Saturday 4 November 2006

Leg #3 of our Southern Trek

Shell Lake Campground at Heth, AR. Shell Lake is behind the trees

Sunny and 32F this morning. Definitely an improvement. It didn’t get as cold as they forecast last night. I even heard birds singing this morning. Haven’t heard that in ages!

We left Cave City about 9:15 a.m. at 46F (8C) and arrived at Shell Lake Campground at around 2:30 p.m. This campground is west of Memphis on I-40 on the way to Little Rock. Again, it’s not much of a campground and it’s right at an interstate exit so there’s lots of truck traffic. It was formerly Lakeside KOA. Shell Lake looks very pretty in the sunshine and 65F (18C). Hopefully there won’t be any possibility of us freezing tonight.

We were trying to decide tonight if we wanted to stay over an extra day and see some Memphis sights including Graceland but we’re both too tired tonight to make a decision. Rain is coming in for Sunday afternoon and Monday so if we stay here one day, we’ll probably have to stay for two and leave Tuesday. We’ve decided to wait until tomorrow to make the decision.

Friday 3 November 2006

2nd Leg of Our Southern Trek-Columbus, OH to Cave City, KY

When I got up this morning although the sun was shining it was only 20F (-7C)! It’s warmer in Ottawa! We had to wait to leave until the temperature got above freezing so the plumbing wouldn’t freeze so we pulled out of Alton RV Park at 10:17 a.m. The temperature was 36F and continued to be 36F until we were on the Cincinnati bypass then it rose to 41F (5c).

Our site at Singing Hills Campground

The high for today on our travels was 53F (12C) and it was 51F (11C) when we arrived at Singing Hills Campground at Cave City, KY. We arrived at 2:50 p.m. Central time. The campground isn’t much but it’s Passport America so it cost $14.00 for 30 amp service. We only got electric and water as we’re only going to be here one night and they have a dump station anyway. We were set up by about 4:00 p.m. Central (all times from now on will be in Central time). We averaged 13.5 mpg on this trip of 324.4 miles. We’re only a couple of miles from Mammoth Cave here but we’ve both been there before so it won’t be one of our stops. This is just an overnight. We’re hoping to stop somewhere southwest of Memphis on I-40 tomorrow night.

Thursday 2 November 2006

Got Our Truck Back!

Today was bright and sunny when I got up at 8:00 a.m. but very cold at 26F (-3C). I went for my walk anyway and with the sun out it wasn’t too bad.

About mid-morning Gordon called the dealership to see if the part had come in for the truck. It had but the truck wouldn’t be ready until afternoon. So much for my hopes of getting out of here today so around noon I went and paid for another day.

Mid-afternoon we hadn’t heard anything about the truck so we took a drive over there and they were just out test driving it, so we returned the rental car and Enterprise drove us back to the dealer where we paid our deductible and picked up the truck. We then took it for a little spin around the area to be sure it was working okay. Everything seems to be fine. The guys at Trader Bud’s Westside Dodge were really nice and very helpful and we’ll go back there for service if it’s needed when we’re in the area. It’s really close to the campground.

While we were out driving around there was a really pretty sky with sunrays, photo above. Also featured above is a photo that Gordon took of me holding Luke. He has it on his web page as well but for those of you that don’t check his web page, I thought I’d put it up on mine as well. If you want to check his web page and don’t know where it is, click here.

Wednesday 1 November 2006

Best Laid Plans

Big Larry gets taken to the Dodge Dealer on a flat bed

This morning was 36F (2C) when I got up at 7:30 a.m. Gordon still hadn’t returned from staying with Michelle and the kids. I decided to start to prepare for leaving this morning instead of walking. Gordon coasted (literally) into the campground just before 9:00 a.m. The truck had stalled out just before turning into the campground. He said he had had some problems with it on the way here. So, it was on the phone to the ERS who got us towed to the local Dodge dealer who determined it was a fuel pump (covered by our warranty less our deductible) and they couldn’t get the part until tomorrow so we now have a rental car also courtesy of our warranty and will be staying here in Columbus for at least tonight and probably tomorrow night.

This afternoon after we had some lunch I took off in the rental car to go to WalMart to get some groceries as I had almost cleaned out the freezer before we crossed the border. Sure was nice driving a car for a change! When I came out of WalMart it was raining but it was more like sleet so rather than go anywhere else I decided to come back to the RV.

It’s going to be 27F (-3C) tonight and down to 21F (-7C) so it would sure be nice to be able to get out of here tomorrow although I don’t think we can drive far enough tomorrow to outrun the cold.

