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Everything posted by DougC

  1. Driving a 2014 Fourwinds 31L. Would like to improve jittery ride... suggestions welcomed. Thanks
  2. 2014 Four Winds 31 L house on a 2013 E450 chassis. I did purchase the Banks Stinger package (the Stinger excludes headers), and also purchased the OTTMIND engine calibration module which matches the fuel curve to airflow improvements by the Stinger upgrade. Between the two items I think I got about 70% of the performance benefit of the full PowerPack option. Both were installed by Banks in Azusa, CA. We then took a 600 mile trip using highways and back roads, I did notice improved engine performance on uphill grades, in that there were fewer down shifts (seldom to 2nd gear, most down shifts were 4 to 3) along with staying in the higher gears and maintaining speed for a longer period of time and distance. Substantial gas savings was not noticed.
  3. I have a 2014 Four Winds class C 31 L MH on a Ford 450 chassis. Yesterday I drove (speed usually 50-60 mph)from Las Vegas to San Diego CA on I-15, a windy highway in the open desert.... and felt the wind... I thought there must be some after market product that would help with the rocking of the MH.. my reaction to the wind was to slow down under 50 mph... not sure what else to do. Doug C
  4. Looking for feedback on how well the Banks Engine Performance upgrade has performed? Ford E-450 6.8L Chassis class C MH.
  5. Want to add jacks to a new class C Fours Winds 31L. Any advice on products or pros/cons are welcomed.
  6. Howdy, We are also wanting to RV to Alaska and would prefer sharing the trip with small group. We've looked at professional caravans but prefer something less formal and structured.... I've been RVing since 2003. We are based in Palm Springs, CA. and have a 2014 Four Winds Class C, 31 ft on a 450 Ford Chassis(I've had 3 class A's, a travel trailer), the toad is a 1990 Isuzu Trooper stick with 4 x4. During the past 5 years we've been to Washington DC, Vancouver, and this year spent 3 mos. on the road touring NorCal. Please let me know the status of your planning .... Thanks and Merry Christmas. Doug
  7. We thinking about doing a Alaska Caravan trip during the summer of 2014.... there are a number of websites to look at... anyone had good or bad experiences with caravans?
  8. Thanks for the email. We had the same experience with our dog Dale.... it took a few days at the beginning of the trip for him and us to get his daily routine adjusted... and part of that meant not running out of the RV when the door was opened... the times we did get to a dog run and he could run without a lease he got to the point where he would do his business, sniff around a while and come back to me for his lease... I think the lease provides security to dogs. Doug
  9. Hi Tip70775 To keep it short.... Both of us are in our late 60's, Trudy continues to work part time... and I'm ending a long time career at the end of July. Sometimes I get stressed and anxious about the retirement and so I may get pushy about maintaining schedules and staying productive every minute of every day. I.e., up at 6 am and ready to go do something by 7 am... to keep the mood relaxed and fun during the trip I had to learn to relax, and not over schedule each day.... for example, I knew that every other day was "hair day" for Trudy.... which meant I should not plan any activities (going places) until about 11 am.... and Trudy was flexible... As a workaholic for 50 years... slowing down has been difficult for me.... but there are not many other options.... Trudy and I both plan to continue to work but at something where we can manage our time. In my opinion and after talking with a lot of folks on the road... we have to keep the RV trips fun and stress free... but that does take some work.... otherwise who wants to sit in a RV day and night with a grouch or a stressful atmosphere. Even Dale the dog needs his time outside. I'm not saying we are perfect... however, learning to be more mellow is a good thing. Doug
