Big Trip West – Day 2

Current Location: Holiday Travel Park, Rossville, Georgia

We hooked up this morning and hit the road a little after 8:00 AM. We drove on up I-75 and decided to stay on I-75 north through Atlanta. Traffic was a bit heavy, but not unbearable. We made it through just fine.

We stopped for lunch at a truck stop near Dalton, Georgia. We backed into a site along the back and ate lunch in the truck, watching the trucks drive by to go to the fuel pumps. When we were done eating, we noticed a couple trucks in front of us and not really moving. We had debated filling up our truck there after lunch.

Malcolm ran back to the trailer to throw away our trash and use the restroom before closing up the trailer. The truck that had been stopped in front of us for a while looked like it was going to back into another space on down from us. Malcolm could see a lot of smoke rising from the area of the fuel pumps, but figured it was an older truck spewing a lot of exhaust.

It turned out that a truck in line for fuel had caught fire. A fire truck was already there hosing it down, but we decided to turn out the way we came in and get fuel elsewhere. Various other fire vehicles were arriving as we were leaving and they were blocking the entrance for any more trucks to come in. Lots of excitement. We just got back on the interstate and stopped for fuel on up the road.

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Site 117 at Holiday Travel Park

We arrived here about 3:00 this afternoon and got all set up. Though the actual campground is in Rossville, Georgia, we are in the general Chattanooga, Tennessee area (literally 1/2 mile south of the Georgia/Tennessee border).

While the air conditioners were doing their thing cooling down the trailer, we drove across the interstate to Camping World and picked up a few things we needed. We bought a pair of LED lamps to replace the ones in the dining room fixture and found out they were too dim, different sizes and even different colors though they were both packaged as the same bulb. Malcolm drove back over and returned them. We’ll order the correct bulb(s) off Amazon later.

We ate dinner in the trailer and generally just relaxed. Tomorrow we head on up to Lexington, Kentucky to stay at the Kentucky Horse Park for eight days.

 

 

Nashville And Work

Current Location: Seven Points Campground, Hermitage, Tennessee

This past Monday, May 1, we packed up and headed out from Wetumpka and ended up in the Nashville area. We are back in the COE campground, Seven Points, that we stayed in last time we were here. It really is a beautiful campground and late spring seems to be a good time to visit.

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Our Wooded Site

We have both vehicles with us this trip. Malcolm is working in the Nashville office this trip.

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Train Tickets

After we got set up on Monday afternoon, we headed over to Kroger to buy train tickets for Malcolm so he can ride the train to work. He has been driving the truck over and parking it while riding the train into town for work. The only exception to that was Thursday when we had a lot of rain. He drove the car, instead, just in case he needed to drive on into town. As it turns out, the rain wasn’t too bad, but Malcolm left too late Thursday morning to catch the train. Instead, he got to sit in Nashville rush hour traffic for 45 minutes.

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When You Miss Your Train

Thursday evening, Malcolm met Val and our friends the Mangums for dinner at our favorite Irish restaurant. The Mangums are here sightseeing for a few days.

On Friday, almost everyone in the office cut out at 4:00. Malcolm typically leaves at 4:45 to catch the train without rushing. With an extra 45 minutes to kill, he decided to walk through a couple stores and ended up at Acme Feed (restaurant/bar) for a beer while he waited for his train to arrive.

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Friday Afternoon Drink

On Friday evening Malcolm emptied our gray tanks and ran the tote over to the dump station (fortunately fairly close) twice to empty out all our gray water. We’ll probably have to make another run mid-week and then will be good until we leave, when we’ll use the dump station to empty all the tanks from the trailer.

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Toting the Gray Water

The last couple of nights have been pretty cool, with temperatures dipping into the upper 40’s. We’ve been running the furnace and, upon checking propane levels, we found we have one empty tank and the second was well on its way. We ran around and did some shopping today and took the empty tank with us. We had it filled at Camping World on the way back home.

Val has been working on various projects during the week. Malcolm will be working at the office again this coming week. We will be here until next Saturday then will head back to Wetumpka.

Christmas Parties and Presents

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Since our last update, we’ve been taking care of day-to-day stuff. Some of it involves preparing our new car for travel duties. We had a Class III hitch put on it. We’ll probably have the bikes riding on the back of the car when it travels with us. For that purpose, we purchased a bike rack (we had one like it before, but gave it away when we thought we weren’t going to be using it anymore).

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New hitch and bike carrier

Malcolm also installed a new rear hatch window gasket on the car. After five years, the original one was compressed and was allowing water to leak into the hatch. Seems it is a fairly common problem. The new gasket is a Ford part ordered through Amazon.

Last week, Malcolm found out that his company was having a Christmas party for the office here in Wetumpka on Thursday evening. We attended and had a nice dinner and conversation with some of Malcolm’s co-workers that are still in the office here in Alabama.

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Wetumpka office Christmas party

The next day, on Friday, we loaded up the car and headed up to Nashville for the weekend (sans trailer) to attend another company Christmas party – this time for the office that Malcolm is officially assigned to.

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View of Nashville from the top of our hotel

When we got into town, we stopped by the Green Hills mall and did a little shopping before heading to the hotel. The initial plan was to check into the hotel and head to our favorite Irish pub and restaurant for dinner. However, we decided to stay close to the hotel and eat nearby instead of driving through Nashville rush hour Friday traffic.

