Saturday, November 6, 2010

Power Drive

Well, if truth be told, it hasn't really been a power drive.  We just toot along, about 5-7 hours a day, taking our time and not tiring ourselves out.  We have five whole months after all.

We leave home on Wednesday, and it is cold but sunny, and we are happy to leave the chill behind; or so we think.  We spend the first night at a campground in Ohio, along a the Miami River.  It is beautiful, but it is FREEZING!  It is no warmer than home, and I really don't expect it to be because we aren't far enough south yet.  Also, the campground is 1/2 an hour from the Interstate, and we decide that it's too far a drive out of our way each day.  So for now, we'll stick to what we can find on the Interstates and not reserve campgrounds.

Grady (the cat) doesn't like riding in the truck and spends most of the time under the back seat.  He can't sleep because his head keeps bobbing up and down.  You don't realize how much a vehicle shakes your body - we're used to it, but on a small body like a cat's it's really noticable.  He's always happy when we stop and get him into the trailer where he can stretch out on the bed or his three-tier tower and have a decent nap!

For our second night, we decide to "camp" in a Walmart parking lot next to another RV.  We learned last year when hiking in Utah and talking to other campers that you can park an RV or trailer in any Walmart parking lot overnight, as long as you don't unhook it from your vehicle.  Of course, there are no hookups for water or electricity, so you have to be fully self-contained, which we are (we filled our water tank this morning at the campground).  So this is where we spend the night, in Franklin, Kentucky near the Tennessee border.  And again, it's FREEZING!  So I can now say that I've been naked in a Walmart parking lot!

Because we don't have any electric hookups here, we have to run our generator to make dinner.  Brad had made an exhaust stack out of heat-resistent PVC pipe that takes the gas fumes from almost ground height up to about one foot above the roof of our trailer so that no one get asphyxiated.  After about 10-15 minutes of the generator running tonight, he hears a strange noise, says "uh-oh" and quickly shuts down the generator.  He runs outside and when he comes back in tells me that the heat from the exhaust has melted the PVC pipe at the bottom and the rest of the pipe has collapsed.  Fortunately, the wind is taking the fumes away from us and the other RV in the parking lot, so we'll be okay tonight, but we will need to find a Home Depot or RV supplier within the next couple of days.

The next morning, it's raining and still cold when we get away.  We think about going to Graceland, but with having to park the trailer and the cold weather, we decide to power through to warmer climes.  However, we don't get far and spend night number three in West Memphis, Arkansas which is just across the border from Memphis, Tennessee.  Here we stay in the parking lot of a Flying J, which is a truck stop for truckers and RVers.  They offer discounts on gas/diesel and propane, and also have a dumping/water filling station for RVers.  So we now have a Flying J discount card.  What is really interesting here is that we park at the end of the parking lot under some trees.  As the sun sets, we can hear what sounds like hundreds of birds chirping, but they continue after it gets dark.  We go outside and look into the trees and realize that they're not birds, but hundreds of bats.  In the morning, we see that the trees have some sort of hard-coated fruit on them, almost like dates, but not dates.  The bats are obviously gone in the morning, but they sure were loud that night.

Finally on Day Four, Saturday, it's sunny and promising to be a bit warmer.  We head out for Texas, and just before 5pm make Texarkana on the Arkansas/Texas border.  We stop at the Texas Welcome Centre for some information and it's so beautiful and quiet here, that we decide to stay the night.  There's construction at the entrance to the Centre (not active thank goodness), so it looks like the Centre might be closed, or it's difficult to find, so we're the only ones here besides two or three truckers.  There's an all-night security guard and lo-and-behold, they have free wi-fi!  So I'm able to catch up on this blog and send a couple of emails home.  Today, we also find a Home Depot along the Interstate and Brad is able to pick up some metal fence tubing to replace the melted PVC generator exhaust pipe.  Good thing he's handy!  (If the ladies can't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!)

So that's where we are now.  By Monday, we should be at our first hiking destination - Carlsbad Caverns and then Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  But more on that later.

1 comment:

  1. Naked in a Walmart parking lot by the MIAMI River. What isn't working here???