Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hugs, Kisses, Handshakes And A Few Tears and Virginia Beach, VA To Moncure, NC

Moncure, NC.

47 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 66F. Winds light and variable.

Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, after hugs, kisses, handshakes and  few tears, we left Joe and Nancy's house in Virginia Beach about 10 minutes after 10:00 and headed West on I-264. When we came to I-64, we turned South and followed it around to US 17, where we turned SW and followed it down into North Carolina. They're still building a new hi-rise bridge on 17 soon after you turn off of I-64, but we din't have much of a delay getting through the construction and soon we were tooling along on 17, which, in a few miles,  turns into a 4 lane divided highway.

17 stays divided all the way down into North Carolina and all but a few small sections are like that all the way down to Williamson, where we pulled into the Pierce Mobile Home and RV Park. It was right at 12:30 and we had traveled 120 miles when Jim went up to the office  to pay for our 1 night's stay.

In just a little while, Jim had Nora in her site and was hooking up her electric cable and running down the stabilizer jacks. (Didn't unhook from Big RED cause we're in a pull-though site and we would be leaving in the morning). Then, after that, he came inside, rested a bit had some liquid refreshments, went back out and dumped Nora's very full black and gray water tanks.

Friday morning we left Williamston at 9:45 and headed Wast towards Raleigh. In about an hour and 45 minutes we were going around the South side of the city on I-40/440. When we came to US 1, we turned SW on it and followed it here to Moncure, NC and the Goodwin's RV Park.

It was 12:05 when we pulled into the park, so it took us 2 hours and 20 minutes to travel the 137 miles over here.

We really like Goodwin/s. Marc, the owner is supper nice and will accommodate you in any way he can. It's a small RV Park with only a few sites available for short term use and they're usually full, so it requires a bit of luck to get a site here. Jim hasn't taken any photos of our site yet, but I'll be sure to post them when he does.

Mike, Gina and the kids were busy yesterday, but today, Big RED will be taking Jim and Linda over to their house. They're going for lunch, and will probably stay for a good part of the afternoon.

Did you know that Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations in the world, dating back over 2000 years to the time of the Celts who lived in Britain?

Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour tonight!!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Visiting With Joe And Nancy and Getting Ready To Move On South

Virginia Beach, VA.

66 deg. overcast, wind ESE at 7 mph.

Forecast = Variable clouds and becoming windy with thunderstorms, especially this morning. High 77F. Winds SSE at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

Not a whole lot to report. Jim and Linda have been visiting with Joe and Nancy almost every evening and enjoying the great meals that Nancy has prepared. Monday, Jim took one of Nora's propane tanks and had it filled at the local U-Haul. On the way, he stopped at a Pep Boy's Automotive Store and picked up some fuses for the thermostat, and on the way back, stopped at a gas station and filled Big RED's tank with that good old #2 diesel fuel.

We've really enjoyed our stay here in Virginia Beach, visiting with Joe and Nancy, but it's time to move on South. So, tomorrow morning, we'll head down into North Carolina where the plan is to stop for the night at Pierce Mobile Estates and Travel Trailer Park in Williamston to dump Nora's tanks and then continue on to  Goodwin's RV Campground in Moncure, NC on Friday, where we'll stay for about a week so that Jim and Linda can visit with Mike and Gina and see grand-kids, Brenna, Savanna and Dillon.

 The last few days have been overcast with rain off and on, thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Patricia, and the weather guessers are forecasting more rain for most of today and tonight. However, they're guessing that tomorrow, (Thursday), should be a nice day and should be dry and sunny, with light winds, which will be good for hooking up and traveling. :-)

Did you know that Virginia Beach  is the largest city in Virginia by total area?


Friday, October 23, 2015

West Virginia To Virginia And On To Virginia Beach and More Problems

Virginia Beach, VA.

55 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Sunny, High 68F. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph.

We left the Summer Wind CG at 9:50 Tuesday morning and continued East on I-64 until we came to Exit 169 (US 219) at Lewisburg. Following 219 South for about 2 1/2 miles brought us to Loudermilk Trailer & RV Sales, where Chris is the general manager. It was about 10:15 when we arrived.

