Friday, June 24, 2016

Yes, We Did Make It To Rantoul

Rantoul, IL.

65 deg. clear, N. wind @ 8 mph.

Forecast = Sun and clouds mixed. High 87F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.

Sorry it took so long for me to write this post, but it's been quite busy since the last time I've posted.

We left the Hilltop CG in Goreville Monday morning after a nice restful day on Sunday. It was about 8:30 when we pulled out of our site and headed North on I-57. 57 took us all the way up here to Rantoul where we turned off on US 136. 136 took us into town and to Rt. 45/Century Blvd. where we turned South. If you keep heading South on Century Blvd instead of following US 45 as it turns West, Century will take you to within a block of the Prairie Pines CG. All you have to do is turn East on the S. Perimeter Rd at the stop sign and take it 1 block to the CG. (You'll be able to see the CG as you drive South on Century.)

It was right at 12:15 when we pulled up in front of the office, so we traveled the  220 miles up here in 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Our site is right across from the office this year. I'm still trying to decide if I like as well as the site we've had previously. It has shade at many times of the day, but in the evening, (around dinner time), there's no shade at all on our awning side, and the sun is low enough that the awing doesn't help either. Now, later in the evening, the sun goes behind some trees to the west and shades our site nicely.

I guess it's like anything else, it'll just takes some time to get used to the new site.

Jim got Nora partially set up when we arrived Monday and then Monday night, we had a strong storm go through the Rantoul area. Just a few blocks North of here, there was quite a bit of damage at the airport and there were many trees and branches blown down in the area. We lucked out here at the CG though, only small branches and a few things blown around. There was one MH on the East side of the CG that lost it's awning though. As for us, the big thing was that Nora developed a leak where the front cap connects to the roof and water leaked into the cabinets over the bed and then down onto the bed!!! :-(

Needless to say, Jim and Linda spent much of the night, soaking up water and trying to prevent the bed from getting too wet.

Tuesday, Jim went over to ACE Hardware and bought some silicone sealer for the roof/cap joint. Then In the afternoon, Paul's son, David, (who was visiting Paul and Louise and lives in California), came over with a tall ladder and ran sealant all along the joint, while looking for any small cracks or places of possible leaks along the seam. David evidently did a good job because Tuesday night we had another heavy downpour, which lasted most of the night, and there were no leaks. Jim didn't get much sleep though because he was constantly checking inside the overhead cabinets for water.

Thanks so much, David!!!! Jim just doesn't feel safe getting up on a ladder at this time and he really appreciated the help.

Wednesday, Jim was very tired and really worn out, so he rested and napped most of the day.

By yesterday morning, (Thursday), he was feeling much better though and even felt good enough to re-organize some of the "basement" compartment. Then, for dinner, he and Linda took Big RED and headed over to Fisher, IL and to the Blue Start Restaurant where they both had very nice meals.

A Quote to Ponder ;  “The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.”
John E. Southard


Sunday, June 19, 2016

AL to TN to KY to IL and A Long, Long Day!!

Goreville, IL.

77 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunshine and clouds mixed. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 91F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.

We left the Deer Run Campground near Troy, AL earlier than usual (8:30 am), on Friday morning. The reason being that Linda was up early and the weather forecast for later in the day was for thunderstorms with high winds and heavy rain.

From Troy, we continued NW on US 231 up to Montgomery, where we first  got on Westbound I-85 and then turned North on I-65. 65 took us up through Birmingham where the road is still very rough, but at least the construction that we encountered on our last trip through Birmingham was finished. Continuing North on I-65 took us up to Cullman, AL and the Cullman RV Park.

The Cullman RV Park is off the beaten path, but we've been there many times in the past and knew that they had some nice shady, level pull-through sites where we could stay for 1 night.

It was right at 12:00 when we pulled into the park so we had traveled 192 miles in about 3 1/2 hours.

Oh, and the weather that was forecasted? Well, it rained hard in Cullman after we arrived, but there were severe storms in Birmingham where there were trees down and some road flooding.

Yesterday was an eventful day. We left Cullman about 9:00 and continued North on I-65 to Nashville. On the North side of Nashville, just before we were to turn off on I-24, the traffic came to a screeching halt!!! The problem was that they had 2 of the 3 lanes of I-65 closed down for construction and everyone was trying to funnel down to the one lane. :-(

I think it took us the better part of 1/2 hour to get through that mess!!! :-(

Once on I-24, heading NW, traffic once again moved along nicely.