On Saturday, we got out early and braved the Opry Mills mall. We were fortunate to have beat most of the holiday traffic going in. Leaving was a breeze. After leaving there, we stopped by Kroger for some tea that Val likes as well as to pick up a last minute Christmas gift for one of Malcolm’s co-workers. We stopped by the Irish place and had lunch since we were in the neighborhood. Then we headed back to the hotel.

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Irish fare

We watched TV and relaxed all afternoon at the hotel until it was time to get ready to go to the Christmas party. It was supposed to be rainy all evening, but the rain didn’t move in until much later at night. We were able to walk to the Christmas party (just a block away) and back to the hotel with no problem. The temperature all evening was in the 70’s.

Overnight, the storms rolled through along with the rain and wind. By morning, it was all frozen. The cold front that swept through left the temperatures in the upper-20’s all day in Nashville. We waited for a little while before checking out of the hotel and heading south back to Wetumpka, where the temperature was at least in the 40’s.

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Frozen cars in the hotel parking lot

Malcolm has been working the early part of this week (Monday through Wednesday). He worked a little this morning, but took off when our new Christmas present arrived via FedEx late this morning. We got a new set of steps for the RV and Malcolm installed them (with some help from our son who was already in town visiting friends). You can read more about the steps in our product review by clicking HERE.

After the steps were installed, we took David to go get pizza for lunch, then returned to the trailer. He headed off to visit with his friends and we spent the afternoon getting ready to leave for the Seattle area. We’ll be driving up to Atlanta tomorrow, staying in a hotel overnight and flying out early Saturday morning.

 

Catch-up Post – Chattanooga

We’ve been so busy having fun and traveling, and Malcolm has been busy working in-between, so our blog has not gotten a lot of attention lately. This is the second of a few posts to catch up.

Location: Holiday Travel Park, Rossville, Georgia

After we left Lexington on Monday (Sept. 19), we headed to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a Heartland Owners Club rally. We were there from Monday, September 19 through Sunday, September 26. We were joined throughout the week by around 30 rigs at the venue. We had a great time catching up with Heartland friends while there.

We did a little sightseeing while in the area. On Tuesday, we went to the Chattanooga Aquarium. As part of a package deal, we rode on their boat up river to view the gorge area. It was a fun and interesting ride. We’ve been through the aquarium before, but it was a nice visit to go back again with friends.

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Our site at the Tennessee rally

Malcolm worked during the daytime hours and we attended the various evening functions related to the rally. On Thursday evening, the club sponsored a cookout with hamburgers and hotdogs. On Friday, the first official day of the rally, we had a pitch-in get-together with finger foods and desserts.

On Saturday evening, we enjoyed a freshly cooked catered meal. Prizes were given away and many were auctioned off in a silent auction. Proceeds from the auction and other giveaways during the weekend went to a local charity that helps homeless women get back on their feet.

On Saturday, we did some other sightseeing with our neighbors, the Funderbergs. The four of us  headed up to Rock City to visit and to eat lunch at their restaurant overlooking the Chattanooga valley, below. We drove back down the mountain and rode the incline railway up and back down, as well.

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Overlook view from Rock City

On Sunday morning, we got everything all hitched up and headed to the rally breakfast to grab some food and coffee and to say our goodbyes. We headed down to Alabama since we had been invited to a baby shower on Sunday evening.

 

Heading North

Current Location: Wytheville KOA, Wytheville, Virginia

Malcolm worked in the Nashville office the past week, Monday through Friday. As planned, he rode the train into town and back out each day. One day he forgot his ticket, so he called a co-worker who lives nearby and rode in with him. The train ride was much quicker and easier than driving a car and parking it. Plus, Malcolm got some exercise walking about 3/4 mile each way between the office and the train station in downtown Nashville.

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Hermitage Station, about 5 miles from the campground.

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Double-decker train cars

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Riding on the lower level

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Ticket to ride all week ($40).

Val worked on some sewing projects during the week, as well as some drawer organization projects. On Monday evening, we sat outside after dinner and watched the sunset colors. We could see some of the colors through the trees from our site. Malcolm walked down to the lake and took this picture.

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Monday night sunset

On Tuesday night, Malcolm inflated one of our pool tubes and went to float on the lake in the swimming area (just a couple minutes from our site). Val watched from on shore. The water was very warm and refreshing.

For a couple of years now, we’ve been sending postcards to Malcolm’s office (at his co-workers’ request). They tack them up on a map they put on the wall. The map is getting pretty full.

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Postcards from the road.

On Thursday night, we drove over to another campground to meet a family that Malcolm follows on Instagram. The Koi’s are a full-time family with a 12-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter that they homeschool (roadschool) while they travel. They fixed chili for us and we brought over a chocolate cake. We had a great time visiting with them all evening until it was time to leave the campground before they locked the gate.

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The Kois and us.

On Friday evening, Malcolm got off one stop early on the train and Val picked him up at the Donelson train station. Just across the main road from that station is our favorite Irish restaurant. We had a great dinner there before heading back to the trailer to finish packing things up for our trip today.

This morning, we were up and going early. We hitched up and headed to the dump station to clean out a week’s worth of gray and black water. We headed on out about 8:00 am, driving east on I-40, then picking up I-81 north. We stopped for the night here in Wytheville at the KOA we stopped in a couple weeks ago on the way from Maryland back to Alabama.

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Lunch at a Tennessee Rest Area

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Our site at the KOA

Tomorrow we head on up to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for a couple nights. The campground we are staying in there is rather special. Be sure to read our next post to find out why.