Monday, May 16, 2011

Almost There

Don't feel bad about the tree trivia in my last post -- I didn't do so hot either.  I certainly don't know my trees or my history.    

We made it to St Louis today and to a Winnebago Dealer who is also a Route 66 repair facility.  After speaking with the service manager, he advised us to go on to Branson and seek repairs there, stating it may be more of a problem than we think -- Alan's thinking is it's just the hose, but it could be the hydraulic pump.  Anyway, the service manager stated if parts are needed, it could take two weeks or so to get those parts.  Since we will be sitting in Branson through the summer, it made sense for us to keep going and have the repairs done there. Tonight we are in a little park 170 miles East of Branson -- we should be there tomorrow afternoon.  We're thankful we can maneuver around the motorhome without extending the slides and putting the leveling jacks down -- however, we are a little cramped and want our home back to normal as soon as possible!

Not much else going on...we are ready to get to Branson and start to work! 

Until next time, be safe and God bless!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How Well Do You Know Your Trees

How about a little tree trivia?  1) Do you know what tree is shown on the new Vermont quarter?  2) How about the largest tree species by volume?  3) What about the tree associated with Lebanon?  4) Do you know what tree is known for its knobby knees?  5) This tree is to the South what the lilac is to the North -- what is it?  6) What is the tree Robert Frost talks about in his poem? 7) In England this tree is called a sycamore?  8) Mississippi's state tree is what? 9) What was President Andrew Jackson's nickname?  And 10) Texas state tree is what?  To give you time to think, I'll post the answers at the bottom of this post.
Today has been a laid-back, relaxing kind of day.  We didn't do anything in particular...we did find Wal-Mart.  We visited the Route 66 dealership -- Basden's American RV Center.  We knew none of the service folks would be there, but Alan wanted to talk to the Parts person.  He informed us they could not order parts directly from Winnebago since they are not a Winnebago dealer.  Because it's very possible we may need a particular part, we have now decided to push on tomorrow towards St Louis where there is a Route 66 Winnebago dealer, as well as one on the way in Zeigler, Illinois.  We wish they had told us that when we spoke with them Friday morning, but now we know. 
Today we walked around the campground and took a few pics.  As I stated in yesterday's post, they are upgrading the utilities, thus the holes and piles of dirt.

We are in Site 28.

 The lovely view of the bathhouse out our windshield.

Behind the campground is the 4-H's a lot like a fairground where they have various activities.  Today they were having a demolition derby as a fund raiser for a local children's hospital.

Preparing the dirt for the demolition derby

Cars coming in

The derby wasn't scheduled to begin for another two hours, so we didn't hang around for it.
More baby ducks

We thought the markings of this duck were interesting with the blue patch on the wing.

Answers to the tree trivia:  1) Maple; 2) Sequoia; 3) Cedar; 4) Bald Cypress; 5) Crepe Myrtle; 6) Birch; 7) Maple (again); 8) Magnolia; 9) Hickory; and 10) Pecan. These came from a tree trivia I participated in as part of Arbor Day.  It made me realize that not only do I need to study up on trees, but history as well!

Not a very exciting day, but it was nice to just sit since we have been on the road since Monday.

Hope everyone has a great careful in your travels and remember to make the most of each day as we never know what tomorrow may bring.  God bless!

Friday, May 13, 2011

What Will Happen Next?

After completing this post, I realized it was Friday, the 13th -- that must be why we had such bad luck today, so now I know for sure tomorrow will be better!

It's been very interesting the last 24 hours.  We hated to leave the Spring Lake RV Resort in Crossville, Tennessee -- it was so nice and quiet, but we had to move on.  We decided to bypass the Memphis area all together and head North.  Hindsight being 20-20, that was probably not the best decision, but it is what it is.  Last night, we found ourselves at the Singing Hills RV Park in Cave City, Kentucky.  By the time we arrived, we were both exhausted.  For some reason, I have not been sleeping well -- my brain just will NOT shut down when I lay down.  Tonight I'm taking one of those little nighttime pills 'cause I NEED some good sleep.

