May 15. Trouble out the gate.

Day two approximate route

Location: Morning: N 39.02475, W 86.31505 Evening: N 39.38859, W 90.94822

Hoosier National Forest to the Mississippi River. Woke up and got everything situated for the drive. Started the truck up and thought I heard a sound that wasn’t there the day before. Looked under the hood and the belts and fans were working ok. Thought maybe I’m just being paranoid. Started to pull out of the camp site and as soon as I turned the steering wheel I felt the power steering struggle and then got a check engine light and 2 other warning lights. Great didn’t even make it more than one state away. Got back out and checked again and the fluid was low in the power steering pump. Thought no problem I have some of that. Opened up both roof top boxes and no power steering fluid. Could have sworn I bought some. A guy on motorcycle saw me with my hood up and asked if I needed a jump. Said nope just power steering fluid is there a gas station close by? Closest one was 16 miles. Luckily it was almost a straight line to it. This was also the first place I had zero cell reception. That would become a recurring problem for the next 3 months. Made it to the gas station and added the fluid. Used my OBD2 reader to check the error codes and it wasn’t anything critical just an emissions error. Cleared the codes and they didn’t come back on the rest of the day’s drive, knock on wood that took care of everything. I did see a slow leak in a power steering hose I need to fix but as long as I have fluid handy I can wait to fix that when I have a down day.

Waiting on a barge on the Illinois River

Rest of the drive was boring and uneventful. Once I made it to the camp site at the O’Neill Army Corp of Engineer’s campground along the Mississippi River I found a spot real easy since I was the only one there. Well, there was a barge pulled up next to the bank and a couple people were there talking to the crew. After a couple hours the barge pulled out and I had the place to myself the rest of the night. It had clouded over in the afternoon so I didn’t think I would be able to get any eclipse photos but it started breaking up after dusk and for most of the eclipse it would pop in and out of the clouds. Managed to get a few shots of it. Side note; I’m pretty sure I heard Bigfoot or the Boggy Creek Monster in the stand of woods behind the campground. Either that or the world’s clumsiest deer. No raccoon or squirrel could make that much noise.