Friday, May 31, 2013

Rockin' And Rollin'

Rantoul, IL.

64 deg.mostly cloudy, S. wind @ 12 mph.
Forecast = Today: Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 82°F. Heat index around 86°F. South wind to 17 MPH, gusting to 28 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 80%. Precipitation amounts between one quarter and one half of an inch possible.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms. Lows around 70°F. South wind to 17 MPH, gusting to 23 MPH. Precipitation amounts between one inch and one and a half inches possible.

This weather that we're having here in Rantoul is getting old, real fast!!!! It was even windier yesterday than it has been in the past. In fact, for awhile yesterday evening as a front was coming through with wind gusts over 40 mph, I was starting to get a little nervous. I know that Bobbie Ts not near as heavy as Emrys was and she doesn't have any leveling jacks to stabilize her, but she did some serious rockin' and rollin' for awhile!!!!   : O

Even though it was very windy yesterday, Jim and Linda needed to get a letter mailed, so they took CLT and headed for the post office. Since they were out and about, after the post office, they decided to stop by a little shop that Linda has been wanting to check out, called Kathy's Needle & I.  It turned out to be a neat little shop that has quite a bit of sewing merchandise. They don't have much in the way of embroidery items though but do have quite a lot of quilting and sewing supplies.

By the time they were done there, it was lunchtime so they headed back to that new Family Table Restaurant and had breakfast for lunch. Again, the food and service were very good, so this is starting to look like a restaurant that Jim and Linda will be going to regularly. ; )

The rest of the day was spent inside, trying to wait out the weather.

Did you know that on this date in 1870 - E.J. DeSemdt patented asphalt?


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Shopping and More Wind

Rantoul, IL.

68 deg. Mostly cloudy, SE wind @ 8 mph.

Forecast = Today: Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 84°F. Windy, with a south wind 13 to 21 MPH, gusting to 32 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 45%. Precipitation amounts up to one quarter inch possible.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms likely. Lows around 66°F. South wind to 17 MPH. Precipitation amounts between one quarter and one half of an inch possible.

About 11:00 yesterday morning, Jim and Linda took CLT, (Cute Little Truck), and headed to Wally World to buy some items for Linda. Walmart is probably one of Jim's least favorite places to go shopping, but when you're in a small town like Rantoul and you need to go to a department store, you really don't have much choice if you don't want to drive 15 or so miles to go to a larger city.

Anyway, after walking and walking, they finally found most of what Linda was looking for. By this time, Linda was completely worn out, so instead of going into Wally World's grocery section, they paid for their purchases and headed over to County Market. There, Linda waited in CLT while Jim went inside and quickly picked up some items that they were out of.

Jim says that he doesn't know what it is about Walmart, but he says that every time he goes there, it seems like he has to search and search for the items he wants to purchase. His theory is that they set up the store so that you have to go down as many isles as possible, so that you'll see and pick up other items as you shop for what's on your list.


After coming back here and getting everything put away, the afternoon was spent relaxing. ; )

Nothing much planned for today, it's supposed to be windy again. I don't know what's up with the wind. It was windy again yesterday and today they're forecasting even stronger winds with gusts into the mid 30 mph range. I can't remember any other years when there was so much wind for so many days. : (

Did you know that wind is a form of solar energy, created by the irregular heating of the Earth's surface?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A New Filter For Bobbie T and A New Restaurant In Town

Rantoul, IL.

64 deg. overcast, SW wind @ 7 mph.

Forecast = Today: Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Highs around 86°F. Heat index around 90°F. South wind to 15 MPH, gusting to 24 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 45%.
Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows around 66°F. South wind to 14 MPH.

Not a real lot to report today. It's gotten real windy again so Jim hasn't spent too much time outside. He did go over to talk to Louise and Paul for awhile yesterday morning though. With the weather and the Holiday weekend, I think it had been almost a week since he had talked to them.

The other day, when Jim went to ACE Hardware, he picked up one of those in-line water filters to hook into the water hose that hooks Bobbie T up to city water. The water isn't bad here in Rantoul, (actually pretty good), but he's been wanting to get some kind of filter to get rid of that chemical taste/smell you get from many water supplies.

While he was at ACE, he also picked up some more hose connectors so that he could make up the short hose you see between the new filter and Bobbie T's water inlet.

While Jim and Linda were out and about the other day, they realized that there was a new restaurant here in Rantoul. It's over in the Shopping Plaza next to Rural King, on the East side of town, where a Chinese Buffet Restaurant used to be. It's called Family Table and last night, Jim and Linda decided to check it out.

When Jim and Linda walked in, they were surprised at how big it was inside. (seating for 200). They have both booths and tables and I'm happy to report that both Jim and Linda were quite impressed with the service and the food. : ) 

Jim had the Cod special, (Four huge pieces of cod, potatoes of your choice, soup or salad and either ice cream or pudding for dessert). Linda had the Spaghetti and Meatball special, (with garlic bread, choice of soup or salad and one of the above mentioned desserts). 

Jim's meal was $9.99 and Linda's was $5.99. Both were very good and large enough that they brought about 1/2 of each meal back here to have at another time.   

1st impressions were very good and only time and returning visits will tell how good this restaurant really is. But, the way it looks now, the Family Table is going to give the Red Wheel, (where Jim and Linda have had some not-so-good food from time to time), a run for the money. 

Today, they're forecasting lots of wind again. Jim and Linda need to do some shopping though, so they may head over to Wally World. 

Did you know that the longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds?


Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Rantoul, IL.

64 deg. overcast, SSW wind @ 13 mph.

