Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's all His Fault

Well here we are again. Waiting to see when we can hit the road again. Yes, that's right, we've run into another road bump. Just in case you've not read the blog lately let me back up a day or two......

We had the MH in the repair shop in Oxford AL on Monday for an A/C repair. That went fairly quickly and we were on the road Tuesday afternoon. We made good time through western AL and spent the night in the Mississippi Welcome station. While climbing some of the small grades in western AL the engine on the MH would 'stutter' every once in a while. Just a quick little bumpity bump and then back to normal. Better ask my buddy about that. Back on our way Wednesday morning with no issues. Since we spent a few extra days in AL we elected to make up time and try to put miles behind us. We made it through MS and headed west for Ft Smith, AR. Easy breezy. Joan expressed an interest in visiting the Oklahoma City Memorial so we kept on trucking, planning to stop close to OC Wednesday night and visit the Memorial first thing Thursday morning. While I was driving I called my buddy Er... no, no names. For the sake of privacy let's just call him Bert. You know, like in Bert and Er.....nope, Almost slipped up there.

Well, after describing the 'stutter' to Bert he suggested I add a fuel additive. So I did at my next fill up just inside the OK state line. Rolling west on I-40 we made it about 70 miles when all of a sudden the stutter was back; big time. So bad I had to pull over. When I got off the side of the road the MH would barely idle so I shut it off. And that was it. Couldn't get it started again.
This Picture has been edited to protect the guilty!
So, as you can plainly see...It's All His Fault! We called Coachnet and they started the process of getting us taken care of; finding a wrecker and locating us a place to stay for the night. Unfortunately the wrecker had to come out of Tulsa and that took a little time. We finally got hooked up just after midnight. We checked into a motel in Henryetta and got a follow up call from Coachnet first thing Thursday morning with their plan as to where the MH would be taken for repairs.
Our thanks to Storey Wrecker, Inc and their driver Chad. Chad was very professional and pleasant. He towed us to the motel and the next day to the repair shop. We also got to see the largest tow truck in OK; capable of hauling 85 tons. Also our thanks to Priscilla at Coachnet who was so worried about us and made sure we were taken care of.
So here we sit in the repair shop in Tulsa waiting to see what fate has in store for us. Maybe we can make it to Durango by Monday!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Boating, Fishing, Golfing and Just Hanging Out

While we're in Alabama we're trying to relax and enjoy the local amenities as much as possible. I mean after all, the drive to Oregon is supposed to be a vacation between our previous jobs and our workamping gig.

Sunday morning Joan's brother Jimmy took us out in his boat on Lake Neely Henry.
 Later that day we went down to the pond (can't be any more specific than that on pain of death; you know secret location and all that) and everyone had the chance to fish for some bream.  

Monday morning we put the MH in the shop for the AC repairs and decided we'd spend the day checking out one of the local golf courses. Being from Florida I've always struggled when it came to playing courses with a lot of elevation changes. Today was no exception. I played Cider Ridge golf course. It was not one of my better scores, but Joan and I had a great time. She took some great action shots and I enjoyed the company as we cruised around the course.

We are anxious to get back out on the road, so we're hoping the A/C repairs can be completed quickly. Keep your fingers crossed; maybe we'll be on the road tomorrow. We're still hoping to see Mesa Verde, Moab and Arches before we get to Oregon.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The World As We Know It Has Changed

Yes the new adventure has begun. Joan and I left our family and friends, our house (not home) and all things familiar to us on Monday 3/19 headed for Oregon. Both of us resigned from our previous jobs Friday 3/9. We spent the next week finishing up last minute projects and preparing for our Going Away Party on St. Patrick's Day.

Joan and I invited all of our family members, co-workers and friends to stop by so we could have one last chance to see them before we left. We took the MH to the lake and set up so that anyone interested could see where and how we would be living in our new lifestyle.
The party was a great success. Joan's cousin Charles set up his portable wood-fired oven under the oak trees and along with Joan's brother David and nephew Will cooked pizzas and meatball subs for anyone that was hungry. Charles built his trailer-mounted oven a little over a year ago and has become a well recognized and sought out vendor at numerous local farmer markets and festivals around central Florida. His business Paradise Pizza is becoming quite a success. If anyone is interested he also caters private parties, so don't hesitate to look him up.
Joan and I did our best to count heads and best we can figure is that we had about 155 folks stop by to see what we were doing and say goodbye. My mom and dad spent several weeks getting their home on the lake ready for the party and they got so many compliments from our guests. I did my best to repair all of the ruts left by the motorhome and to clean up after the party.