  10. ... and the adventure comes to an end July 5, day 37: A drive day from Las Cruses, N.M., to Tucson, Ariz. Nothing exciting along the way. July 6, day 38: A drive day from Tucson to our home in Cathedral City, Calif., 380 miles on I-10. So ends a great 38-day adventure. We drove 6,822 miles and traveled through 14 states. We had set a trip "on the road" budget of $7,600, or $200 per day, for food, fuel and park fees. However, we actually spent $6,900. The savings was in fuel ... we had budgeted $3800 (6 miles per gallon), but we ran at 8 to 9 miles per gallon; hence the savings. For RV park fees, we had budgeted $1,900 and spent $1,672, and for eating out the budget was $1,900 and we spent $1,959. The trip was a eye-opening experience for us. We did learn that we could live together in a RV for at least 5 weeks and still be talking to each other at the end of the trip. Even Dale the dog is OK, his tail is still wagging The RV itself did not have any major problems. On the last day of the trip the front air-conditioner unit's squirrel cage did lock up, but that is an easy fix. Other than the AC issue, the RV worked as it should. When we first walked back into our home, we had "bigness shock" -- the house is only 1,350 square feet, but compared to the RV, which is about 300 square feet, the house is a mansion Once back, we had the chore of unloading (ugh ) the motorhome, which will continue tomorrow. So long for now. We are deciding where to go next .... Dale, Trudy and Doug
  11. ...and the adventure continues, Thursday, July 2, day 34, Thursday is a drive day from San Antonio TX to Fort Stockton TX. We arrived at The Fort Stockton RV Park, in Fort Stockton in the mid-afternoon. It's located right off of I-10. The park met our needs and I need to mention The Roadrunner Café at the RV Park... we thought we were sitting in a house with home cooking! The menu is limited but very good. Everything was homemade, like fried catfish and biscuits and gravy... we had dinner and breakfast, they were some of the best meals we had during our adventure. Friday, July 3, day 35, A driving day from Ft Stockton TX to Las Cruses NM. No excitement... just rolling along at about 60 mph... up the hills and down the hills and the flat lands... just 60 mph... but, we are averaging 9 mpg. When setting up the fuel budget we used 6 mpg for a dollar budget of $3,000 for the trip. At an average of 9 mpg it looks like we'll use about $2,000 in fuel. Saturday, July 4, day 36, Today we used the toad to roam around Las Cruses... a very beautiful area... we drove up into the hills where there were huge housing developments and a lot of empty lots and empty completed homes, a very visual reminder of the housing bust. The views from the residential streets looking into the mountains was spectacular. Tonight we ordered a pizza and watched the fireworks from the RV park. ... not too much excitement these last fews days... we are seeing some amazing countryside as we drive along I-10... West Texas and New Mexico have been great drives. Tomorrow we are heading to Tuscon for the night and then the last leg takes us from Tuscon AZ back to Cathedral City (Palm Springs) CA. ... stayed turned, Dale, Trudy and Doug
  12. ... and the adventure contineus... as mentioned before, Sunday June 28 was a driving day from New Orleans to Austin TX. We arrived at the Austin Lone Star Carefree RV Park about 8 pm... we set up the RV and then turned in for the night, Monday, June 29, day 31, We got ready to go into the downtown entertainment area of Austin... however the temperature and humidity were very high... so we knew that walking around outside in the downtown area would be difficult... so we drove around a number of popular tourist areas (Georgetown, Hill Country) and then went back to the RV for a few hours. Later in the day, we did some online searching for places to eat and entertainment... and decided on a place called "County Line BBQ" about 10 miles out of town and located on the edge of a river. The meal was fabulous.... Trudy had Memphis BBQ Pork Ribs and I had Texas style beef ribs... ending with peach cobbler and fresh made ice cream By the way, when we got back to the RV Dale (the pooch) was given a beef rib bone, which he thoroughly enjoyed and gnawed on for several hours Tuesday, June 30, day 32, Today we traveled from Austin TX to San Antonio TX, about 80 miles. We are staying at the Travelers World RV Resort. We get in about noon, set up the RV and then pondered what to do next. We took a trip down to the Riverwalk area and we took one of the boat rides that tours the canals and passes the many stores, hotels, and restaurants that line the canals. After a couple of hours we were melting from the temperature and humidity, so we got back in the car and drove around the Riverwalk area... later in the day we had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant that was very good. Later in the evening we made a trip to the local Super Walmart for a few supplies. Wednesday, July 1, day 33, Planning our day, we made sure we had plenty of water and Gatorade with us. We got down to the Alamo historic area about noon and toured the Alamo. We then wandered into the Riverwalk Mall to cool down... next we ended up at Pat O Brians Restaurant for a cold beer and finger foods. Then to beat the heat for a couple of hours we went to the movies (the opening day of Ice Age), afterwords, we again walked along the Riverwalk area. We wanted seafood for dinner, so we settled on "Landries Restaurant" were we shared stuffed mushrooms with crab meat, and Trudy had oysters on the half shell, we then shared the seafood feast of crab, shrimp, crab cakes, and a stuffed crab, and of course a couple of cold draft beers. Thursday, July 2, day 34, Thursday is a drive day. From San Antonio TX to Fort Stockton TX. ... stay turned as we continue our adventure, Dale, Trudy, and Doug