Forecast = Today: Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 84°F. South wind 13 to 19 MPH, gusting to 28 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 65%. Precipitation amounts up to one quarter inch possible.
Tonight: Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Lows around 68°F. South southwest wind to 16 MPH, gusting to 23 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 45%.

Some of the folks that Jim and Linda know, have asked them what it's like to move from a 45' diesel pusher to a 27' class B motorhome?

Well, it's kind of like when they first went full-timing, selling their house and moving all of your belongings into a RV. Only this time, they didn't have to give away all of the "stuff" that they had in the 45' MH, they just put whatever didn't fit in the 27' MH into the double wide down in Florida.

I think one of the biggest challenges of downsizing RVs has been the reduced space to move around, without being in each other's way. For instance. If Linda is doing anything in the kitchen, whether it be washing dishes or cooking, she has to move before Jim can get to the bathroom or the bedroom, or even get to the refrigerator, for that matter.

Another thing that has changed is the fact that they no longer have all their "stuff" with them. Just the other day, Jim needed to change a fitting on one of the water hoses, but because of outside storage limitations, that container where the replacement fittings are in, is back at the house. So, Jim had to buy a fitting at the store.

Food storage is another big issue. There are fewer cabinets in this RV than in any RV that we've had since we went full-timing almost 12 years ago. That means more trips to the grocery store and buying smaller quantities of food and supplies, like paper products and even snacks. This refrigerator is also smaller than any we've had in the last 6 years or so, and that means less space for meat, frozen vegetables and ice cream.

Also, there's no ice maker in this refrigerator, which is a big minus for Linda. (She likes ice in anything she drinks except coffee). : )

And, of course, everything else is smaller too. Like the bathroom, bedroom and closets.

Oh, and Linda really misses her washer/dryer. : (

But, before you start thinking that Jim and Linda are unhappy with Bobbie T., I want to assure you that they are not!

There are many good things about a smaller RV, such as ease of getting into and out of small campgrounds, not worrying if a CG is going to have a large enough site,  less steps to get into and out of the RV, ease of driving through congested areas, handles twisty/turny 2 lane roads better that a large RV, and has much less area to clean, both inside and out.

As far as the lack of storage space, I'm sure that once we get back to Florida, Jim and Linda will make changes of what to bring along on our next trip. There are items that they brought along this time that were not needed, so they can be left at the house and other items brought instead.

It's just going to take some time to figure it all out.

Oh, and one more thing. When we first went full-timing, we traveled mostly on 2 lane roads, avoiding the Interstate highways as much as possible. We stayed in State Parks, COE parks, municipal parks and little "mom and pop" type parks. Through the years, mostly because of purchasing larger and larger RVs, we have not been able to comfortably do that any longer.  Both Jim and Linda have missed that type of travel and those type campgrounds and want to get back to that style of traveling again.

Already, when we came from Florida to Virginia this time, we stayed off of the Interstates as much as possible. And, every trip plan that Jim has been working on since we got Bobbie T. has been made utilizing as many non-Interstate highways as possible.

He's even been fooling around with a trip plan for another trip back out to Oregon, that by my estimation, would be on about 90% U.S. and State highways. ; )

If Jim and Linda would not have bought the double wide down in Florida, I think that they would have kept Ermys for at least another year or 2, but then, I'm sure they would have traded him off for something smaller. (Something around 35'). Emrys was just too large for the type of campgrounds and travel that they like.

They would not have gone as small as Bobbie T's 27' though. Both of them agree that for them, she is just  too small to live in full-time.

Did you know that on this date in 1955 - "Billboard" reported that "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" was the most popular song in the U.S?


Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Rantoul, IL.

58 deg. overcast, light fog and mist.

Forecast = Today: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms likely. Highs around 75°F. Southeast wind 9 to 14 MPH.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. Lows around 64°F. South wind to 12 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 70%.

First of all, I'd like to wish all of you a very safe and happy Memorial Day!!!!

Please take some time today to remember the true meaning of this holiday and remember all the brave men and women who gave their lives to keep us free.

Did you know that On Memorial Day, the flag should be at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff?


Saturday, May 25, 2013

How Small Is Your Awning?

Rantoul, IL.

54 deg. overcast, E. wind @ 8 mph.

Forecast = Today: Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 68°F. East southeast wind to 11 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 60%.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms likely. Lows around 57°F. East southeast wind to 11 MPH.

Friday, many RVs came into the Prairie Pines CG. In fact most of the sites were full by the evening. Then, yesterday morning, even more rolled in and by about noon, there were only a few sites left.

There were mostly grown-ups, but some teen agers, and quite a few little kids. Everything went smoothly until about 2:30 yesterday afternoon, when it started raining. Oh, there weren't any storms or even much wind, just a slow steady rain, but it rained hard enough that you definitely wouldn't have wanted to be out in it.

This is when the folks who thought they had a big awning on their RVs, found out just how small they really were! ; )

You see, most of the RVers that are here came as groups. They have friends or family that they had made plans with, to spend the holiday together. Well, for most couples and maybe a kid or two, most awnings are big enough. But,  ,  ,  ,  ,  if you try to get multiple families together under an average sized awning, you soon learn how small it really is!!

Such was the case yesterday. Shortly after the rain started, I couldn't even count how many groups I saw trying to huddle under awnings. A few groups even went to a different RV because that awning was a little larger, but in the end, most ended up going inside their own RVs to wait out the rain. : (

Long ago, Jim and Linda learned how small a large looking awning really was. Especially if it's raining hard or the wind is blowing at all, the space just keeps getting smaller and smaller, and pretty soon, even 2 people under 1 large awning are forced to go inside. : (

You'd think that as large as some of these awning are, most of the area under them would stay dry, but the wind and the splatter just keep making the dry area smaller.

