location, so extended stays can be managed. As of this spring, you can now reserve your campsite by phone or online.Because of the close proximity to relatives, I'm sure that we will be back. Maybe we will get to visit again with Boomers, Dave and Linda.

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99.
Updated, 5/99.
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