Chris was waiting for us and directed us around to the rear of the business and into a spot where there was an electric hook-up to plug Nora in so that he could check the A/C as well as the furnace operation with the new Thermostat. Everything went well and everything worked with the new thermostat so by about 10:55 we were heading North on US 219.

Once back to I-64 we again turned East and followed it into Virginia and to US 220 at Cliftondale  Park, where we turned South. US 220 brought us down to Roanoke, VA. where we again turned East on US 460. Following 460 brought us to Appomattox, VA and the Parkview RV Park.

It was right at 2:00 when we arrived, so it took us 4 hours and 10 minutes to get Nora's thermostat installed, stop at a station in Virginia to get Big RED a drink of that good old #2 diesel fuel and travel 178 miles.

We've been to the Parkview RV Park before and I don't remember all the noisy traffic on US 460 as well as Rt. 24 at all times of the day and night. I also don't think that the park was as well maintained as it used to be, but still is OK for an overnight stay. Kind of expensive though at $35.10, (after the Good Sam discount), for a full hook-up site with absolutely no other amenities.

It got pretty chilly Tuesday evening, so Jim turned the furnace on. Everything went well for about an hour and a half or so, with the furnace cycling on and off like it should, but then, it quit!!!!!!  Yep, blew a fuse in the new thermostat!!!!!

Wednesday morning before we left Appomattox, Jim called Chris and told him that the new thermostat had also blown the fuse and to ask him if he had any other ideas of what might be causing it to happen. Chris said that he would call the manufacturer and see if they had any ideas and call Jim back. Jim said that we'd be on the road, traveling, so that he would call him back when we got to our destination instead.

So, we left the Parkview RV Park at 9:55 and continued East on US 460. 460 took us over to Suffolk and then to the Norfolk / Chesapeake area where we turned off on I-64 which took us around to Virginia Beach where we turned East on I-264. At exit #20, we turned off of 264 and then took local roads for about 2 miles to Joe and Nancy's house, arriving about 1:40 after traveling a total of 195 miles in 3 hours and 45 minutes.

The plan is to stay here in VB for about a week before heading to North Carolina to see Mike and Gina, in the Raleigh area. However, a lot will depend on the weather and the furnace as to when we'll need to head further South to stay warm.

Oh, speaking of the furnace, Jim called Chris back and he said that the only thing that he and the tech,  that he spoke to, could come up with was a possible short in the wire that goes, first up to the Air Conditioner, and then down to the furnace. :-(

Did you know that on this date in 1930 - J.K. Scott won the first miniature golf tournament? The event was held in Chattanooga, TN.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Meadow Bridge, WV


Forecast = Sunny to partly cloudy. Hard freeze expected. High 48F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.
Sunday night = Clear skies. Widespread frost likely. Low 28F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.

I guess it's true that every cloud has a silver lining. And, especially, if you're an RVer, you'd better believe that statement is true.
The above photo was taken from the Summer Wind RV Park on our arrival day. (Saturday)

You see, when you're an RVer and travel a lot, you're bound to have problems somewhere along the way. This time, for us, it was Nora's furnace. :-(

While we were at that State Park in Ohio, Nora's furnace all of a sudden stopped working. But, with a little checking, Jim determined that the Thermostat was most likely at fault because it wouldn't turn on the furnace or the A/C. He then found that there was a small fuse in the thermostat that was blown,.So, after heading to an auto parts store came back and replaced the fuse, which blew about 10 seconds after he turned on the furnace.

The Cloud!!!

Jim and Linda carry an electric space heater with them for times when it's not too cold and you really don't need to run the furnace and burn up propane, but since the weather forecast was calling for below freezing temperatures, Jim decided to purchase another one.

He figured that by turning off almost all other electric loads in Nora, and with the 2 heaters running, he could keep the inside of Nora livable. That worked and for Thursday and Friday nights, we stayed nice and toasty with the 2 heater set-up.