So, if you're thinking that even if it rains, you'll have a nice dry space under the awning to entertain, or whatever, you just may have to reconsider. Sometimes, it's OK, and it's great to sit out there and watch the rain and listen to it on the awning, but don't be surprised if that awning gets awfully small after just a short time.

Did you know that the south refused to honor the dead on Memorial Day until after World War I when the meaning of Memorial Day changed from honoring civil war dead to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war?


Friday, May 24, 2013

Brrrrr!!! It's Cold and Getting Ready For The Holiday

Rantoul, IL.

38 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Today: Sunny. Highs around 64°F. North wind to 10 MPH.
Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows around 43°F. Northeast wind to 7 MPH.

Brrrrrr!!!!!!! I'm sure glad that I've got my little red shirt on!!!! I'd be freezing if I didn't, 38 degrees is just too cold for late May day in central Illinois!!!!

One good thing about it, though, is that as this cold front came through, it pushed the windy conditions away that we've been having. ; )

RVs are already starting to filter into the park here in Rantoul. I don't know just how many, but I would guess somewhere between 5 and 10 came into the CG yesterday and I'm sure there will be many more today. And, by the end of the day tomorrow, it should be completely full.

Speaking of Holidays, I think that it was the first year that we were full-timing that Jim and Linda realized that for major holidays, you had better get into a CG or RV park early, and then just hunker down. I don't remember for sure which holiday it was, ( I think it might have been our first 4th of July as full-timers), that we ended up driving for miles trying to find a CG that had a vacant space. There wasn't good cell phone signals way back then, so we couldn't call ahead easily, but we finally found a CG. It was less than desirable though, with lots of noisy people and a jillion kids running through the sites. : (

There will probably be quite a few kids here at this park this weekend and lots of people celebrating the holiday, but from past experience, Louise and Paul won't let any of them get out of hand. I've seen many the time when Paul or Louise has gone over and had a "talk" with a group that was getting too rowdy or their kids weren't behaving.

Yesterday evening, Jim and Linda took CLT and went to the China Express Restaurant here in Rantoul. They have a very good buffet or you can order off of a menu.

Don't know what's happening today. They're forecasting a cool but very nice day, so I'm sure Jim will be out and about for a change. As for me, I'm looking forward to watching all the RVs coming into the CG. It's always interesting to watch people set up their RVs and campsite.

Well, I'd better go. I've got to remind Jim to put his American flags back out. He brought them in the other day because of the strong winds.  ; )

Did you know that Memorial Day was first called “Decoration Day” because of the practice of decorating soldier’s graves with flowers?


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Two Windy Days

Rantoul. IL.

65 deg. Mostly cloudy, SW wind @ 12 mph.
Forecast = Today: Mostly cloudy with showers likely. Highs around 75°F. Southwest wind 9 to 15 MPH, gusting to 19 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 70%.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Lows around 55°F. West southwest wind to 13 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 70%.

Not a whole lot been happening around here except it's been real windy. (I'm talking 15 to 20 mph winds with 30 mph gusts). You long time readers know how Jim dislikes strong wind, so you won't be surprised when I tell you that he's hardly gone outside a all the last 2 days.

Yesterday, however, he and Linda did take CLT and head over to Walgreen's to get a prescription refilled and then went to the post office to mail some cards.

Oh, and Monday, Linda did a couple loads of laundry over at the bath house / laundry building and Jim did help carry clothes back and forth from there.

Other than that, both Jim and Linda have been doing things inside, like making tentative plans for possible trips in July and even next year, reading, cleaning the inside of Bobbie T, and doing sudoku puzzles.

Today, it's not supposed to be so windy, but they're forecasting a 70% chance of rain, ( in fact it has started to rain now), so we'll have to see what happens.

If anything exciting happens, you'll be the first to know. ; )

Did you know that on this date in 1841 - Henry Kennedy received a patent for the first reclining chair?


Monday, May 20, 2013

Prairie Pines

Rantoul, IL.

71 deg. clear, South wind @ 12 mph.
Forecast = Today: Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Highs around 90°F. Heat index around 99°F. South wind 11 to 18 MPH, gusting to 24 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 50%.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms likely. Lows around 70°F. South wind 10 to 15 MPH.

As most of you know, we're at the Prairie Pines Campground here in Rantoul, IL. Prairie Pines is a city park on the property that once was once was a Mobile Home park on the Chanute Air Force Base which was closed and turned over to the city of Rantoul in September of 1993.  Being that all the utilities were in place, it was a fairly simple matter to convert the Mobile Home park to a Campground. 

The streets are paved with curbs and parking areas for each site.

There's quite a bit of shade, but if you have satellite, there are sites where it's not a problem to get a signal. 

As you drive into the park, you'll see Paul and Louise's, (the CG hosts), trailer off to the left, with the office just beyond in the next site. 

Off to the right and across from Paul and Louise's trailer is the bath house / laundry building, which was re-sided this spring. 

As you can see above, most sites have a sidewalk from the street to a small cement patio with a picnic table. Some sites also have a fire ring, but not all.

Oh, and I think that almost all of the sites are pull-through and most of the sites can accommodate any size RV.  

Jim and Linda have been coming to this park since the 90's. It's a nice quiet park with friendly people and very friendly, helpful, campground hosts. Many, many RVers stop by here every year on their way South for the winter or North for the summer. There's also those who stop by to just kick back and relax for awhile in a great country setting. : )

So, if you're in the Central Illinois area, stop by for awhile. If you stay for a week, you'll get 2 nights free!!!