Following 24 took us up to Clarksville where we had planned to stay at the Clarksville RV Park. But, guess what? The park was full!!!!!

Now what to do? We had already traveled about 190 miles and those of you that are familiar with the area, know that there are not any other decent campgrounds in the area!!! We also learned that evidently, the Father's Day weekend is a popular weekend to go camping, it was a good chance that all state parks and COE parks would be full-up also!!!

Well, Jim decided that he would call our next planned stop, which was about another 2 hours farther away and see if they had sites available. They did not answer the phone, but Jim left a message on their machine and we took off continuing NW on I-24.

After awhile, the CG called back and said that they had sites available and they would be sure to save one for us.

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , here we are in Goreville, IL. at the Hilltop CG. It was 3:15 by the time we arrived and we had traveled  335 miles in 6  hours and 15 minutes!!!!

A long, long, long day for us!! In fact I can't remember the last time we traveled that many miles in a day!!!!

How did Jim hold up?? Well he was really beat by the time we arrived, but he took his time getting Nora set up and then took a nice long nap. By evening, he was feeling better and it seemed like he was pretty well rested.

We'll be here for  2 nights and then tomorrow, we'll head for Rantoul.  We'll get there a couple days earlier than planned, but I'm sure Louise, (The CG host), will have a site for us. 

Did you know that Davy Crockett was not born on a mountaintop in Tennessee, as the song says? He was born on the banks of Limestone Creek near Greeneville, where a replica of the Crockett's log cabin stands today.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Chiefland FL. To Thomsaville GA. to Troy, AL.

Troy, AL.

77 deg. mostly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast tonight = Partly cloudy with late night showers or thunderstorms. Low 71F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 50%.

Forecast tomorrow = Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms. High 94F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

We left the Chiefland RV Park about 9:25 and headed Northwest on US 19. After traveling through places like Fannng Springs, Old Town, Perry and Capps, 19 turned North. It then crossed I-10 and the Georgia State Line and took us up to Thomasville, GA. and the City of Roses RV Park, which is another Passport America park.

It was 11:55 when we pulled up along side of the office, so we traveled the  130 miles up here in about 2 and 1/2 hours.

The City of Roses RV Park is an old park, but lately there have been some changes made. The same man is running the park but some of the permanent RVs that were there are gone. The grass was freshly cut and I think the place has been "cleaned up" a lot. There's still quite a few long term RVs around the outside of the park, but they seem like a friendly bunch of folks if you just say "Hi" to them and start up a short conversation.

We've been coming here for years and have never had a problem. And for $15 a night it's quite a deal for a full hook-up site.

This morning, about 9:25 ET, we left Thomasville and headed West on US 84. 84 took us to Cario and to Bainbridge where we drove into a reall "gully washer" which caused us to slow down to about 30 mph because of such poor visibility. After Bainbridge the weather cleared somewhat and we just had sprinkles the rest of the way to Dothan, AL. After taking 84 around the NE side of Dothan, we turned NW on US 231 and followed it up here to Troy, AL and the Deer Run RV Park.

It was 12:40 ET when we arrived, so we traveled  166 miles in about 3 hours and 15 minutes.

We crossed into the Central Time Zone as we crossed into Alabama, so it was actually 11:40 when we arrived here near Troy, AL.

We'll be staying here at Deer Run for 2 nights so that Jim can recoup a little. Besides that, they're forecasting a lot of rain for this area tomorrow.

Speaking of Jim. He's been able to do everything that needs to be done in the mornings and afternoons. He does get quite tired though and sometimes has to quit what he's doing and sit down for awhile. Then, he goes back at whatever he was doing and finishes it up.Not the way he likes to do things, but it's working. He also seems to get tired driving, so we probably don't want to travel more than 150 to 170 miles or so a day.

If everything goes according to plan, we should be getting up to Rantoul during the first half of next week. I should be able to be more precise in a couple days.

Did you know that Georgia was named for King George II of England?


Monday, June 13, 2016

And, We're Off!!!!

Chiefland, FL.

88 deg. partly cloudy, N. breeze @ 3 mph.

Forecast Tuesday = Partly cloudy with afternoon showers or thunderstorms. High 92F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

Yep!!! We're finally back on the road!!! ;-)  We pulled out of the Paradise Lakes CG about 9:40 and after following some local roads headed North on US 17, up to Barberville, where we turned West on Rt. 40. We followed 40 over to near Ocala and then took Rt. 326 to the North and West to avoid the city traffic. 326 took us over to US 27 where we turned NW and followed it over here to Chiefland.

