Saturday, February 16, 2002

The Tour, 2002, Part 1

February 9, 2002

We actually stated “piling” things up a week or more ago, now there are several “Piles”, one in the basement, one in the parlor, one in the garage, one in the office (well, ok, more than one in the office).

The trailer has been ICED in from the effects of the storm of January 31, 2002.  Man has been concerned about the amount of snow and ice laying on the roof and the weight of said snow/ice.  Does not want to drive great distances with all that stuff up there.  Today, he finally was able to get the trailer moved, the tongue jack had previously been frozen in several inches of ice.  So, he hooked up the trailer, and backed it up to the garage for loading.  He left the tongue down and the water ran off of the top for hours, course, it helped being well over 50 degrees.

Started organizing the trailer, actually started by taking out some things that we don’t use, and just are in the way.  One of the first things we took out was the chair, we have decided to try living without it this year.  We do have lawn chairs we can always set up in that spot, but have decided we would rather have the space for dog gear and moving room.  Maybe I won’t have sore legs from pole vaulting over his legs this year, once he sits down on the couch his long legs stick out into the walkway so far that I have to always have him move or jump!  BLAH!

February 10, 2002

A very warm morning, full of sun, great for getting one in the mood to pack and clean trailers!!  First I cleaned the deck, got rid of all the ice and snow and doggie stuff.  I took the hose and in my shirt sleeves, no coat, cleaned the entire deck.  I was actually warm with the sun shining on my back.  Nice!!

Then we started more cleaning out of unneeded gear in the trailer, took out a LOT of stuff, made some pretty big holes, which we will of course, fill with stuff we think we do need, like clothes!! Dog gear!!  Research stuff!!  Food!!!  Necessities!!

We cleaned out drawers and cupboards, lots of stuff, swept the carpet, started loading stuff.  Meanwhile did several loads of laundry.

After about 4 hours of this serious cleaning and organizing we threw our arms up and decided it was time for FOOD.  Went to Clinton for Calzones and a grocery run.

By the time we get done with the groceries it is COLD, brrrrr, and snowing.  What a change from this morning.

Tomorrow, more packing, Tuesday, errands for Carol and LCFR meeting, Wednesday finish packing and hope to leave Thursday.

February 11, 12 , 13, and 14th, 2002

PACK!!  CLEAN!!  ORGANIZE!!  WHAT FILES??  Pack, clean, organize, what files??  Windy weather, but sunny, not bad for Michigan in February.  Last minute trips to the vet office for dog food and check ups.  Yeap, thought I had that under control last week, but dogs being dogs and Carol being Carol, well, back to Tecumseh I went.   At our meeting on Tuesday night the speaker did not show, that was a tad stressful, but I just jabbered about things happening in the world of research.

We had hoped to leave by Thursday, but about 6 PM on Wednesday we realized there was no way.  So, we slowed down, relaxed, and got a good night’s sleep.

Thursday about noon I banged my foot really bad, I thought I broke a toe, it was very painful, very swollen and even tho I was able to continue working, it slowed me down.  That is what I get for walking around in my stocking feet.

February 15, 2002

We finish cleaning out the frig, take showers, clean bathrooms, and about 10 AM we start draining the pipes and winterizing the bathrooms.  We are totally packed and ready to leave home at about 12 noon.  We head for Adrian, grab a quick lunch, banking and by 1 PM we are headed SOUTH!

If you are going to participate in this RV sport you better go in with a sense of adventure.  Ya better expect things to go wrong, to break, to surprise ya!!  I have said many times, you better be handy with your money or handy with your hands, cause things are gonna break, fall off, fall apart, kapoot!

Seventy five miles into our trip, well, it broke!  We stopped at a rest area on I 75, just south of Toledo and found a little bit of damage to the trailer. Two panels of siding were loose and hangin, and bent and even found a hole in one piece where it had banged against something in the area of the gas tanks.  We could see the framing of the trailer, the insulation, the wiring.  Man got out of the truck and rather calmly announced that “we have a problem”.  I GUESS SO!!!  After the restroom stop, we start looking over the damage in earnest.  We went through every drawer and the tool boxes looking for screws to hold the siding on.  After about an hour of pulling, tugging, and pushing, we managed to get the siding back in place, sorta.  A few adjustments were required along the way, lets see there was a little trimming with tin snips to force the corner back in, oh, then there was the karate kick Man gave it, or was that 2 or 3 or 4 kicks Man????  The kicks brought on a serious case of the giggles from Carol.

There was a Belle Tire truck at the rest area changing the tire for a trucker, I asked him if he happened to have a few nails or screws in his truck.  His reply, “NO, I throw those down on the road, so people will have flat tires, it is called job security”.  Well, I can promise you, this gal will not be purchasing tires from that company at any time in the near future.  NOPE!

A nice guy, from Michigan, driving a motor home, pulled into the parking spot next to us and eventually stuck his head out the door and asked if we needed any help.  He found some screws in his tool kit, which we could not use, but the offer was very nice.  He also came out and helped Man “muscle” the panels down into place.  He commented at how amazed he was that we were not fighting at all.  Something about that he and his wife would be at each other’s throats.  Thank you, nice person from Michigan, for the help and the compliment.

One hour later, Man had managed to secure the siding and off we go, again.  I later admitted to him, that my first reaction when I saw the damage, was, well, we are not tooooooo far from home, we can go back if we cannot fix this mess.  I only thought that for a moment, one of those first reaction things.

Like I said, ya got to be handy with your money or handy with your hands.  Tools and a supply of screws help tooooo!!!  Man thanked me for having to go potty!

We arrived in Crittenden, Kentucky at 8 PM, tired, hungry, glad to be still headed south, and ready for a little liquid refreshment.  We had dinner, a drink, turned on the heat, and went to bed very early.

The foot feels much better today, a night of rest helped that situation a LOT.


February 16, 2002

Up by 7 AM, quick breakfast, feed the dogs, walk the dogs, pack up and we are waiting at the campground office at a few minutes past 9 AM.  We pay our fees and are on the road by 9:17 AM., south bound once again.  We make pretty good time today, no more ripping siding, skies are sunny, the winds have died down to a breeze.  It gets warmer and warmer.  GIGGLE!!!  We stop and have a pork bar-b-que sandwich, back on the road, we must get to at least Chattanooga, Tennessee in order to keep our schedule.  We have 3 campground reservations in Florida, after that, we can go back to relaxed travel, and we WILL!!

We make our goal and pull into a nice campground just inside of Georgia at about 5 PM.  We put water in the rig, and prepare dinner, and look forward to showers!  I see daffodils in full bloom.

Now, I must go finish the meal.  Later - - - - - -

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