Thursday, May 07, 2020

End of Another Era May 7, 2020

Coming home from our trip in December 2018 we had pretty well had our minds made up that our motorhome days were over.  As the year year 2019 progressed we definitely knew it was time to call it quits.  Tom encountered some serious respiratory/ cardiac problems which result in 3 hospitalizations in 2019, one was a 3 week duration.    The end of April 2020 we finally said a fond farewell as it was sold and was heading north.
We knew the time was right to give up and have no regrets.  We hope to continue some travel but in other ways- cruises, car or plane with hotels or whatever.  We loved having had the years of traveling in a motorhome and have so many great memories of seeing so much of this beautiful country and some areas of our neighboring countries, Canada and Mexico.  And we won't forget the many wonderful people we met on our travels, some have remained dear friends.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Could This Be Our Last Motorhome Trip? December 17-31, 2018

Monday, December 17th, we left home in the motorhome heading north to be with family over the Christmas holidays.  We had gotten a late start as Tom was having some health issues and needed to see a doctor before leaving by but by 12:40 pm we were at last on the road.  193 miles to Brunswick, Georgia we stopped at Golden Isles RV Park for the night.
Tuesday, December 18th, we were underway a few minutes before 8 am and continued our travels northward through Georgia, South Carolina and into North Carolina for 383 miles.  We arrived at RVacation Campground in Selma, North Carolina about 2 pm.
Wednesday, 19th, we left the campground about 7:45 am .  Traveling up I-95, milepost 98 to milepost 121, a short distance a light came on indicating that the engine was overheating.  Pulling over to the side of the road Tom determined that we were in need of being towed to a facility to repair whatever was causing the overheating problem. Our roadside assistance was called and about 10 am a tow truck (Willie, driver) showed up.  The tow truck was the size needed to tow the motorhome but getting it set up to be towed became problematic as the drive shaft need to be disengaged and accomplishing that was not easy for Willie, who was a very careful handler.  Finally about 2 pm the motorhome was towed to a Cummins Coachcare facility at exit 106, Kenly, N.C..  The initial assessment was that the fan bearing needed to be replaced which was ordered from Tiffin.  The fan bearing arrived by Friday, 21st, and when taken into the service bay it was found some additional problems with the fan so more parts had to be ordered from Tiffin.  Cummins had 50 amp electric and water hook-up sites so we were able to stay in the motorhome.  We hoped that Tiffin saw to getting the needed parts sent out on this Friday since Tiffin closes for the week of Christmas through New Year's but no confirmation had been received stating that.  We had plans for lunch in Emmitsburg, Md. on Thursday (20th) with a good friend and Larry and Joanne which we were unable to keep.  Our plans had been to be camped in Gettysburg, Pa from 12/19-23 and then move to Stafford, Va.  We cancelled our Gettysburg reservations.  We stayed at the Cummins facility in our motorhome until 12/23 when we drove the Jeep to Stafford, Va. to Todd and Beth's area.  We stayed at a Red Roof Inn nearby.
Monday, 24th, we drove to Ellicott City area to Robin (niece)and Bob Stover's house for a family Christmas get together.  As always we had a real nice time together.
Tuesday, 25th, Christmas Day,  we spent the day with Todd, Beth, Parker and Gabi.  Maddi was there for several hours in the morning and Anthony left to be with his grandparents soon after getting up.  It was a nice time together.
Wednesday, 26th, we returned to the motorhome in Kenly, N.C.  Still waiting for parts to be delivered.  By Thursday afternoon most of the parts had been delivered and everything expected to be in by Friday morning.
Friday, 28th, 7:30am , the motorhome was taken into the service bay and we were told everything had been delivered.  About 1 pm the repairs were completed- fan bearing, fan belt, fan pulley and fan, the shroud had some damage but was repaired- and before 2 pm we were traveling south.  108 miles down the road we stopped at Dillon, S.C. at Pedro's Campground at South of the Border.
Saturday, 29th, Tom's birthday, we began to get ready to leave and encountered problems with the slide topper on the driver's side front slide not retracting.  Tom spent about an hour dealing with that issue with no success and at that point ended up cutting the topper off.  About 9:30 am we were on the road and traveled 379 miles to St. Augustine, Florida and Stagecoach RV Park arriving there about 5:45 pm.  We did unhook the Jeep and went out to dinner at Hurricane Patty's Restaurant, a great find for Tom's birthday.  We would have stayed the second night but campground was filled.
Sunday, 30th,we drove 116 miles to Wildwood, Florida to spend the night before returning to our storage lot.
Monday, 31st, we drove to our house and removed stuff from the motorhome and then to the storage lot, 17 miles.
We have decided that our motorhoming days may be behind us.  Dealing with break down issues and the increasing traffic seems to be more stressful as we age.  We are also not traveling as much as we did when we lived in Maryland.  Living in Florida we don't have the need to go elsewhere for a warmer winter.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Motorhome Tail Pipe Repair - October 4, 2018

When we returned to The villages from our September road trip, we made an appointment at Jiffy Exhaust Systems in Wildwood, Florida to repair the tailpipe that Tom found while we were in Williams, Az.  We had stopped at a Cummins repair shop in Arizona, but they could not fix it.  We decided that the temporary patching job that Tom did was good enough to get use back home to Florida.

This is what we found in Williams, Az.  Sorry,  no pictures were taken of the temporary repair.

Removing the temporary patching job

The work starts.

                                                              The old tailpipe laying in pieces.

The finished job.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Pensacola and Tallahassee, Florida September 25-28, 2018

Tuesday, 25th, we left Westwego, La. about 8:30 am and traveled east on I-10 to Pensacola, Florida, 214 miles.  Pensacola RV Park was our campground.  Getting in a little past noon we set up and then went out looking for a place to eat.  The Shrimp Basket, a casual seafood restaurant, proved to be a perfect place as they had all you can eat steamed shrimp as their special on this day.  Boiled potatoes and corn on the cob went along with the shrimp which were seasoned with some seafood spices.  Very nice meal.  After eating we then drove to the National Naval Aviation Museum.  There were more than 150 historical aircraft on display in this free museum.

We stopped to watch a film about the aircraft carrier, Forrestal, that had a serious fire and were quite taken back when we recognized a sailor, Milton Crutchley, that had been in a very dangerous situation during that fire.  Excerpts from an interview with Milton was seen throughout the film.  We knew he had been on that ship but didn't realize the danger he had to face.

Wednesday morning, 26th, we left Pensacola (8:45 am) continuing east to Tallahassee, 204 miles a little past 1pm camping in Tallahassee RV Park.  We went to a restaurant, The Wharf, another casual seafood place, and enjoyed another nice seafood dinner.  We then found a car wash to get the dirt washed off the Jeep.

Thursday (27th) we set out visit the city of Tallahassee, the capitol of Florida.  The Mission of San Luis, an Apalachee-Spanish Living History Museum, was built in 1633 by Spanish Franciscans in an area inhabited by Apalachee indians.  People in period costumes gave information about life in this mission as we walked about the grounds.  Kool Beanz, a restaurant recommended to us at the Mission, was a restaurant with a menu based on the available produce in the area.  It was different but not a big winner with us.  After lunch, we went the Capitol Complex.  The Museum of Florida History is located nearby this complex and has a parking garage.  After going through the museum you can receive a token to be used for the garage parking fee.  The museum is a free museum and interesting starting prehistorically and going through World War II.  A short walk from the museum is the Florida Capitol, a tall 22 floor modern building.  We started at the top, 22nd floor which is an enclosed observation deck.  The 5th floor is the viewing galleries for the House and Senate, no sessions were going..  Interesting building.  the old historical capitol is located in the same complex but we didn't go to that area.  In the evening, we started preparing our return home and organizing those things we needed to take to the house.

Today, Friday 28th, we were underway by 8:25 am to make the final 213 miles to the storage lot and home.  We stopped by the house to unload and then made our way to the storage lot and by 12:50 pm we were on our way to find lunch.  Another nice trip- revisited places and visited some new places.  We traveled 5,222 miles with the motorhome on this trip plus additional miles on our Jeep

Monday, September 24, 2018

Beaumont, Texas and New Orleans September 22-24, 2018

Saturday, 22nd, we left Fort Worth, Texas at 8:35 am traveling on I 20 through Fort Worth/ Dallas and then we cut south to I 10 taking us  through Houston.  We traveled in rain most of the way.  Traffic moved well.  We were sure glad that it was Saturday without heavy work traffic.  We spent our third night in Texas in Beaumont, 361 miles, at the Gulf Coast RV Resort, arriving here about 2:45 pm.  This is a passport America park and really nice although not directly on the Gulf.  We didn't even see the Gulf.  It was very wet but all the campsites had concrete pads so we didn't sink in the mud.

Sunday, 23rd, we started with the breakfast that the campground offered,  this is the first campground that includes breakfast, not the greatest but it was breakfast somewhat like hotels do.  Continuing on I 10 east after getting on the road at 8:30 am we finally made it out of Texas into Louisiana.  276 miles and we were in  Bayou Segnette State Park, Westwego, La. campground at 1:30 pm.  This campground is just across the Mississippi River from New Orleans.  Tom had asked the young lady checking us in about places to eat in this area.  She recommended several but we chose to go to Perino's Boiling Pot.  We selected shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob, and potatoes which was all very good.  It had rained here before we arrived and there is lots of water laying around.  There was some clouds but no rain on this day.

Monday, 24th, we spent the day in New Orleans.  We drove the Jeep to the area to catch a ferry.  We parked the Jeep  in a lot, $10.00 for the day, and the boarded the ferry, $1.00 for each of us senior rate.

