Thursday, December 11, 2014

South to warmer weather

Happy Thanksgiving!  Like a lot of folks, our holiday was filled with family and food.  And then we repeated it on Sunday at a bountiful buffet brunch at a wonderful old 1923 school building that has been restored for display and for use for special events.  This special event was called Christmas with 2 of our kids and 5 of our grandkids!  The time was short but it was good to have them all together.

Monday morning came early - - well, that and we woke up early!  Last minute chores and packing done, we rendezvoused with our dear friends, Bud & Carol at our designated Kroger parking lot and off we went. We got in line with the “go to work group” of drivers and wound thru and around all the orange barrels and lane changes of the I 475 construction. No Problem!   We forged ahead to Rt 68 and breakfast at a good truck stop restaurant in Mt Victory.   NO PROBLEM - and so far we had only missed one turn!   H checked the wheel temps on the trailer – all 4 were fine and the truck was doing great!    On to the Columbus bypass, Rt 270 and the rain started.    NO PROBLEM!   South on Rt 23 to Circleville, where we stopped for gas.  It was still raining and the wheel was now smoking.  (See blog from our return home trip from Florida last spring).  We sent B&C on to Kentucky ahead of us and we hunted for a repair shop.  We finally found Barnitz Automotive Shop in a tiny town called Kingston and he got us right in.  Barney works out of his home garage and we parked in his circular driveway, next to his home and just in front of his 3 bay garage for the night.  No one close had the parts we needed so H and I drove back up to Columbus to the Redneck Trailer Supply so Barney could repair the wheel in the morning.  While the two men worked on the injured trailer together, his wife Fran and I got acquainted. 

Dreher Island St. Park  S.C.
On the road by noon, we stayed the next night at the Paintsville Lake State Park where B&C had stayed the night before. It looked like a nice park but it was raining and getting dark when we arrived.   Again we woke up way too early and pulled out at 7am.   That’s when the deer came out across the road in front of us!  We pushed on across Virginia and Tennessee, without too much more trauma.  The day was fog, rain, sunshine and repeat.    We waved as we passed the Tennessee Welcome Center where we spent an afternoon last spring!  The map showed that Dreher Island State Park was fairly close to the interstate but we ended up following the GPS and it lead us on a much longer, out of the way route.  The park really was not really on AN island – it was a chain of jagged forested islands that was formed when the river was dammed and the valley flooded.  Of course the campground was on the last island of the chain!  Our spot was high over the clear water below and was carpeted in falling oak and sweet gum leaves.  Thankfully none of the pinecones fell and hit the trailer since they were the size of small footballs!

Jekyll Island

Jekyll Island 
North Carolina was now behind us and on across South Carolina we drove.  H checked the temps of all 4 wheels - like a hovering mom and her ailing children, each time we stopped for gas or a bite to eat.   No problem.   The problem this day was all the either blind or ignorant drivers who did not see the headlights on our bright blue truck, pulling a big white bulletin board of a trailer and going speed limit on the expressway!    One semi truck pulled out from the side of the road and RIGHT into our path.   Luckily H managed to brake quickly enough to avoid a collision.  We endured several more such incidents before we pulled into the campground in Charleston where B&C were already parked and waiting for us.

Jekyll Island 
Thursday we again hit the road and headed for Georgia.  H was still checking the wheel temps.  No problem.  We made it to Georgia when a passing truck driver motioned to us that a trailer wheel was smoking.  This time H had a spare bearing and switched it, right there on the side of   I 95 while 3 lanes of traffic roared by.  This time we were directed to Walker’s Trailer Repair just off the exit for Savannah.    This time all 4 wheels were checked and the other 3 were replaced. 

We have finally made it to the campground on Jekyll Island and are parked next to B&C again!   We’ve now toured the island and enjoyed all the Thomas Kincaid Christmas lights of the historic areas.  We’ve been here before but it was fun showing our friends the sights!

Tomorrow is Florida – hopefully, with no more problems!

Jekyll   Island