Did you know that Chanute Field, (renamed Chanute Air Force Base in 1948), was established on 21 May 1917, being one of thirty-two Air Service training camps established after the United States entry into World War I?


Saturday, May 18, 2013

CLT's Brake Lights and Out To Dinner

Rantoul, IL.

61 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Today: Partly cloudy with isolated showers. Highs around 82°F. East wind to 7 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 25%.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows around 63°F. East southeast wind to 7 MPH.

By 8 AM yesterday morning, Jim was outside and digging through his supply of bolts, screws and miscellaneous items, trying to find something that would work to replace the plastic piece that broke on CLT's brake pedal. After a short while, he came up with something he thought would work, so he got out his light and went to work on the pedal.

I don't know if you know it or not, but in a previous life as a younger man, Jim used to be a mechanic. At that time, it was nothing to lay on his back, all twisted around and work under a dash, repairing wiring or replacing parts for hours at a time on cars and trucks. But, even though it didn't take him all that long to get the repair finished yesterday, by the time he was finished, he was really feeling it in his back and arms. : O

The project went well though and soon the brake lights were working properly. : )

CLT's battery was still too low to crank his engine, so Jim headed over to Paul and Louise's to ask if Paul could bring his truck over to give CLT a jump start. Paul was busy right then but in a while he came over with his truck and in a few minutes, CLT's engine was running and charging the battery. : )

Jim left the engine running while he put everything away and then took CLT out for a nice ride in the country. By the time they returned, the battery was charged, so Jim shut his engine off.

We had a few sprinkles of rain go through here yesterday afternoon and it was real windy, so both Jim and Linda stayed inside. Then, for dinner, they headed over to the Red Wheel Restaurant here in town. Jim especially, has mixed feelings about the Red Wheel. He says that at times, he has had very good food there, but other times it hasn't been so good. This time, he had an open faced beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy and Linda had the perch dinner. Both were good.

Maybe they've got a new cook this year. ; )

A Point To Ponder:  The older one gets, the better one used to be.


Friday, May 17, 2013

A Trip To County Market and CLT's Brake Lights

Rantoul, IL.

Forecast = Today: Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 81°F. Southeast wind to 9 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 60%. Precipitation amounts less than one tenth of an inch possible.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with isolated storms. Lows around 61°F. Southeast wind to 8 MPH.

Just as I thought, Jim and Linda didn't do a whole lot yesterday. Just before noon, they headed over to the County Market Grocery Store and picked up some bread, lunch meat, coffee, and one of those roasted chickens from the deli.

After they returned, Linda had her lunch and Jim laid down and took a pretty long nap. ; ) After he woke, he went outside and hooked up Bobbie T's sewer hose and dumped the tanks. Then, after a nice chicken dinner, Jim went back outside to make sure everything was secured for the night.

That's when he noticed that there were some lights on, on the back of CLT. After checking, he found that the brake lights were stuck on and wouldn't turn off!!! He reached under the dash and unplugged the brake light switch and then did a little checking to try to find out what was wrong.

Well, he found out that there was a little plastic piece on the brake pedal arm that contacts the switch when the brake pedal is released, (turning the switch off), and it had broken and had fallen off and onto the floor, ( more than likely it  became brittle because of age), so there was nothing there to shut off the switch!!!

There wasn't anything that Jim could do last night, so he tried to start CLT, but the battery was almost completely dead and CLT's engine wouldn't crank at all. So, this morning, Jim will go down to see if Paul can bring one of his vehicles over here to our site to jump CLT's battery. Then, Jim will have to try to figure out what to do with the brake light switch. : (

Did you know that in Illinois, most corn is planted so that there will be 35,000 to 40,000 plants per acre?


Thursday, May 16, 2013

SMI and Henderson, KY to Rantoul, IL

Rantoul, IL.

67 deg. partly cloudy, N. wind @ 8 mph.
Forecast = Today: Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 81°F. Northeast wind to 5 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 45%.
Tonight: Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Lows around 61°F. South southwest wind to 6 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 45%.

Wow!!! I didn't think we'd end up in Rantoul yesterday, but here we are!!!!! But, let me tell you what all happened.

We left the John James Audubon State Park in Henderson, KY about 8:25 and drove the 12 or so miles up to Evansville, IN and to SMI Mfg., arriving there just before our scheduled appointment at 9:00. Once there, Jim went in and told Jason that we were there and then came back out and unhooked CLT from the back of Bobbie T.

Soon, Jason came out, checked out the wires on the back of Bobbie T, made a little modification to the wires and then took CLT into the building to install the new brake kit. By about 11:30, Jason brought CLT back outside and pulled him up behind Bobbie T.

After some testing to make sure everything worked, Jim went inside, paid the bill, came back outside and hooked CLT back up to Bobbie T, and by 12:05 we were pulling out of SMI's lot.

While Jason was working on CLT, Jim and Linda were discussing what they wanted to do when we left SMI. They both decided that depending on when Jason finished would determine how far they wanted to travel. Well, when everything was done by noon, they decided that we'd at least head part way towards Rantoul and then decide if they wanted to stop for the night, or continue all the way to Rantoul.

So, from Evansville, we headed North on US 41 and up to just South of Terre Haute where we pulled into a gas station to get Bobbie T another drink of 87 octane. While there, the decision was made to continue on up here to Rantoul. While at the station, Jim called Louise here at the CG and told her that because of our change of plans, we'd be coming in yesterday, instead of Saturday, if that was OK. She told Jim to come on in, and she'd be waiting for us. : )

When we got up to Terre Haute, we turned West on I-70 and followed it into Illinois and to Rt. 1 where we turned North. Rt. 1 brought us up to Danville where we turned West on I-74. 74 then brought us over to the Champaign / Urbana area where we turned North on US 45 and took it up here to Rantoul.

