Home Away From Home, West Virginia

Headed to the FMCA International Rally

After A LOT of discussion and keeping in mind that we had already paid our registration plus I was on the volunteer list we decided to keep our commitment to attend the 96th FMCA International Rally in Indianapolis. We got home from the river Wednesday afternoon too late to get the motor home so we picked it up Thursday morning. In the midst of packing it we were also packing up things to be moved, taking three trailer loads to the trash dump and giving away a bedroom suite. We packed the RV in stages so I have no idea what we do or do not have. After I remembered that we would be electric only for six days I realized that I had to plan a bit differently because we wouldn’t be able to use our washer and dryer.

We had carried our bikes on the back of the RV on our previous trip but found that it was scratching the finish so Jerry wanted to put the bike rack on the car instead. This entailed changing the hitch on the RV. I don’t know why but that’s his department. While he was doing that I got on the riding lawn mower and cut our grass. I guess that is an indication of how stressed and pushed Jerry was feeling. He never lets me cut grass! Realizing that he had left all of his shorts at the river we knew a trip down there was necessary plus he wanted to cut the grass there as well. Since we were going anyway we decided to take a trailer load of things that we were planning to keep there until we get settled in the townhouse. We loaded the trailer and took off for the river. As we were going through Washington we both heard a strange noise coming from the trailer and thought it was probably just something rattling around. Nope, when we got to the river Jerry realized that one of the tires was nearly off. Whew – apparently a bad bearing. Thank you Lord for looking after us yet again.

Trailer unloaded, grass cut and off to Greenville for a short visit with Mom before our trip. After that since it was getting so late we decided to grab a bite to eat in Greenville. My mouth was watering thinking about the tasty salad at Basils, one of our favorite restaurants. Well apparently it’s on everyone’s favorite list because the parking lot was full. Because of the time crunch we decided to try out a new barbecue restaurant that everyone had been raving about. Well, it was fast. That’s all I’ll say. We ordered our meals, sat at our table and never saw a waitress. Water glass was empty, food was so-so at best. We’ve been and now will know not to go back!

We finally got home exhausted but determined to finish loading the RV. That meant everything out of the fridge that needed to go. When I open the refrigerator door and saw the chicken breasts we had bought to make chicken salad I knew our day was still not over. Between the two of us we got it done though so if nothing else we’ll have chicken salad. It won’t be a sandwich though because I forgot the bread!

Our plan was to leave by 8:00 Sunday morning and we missed it by 10 minutes but – about 5 miles down the road I realized that I had forgotten to get the clothes I had washed Saturday night out of the dryer. If it hadn’t been my favorite pair of jeans I would have just said go on but they are my favorite so we turned around, went back home and got the jeans. It was a good thing too because I realized that we had left the kitchen light on. Back on the road at 8:26 headed to about halfway between Kinston and Indianapolis. We had not decided if we would boondock at a Walmart or try to find a full service campground. I was voting for the latter as we will be electric only for the week ahead.

We stopped at a rest stop at the Welcome to Virginia station just before 12:30, four hours on the road, used the facilities and then had lunch in the motor home. Left there at 12:50 and shortly after we hit “traffic congestion”. There were cars as far as I could see. I began searching for fuel stops and campgrounds. There was a Flying J at Wytheville, Va so we stopped there. It was by far the busiest gas station we’ve ever stopped at and we had to wait in line to get to the RV pump. I guess July 4th and sunny days brought everyone out. While we were waiting we discussed staying at a campground tonight and decided on Huntington/KOA in Milton,WVa. I called and made a reservation. It’s a 122 miles so we should be there by 4:00 or earlier.

Garmin has a funny way of giving you the distance as the bird flies. Milton was not 122 miles away, it was closer to 160+ miles but uneventful. We arrived at the campground around 5:00 and I have never had a quicker check-in. I think it may have taken 3-4 minutes and then someone led us to our campsite. That is a perk that we seldom get but it surely is nice. We were on the back side of the campground close enough to the highway to hear the trucks passing by but hey, what do you expect when you call mid-afternoon?