Yesterday morning, we left the City Park in Point Pleasant, WV at about 9:50 and continued South on US 35. When we got down to I-64, we turned East on it and followed it through Charleston, WV and then SE down to Beckley where I-64 turned more Easterly again. We followed it East to exit 150 where we turned off and drove just a short distance to the Summer Winds RV Park, arriving at 12:45 after traveling 153 miles.

Jim and Linda found this park years ago and every time we come through this area, we stop here for at least 1 night. There's nothing fancy about this park at all. There's no pool or playground but the surrounding scenery is beautiful. And you couldn't find a better CG host than Russ Phillips who keeps the CG in very nice shape and will do anything in his power to make you feel at home and help in any way he can. Oh, and they also added wi-fi to the park since we were last here.

Such was the case while registering, when Jim mentioned that we were having problems with the furnace. Russ said that there was a very good Mobile RV Tech near by, and that the tech had repaired many RVs that were traveling through the area over the years.

The Silver Lining.

 So, being that Jim trusts Russ's recommendation, he asked Russ to give him a call. Russ gave Chris a call and he said that he could come and look at the furnace in an hour or so.

Jim and Linda set up Nora and in about an hour and a half, Chris pulled up into the site next to us with his pick-up and cargo trailer. With his volt-ohm meter, he determined that the furnace was OK and the problem was in the thermostat, so he went out to his trailer to try to find a thermostat that would work with Nora's system. He found one that would run the furnace, but not the A/C, so temporarily  installed it so we'd have heat for the forecasted  very low temperatures.

Of course, being Saturday, Chris wouldn't be able to order the correct thermostat until Monday and get it on Tuesday, but that's OK. Throughout the years, we've become very flexible and Jim always allows extra days for travel or problems. Besides we really like this park and it's not very expensive, so a few extra days may be kind of nice. ;-)

Now, I know this blog post has gotten quite long, but there's just one more thing. Jim and Linda are really glad that Chris was able to come and get the furnace running, because as I write this, at about 7:30 AM Eastern time, Jim's outside thermometer is showing 23 degrees!!!!!


It's nice and toasty inside of Nora though!!!!! :-)

Did you know that The origin of the phrase, "Every cloud has a solver lining" is most likely traced to John Milton's "Comus" (1634) with the lines,

Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Catching Up, IL to IN, IN to OH, "Campground Is Full" and OH to WV

Point Pleasant, WV

38 Deg. clear, no wind

Forecast = Mainly sunny to start, then a few afternoon clouds. Scattered frost possible. High 56F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

We did leave Prairie Pines on Tuesday as planned in change "C" of our trip plan. After hugs and good-bye's at Paul and Louise's it was right at 10:05 when we pulled out of the Prairie Pines CG and headed South on some local roads, joining I-74 in St. Joseph, IL. Once on 74 it was just a matter of following it East over to Indy where we turned South on I-465. 465 took us around to the South side of the city and to the Lake Haven Retreat which is just a little South of the Interstate on Rt.37.

It was 12:25 when we arrived, so it took us right at 2 1/2 hours to drive the 135 miles over there.

After arriving and getting Nora set up, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed over to Linda's cousin, Mike's house where they had a great visit and a nice meal of Popeye's chicken. Mike and his wife Sandy, seem to be doing pretty well right now. It was about 8:00 or so by the time Jim and Linda returned to the park and both of them said that they had a good time visiting.

Wednesday morning, after hooking Nora to the back of Big RED, we left the Indianapolis area, at about 10:10, (Eastern Time), and headed SE on US 74. When we got over to Cincinnati, we took I-275 around the South side of the city and picked up Rt 32 on the East side. Following 32 SE to the Batavia, OH area, brought us to the East Fork State Park. Upon pulling into the park and at the CG entrance, there was a sign with big red letters stating that the "Campground Is Full"!!!!