  13. ...You may notice that the adventure has now been extended a few more days... until Saturday July 4... we just couldn't make the desired stops and maintain the schedule... Thursday, June 25, day 27, today is a driving day and we left Defuniak FL and arrived at Ponchartrain RV Park, on the edge of New Orleans. We caught the RV park's 6:45 pm shuttle to the French Quarter and the driver let us off at Pat O'Brien's Restaurant, a popular place for music, food and a large patio with water fountains that change color. We had dinner and went into the dueling piano bar for several hours. Friday, June 26, day 28, Again we took the park's shuttle into the French Quarter and we spent time walking around the French Quarter and took a steam boat ride on the Steamer Natchez, about three hours of fun, food, and seeing the river shoreline in the evening. After the cruise we walked down to the Café Du Monte, famous for coffee latte and beignet (Louisiana donuts) that are fried dough then topped with lots of powder sugar... yummy! I should mention we also went into Harrah's Casino (Trudy worked in the casino business for 32 years, and had worked for Harrahs) and we took a few minutes to throw quarters into the poker video slots at the bar... and we came away with a little more money then we started with... that is a first for us! Saturday, June 27, day 29, We took a Grayline Super City Bus Tour and the driver was a good tour guide... next we walked around the French Quarter, up and down Bourbon Street, stopping at a number of bars to hear the music. The big event for us is that we had dinner at "Court of The Two Sisters" Restaurant. The food was very good, especially the desserts, Trudy had Bananas Foster and I had Cherries Jubilee After dinner we walked around the French Quarter in order to stay awake after the dinner we had. Oh yes, we also searched for fresh pralines and now we have a number of them to munch on during the trip Sunday, June 28, day 30, Today is a driving day. We left New Orleans and headed to Austin TX, about 500 miles, which makes for a looooonnnng driving day. ... stayed tune, Dale, Trudy and Doug
  14. ... the adventure continues and we are having a lot of fun On June 22, day 24, we had a large fried lunch before leaving Charleston and drove to Savannah, about 2 hours away. We got in late and after setting up, we crashed for the night... June 23, day 25, we planned to spend a full day in Savannah and did just that. The Savannah Oaks RV Resort, is located about 15 or so miles from downtown Savannah. I've come to love the Garmin we have... I just plug in an address and "Jill" (the Garmin's voice) tells how to get to the location. Editorial comment: Between mobile access to the Internet and Garmin technology, both have changed driving habits for many of us. We got down to the Old Market/Slave Market area and starting walking around (it was very hot and humid)... Georgia Pralines was at the top of Trudy's sweet tooth list... and boy, we found them! We then found the horse and buggy staging area, and we hired a horse and carriage for the two of us... and took the buggy tour through the historic area of Savannah... the tour guide did a good job.... and we had a good time. For lunch, we wanted to do something different or go someplace unique. We walked the Ole Market place for awhile and passed the Wild Wings Restaurant, Mama and Sons (Paula Dean's place)(they were all booked up), and looked at Bubba Gumps. As I usually do, I asked total strangers or shop folks where to eat... and we knew we wanted seafood... ... we got directed to Charlie's Crab Shack on Tybee Island, about a 15 mile drive... it was an interesting drive to and on Tybee Island. We were totally impressed as we drove up on the Crab Shack... it's sitting right on the water, it reminds us of a location in Tahiti, very tropical, with an alligator farm in the front of the restaurant. We sat outside under large trees with misting fans blowing all around us and other diners. There are lots of ferns and bamboo. The tables