It was right at 12:30 so we were on the road for 2 hours and 50 minutes and had traveled 131 miles when we pulled into the Chiefland RV Park which is just a little North of the junction of US 27A and US 19.  It's a Passport America Park, so we're staying here for 1/2 price. It's nothing fancy but for $15 a night, what can you expect?

Jim was really tired by the time he had Nora hooked up to the back of Big RED this morning, but the drive over here was un-eventfull so the trip over here wasn't too bad. When we arrived here, (after registering), we pulled into our site, which was level enough. Jim hooked up the electric cable, ran the tongue jack down, ran the 4 stabilizing jacks down with his DeWalt drill, came inside, put out the slide, and sat down and had a cold one. ;-)

He had dumped the black and gray water tanks back at Paradise Lakes and filled the fresh water tank before we left, so he didn't need to hook up sewer hoses or the water hose.

Jim was tired by the time he had finished, but he was able to do what needed to be done. We probably won't be setting any speed records getting up to Rantoul though. :-)

Oh, by the way!!! I almost forgot to tell you, Jim and Linda had a great time over at Mar and Inez's house Sunday evening, celebrating Laura's Birthday!!! They had tacos and birthday cake with ice cream. And of course, everybody sang "Happy Birthday" to Laura!!! :-)  

Happy Birthday Laura!!!! And we hope you have many, many, more!!!!!

Did you know that on this date in 1920 - The U.S. Post Office Department ruled that children may not be sent by parcel post?


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Back At The Campground Again

DeBary, FL.

94 deg. humidity 59% NW wind @ 3 mph.

Forecast tonight = A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible early. A few clouds. Low around 70F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph.

Forecast tomorrow = Partly cloudy in the morning followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. High near 95F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

We're back out at the campground again, only this time it isn't just for a weekend. This time we're getting ready to hit the road and head for Illinois!!!!!

This last week has been very busy. Tuesday, Linda had an appointment with Dr. Saferali and everything went very well. In fact, since Jim was along, there were also talks about Jim's health and what the doctor wanted him to do.

She definitely wants Jim to get a CT Scan while we're up in Illinois but really doesn't expect anything to show up. She just wants to be sure and really, it's probably the best for Jim.

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ever since then, Jim and Linda have been gathering things up, bringing them out here to Nora and getting it all packed away in it's proper place. This has taken awhile since the temperatures every day have been in the mid to upper 90's and the humidity had been very high to boot!! :-(

But, they've made it and today they closed down the house for the summer. We could actually leave here tomorrow, but tomorrow is Laura's birthday and Jim and Linda are invited to a Taco dinner at Marv and Inez's house in the evening. And, because usually we're not here to celebrate Laura's birthday both Linda and Jim decided that the originally proposed departure date of the 13th would work out just fine.

So, that's the plan. Unless something unforeseen happens, we'll leave here Monday morning and start working our way North. The weather reports along the way don't sound very good and we may run into a lot of rain on the way. Hopefully not, cause Jim doesn't really like to drive in heavy rain, and it will just put more stress on our travels, not to mention setting up in the evenings and getting going in the mornings in the rain.

We're not in a big hurry though, so if the weather is too nasty, we'll just stay at whatever CG we're in for another day. :-)

Did you know that close to two billion Birthday Cards are sent each year in the U.S. alone, accounting for nearly 58 percent of all cards sent?


Friday, June 3, 2016

Catching Up On The Last Week

DeBary, FL.

85 deg. 70% humidity, NW wind @ 4 mph.

Forecast tonight = Partly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 71F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph.

Forecast tomorrow =  Partly cloudy skies. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 94F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph.

It's been almost another week since I've last posted and I thought I'd better catch up on what's been happening.  We stayed out at the Campground until Tuesday. Jim got a few things done on the trailer but not near as much as he had hoped for. So, today he went back out there at about 7:00 AM this morning and got most of the items done. :-)  Even going out that early, it was really hot and humid by the time he came back here (about 9:30), and he was really exhausted.

This weekend, it looks like we're going to have a "tropical depression/storm", coming across the state, from the Gulf of Mexico. They're forecasting heavy rain beginning Sunday and lasting all the way through Tuesday, bringing with it 4 or 5 inches of rain and possibly very windy conditions.

Not looking forward to a storm, but there's not much we can do about it.

If the weather isn't too bad the last half of next week, we're still thinking that we may be able to leave here by Monday, the 13th.  I hope so, I'm really tired of sitting around here, waiting to get back on the road again.

Did you know that June is "National Camping Month?"