Wednesday, July 20, 2016

'16/#31 Back To The Scene Of The Crime!?!?

Monday we set out for the next leg of our adventure. It was only going to be a short drive to St Augustine, FL...the scene of the crime(aka our honeymoon). We always try to hit St Augustine whenever we are coming into or leaving Florida. This was only going to be a short overnight stay. With a couple of errands to run, diesel fuel to top off, and dinner at one of our favorite restuarants we were ready to leave Tuesday morning.

Before the sun was up our wheels were on the highway. We wanted to put some miles behind us and overnight somewhere in NC. We stopped for breakfast in GA and kept on motoring down the road. With no traffic to speak of we were making very good time and so no problem getting to NC. Cutting across I-26 we started calling ahead for a campsite for the night. I don't know what was happening but everyone was full. We could boondock in a Walmart parking lot but we try not to do that if we can help it. Finally a place near Hendersonville had an opening and they would hold the spot for us.

Off the exit ramp fom I-26 Google maps was taking us through some seriously scenic back roads. I'm talking dirt and gravel here! All of a sudden the all too familiar beeping of the TPMS started going off, AGAIN! Another parking lot pit stop and we were able to get to the RV park. Another old tire let go. I should have just put new tires on before we left, but 6 tires at $175 apiece told me to wait. 20/20 hindsight!! This time I crawled under the rig to check the dates on the rest of the tires. Beside the one that blew I had one more that was over 5 years old. I replaced the blown one and put the old one up for the spare until next month.

With just over 100 miles to get to Pigeon Forge we slept in a little later and drove into town to get the tire replaced. Again, they  had no room or equipment to handle a 40' 5th wheel so in the parking lot across the street we set up shop. With the bad tire in the shop we took off the old tire and put it up for a spare and waited. Once the tire was done and mounted we were back on the road.

Lunch was at a truck stop on I-40 in NC. Our next stop was the Tennessee welcome center. We gathered the usual tourist information and got some advice on a scenic route through the mountains. This time the road was paved! We arrived in Pigeon Forge a little past 2pm and got right into the tourist traffic that I had forgotten about. It has been 5 years since we had been here. We are looking forward to meeting up with some of the good friends that we made when we worked here at Dollywood back then. Reminising about the good times we had and all the trouble we got into will be fun. I guess we are returning to another "scene of the crime"!

I will sign off now just like I did 5 years ago from our home in Pigeon Forge because...
Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, July 18, 2016

'16/#30 Tomorrow We Finally Leave Florida!

It is only 80 miles to the Georgia border and Florida will be in our rear view mirror. Getting here was an adventure in itself. We left Largo Sunday morning and headed east to see uncle Don and Grace. Crossing the state was uneventful. So much so that Mary slept a good part of the way with her head wrapped in a towel to block the sun light. I am already in trouble for taking that picture and sharing it so I've opted not to do it here. As we were getting off I-95 the tire pressure monitor(TPMS) started to scream. I slowed down and opened the window just in time to hear a tire pop and whistle as the air came through the part of the tread that had peeled away. Again with the jello?!?

It being Sunday there was no shortage of empty parking lots to pull into. We jumped out and the pit crew went to work. Bad tire off, spare tire on, and back on the road in less than 30 minutes. Over the years I have gathered all the right tools for such an occasion since we have been left stranded for hours by our road service. AAA is a little better, but it is more difficult to find road service for an 18k pound RV. Even with AAA it is sometimes easier to do it yourself.

Port St Lucie RV Park was only a few miles down the road so we decided to get settled in and then get a new tire. I will NOT travel without a spare. Now remember it is Sunday so finding a tire shop open and with the tire we needed proved to be a challenge. Finally found one about 20 miles away and drove there with the tire in the back of the truck. Most of these places either don't have the equipment or the space to work on a 40' 5th wheel so we would have to put the new tire on back at the RV park.

Once all that was taken care of and we got cleaned up we had a nice visit with Don and Grace. Neither of them are spring chickens but they are doing very well considering. We all went out to dinner, said our good byes, and went back to our home in Port St Lucie because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, July 16, 2016

'16/#29 The Road Is Calling!

Our week in Largo is almost over. We have seen everyone we wanted and are ready to hit the road. Everything on the truck is set and the trailer has no more things to be fixed. It looks like we just have to dump our tanks and get hooked up to be ready to go.

As always there is a little bit of "jello". I went to get the motorcycle to load it for the trip and the clutch was stuck. If I can't get it unstuck myself it will stay here in Pinellas County until we get back and have time to get it into the shop. Research tells me that it is a minor thing from sitting too long long, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. We were looking forward to using the bike in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Today will be a lazy day. Lunch at our favorite Cuban sandwich shop and dinner with the daughter will finish our time here. Tomorrow we leave early for the east coast to see Don and Grace before we leave Florida. We will also have a short stay in our favorite city in Florida, St Augustine! Then it is "Pigeon Forge Here We Come!".

So, this is my last blog from our home in Largo because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Sunday, July 10, 2016

'16/#28 The Plan Is Coming Together

Summer in Florida was not in our plan but that is the nature of "jello". Things are starting to come together. As I have mentioned the fridge turned out to be a minor thing. Mary helped me change out the lights on the trailer so we could check another item off the list. The truck was a little more problematic.

After some research on line I found the best way to move the wiring harness to inside the truck bed. The hole was drilled and the cable snaked through the chassis. Splice the wires and we are done. Not so easy of course. Testing the plug and there is no current to the terminals. After double and triple checking we called a friend who has an auto repair shop to see if he could help. After a few minutes with the right tools everything was working! Thanks Richie!!!

Saturday we washed the rig. At 40' long and 13' tall we knew we had our work cut out for us. Add to that temps in the mid 90's with feel like temps between 105 and 110 degrees and it was going to be a long day. We got it done but we don't want to do that again any time soon.

Sunday we finally left Zephyrhills. We are in Pinellas County for a week. The storage unit needs to be emptied and everything needs to be packed away for travel. We also have to get the motorcycle from my daughter's house and load that. During the week we hope to see everyone before we leave.

It is hot as hell again so we are calling it a day for outside stuff in our home in Largo, Florida because ....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, July 2, 2016

"16/#27 Might As Well Blog

Zephyrhills is still home for now and we are enjoying our time here. We have gotten to see some of the friends we have made over the past 3 years and the to-do list is getting shorter. With no real time schedule we have also been taking advantage of this down time to recharge the old batteries. Ours, not the trailer's.

I was just working on the list when the skies decided to open up with some liquid sunshine as it is likely to do at  any time here in Florida. It gives me a break and lets me blog a little while I wait out the rain. Blogging while sitting still is not the most interesting thing to do or read, but it gives everyone an idea what our life is like. As we have pointed out to many people this is a lifestyle and not a permanent vacation. While we do get to see and do some really great things the hum drum of everyday life is still a big part of what we do.

The rain looks like it has blown through and I am sure it is like a sauna outside but I have to finish the job that was interrupted. Oh goodie!! The holding tanks will be flushed once again in preparation for our not to far in the future departure. See what I mean about hum drum?

So here's to checking one more thing off the list in our home in Zephyrhills because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary