Updated: Jul 17, 2019
Day 10: Ann Arbor to Bourbonnais, Illinois JJ and I rose early the next morning, and borrowed Auntie's vehicle for the easy drive to the Detroit Air Port. JJ embarked on his advanced scouting and recovery expedition to Rochester, and I returned to Auntie's house to see to breakfast with the rest of the crew.
Molly, Megan and the Captain had their first full night of proper sleep in days. They awoke well-rested at Auntie's house in Ann Arbor, and Molly, Megan and I prepared a breakfast of blueberry pancakes, chicken-apple sausage and eggs. The Captain set himself to verifying which RV repair shop would be best for our needs. It is lucky that he got the sleep he needed, for his countenance clearly showed the full stress of the Chicago Fiasco had fallen upon him simply with the task at hand.
Auntie went about her Monday morning workday from the back patio, and joined us at breakfast between meetings. We said our very grateful goodbyes at 1100 hours, and headed back to the Tour Loaf's location in Chicago.
We were by this time experts in the estimated timing of hailing a tow truck. We knew the sequence of events would be:
call AAA: they will give you an estimated time of arrival about an hour in the future
one hour later, they will call you, ask for more details, and give you a new arrival time an hour further in the future
one more hour after this, they will call you, ask for still further details, and give you a third arrival time
Our timing was impeccable. We called once we were well out of Ann Arbor but still a few hours from Chicago, and fielded all calls from AAA en route. Megan and Molly exhibited some unease at the original estimates from AAA, since they indicated the tow truck would arrive well before us. The Captain and I, however, bolstered by our original experience waiting on the highway shoulder for five hours, did not share in this anxiety. By the time we arrived at the RV, we needed wait less than one hour for the heavy hauler to meet us. It arrived at 1430 hours.
I was not as well-rested as the rest of the crew, having completed the side mission to the Air Port early in the morning. I dozed for most of the drive to Chicago, and took the extra hour to swim in Lake Michigan at the 31st Street Beach, a short walk from the marshaling lot. I felt refreshed after this for our final leg of travel for the day: the 60 mile drive to the chosen repair shop.
We were on the road again by 1600 hours. We made a slight detour into South Chicago to pick up a vegetarian lunch for the four of us. The run-down look of the houses in the neighborhood and the metal bars crossing the windows of many establishments in the neighborhood gave the Captain and I pause, but Megan and Molly went to order us food and we managed our worries in relative silence as we waited. It soon became clear that the restaurant made all their meals from scratch, which bade well for our appetites, but not for the Captain's desire to meet the tow truck at the repair shop. Tension was high by the time Megan and Molly returned to the car, but Megan had anticipated it, and the first words out of her mouth were navigational directions rather than conversation. The Captain's anxiety simmered down as we continued toward the repair shop in Bourbonnais, Illinois. We enlisted the help of Janelle, the miraculous Apple concierge, once more to reserve a few nights at the Comfort Inn, since we did not know how many days would be required to make the necessary repairs (we had yet to have a diagnosis). She also assisted us by renting a smaller vehicle to replace our gear-hauling SUV, for the duration of the RV repairs.
We received communication that the Tour Loaf had been delivered to the repair shop, Phillips Chevy dealership and RV repair, to be investigated the following morning. After unloading at the hotel, Megan and the Captain went to trade out the rental cars, Molly used the fitness center for her calisthenics and washed her laundry, and Megan made phone calls in the lobby. I was unaware of most of the goings on for the evening: I began napping almost as soon as we entered the hotel room, and only awoke for a brief time later in the evening before sleeping for the rest of the night.