We had a frenzy of one nighters in Indiana! Our fist night was spent at Indiana Dunes State Park on the southern shore of Lake Michigan.
Indiana Dunes is the most visited state park in Indiana and it surely qualified the night we were there!
When we traveled in the area last year we were disappointed at how little public access there was because so much lakeside property is privately owned. This time our campground was within walking distance.
The next day we went to the MorRyde factory in Elkhart. This factory was the reason we embarked on this 5 week jaunt across country in the muggy and busy summer! We have had axle alignment issues on our trailer for years and have been chewing through tires. Randy was convinced that installing an independent suspension system would solve our problem.
He was reluctant to put on new tires before the installation so we came across country on poor tires. He rotated in the spare in Wyoming and our Tire Pressure Monitoring System chose these past two weeks to stop working. There were some anxious moments as we rolled along the horrible roads in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. He kept telling me we would get there and, thankfully, he was right.
At 6:00 the next morning the transition from Dexter axles to a MorRyde independent suspension began.
We drove two hours south to Indianapolis and spent the day and night with our friend Rosa. It was wonderful to see her! How do we know so many people in the midwest?
When we arrived back in Elkhart the new suspension system was installed and being aligned. Our new G-rated tires were in place. The technician told Randy that he and his partner’s eyes really popped when one of our old tires came apart when he tried to take it off the rim. They had not seen that happen before. We just BARELY got there!
The installer also told us he could see what the problem had been with our axles. Someone had bent them by raising the trailer on the axle tubes. A huge mistake. It likely happened replacing our first set of tires or having our bearings packed as we had continual problems after that. Randy was not pleased that four supposedly reputable alignment shops could not determine that the bent axles were the problem.
At any rate, it took 2500 miles, two weeks of travel, and two days of work but we were ready to roll! Randy was very pleased with the process and the installation. He could immediately feel the difference in how the trailer responded.
At our first stop, Randy found rubbing on one of the cosmetic fenders caused by the very slight difference in suspension height. He trimmed it to allow more room as the suspension accommodates the road. Easily resolved.
We started our three week trek home by driving 120 miles southwest to Indiana’s newest state park, Prophetstown. It is a very lovely state park in the Indiana grasslands with a nice campground, waterpark, bike trails, small scale working farm and an Indian village.
Prophetstown was named for an Indian settlement that was here from 1808 – 1811. Shawnee leader Tekumseh and his brother the “prophet” organized a confederation of tribes intent on stopping western expansion.
William Henry Harrison, Governor of the Indiana Territory, recognized the danger of Tecumseh’s plan. He brought troops to the area and the Battle of Tippecanoe took place on November 7, 1811. Thirty-seven soldiers and an unknown number of Indians were killed in the battle. The next day Prophets town was raided and destroyed.
One of the soldier combatants, John Tipton, acquired the battlefield land in 1829 and donated it to the state of Indiana in 1836. The constitution of the state includes a mandate to enclose and preserve the Tippecanoe battlefield.
There is a monument to William Henry Harrison and soldiers as well as headstones for the officers.
Known by the name Old Tippecanoe, William Henry Harrison ran for president in 1840. His running mate was John Tyler and that familiar slogan was coined!
Harrison was elected the ninth President of the United States defeating incumbent Martin VanBuren. After serving only 30 days, Harrison became the first president to die in office.
After only five days we leave Indiana tomorrow. This afternoon we ate lunch at White Castle, a familiar but unknown entity for us westerners!
We tried a combination of beef, chicken, and chicken-waffle sliders. The french fries and the chicken-waffle were really good! The rest was unremarkable, perhaps an acquired taste. But what do we know?