Being that we would be staying in Rantoul for quite awhile, Jim wanted to have Bobbie T's gas tank full, so we went into town, to a Casey's gas station, before heading back to the South edge of town and to the  Prairie Pines Campground.

It was 5:00 when we pulled into the CG, so from Henderson, KY we had traveled 239 miles, got the brake kit installed and stopped for fuel twice in 8 hours and 35 minutes. A very long day for Jim and Linda!!!

But, we're here and today both Jim and Linda can just kick back and relax.

Oh, by the way, the new brake kit worked very well and even I could tell that CLT was helping to stop us when we had to stop quickly a few times. : )

Did you know that the city of Rantoul was named after Robert Rantoul, Jr., a U.S. representative from Massachusetts, and a director of the Illinois Central Railroad?


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Essentials? TN to KY and Plan "E"?

Henderson, KY

68 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Today: Mostly sunny. Highs around 88°F. Southwest wind 9 to 16 MPH, gusting to 21 MPH.
Tonight: Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Lows around 64°F. Southwest wind 6 to 13 MPH, gusting to 17 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 35%.

Monday morning, Jim went up to the office and paid for another night at the Countryside Resort. If you remember, I told you that they were out of some essential groceries, so about 11:00, they took CLT and headed to a Publix Grocery Store that is about 10 miles from the CG.

Now, I don't know what your definition of "essential groceries" is, but to me, a lot of what they brought back here from the store, didn't fit into that category!! ; )  They found a place for all of it though, and soon, Jim was taking a nap and Linda was doing some crossword puzzles in a new book that she bought.

Yesterday morning, after getting Bobbie T's propane tank topped off, we left the Countryside Resort at 10:00 and continued West on I-40. When we got to Nashville, we went around the downtown area by using the Briley Parkway until we came to I-24. 24 then brought us up into Kentucky and to Alt. 41 where we turned North. Alt. 41 brought us up to the Pennyrile Parkway which brought us up here to Henderson, Ky and to the John James Audubon State Park

As you can see, we're one of only 4 or 5 other campers in the whole park.

We were here years ago and it's a nice park, but it's an older park, so you may want to check before you come here with a larger RV. There are a few large sites, but some of the turns are pretty tight and most of the sites are pretty short. I don't think that there are any full hook-up sites. We have 30 amp electric and water at site #52, which is one of the 2 available pull-through sites.

After we were settled in, Jim called Louise, the CG host, up in Rantoul and told her that we'd be there this Saturday. Then Linda called her cousin, Mike, who lives up in Indianapolis and made sure that he and his wife Sandy would be around Friday, so we could swing by for a visit. Mike said that they'd be home so plans were made to head up there to see them then.

That is, until Jim called the RV Park up there where we normally stay when visiting them.

When Jim called the park, he was told that they were sold out for the Indy 500 qualifying and were sold out until after the race on Memorial Day!!!! Oh Wow!!!! I never thought about the race, and evidently neither did Jim or Linda!!!!  The lady at the RV Park said that she doubted if there would be a campsite available anywhere near Indianapolis because every year at this time all the parks were full!!

So, what to do?????

Yep, you guessed it!!! Plan "E"!!!!  OK, so here is what is Jim and Linda have come up with so far for the new plan. Jim called Mike and told him about the parks and tentative plans were made to try to get together sometime this summer, or, we will swing by this fall for a visit on our way to the Rally. Mike was disappointed, but he, like Jim and Linda, never even thought about the race. : (

 Today, as scheduled, we'll head up to Evansville and to SMI Manufacturing to have a kit put onto Bobbie T and CLT so that CLT's brakes will be applied when stopping. CLT is already set up with a SMI unit, but it's for Emrys' air brakes and not compatible with  Bobbie T's hydraulic brakes. SMI has a kit to convert the system though, so the whole thing won't have to be replaced.

After we're finished at SMI we'll stay at one of 2 RV parks near there for the night. I still don't know exactly what's going to happen after that. On Thursday, we could stay at one of those 2 parks for an additional day or we could head up to Rantoul.

Jim and Linda were still discussing the options when they came back from having dinner at a Shoney's Restaurant, and I don't think any decisions were made before they went to bed.

My guess is that we'll head up to Rantoul, but who knows. ; )

I'll let you know what they've decided, as soon as I know. : )

Did you know that today is "National Chocolate Chip Day"?


Monday, May 13, 2013

Lenoir, TN To Lebanon, TN, A Resort? and It Made Her Day

Lebanon, TN.

39 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Today: Mostly sunny with areas of frost. Highs around 70°F. Northeast wind 2 to 10 MPH.
Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows around 46°F. North wind 1 to 6 MPH.

Can you believe the temperature here in Lebanon? We've just set a new record low!!!!

After a very nice kick-back Saturday at the TVA Park in Lenoir, we left there yesterday morning and continued heading West on I-40. We didn't have real far to go, so we didn't pull out of the park until about 10:20.

Once on 40, it was easy going with a medium amount of traffic all along the way here to Lebanon, which is just a little East of Nashville. Because Bobbie T's gas tank was just about down to 1/2, when we pulled off of 40 at the exit leading to the CG, Jim pulled her into a gas station and filled her tank up with 87 octane. (8.6 mph again on this fill-up).

After getting Bobbie T her drink, we continued on to the Countryside Resort which is just about 2 miles from the exit. It was 1:10 when we pulled up to the office, so it took us 2 hours and 50 minutes to travel  137 miles and get Bobbie T her drink.