As Alan was leveling the Motorhome yesterday, I noticed fluid leaking from the right front leveling was hydraulic fluid -- more on that later.  And the car battery was D-E-A-D.  We've had this problem before -- although we always start the car and run it through the gears when we stop.  Several months ago we purchased a heavy-duty battery, thinking that must be the problem.  Well, here we are on our first long trip this year and it's DEAD!  So out came the battery charger -- again.  By then, it had started raining, so that took care of any picture taking.  First let me say that the folks at Singing Hills are wonderful people and are working hard to make everyone comfortable and sprucing up the place.  There's a 50% discount for Escapee Club members, so for $17 we had full hookups, including cable TV and WiFi.  I read the park was named "Singing Hills" because of all the birds and frogs who reside there.  The sites were wide and long with white-rock gravel.  I mention the white-rock because the dust covered everything, just from the short ride from the office to our site.  The park is nothing to write home about, but it was okay for an overnight stop.

This morning Alan was up early thinking and working on the hydraulic leak.  He discovered that the hose for the left-side slide broke loose from its fitting.  When we travel and are stopping here and there every day and not staying in one place for a period of time, we do not extend our slides, except for the bedroom slide.  Once upon a time, we had a 5th wheel and had incredible problems with the slides, so when we're traveling, we do not want a slide to have a problem of any kind, so we leave them closed. We are fortunate that we have access to everything with the slides in and it's just one less thing we have to worry about when we are preparing to leave -- the slides stay closed and the car stays on the tow bar.  If you're in the market for a RV -- whether it's a Motorhome or a 5th wheel and there are slides, be sure and check to see how accessible everything is without extending the slides.   We have an extended warranty with Route 66, so I got on their website to check on the location of their repair facilities.  There was one in Evansville, Indiana, so we decided to head that way.  We called them, but it would be Monday before they could look at it.  We closed our bedroom slide, but it was slow coming in, so now we don't want to extend it either.  It's possible Coach Net or Route 66's mobile service could repair it -- so in the morning, we are going to call them and see if they can help.  We should've called them it's the weekend, but it's worth a try.  If not, we will patiently wait 'til Monday and catch up on our rest. I had a hard time finding a campground and finally settled on the Vanderburgh 4H Campground.  It is a Good Sam park, but they only had a back-in available -- $22.50 a night, including cable and Wi-Fi.  We weren't told they were updating the utilities and there were huge holes and piles of dirt around the campsites.  And talk about close -- we are squeezed in, but we the Route 66 dealer is nearby. 

So here we are -- cannot put our jacks down to level and cannot put out our slides, not even the bedroom.  I was so tired this afternoon and frustrated about everything, I was ready to throw in the towel, but after a shower and having a wonderful meal at a local "Amish" restaurant, I'm ready to get on with it.  The Branson RV park called this afternoon to check on us -- we want to be there as soon as possible.  We've been concerned about the park with all the rain and flooding.  They received more rain yesterday, but everything seems to be A-OK, so now we're looking forward to getting there, getting settled and learning our new jobs. 

We have a couple of new followers -- thanks for stopping by.  We are blessed to be retired and living this lifestyle.  Maybe I'll have some pictures tomorrow.  In the meantime, may God continue to bless our voyage, as well as our family and friends everywhere.  


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Still Moving Along

Man, did it rain last night -- and again early this morning.  There was thunder and lightening and buckets of rain fell.  Don't know if that was the reason I didn't sleep well, but I woke up with a touch of a sore throat, itchy ears and I just didn't feel good.  We were up but moving slow and didn't leave the campground 'til about 11:00.  I must admit -- I do NOT like traveling I-40...wall-to-wall trucks and folks driving way too fast for me!  I cannot imagine driving our MH down the Smokey Mountains, but Alan doesn't seem to mind one bit!  Once we left the mountains, I began to feel some better.

We stopped for gas at a Flying J just West of Knoxville and decided to grab a bite at the Denny's.  Most everyone knows that Flying J's are changing their restaurants to Denny's.  Our daughter works in the corporate office of the company that provides restaurants with their food and other supplies.  And Denny's is her baby -- she is responsible for the ordering of everything for each Denny's.  I selected a new item on the menu of chicken salad with cranberries, pecans and apples -- it was delicious.  

By the way, gas was $3.75 a gal, but yesterday near Asheville, we paid $3.99 a gal at a Love's station...YIKES, most we've ever paid for gas.  I remember when we could purchase a gal of gas for 25 cents...we've come a long way baby!

One thing we've learned is we no longer have to be in a hurry -- to go anywhere -- but we managed to drive a little more than 180 miles to Crossville, Tennessee, and the Spring Lake RV Resort.

At Spring Lake, you can get either receive a 10% Good Sam's discount or a 15% Escapees discount...$25 plus tax, with WiFi and cable, was much better than the $36 we paid at the KOA.  Spring Lake is a little more than three miles from the interstate and is an adult only campground.  Also, tents are not allowed.  That three miles makes a huge difference -- it's very quiet and peaceful here.  There are only six pull-thrus -- the rest are back-ins.

