Expedition Day 1: Leaving the Nest

After a morning of packing the camper and a tearful goodbye to Ma and Pa LaBoube, we finally set off on our expedition! First stop: Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. 

Our workhorse, a 2014 VW diesel Golf TDI, worked like a champ. We encountered what we expect to be some of the worst winds we'll experience on this trip and still managed 17-18 MPG towing just under 2,000 pounds. In more favorable conditions we averaged 21-22 MPG going 55-60 MPH in the flats of mid-Illinois. There's room for improvement, though.

We've got some good news for Chicagoland on the status of summer because not only do the trees in this part of the state have leaves, they are also blossoming and we saw dandelions! 

We discovered that, in addition to tons of music, Spotify also has audio books and educational materials, so we learned Chinese and listened to some classic Sherlock Holmes. 

Hello from Shawnee!


  1. So excited for your first day. Have a wonderful Birthday. We are thinking of you.


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