The Countryside Resort is nice, but it's not what I think of when I hear the word, "Resort". The sites are fairly level and they have both pull-through or back in full hook-up sites, some with 50 amp electric. Jim took a few photos of the CG area so you can see what I mean. This first photo is of Bobbie T in our site.

This is looking back towards the office which is the far building in the center of photo and the pavilion off to the left.
 This is the bath house / laundry.

To their credit, the folks in the office are very nice and the man that led us to our site was very friendly and helpful.

Being that yesterday was Mother's Day, Jim wanted to do a little something for Linda, so he cooked a nice big steak out on the grill while Linda prepared some vegetables inside. It sure smelled good, but again, I didn't get to taste any of it. : (

In the evening, Mike called to wish Linda a Happy Mother's Day, and then a little later Laura and Ashley called  and then Joe called.

It made Linda's day!!! ; )

Jim and Linda have decided to stay here another day. Again, they're out of some essentials, so today, they're planning on going to a grocery store to restock.

Did you know that many of the sweaters worn by Mr. Rogers on the popular television show, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, were actually knitted by his real mother?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Nice Weather, Clothes Rack and Bobbie T Reports

Lenoir, TN

64 deg. cloudy, no wind
Forecast = Today: Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Highs around 72°F. West southwest wind to 10 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 40%.
Tonight: Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Lows around 52°F. West wind to 9 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 40%.

Friday was a nice day here at the TVA park in Lenoir. It was overcast at times with the threat of rain, but the temperatures were great with just light winds blowing. Jim spent quite a bit of the day sitting outside under Bobbie T's awning and just relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

Linda washed out a few things in the sink and then brought them outside to dry on the clothes rack that Jim made way back when we had Myrddin. You see, Emrys didn't have a ladder so there was no way to use the rack, but now Bobbie T has a ladder and Linda can again hang a few clothes out to dry if she wants to. : )

The photo above is of the rack on Myrddin's ladder.

After hanging out the clothes, Linda spent some time outside enjoying the scenery and weather with Jim, but soon it was lunch time, so they both came inside.

Oh, I've been asked how Bobbie T preformed in the mountains. Well, Jim says that it's hard to say because he's used to Emrys 450 HP Diesel engine and the great torque it had, but he thinks that Bobbie T did pretty well. We passed many of the semi trucks going up the grades and came back down with little effort, using the tow mode on the transmission. All in all, I think Jim's pretty pleased.

Of course if we head out West through the Rockies some day, that will be the real test.

I also want to give you an update on Bobbie T's mileage. The average for the last 2 fill-ups, (since I last reported), is 8.6 mpg. That's up .2 over the first check. Jim's kind of surprised because this included the mountain driving, but thinks that maybe because it has been almost all Interstate type roads, it made the difference.

Did you know that the TVA act, passed by congress on May 18, 1933, was part of part of Franklin D Roosevelt's "New Deal" to help recover from the Great Depression?

Friday, May 10, 2013

North Carolina To Tennessee and The TVA Melton Hill Dam Recreation Area

Lenoir City, TN.

59 deg. light fog, no wind.
Forecast = Today: Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Highs around 75°F. South southwest wind 4 to 18 MPH, gusting to 28 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 70%.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms likely. Lows around 63°F. Southwest wind 7 to 15 MPH, gusting to 23 MPH.

After a nice one night stay at the Miles Motors RV Park. we left Swannanoa at 9:45 and continued West on I-40. A little past Asheville, the road swung towards the NW, up into the Smokys and then into Tennessee where it turned West again.  Just after turning West, we pulled into a Pilot gas station and filled up Bobbie T's tank with 87 octane gas.

This time there were no credit card issues and except for having to wait for a pump to open up, everything went smoothly. ; )

Once back on I-40 and heading West, the question came up as weather to continue on I-40 right through Knoxville or to go around to the North on I-640. Well, Jim decided to right through the center of the city on 40, so when we came to the split, we stayed on 40.

40 through Knoxville, was OK, but boy, was it ever crowded!! For most of the way, we were running bumper to bumper at 55 to 60 mph!!! Way too fast and too close for me!!! : O

We made it through without any problems though and soon we were West of the city and turning off on exit 364 and heading North on Route 321. In just a short way, we were turning off at the signs that pointed the way here to the TVA Melton Hill Dam Recreation Area Camp Ground.

It was 1:10 when we pulled up in front of the registration kiosk so we traveled for 3 hours and 25 minutes,  got gas for Bobbie T and traveled  150 miles.

This is a nice park. It reminds me a lot of some of the COE parks that we've stayed at through the years. There's lots of trees, so if you have satellite, you just may be out of luck. Most of the sites seem to be fairly level and medium in size, but the as we found when we drove back into the CG, the roads were narrow with some very sharp curves and corners. They have a few sites that are full hook-up but the site we're in only has water and electric. (30 / 50 amp),

I do, however, have a great view from out under Bobbie T's awning. ; )

This is the view looking more toward the rear of our site.

And, this is the view looking from the road back up to our site.

The site is well equipped with a  large cement picnic table, fire ring, grill and a post to hang a lantern on.

Jim and Linda like this park and the site we're in, so they signed up for 3 nights.

Oh!!! And the best part?  They honored Jim's Golden Age Passport, so we're staying here for $11 per night!!!  ; )

Did you know that today is "National Doodle Day"?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Moncure To Swannanoa

Swannanoa, NC

54 deg. foggy, no wind.
Forecast = Today: Partly cloudy with patchy fog. Highs around 77°F. West northwest wind to 8 MPH.
Tonight: Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Lows around 52°F. West northwest wind 1 to 6 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 25%.