Our site

The interior road is gravel and each campsite has a concrete patio with a picnic table.
 The restrooms and laundry area.

We took a walk around the lake -- it really is a nice park...clean as a whistle!

There are various places all around the lake where you can sit and enjoy the peace and quiet.

The sites on this side of the lake include a swing, patio set and a BBQ grill.

Are these real?

Sorry, they are not, but you can sit and watch to see if they move if you would like.

This guy was sitting high, watching over everything.

There's also a club house...
 ...and a pavilion.

This is the ultimate Tennessee fan...we're a few months away from football season, but...

Another Mama and her babies.
 If peace and quiet is what you're looking for, this campground is the place for you!
We feel very blessed to be able to live this lifestyle.  Today we saw several individuals holding signs, asking for gas money or  one sign stated they were not looking for a handout but wanted to work.  We always feel a little awkward because here we are driving this motorhome...we don't have a lot of money and actually live on a very limited income like most retirees.  When we first started fulltiming, it was wintertime and we fixed bags with a stocking cap, gloves, new socks and various snacks that we handed out to those standing on the side of the road with signs.  I didn't even think about it this time before we left, or I would've made up some bags.  We don't really like giving money, but would like to give something.  What do others do -- if you see someone on the side of the road or in a parking lot holding a sign asking for help, do you give money?  I would be interested in knowing what you do.

Again, we are thankful and blessed to be where we are in life, but none of us know what tomorrow may bring, so enjoy today to the fullest.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by, be safe out there and God bless!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Where Are We Now?

It was about an hour's drive from Linwood, North Carolina, to the Camping World in Statesville.  And boy were they busy...the  parking lot was full.

We were the first on their list after lunch, so they took the MH right in around 1:15.  While we waited, we did a little shopping -- nothing big, just a new water filter and a couple of other small items.  By 3:00, we were back on the road.  We only drove 120 miles when we decided to stop for the night.  We don't usually stop at KOAs because, to us, $36.90 (with a 10% KOA discount) is a little steep for a full hookup, including cable and WiFi, especially since we only paid $17 the night before for the same amenities.  However, thunderstorms were predicted and we knew we didn't want to cross the Smokey Mountains in the rain.  We do like the fact most KOAs are not far off the Interstate, usually with easy access off and on, so we stopped at the Asheville East KOA.

This is an older KOA, but they have made adjustments so it can accommodate most any size RV.  We were escorted to site B-14.

All those campers you see behind us is in storage.  Our escort told us most of them belonged to people who come to this particular KOA in the summer...they just call ahead and the workers tow their camper to a site.  Isn't that nice?
 In Storage

We took a walk where we saw what we guessed were summer homes.

We have never seen summer homes in a KOA, but this is Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Smoky Mountains.

From the looks of it, this KOA is prepared for anything.
 Someone even has a garden...we think these are tomato plants.

There were a couple of double-wides surrounded with beautiful flowers.

Building new picnic tables
Picturesque stream runs through the campground.

Typical KOA Kabins
Not sure what this guy is saying to us, but it probably has something to do with invading his territory.

Don't know if you can see these, but they are fish least that's what hubby says.

Beautiful Weeping Willow

We walked around the can fish here without a license.

These guys made lots of noise!
  Paddle boats

Mama and her 12 babies...12 baby ducklings
Even miniature golf

By the time we finished our walk, we were glad we stopped at this KOA.  We loved seeing all the wildlife.  So, we learned we shouldn't judge a book by its cover -- open it up and come on in...we may be surprised what we find.  As much time as we have spent in North Carolina, there's still a lot we haven't seen...I couldn't help but ask, why are we leaving this state before seeing it all?  When we return, we need to take time AND really see the state -- the entire state...from the mountains to the valleys to the beaches, there's a lot to see here.

Until next time, please take time to smell the roses...we just do not know what tomorrow will bring.

Tonight I'm thinking about the many folks affected by the flooding in the Memphis area, on down into the State of Mississippi.  The area of Tunic, Mississippi, is under water.  This is a very poor area with little industry -- crops have been lost and the casinos are all under water.  Please join us in praying for those who have recently lost everything in the floods, as well as the tornadoes.  We will be watching to see what the Mighty Mississippi does next...we will also be praying for the folks in Louisiana as the flood waters move that direction.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by and may God bless you, one and all!