October Expenses

Campground Fees – 743.54

Groceries – 595.44

Laundry – 25.00

Wine/Spririts - 32.95

Entertainment – 11.20

Snacks – 9.87

Eating Out – 72.58

Fuel for Truck – 545.51

Propane – 99.19

Repairs/Service RV/Truck – 123.40

Misc – 366.49

Insurance – 157.03

Internet/TV – 258.75

Cell Phone – 227.39

Medical/Dental – 192.37

Gifts – 151.83

Total - 3612.54

We paid more for campground fees this month as we were staying for shorter time periods. Groceries cost more due to stocking up on items we can’t get in the U.S. Of course our fuel costs were higher as we starter traveling. With some reminding our internet satellite company finally billed us for last month and this month. I had to buy a new cell phone as I dropped mine and broke it. Misc is higher this month as I did a bit of splurging. I got my hair done and bought some new sneakers. I also bought some Christmas gifts before I left home.

I had guesstimated our budget for our months in Ontario as $3600/mo. We did much better than this for most of the months so I’m pretty happy with the overall total.

Tuesday 31 October 2006

A Day Spent With Family

This is Michelle, Eric, Grace, Luke and Faith with her back to the camera. She didn't want her picture taken.

Here's Grandpa and Luke

And Faith with the giggles

And smiles from Grace

L to R - Michelle, Faith, Grandpa and Luke

Another cloudy day! I think it’s following us! It was 59F (15C) though when I went for my walk. Not a lot of places to walk to here. The sidewalks are in poor shape so I walked around a new subdivision just east of us. I’ve missed walking the last few days.

Late this morning we went to Michelle & Eric’s and spent some time with them and the kids. Luke was all smiles for his Grammy and we got to surprise Grace when she got off the school bus. Faith was her cuddly self for a while but she’s been sick so she spent a lot of her time watching TV. We were both exhausted so earlier this morning we had cancelled our trip to Dayton and Cincinnati so we didn’t get to see Ian, Tracy and their kids or Gordon’s sister, Carol and her husband, Rick. Carol and Rick might come and see us when we’re down south this winter.

It rained most of the day today, much like we’re used to so our sunny reprieve of yesterday was over.

Tonight Gordon went over to stay with Michelle and the kids as Eric has to fly out of Cleveland in the morning. I stayed at home to keep the place warm and be sure the furnace works as it’s supposed to be colder tonight.

I’ll be late posting our October monthly expenses as I’m still waiting to see what Sun Life will reimburse as far as our prescription expenses for the six months we’ll be gone this winter.

Monday 30 October 2006

The First Leg of Our Trip South

We left the Mallorytown KOA this morning at 7:45 a.m. under sunny skies. It was a long trip – 11 hours from door to door with 4-15 minute stops for a total of 598.1 miles. Originally we were going to overnight at Erie but we reached Erie by 2:15 p.m. and decided it was too early to stop so continued through to Columbus. Luckily we had called ahead for a reservation at Alton RV Park as she is nearly full.

On our trip we kept watching the temperature and we hit a high of 74F (23C) just before Cleveland. It continued at that temperature till the sun started to set and it is still 57F (14C) at 9:40 p.m. It’s so nice not to be bundled up in fuzzy slippers and gloves while sitting in the living room. We don’t even have the heater on!

We have quite a day lined up for tomorrow. We’re seeing all of the family tomorrow and then heading out on Wednesday morning for points south. I probably won’t post tomorrow night as we’ll be back late and very tired.

I took today’s photo of the sunset as we were traveling south on I-71. It’s been so long since we’ve seen a sunset with all the rain!

Sunday 29 October 2006

Our Last Day in Ontario

We had really strong winds overnight. It was forecast yesterday that we would have gusts of up to 100 km/hr so the RV was being buffered about. The wind is supposed to get worse during the day today so Gordon took down the internet satellite as we have free wifi at the campground and it’s pretty good and fast. That will be one less thing that we have to do tomorrow morning as we want to get away early. It looks like the only nice day to get out of here.With the wind, the water in the campground is drying up. The winds are coming from the west this morning so if we had gone today we would have been driving right into it for almost the whole way with the exception of going south on I-81.

I took a short walk around the campground but it was just too wet and muddy. I spent most of my time trying to walk around or jump over water puddles.

Most of the day we spent relaxing. Gordon went into Brockville to fill up on diesel at 86.9 at the Canadian Superstore. When he got back we went to the campground showers and this time they worked. We also dumped the gray water tank but since we don’t have any water at the site to backflush that’s all we did.

Tonight I’ll get the inside of the RV prepared so we can get on the road early tomorrow.