Now, this is a huge State Park with many, many sites, but being that they are having a Halloween Campout for the next 2 weekends, all the sites were reserved or full. After talking to the lady at the office, she suggested Jim try the Stonelick State Park which was about 15 miles North of East Fork. She gave Jim the phone number so he called over there and they had a few sites available for a couple nights.  So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  after programming the address into our GPS, we took off, following "Tillie;s" directions up there.

Now, don't ask me exactly which roads we took up there. There were 4 or 5 different Ohio routes and I have now idea what they were, but Tillie got us there and by the time we arrived we had traveled 178 miles and it was about 2:10 when pulled up to the registration office at the Stonelick State Park, near Pleasant Plains, OH. :-)

They're having a Halloween Campout at Stonelick this weekend too, but we were able to stay for 2 nights in site #42.

As you can see by the photos below, it's kind of a nice park and the fall colors are just starting to show.

I can't even begin to tell you how helpful both of the ladies at the 2 State Parks were at helping us get a site. They went out of their way to accommodate us. I doubt if they'll be reading this, but I'd like to thank them for helping us. "Thank You"!!!!

After staying at Stonelick for 2 nights, (without any Internet Signal), we left there yesterday morning at around 10:15. Again, Tillie came through and got us back on Rt. 32 heading SE. We finally came to US 35 where we turned South and followed 35 down to the Ohio River where we crossed into West Virginia. Just across the river is the town of Point Pleasant. They have a city CG called Krodel Park. It was 1:00 when we pulled into the park and we had traveled 142 miles in about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Krodel park is OK for an overnight stay. The folks here seem very friendly and except for some kids playing over at the public playground and a train now and then, it's quiet. Most of the sites are quite close together, but the pull-through that we're in is on the end of the row, so we have quite a bit of room.

Here a few photos of the park.

In this last photo, you can see the lake in the distance.

We'll be leaving here this morning to continue our journey to Virginia Beach. We'll probably stop 2 more times before arriving there on Monday.

A Quote To Ponder:  “One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.”
Jack Penn


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"The Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Men Often Go Awry" Quote by Robert Burns

Rantoul, IL.

54 deg.overcast, NW wind @ 9 mph.

Forecast = Sun and clouds mixed. High 67F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.

Yep!!! You guessed it!!!! Another change of our travel plans!!!!

Oh well, Jim does have that big eraser and he put it to good use again yesterday when we woke up to wind howling through the CG and Nora shaking on her stabilizer jacks! :-(

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , after talking it over and checking a couple weather guesses on the computer and on TV, Jim and Linda decided it was in everyone's best interest to stay here and "hunker down" for another day. Especially since the wind was out of the SW and we would be going SE, (the wind would be hitting Nora broadside), with predicted gusts of anywhere from 30 to 40 mph!!! :-O

Jim went over and checked with Louise to make sure it was OK for us to stay another night and then came back here and re-connected the water hose so he and Linda wouldn't have to run off of the fresh water tank's supply. Linda called her cousin in Indy to see of he and his wife were able to visit for awhile today instead of yesterday, (he said that they had no plans for today, so it didn't make any difference), and then unpacked a few items that she and Jim would need for an additional day.

Now, we'll have to change how long we'll be staying at one of our planned stops along the way, but that shouldn't be too difficult cause at 2 of the parks/campgrounds, we were planning on staying 2 nights, so now, we'll only be staying for one night at one of them.

Did you know that on this date in 1792 - The cornerstone of the Executive Mansion was laid in Washington, DC? The building became known as the White House in 1818.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Time To Head South

Rantoul, IL.

48 deg. clear, S. wind @ 5 mph.

Forecast = Sunny. High around 80F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.

As you can see in the photos below, fall is definitely arriving here in Rantoul.

The crops are being harvested out of the fields and the nights are getting downright chilly. The grass is starting to turn brown and all of the songbirds have long ago headed to warmer climates.

All clues to indicate that we should also head to warmer areas of the country. ;-)

So, the last few days have been spent getting ready to do just that. There have been trips to Walgreen's, the grocery store, as well as a lot of reorganizing of "stuff" in the basement and other storage areas of Nora. Of course, Big RED wasn't left out either, Jim also went through much of the "stuff" in his bed as well as any other storage areas inside the cab.