We were quickly set up and then Jerry crashed. I suggested a walk which I really needed but he didn’t want to so we both hit the sofa and read for a while. About 7:00 we had dinner, spaghetti! Since we had originally planned to boondock at Walmart I had chosen something simply for dinner. Had I know we’d be nestled in at a KOA I might have preferred grilling but spaghetti was just as filling.

Home Away From Home

Off to Milton, West Virginia

Wow, it got cold last night. It was supposed to get down to 43 degrees last night so I put two blankets on the bed. It was warm and toasty but unfortunately I couldn’t go to sleep after my phone conversation with Helen Jo. She sent me a text a little after 9:00 asking me to call so I did and we discussed Mom’s situation. Apparently Helen Jo has had a tough week with Mom and sees Mom rapidly declining cognitively. Now the question remains – what to do. Do we give up her apartment or not? I wrestled with it until about 3:00 this morning and as usual came up with no solution. I’m worried about Mom but am also worried about Helen Jo. She admittedly cries at the drop of a hat. I don’t see Jerry and me taking any more trips in the near future as being away from Mom and Helen Jo is just too hard on them. Being pulled in several different directions is so difficult! Helen Jo texted this morning and said that she decided to go over and have lunch with Mom and found her much better, blossoming when she sees her friends.

After packing up and breaking camp we left at 10:00. I had walked down to Sandy and Landy’s to tell them we were leaving and they said they’d be about an hour behind us. I programmed the wonderful Rand McNally GPS with the address of the campground and then I did a search and found the campground listed and did a route to that. Believe it or not they were different! Another problem with this GPS and I don’t think updating will solve that problem.

Although it was cloudy and dreary when we left it soon cleared up and has been a pretty, sunny day for a change. We stopped around 12 at a Rest Stop for bathroom breaks and a quick lunch of salsa, chips and apples – yea! Were only there 13 minutes and I took off driving. Drove just a bit and Jerry saw a sign for gas at $2.85 at a Pilot so we stopped there and filled up the RV and the car. Tracked the mileage and we got 7.13 this time. While we were there Jerry tried to start the car and the battery was dead yet again. Think we will be getting either a battery charger or a battery disconnect soon. Although I said I’d keep on driving he said he was grumpy and would be better off driving. Just entered West Virginia at 2:10, only 26 miles from the campground in Milton.

We checked into Huntington-Foxfire KOA in Milton a little before 3:00. They gave a pull through and we can keep the tow dolly hooked up with the car. Will make leaving in the morning so much easier and faster. They have wonderful Wi-Fi so I’ve been updating the GPS after installing the Dock on the computer. Also getting all iPad and iPhone updates done! After we set up we went for a brief walk around the campground as Jerry wanted to see how we’d be leaving tomorrow. When we entered the park there was a sign denoting sharp right turn. Boy, were they right but we came in with no problem. Set up and had a roast in the crock pot in 25 minutes! Not bad.

Spent the rest of the day updating, reading and just resting recuperating from 10 days of traveling! Sandy and Landy got here around 4:00 and discovered that the power cord on the trailer had snapped so Jerry has been over with Landy supervising I guess. They have no brakes on the trailer and no brake lights. Not good in the mountains. Don’t know what they will decide to do tomorrow but so far Landy has been unable to repair it for travel.

Before we left Kinston we bought a roast, an eye of the round I think, and cut it in half planning to cook half of it in the crock pot. We had planned to do that Saturday night when we got home from the ballgame but realized that it didn’t need to cook all night and we weren’t going to stay up late enough to cook it so we decided to fix it Sunday when we got to Milton. The roast was cooking as Jerry was helping Landy (BTW, he did get it repaired) and I was updating gadgets. About 6:00 I decided to check it and wow – it was done! Instead of the spaghetti we were planning to have we had roast, creamed (chopped) potatoes, left over veggies (cabbage, peas, mushrooms, onion and peppers). It was one of the best meals we’ve had on this trip. Because of the rain we haven’t been able to grill so that has changed some of our menus.

On to bed with a couple of blankets and a good nights sleep!