We left Moncure about 10:30 yesterday morning and headed up to Pittsboro on hilly winding 2 lane roads. Once in Pittsboro, we stopped at a gas station to get Bobbie T a drink of 87 octane.

I don't know what happened, but there was some kind of mix-up with Jim and Linda's credit card because they ended up calling the bank from the gas station before they could get it to work!! : (  By the time we left the gas station, it was already a little past 10:30.

From Pittsboro, we headed West on US 64 until we came to Siler City, where we turned NW on US 421. 421 then took us up to Greensboro where we turned West on I-40. Following 40 brought us past Winston-Salem, Hickory and Morganton and here to Swannanoa where we pulled into the Miles Motors RV Center and Campground,  which is just a few blocks off of the Interstate.

We had been to this CG before, but not for quite awhile. In fact, I'm pretty sure that we still had Myrddin the last time we were here. It's a decent CG. They have a handful of pull-through sites which is nice if you don't want to unhook, the sites are quite level and there's shade if you want it. There's full hook-ups with 50 amp electric, free cable TV and free wi-fi that doesn't seem to be working right now, all for $27.00 a night.

It was 2:25 when we pulled up in front of  the office, and we had traveled 215 miles. The roads were pretty good, we had lots of traffic around the biggest cities and we would have made pretty good time if it hadn't been for that Credit Card fiasco. : (

Today, the plan is to take I-40 up into Tennessee and then follow it West for a ways. Jim has a couple parks spotted just past Knoxville, so we'll probably stay there. One of the parks is a TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority), park on a lake that sounds pretty interesting.

But, we'll have to see what Jim and Linda feel like when we get up there.

Did you know that the longest time spent standing on one foot is 76 hours and 40 minutes?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Storms, Another Dinner and Saying Good-Bye Again

Moncure, NC.

52 deg. overcast, no wind.
Forecast = Today: Partly cloudy with scattered showers. Highs around 72°F. Southwest wind to 5 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 55%. Precipitation amounts up to one quarter inch possible.
Tonight: Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Lows around 54°F. Light wind. Chance of precipitation near 55%.

Had some real heavy rain yesterday with lightning. In fact the lightning must have struck a electric pole or something because about 12:20 the power went out and didn't come back on for about an hour and a half.

After the storm was over, Jim went outside for awhile. While he was outside, Marc came by and Jim gave him a check for the 2 extra days that we're staying, plus gave him the dates that we'll be here when we come back in the fall.

Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I didn't tell you, but being that Jim and Linda have signed up to go to the RV Dreams Rally in Franklin, NC this fall, we know exactly when we'll be getting back here, so Jim and Linda decided to reserve a site.

Anyway, after talking to Marc for awhile, Jim came back inside and then took a nap. ; )

About 5:00 Jim and Linda took CLT and headed over to Mike and Gina's for dinner. About the time they were finished eating, the sun came out and it was so nice that they spent the rest of the evening sitting out on their front porch, talking and watching the kids play.

Mike and Gina will be busy today and we won't get to see them again this trip, so after hugs, Jim and Linda said their good-bye's and headed back here to the park. Again, it's hard to leave, but Jim and Linda had a great time visiting with Mike, Gina, Brenna, Savanna and Dillon, and we'll be back this fall. : )

Today, I think Jim and Linda are planning on going to a grocery store. They don't need many groceries, but are just about out of a few essential items. Jim also needs to check Bobbie T over again and dump the tanks before we leave here tomorrow. 

Did you know that it was on this date in 1915  the Lusitania, a civilian ship, was sunk by a German submarine? 1,201 people were killed.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Moving Ahead With Plan D

Moncure, NC.

57 deg. light rain, E. wind @ 8 mph.

Forecast = Today: Partly cloudy with numerous light showers. Highs around 72°F. East wind to 14 MPH, gusting to 22 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 75%.
Tonight: Partly cloudy with numerous light showers. Lows around 55°F. East southeast wind 3 to 10 MPH, gusting to 17 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 75%.

It was cloudy and dreary yesterday so Jim stayed inside most of the day. That was OK though because the NASCAR race at Talladega entertained him for most of the afternoon and evening.

Soon after Lunch, Mike called and Jim told him about Roland and Louise and our possible change of plans. He was going to stop by on his way home from work but since we probably would be staying longer, he said that he'd head right home because he had a lot to do there.

Sometime during the afternoon, Jim spotted Marc, (the CG owner), doing some things here in the park, so he went out and asked him if we could stay for 2 more nights. Marc said that it wouldn't be a problem because the person who is coming in on our site isn't coming until this Thursday.

So, it looks like we'll be moving ahead with plan D. ; )

After dinner, Jim called Mike back and told him the Marc had OK'd our change of plans. Mike was happy that we're staying a little longer and invited Jim and Linda over for dinner this evening.

Except for heading over to Mike and Gina's for dinner, there's no real plans for today. It's supposed to rain off and on all day, so there won't be much of an opportunity to do anything outside.

Did you know that the average height of people in Western nations has increased by 4 inches in the last 150 years?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

More Visiting, Family Photos, Disappointing News and Plan D

Moncure, NC.

52 deg. cloudy, NE wind @ 9 mph.
Forecast = Today: Cloudy with slight chance of light rain. Highs around 64°F. Northeast wind to 14 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 65%. Precipitation amounts less than one tenth of an inch possible.

Tonight: Cloudy with light rain likely. Lows around 57°F. East northeast wind to 14 MPH, gusting to 22 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 80%. Precipitation amounts up to one quarter inch possible.