Meanwhile, Linda has been repacking cabinets and storage areas inside of Nora as well as making sure the freezer and refrigerator are ready for travel.

Tomorrow morning, (Monday), we'll be leaving Rantoul and heading over to Indianapolis to see Linda's cousin, Mike and his wife, Sandy. Then, from there, we'll head farther East, going first to Virginia Beach, VA and then to Apex, NC before heading down to Florida for the winter, with the expected time of arrival in Fl. about the 15th of November.

We've had a great summer here in Rantoul, and will miss Paul and Louise and all the folks who regularly stay here or stop by.  But, if everything goes well, we'll be back again next year. :-)

A Quote to Ponder : To those who can dream there is no such place as faraway. "  author unknown.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Visiting Adeline and Starting To Get Ready To Leave Rantoul

Rantoul, IL.

50 deg. Partly cloudy, light fog, no wind.

Forecast = A mix of clouds and sun. High 81F. Winds light and variable.

Monday, about 11:30 AM, Big RED took Jim and Linda up to Manteno to see Jim's cousin, Adeline. She's recovering from  major surgery, so the plan was to stay for only  a couple hours. They arrived at her house about 1:30 and spent about 2 1/2 hours catching up on what has been going on during the last year. She seems to be doing well with her recovery but when she's recovered enough, she needs to have more surgery for knee joint replacement.

On the way back from Manteno, Jim and Linda stopped at a restaurant in Paxton, IL. to grab something to eat as it was after 5:00 by that time. The service was great, but Jim thought the food was just, OK.

Not too much else to report. Both Jim and Linda have been starting to do things to get ready to head out on Monday. Yesterday, Jim checked all the tires on Nora and Big RED, making sure they all had enough air. He and Linda have a growing list of things to do before we leave, so both of them will be fairly busy for the next 5 days.

The weather guessers on TV are saying that we should have pretty nice weather except for late Thursday and early Friday, (when they're guessing that we'll have some rain), so if they're guessing right, there should be time to get everything done without too much trouble.

Did you know that October is "National Toilet Tank Repair Month"?


Saturday, October 3, 2015

It's Been Awhile, Planning A Visit and Keeping An Eye On The East Coast Weather

Rantoul, IL.

49 deg. cloudy, light rain, NE wind @ 14 mph.

Forecast = Generally cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High around 60F. Winds NE at 15 to 25 mph.

Again, it's been quite awhile since I've posted on this blog. Hasn't been too much happening, in fact, I guess the weather has been the the main item of conversation around here lately. You see, we went from really nice weather with light winds, highs in the mid-70's to very windy weather, (15 to 25 mph with up to 30 mph gusts), with highs in the low 60's and lows at night getting down to the mid 40's.

As many of you long time readers may remember, Jim is not a big fan of wind. In fact, if he can help it, he won't go out at all when it starts blowing over about 20 mph.

But wait!!!! The weather guesser are saying that there's a change coming and the wind will die down somewhat tomorrow and by Monday, they're guessing that the winds will only be in the 5 to 10 mph range!!! ;-)

Not much else happening. Jim and Linda went out to eat at the Blue Star Restaurant over in Fisher, IL Monday evening, went grocery shopping at the big Meijer's store down in Champaign on Thursday and then went to Arby's for a sandwich last night.  It's been pretty quiet here in the CG. Some RVs came in yesterday, but I think they may be part of a "group" that's having a gathering here.

Monday, Big RED is going to take Jim and Linda up to Manteno, IL. (Just a little North of Kankakee), to see Jim's cousin, Adeline. She's had some major medical problems lately, so the plan is to stay for only a couple hours, so she doesn't get too tired.

We're keeping a close eye on the weather along the East Coast, since that's where we'll be heading when we leave here in just over a week. It looks like the storm is going to stay well out to sea, but those things are very unpredictable, so we'll keep watching. Hopefully, for everyone along the coast, it'll stay out there.

A Quote to ponder :
A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
Hugh Downs