Travel Day One: We slept until 7:00 this morning so a real early departure was not in the cards although we got ready quickly and were on the road by 8:10. We stopped at the nearby Flying J and topped off both the gas and the propane and were on Interstate 40 by 8:35. Our plan was to drive to Little Rock, Arkansas, and stay at Maumelle COE again. Although the traffic was not heavy we were in Oklahoma “where the winds coming sweeping down the plains” and it was windy, 16 mph making it a tense drive for a man whose shoulder was already hurting. As we got nearer Oklahoma City the winds tapered off some and despite the ever-present road construction on the east side of Oklahoma City for miles, it was an uneventful drive.
I began to look for a place to stay for the night. Our preference was of course for Maumelle and after a lot of searching, I finally claimed the very last 50 amp site in the park! I must admit that as we got closer to Maumelle my stress level began to rise. We had had one auspicious arrival at that park and for some reason, I was anxious about arriving again. All was well though. We checked in, detached the car, and while Jerry emptied the tanks at the dump station I rode around the park looking for E1 which was a good deal further back in the park than when we had stayed before.
I then led Jerry to the site and we parked the coach and set up with no problems plus we were level! We sat outside and enjoyed the cool autumn evening for a little while before dinner. It felt good to be outside in the late afternoon while temperatures were just right.
Early to bed as tomorrow will be another long day.
Travel Day Two: I couldn’t go to sleep last night despite the fatigue so I was dragging this morning. We had forgone our usual morning routine of quiet time and coffee for a while so we were getting on the road more quickly. We pulled out of the site, rode to a parking area where we could hitch the car, and then were on the road. I had worried about early morning traffic in Little Rock but it wasn’t a problem. The only slight problem we encountered was exiting on a curvy ramp and we got a slight Jeep death wobble. Jerry slowed down and all was good. The last time we had the wobble was weeks ago in Little Rock. Um…. going down a curved, bumpy ramp a little fast to the Interstate. I think we may have finally discovered what precipitates the wobble.
Traffic was the normal Monday busyness all the way to Nashville and then…. Going through Nashville is bad on a good day and this was not a good day. Just before we reached the exit for the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home, we came to stop and go traffic. An accident three miles ahead slowed us all down which wouldn’t be too bad if people had not kept cutting in front of us trying to change lanes. After six years of Rving, it still amazes me that people will cut in front a large RV with no regard to their safety. When in traffic like that Jerry is sure to keep a good distance between us and the vehicle in front of us but it is difficult because of drivers in a hurry. To get where? All lanes were stopped so they made no progress. Oh well!
As we rode along, we kept trying to decide where to spend the night. Jerry had looked at the map the night before and Cookeville, Tennessee seemed to be a good stopping place although it was 462 miles. I loaded my Harvest Host app and found Delmonaco Winery right there so I called and they said to come on. They did ask for my HH number which I had never been asked for before so I had to locate it. Took a picture of it so it will be in my Google photos now like our license plate numbers, easy to find if necessary.
When we arrived, there were two other RV’s there and lo and behold one was from North Carolina. It was so good to hear that North Carolina accent and she said the same thing! Of course, the Jeep battery was dead AGAIN! What is the problem? The North Carolina gentleman had a handheld battery booster and loaned it to us. What do you know? It worked! The problem was then I couldn’t get it out of the transfer mode. I played with it a few minutes and finally got it out. We left the car idling, parked the RV, leveled it somewhat and then took a ride around in the Jeep to recharge the battery. Something is draining the battery on the car and we have no idea what. Wonder if it could be the Stay and Play Braking Assist? No clue but hopefully we will find out soon when we get the Jeep serviced.
We went over to Delmonico Winery and unlike other wineries we have stopped at where I bought wine for friends because I didn’t like anything they had, Delmonico had two wines and a port that I really liked. I ended up buying one bottle of wine and two mulled cider packets for friends. I really wanted a bottle of the delicious port but decided we had probably spent enough money in the last month!
When I got back to the RV, I got the chair out and sat outside for a while. The gentleman on the other side of us came out and we talked for a few minutes. Both he and his wife recently retired, bought an RV on September 2, sold their house, and both of their cars since neither would tow and now they are full-timers. They had never RVed before. Wow – braver than we are!
We had leftover steak and a salad for dinner and then a quiet and early night for both of us. The night was cool enough that we opened windows. With no generator running it was a good night for sleeping
Travel Day Three: We took our time getting ready to leave this morning. Since we were waiting until we arrive in Clemmons for showers and had no hookup to dismantle, we pulled out around 8:00. I had forgotten that we would lose another hour today or I probably would have encouraged Jerry to leave more quickly. The North Carolina coach pulled out just before us headed toward New Mexico and the Pennsylvania coach appeared to be getting ready as well. It was a good place to stay and if we had been level it would have been perfect!
Travel Day Four: North Carolina! Ah, what a welcomed site although we were again in the mountains and I knew that we would have to descend Black Mountain on the other side of Asheville. That has always been a concern when traveling to Asheville and still is but compared to the passes in Colorado I guess it’s not that bad.
We still were not home but we were in our home state at a very familiar campground having stayed at Tanglewood Campground numerous times. We pulled in around 4:00, got ready to unhook and of course, the car battery was dead again. Dang! We left the car in the designated spot, parked the RV and then walked over to the camp hosts to ask about jumping the car. They too had a handheld battery booster. Needless to say, that will be a necessary purchase as soon as we get home.
We were soon ready to go see our Clemmons grands. Eli was at baseball practice so we went to the baseball field and got to watch him on the ball field. Emma joined us when we left around 7:00 and per her request we had dinner at her favorite restaurant. After dinner, we headed to their home and had a nice visit. It was good to see everyone again and I am already anxious to see the rest of our crowd.
Travel Day Five: Today was a nice, easy, short drive to Raleigh to the Horse Complex at the NC State Fairgrounds. Despite the state fair being canceled, the horse shows were being held but with very limited attendance. Since we are affiliated with Woodbridge Farm, we were able to enter the grounds. It was a good show but very different as there was little to no socializing. Generally when there are no horses showing everyone gathers at someone’s coach to pass the time but there was none of that this time. After the morning show where we were socially distanced and masked in the arena, we returned to the RV and spent the afternoon being lazy and recuperating. In retrospect, I think that spending three restful days in Raleigh was a great way to end the trip. Before we left, we got the coach thoroughly cleaned inside and had the outside washed so it would be ready for storage.
On Sunday we returned to Pamlico Beach and quickly emptied the coach of everything. Got the sheets and towels washed and put back in the coach and it was ready for the warehouse. On Monday after taking care of some appointments we headed to Kinston to drop off the coach for an oil change and tune-up so it will be ready to go whenever we decide to travel again. We also got a much-longed visit with three of our grands. Traveling is so nice but we surely do miss our family when we’re gone for an extended time.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Colorado trip and although it was surely fraught with issues with the Lord’s help, nothing disastrous happened and we were able to address the things that did occur. I still maintain though that the best part of a trip is returning home. It was mighty nice to see my Pamlico River Sunday afternoon!