Jim and Linda took CLT and headed over to Mike and Gina's about 11:30 yesterday morning. Once there, they had lunch and then visited for a good part of the afternoon.

While they were there, they got a call from their good friend, Roland. When he found out that Jim and Linda were at Mike's, he asked Jim to call him back when they got back here to the CG. By the sound of Roland's voice, Jim knew  that there was something wrong and was hoping that it wasn't anything serious.

By about 4:00, CLT had brought Jim and Linda back here, so Jim called Roland back.

Well, it wasn't real bad news, but it's going to make a change in our plans. You see, from here, we were going to head over to Roland and Louise's home in Forest City, NC and visit with them for 4 days. Jim and Linda knew that Louise was going to have surgery on her foot in about 3 weeks, and it sounded like the timing would work out. But,  ,  ,  ,  ,  Saturday, they found out that the surgery would be moved up to a week from this coming Friday, and this whole week would be filled with doctors appointments and tests. : (

It's a big disappointment, but Louise definitely needs the surgery on her foot, and you can't be too picky about when you have it. Our visit with them really isn't important in the whole scope of things.

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  Time for Plan D!!!!

None of this is really decided on yet, but Jim's thinking that because they're forecasting heavy rain for Monday and Tuesday, (if it works out with Marc, the CG owner), we may stay here for an additional 2 days and leave on Wednesday.  Then instead of stopping at Forest City, we'll head up into Tennessee and spend a couple days there before heading up to Evansville, IN, where Jim has an appointment at the SMI factory to have a new toad braking system installed on Bobbie T and CLT on the 15th of May.

From there, the plan is to head up to Indianapolis to see Linda's cousin before heading to Rantoul, where we'll spend most of the summer.

So, today, Jim will get in touch with Marc to see if this site is available for 2 more nights. If it is, plan D should work. If not, I guess there'll be a Plan E!!! ; )

Stay tuned!!!!

Jim was able to take a few photos yesterday. This first one is Brenna. She'll be starting High School this fall.

This is Savanna, she'll be starting Middle School this fall.
This is Mike and Dillon. Dillon will be starting kindergarten this fall. 

The photo of Gina that Jim took didn't turn out, so this is a photo from our last visit.

Did you know that on this date in 1936, Edward Ravenscroft received a patent for the screw-on bottle cap with a pour lip?


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Dinner With Mike And Dillon and Towing Lights

Moncure, NC.

51 deg., cloudy, NE wind @ 9 mph.
Forecast = Today: Mostly cloudy. Highs around 66°F. East northeast wind to 15 MPH, gusting to 24 MPH.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with slight chance of light drizzle. Lows around 52°F. East northeast wind to 13 MPH, gusting to 23 MPH.

Brenna decided to go along to Savanna's dance lessons with Savanna and Gina, so she didn't come to the  Chili's Restaurant with Mike and Dillon at about 5:00 PM Thursday evening. It was OK though as the 4 of them still had a good time eating and visiting.

After eating and saying their good-bye's, Jim and Linda headed back here and Mike and Dillon headed home.

Yesterday, Jim and Linda decided that it was time to get some groceries, so they headed over to Pittsboro to go to the Food Lion Grocery Store. On the way, they stopped at an Advance Auto Parts Store where Jim bought some of those magnetic lights that you put on a vehicle or trailer that you're towing. If your remember, when we were in Virginia Beach and Jim was working on the lights on the back of CLT, he found that there were major wiring  problems back there. Well, instead of trying to straighten that mess out, he decided to try some of magnetic lights that some RVers use.

From the Auto Parts store, they headed to Food Lion where they bought a bunch of groceries. Then, when they returned here to the CG, the challenge was to find a place for all the stuff that they had bought. ; )

Because the weather was nice yesterday, (high temperatures right around 79 deg.), after the groceries were put away, Jim decided to tackle figuring out how was the best way to route the wires for the new magnetic lights. It took a little time because he had to splice in a section of wire one place and do a little re-routing of the connector on the back of Bobbie T, but everything went pretty smoothly and soon everything was working. : )

After finishing that project, Jim dumped Bobbie T's tanks before coming inside and taking a nap. ; )

Being that Mike and Gina were busy for the evening, Linda cooked some sweet corn and heated up a beef and gravy entree that they had purchased at the store.

Today, Mike will be calling and then plans will be made for the day.

Did you know that the offspring of two sets of identical twins are legally cousins but genetically siblings?


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Just A Quick Note

Moncure, NC.

58 deg. cloudy, NE wind @ 5 mph.
Forecast = Today: Mostly cloudy with slight chance of light drizzle. Highs around 70°F. Northeast wind to 11 MPH, gusting to 19 MPH.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows around 52°F. East northeast wind to 8 MPH, gusting to 16 MPH.

Just a quick note to let you know that everything's OK. The weather has been anything but nice. It's been raining or misting every day with fog mixed in and cool damp temperatures. With that kind of weather, Jim and Linda have been staying mostly inside, except to go over to Mike and Gina's every evening for dinner and to visit.

Other than that, there's been absolutely nothing else going on!!!

 Tonight, Gina and Savanna are going to be busy, so plans have been made to meet Mike, Brenna and Dillon at a Chili's restaurant for dinner. And then, either today or tomorrow, Jim and Linda will need to go to a grocery store to pick up a few essentials, but that's all that's planned.

So, that's it from Moncure. If anything exciting happens, I'll be sure to let you know. ; )

Did you know that despite the fact that 77 percent of Americans go to the grocery store with a list, it's estimated that half of everything bought there is bought on impulse?