Saturday, January 29, 2005

Montana Tours of 2005, January 23 to 29, 2005, Snowy Sick Start

Well, there is the photo, this was 12 noon on January 23, 2005. You cannot see it, but there was a snow drift ON the truck that was about 15 inches deep, right up against the back window.

January 27, 2005

Temperature 4 below zero F. Sunny, bright, little wind, but COLD! The slides move slow, and stop once while moving them in, wait a moment, start them in again, they are IN!

Warm the truck a bit for the “kids”, load them in, and we are off, time 8:45 AM.

We have let the GPS unit pick the “fastest” route from Tipton to Donna, Texas. US 12 to I 69, south to Indianapolis, to 70 West to Effingham, Illinois, 57 south. We drive 390 miles today, which is 140 more than we like to travel. But, we know the routine, pack the trailer at the last moment, as quickly as possible, for us that is a 2 day event. Then drive as far as we can the first couple of days, heading as far south as we can, the goal being warm enough weather to put water in the unit.

We stop for the night in a little town called Watson, Illinois, at the Percival Springs Airport/Campground/Restaurant/Driving Range. Not much to look at as far as a scenic campground, but the owners could not have been nicer, we drove up and he was waiting for us at the road! We had dinner in their restaurant and watched the weather reports. We had very limited TV on board, as we could not get the antenna up, it was still frozen to the roof! It is still below freezing, about 19 tonight, brrrr!! Weather is cold here, but shaky further south, there is mumbling (OK, forecasting) of ice and freezing rain. YUCK! If necessary, we will stay here over driving in freezing rain.

Note: Virgin Olive Oil congeals and turns a funny cloudy consistency when it is semi frozen! It is cold enough all day, that gallon containers of drinking water stored UNDER the kitchen sink has ice at the top when we open a jug. We sleep with all the doors and drawers open in the rig! By morning the olive oil is clear again.

January 28, 2005

COLD, again, or rather still. Oh, brrrrrr!!

Well, we watch the weather, and decide to GO FOR IT! We are almost out of propane, after heating the rig for 2 days before we left. We are also low on fuel for truck and fuel for the humans. We travel about 30 miles, stopping in Salem Illinois. We fuel the truck at Walmart, the humans at Denny’s and find a propane business, all in a area of less than 1/4 mile. All fueled up, we head out, turning south once again on 57. After we cross into Missouri we find some pretty bad roads, reminding us of I 10 in Mississippi and Louisiana. 57 turns into 55 and when we cross into Arkansas the road gets WORSE. About 20 miles of nasty nasty roads. We figure this is a good acid test of the changes made in the Montana and the truck late last fall, changes made, that we hope will result in a smoother ride for the passengers and the gear in the back of Montana. The passengers are still commenting, “UGHA, this road is horrible!” We pull into the left lane, a trick we learned last year on I 10, and like I 10, it is a much smoother ride. As far as we are concerned, anyone wanting to get around us, can pass on the right. We discover later, when we reach our stop for the night, that indeed the changes made last fall are working, as not ONE cup or glass had fallen over, the dishes were all exactly where they were in the morning, NOTHING had moved in the kitchen! This is a first, and we are celebrating with small whoops of joy and little happy dances around the rig!

We drive hard again today, doing 380 miles. We stop for the night at Brinkley, Arkansas, in a campground behind a Super 8 Motel. We decide to get cable TV, which also gives us full hookups. After just a few minutes of thought we decide it is indeed warm enough for water! This is always a great thing!

We do discover tho, that we have somehow managed to kill the TV in the front room of the Montana. The night before we had somehow managed to leave the remote control near one of the electric heaters and Al suspects we burned it up. I remember shutting the TV off with the remote, but it will not come back on 8 hours later. When we get to Texas we will pull the TV, see if there are any fuses that need replacing, and then decide what to do next if we find none. Irritating, but nothing to do now, but try and figure out what is wrong. SIGH

January 29, 2005

We have coffee, orange juice and sweets at the motel continental breakfast. On the way back to the rig, we decide we are gonna stay put for 24 hours. It is raining hard, we are both a bit wounded, Al’s virus cough is worse again, we just need to lay low and rest.

We surf, play with the computers, he reads more about the TV, cannot find anything in the literature on a quick fix, and we both take naps. I do some stitching and work on some cemetery projects. I do the corrections found during proof reading, I get 3 projects corrected. Not bad for a licking the wounds day!

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