The ferry only takes a few minutes to cross the Mississippi. The World War II museum was recommended to us by 2 people so we went there. It was a very impressive museum, We spent over 3 hours there and feel we somewhat skimmed over parts but after a time we get overloaded.
 Leaving the museum we came across a Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant where we had lunch and the returned to the ferry for our return trip across the River.   We did have a couple showers today mixed with sun.  Tomorrow we move on to Pensacola, Florida.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Fort Worth, Texas September 20 & 21, 2018

Thursday, 9/20/ we left Midland, Texas traveling on I 20 east about 8:40 am to Fort Worth, Texas, 295 miles.  This route through Texas is to my way of thinking is through the prettier part of this state as it is in the hill country.  We were taken back at the fuel prices in Midland, the heart of the oil business.  Diesel was $3.79/ gallon and as we got further away from that area the price was decreasing.  In this Fort Worth area we have seen diesel at $2.89/gallon.   The office lady at the campground in Midland told Tom that they are price gouging there and have caused such hardship for those not in the oil business that many people have moved away.  Teachers are needed but they can't afford to live there.  After arriving at Cowtown RV Park after 1:30 pm we had lunch and made a trip to a local grocery store.

Today, Friday (21st), after breakfast we drove the Jeep into Fort Worth to the Stockyards.

  The Stockyards no longer function as a stock exchange yard and now has become a tourist attraction.

 Along the street there were 2 places that long horned steers with saddles were tied to a fence and for $5.00 you could climb up on the saddle while your friends took your picture.

  There are numerous shops and restaurant to while away time until at 11;30 am a cattle drive comes through.  Long horned steers, about 20, are "driven" down the street by 6 or 7 cowboys.  This cattle drive is done again at 4 pm.

 We had lunch at Riscky's Steakhouse, good steaks as we expected and, shortly, thereafter returned back to the motorhome.  It was cloudy most of the day with a shower while we were at the Stockyards and this evening it has been raining more. Tomorrow we are moving onward east.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Oil Country September 19, 2018

Today we left Las Cruces, New Mexico at 8:20 am(MT) continuing a south east direction.  Rather than driving on I-10 through El Paso, Texas we took a route around the city that many other RVers use.  Tom had the directions written out and I read each step as we skirted around the city.  We finally reconnected with I-10, continuing on that route until we picked up  I-20.  Our travels had an occasional town but was mostly just open land.  It is greener and oil wells began to appear.

  A little past 3:30 pm (CT) we arrived in Midland, Tx, 345 miles today.   We had lost an hour yesterday and then another hour was lost today as we crossed from Mountain time to Central time as we entered into Texas.  After getting a site at Odessa Oil Patch RV Park I quickly prepared a meal as we had not eaten since breakfast.  We seem to be right in the heart of oil country, many oil wells in the area, refineries and this campground looks to have many work campers here.

  The weather is cooler with the high at 90 degrees and breezy.  Storms are expected tomorrow but we hope to be eastward before they hit.

Tucson, Arizona and Las Cruces, New Mexico September 17 & 18, 2018

Monday, September 17, we left Camp Verde at 8:22 am heading south on I 17 to Phoenix.  Tom had made an appointment at a Cummins Coach Care to have our exhaust problem looked at.  They were not certain they would be able to do the job.  We were to be there at 11am.  We arrived about 10 am and had to wait until their break period was over at 10:20.  Looking over the problem and the temporary fix it was determined that they could not do the repair but they also thought Tom’s temporary repair would hold up until we are able to get it repaired.  We decided to keep going with Tom checking it periodically and hopefully we will have it repaired once we get home.  Leaving that facility, we continued  on to Tucson, a total of 237 miles for this day.  We camped at Justin’s Diamond J RV Park, a campground we have stayed at before.  It was a very hot day with temperatures above 104 degrees.  Needless to say, we didn’t do too much after arriving at 1 pm  and having lunch in the motorhome.  The high temperatures in Arizona are said to unseasonal for this time of the year.

Tuesday, the 18th, we were underway by 8:20 am and traveling east on I 10 to Las Cruces, New Mexico.  After 285 miles we arrived at Coachlight Motel and RV Park.  It is about 10 degrees cooler here but still hot.  We travel with generator running in order to keep the A.C. going throughout the coach but we quickly get electric hooked up once in a campground to be able to turn off the generator.  We changed time zones ( Arizona keeps the same time year round, no daylight savings) to Mountain daylight savings time, New Mexico time.  We unhooked the Jeep and drove a short distance to the Plaza in Historic Old Mesilla and had lunch at La Posita de Mesilla, a registered National Landmark.  This was a stop on the Old Butterfield Stagecoach Line.  The southwestern meals were really very good with more food then either of us could eat. The restaurant has been located in this building since 1939 but the building is thought to have been built in the 1700’s.  The interior was many rooms all ornately decorated.

  After eating we did walk around the street checking out a couple shops not finding anything of any great interest.