Monday came quickly and we said our final good byes. We left the lake just after lunch and headed out. We have to keep reminding ourselves that we're not on vacation. Joan had one request; that we drive out of Florida before we stopped for the night. So we did. We drove for about 4 1/2 hours and stopped for the night in Hahira, GA at Cain's Creek RV Park (nice little Passport America stop). We slept in Tuesday and broke camp mid-morning headed to Oxford, AL to spend a few days visiting with Joan's brother Jimmy and his family and my cousin Odis and his family. While we're in Oxford we're staying at Talladega Creekside Resort (another Passport America site).

We're learning quickly that it's not a matter of 'if' something will happen; it's more a matter of 'when' something will happen. During the drive between FL and AL we discovered that the dash AC was not working as well as it should. So we stopped at a local RV shop in Oxford and sure enough there was absolutely no freon in the unit and there were a couple of leaks in the system. So the parts were ordered and our stay here will be just a little longer than originally planned. No problemo; we'll use the spare time to acclimate to this new lifestyle pace, ride the bikes and paddle the kayaks. Which we did.

Friday night we got both families together for supper. As we were leaving for the restaurant I noticed a couple of new lights lit up on the car dash? Oh boy! More adventure. So first thing Saturday morning we headed to the local dealership. Luckily it was nothing major; a loose vacuum hose and the gas cap was not on securely (that was weird as we last got gas on Tuesday????).

The weather here was great so we decided to take the bikes out for a ride. We rode 120+ miles including Cheaha Rd and Cheaha State Park. And just as we were pulling back into the RV campground one of the local dogs decided he didn't like motorcycles. He showed his displeasure by running up to me and biting me on the leg. Ouch! And he tore my jeans! Come on now. I don't have that many pair to begin with and these were one of my better pair.

I'm glad we allowed ourselves 4 weeks to make the trip across country. We should still have time for a couple of sight seeing stops before we report for work 4/15. So far so good. We are having a great time and feel really comfortable even with our little 'road bumps'.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What Goes Up....Must Be Checked!

I thought 'What goes up, must come down'. And now I'm being told that isn't so. What's that about?.

Doug, Steve, Dad, Mom, Chris
Joan and I are down to less than two weeks. A couple of days of work and one week of finalizing our goodbyes before we head out. One of the things that I will be giving up when we're on the road will be softball. I've played slow pitch softball since high school. Sometimes I played one night a week; other times I played as many as four; just depended on what was going on at the time. Over the last 40 years I doubt there has not been a 3-4 month stretch in which I did not play softball. For the last 10 years I've had the wonderful opportunity to play softball both with and against my sons in various leagues. Over the last 3 weeks I've played 15 games; 2 4-game tournaments and 7 regular league games.  It looks as though I'm down to my last 1 or 2 games next week. I'm sure going to miss it. I'm trying to contact someone near where we're staying in Oregon to see if there is any chance to get on a team for the summer.

I've got 2 golf outings planned and a 3rd in the works trying for a last chance to spend some time with my golfing buddies. Almost every night Joan and I are on the road to see the grandkids, friends or family. I'm replacing the standard headlight bulbs in the MH with upgraded bulbs to see if that will improve our ability to see when we have to drive after dark. Still have to get the car, motorcycles and motorcycle trailer serviced. We are also trying to get our health care coverage approved. It seems as though we have a little hiccup.....and that brings me back to.....

'What goes up, must come down'. It's been true every since I was little. One of the reasons I'm not a professional baseball player. No matter how hard and far I tried to hit the baseball, it always seemed to come down inside the park. On the grass rather than in the outfielders glove if I was lucky. I always wanted to fly. Tried jumping out of the tree, off the roof; even made sure to wear my cape and flap my arms. I always came down. Sometimes harder than others.  As I grew older and started my career I began to see the balance in my bank account go up. Then I bought a car; got married; bought a house; started a family. And just like they always said....down it came.

So what's happening now? My weight and cholesterol keeps trying to go up. And I fight it each step of the way. I actually managed to control my cholesterol and was able to discontinue that prescription. And according to my doctors scale I've lost another pound since December. No matter what I try it's still real hard to get them down again. I guess it was just a mater of time but now it's my blood pressure. It appears I may be a little
hypertensive. Yeppers. It's right there in the medical charts. And my preferred health insurance provider is a little concerned. Well, so am I. So much so that my doctor and I have consorted on a plan to get that where it needs to be. I hope the provider agrees.

And with a little luck, maybe my premiums will come down! Yeah, that's the ticket. I can see it now. More money than I will know what to do with. Daddy Warbucks. Big Spender. Starting the campfire with a greenback. More chrome for the bike. A new 48' tag axle. A personal trainer. Now that my hopes are up I hope I don't come down for a long time!