are wood with a hole cut into the center of the table where there is a trash can under the table, over the table top hole is a wood shelf for the food. With all of that we knew we were in for a good time. ... we ordered a couple of beers and took a few moments to look at the menu... and settled on the Sampler Platter, which consists of six types of seafood, corn, and potatoes, everything is boiled together. We did start with a cup of crab soup. The seafood included shrimp, mussels, crayfish, and three types of crab! Within minutes we had crab and shrimp shells flying into the air and eventually going down the hole in the center of the table. A very enjoyable lunch in an excellent location and atmosphere. We topped off lunch with a piece of key lime pie. We also took some some soup and their BBQ pork with us back to the RV... and nothing was fried! After lunch we were back in the car and enjoying the scenic drive back to the RV park where we settled back into the motor home. June 24, day 26, is a drive day. we are headed to New Orleans, about 650 miles west, to keep the drive manageable we stopped for an overnight stay at Sunset King Lake Resort in Defuniak Springs Fl., about a 400 mile drive. ... stay tuned, Dale, Trudy and Doug
  15. It sure seems like I'm making a lot of blog entries... I found if we wait too long to make an entry, then it takes too long to write the blog. Anyway, moving along to days 23 and 24 of the adventure ... Sunday, June 21, day 23, a driving day from Williamsburg VA to Surf City NC. We mainly drove on US Highway 17 so we through a lot of small towns which we enjoyed seeing. We stayed at the Lanier RV Park in Surf City... a nice area and the park is right next to the water and staff was friendly. After walking to the store for a pizza and salads we then stayed in the RV for the evening... Monday, June 22, day 24, Today was more interesting do to the variety of stuff we did. First, we were up early and on the road by 8ish am.... our goal was to stop in Charleston SC for lunch and to see the Charleston Old Market/Slave Market in the downtown area and then continue to drive on to Savannah GA and stay at the Savannah Oaks RV Resort. The stop in Charleston was interesting... since we didn't know what downtown Charleston was like or were to park the RV with a Toad... we opted to stay at a local RV park close to Charleston, paid the day use fee of $11, and then drove the toad into town... and it all worked! We got downtown about 2 pm, found parking right at the Old Market/Slave Market and started walking around. For lunch we had previously researched Bubba Gumps, Wild Wing Café, and Charleston Crab Shack, all three were within a block of each other. We settled on the Charleston Crab Shack because Trudy wanted a "soft shell crab sandwich" which they had, and I like any fried fish between two pieces of bread. So, for lunch we had Soft Shell Crab Sandwich with coleslaw, I had a Grouper Fried Fish Sandwich with Fries, we also started with two Palmetto Amber beers, and an order of Calamari, and "She Crab" soup. After stuffing ourselves, we waddled out of the restaurant and waddled over to a dessert/coffee/bar place called "Kaminski's". At Kaminski's Trudy had a latte' and I had a black coffee, buuuttt, we shared a piece of "Chocolate-Almond-Oreo Cookie- Raspberry Cake, topped with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate" Yum While trying to stay conscious after eating all of that food, we drove back to the RV, let Dale out for a run, put the car back on the tow dolly, and then headed out to Savannah GA about 6 PM. We arrived at Savannah Oak RV Park about 8:15 pm, found the site and set up for the night... By the way... we skipped a late dinner... after that lunch we may not eat again for several days... but who knows... I hear the Waffle House has a great breakfast!!!! .... the adventure continues.... Dale, Trudy and Doug
  16. We are now at the American Heritage RV Park in Williamsburg VA... a nice big park just a few miles from historic Williamsburg VA... and the humidity is high! June 19, Friday, day 21, We arrived at the American Heritage RV Park in Williamsburg VA.... got in about 1 PM... got set-up, took Dale for a walk, and then headed off to a local place for lunch. Had a an excellent lunch at the "Hog Wild Smokehouse Restaurant", all of the fried or BBQ food you could want... of course, we had to start with a couple of cold draft beers, we shared a h'ordevoures (sp) called "Crawfish Boudin Balls" (hush puppies with crawfish and spices, Yummy!), Trudy ordered "Flounder Fish and Chips", I had the "Catfish Po Boy Special", and finally we had Chocolate Pecan Pie with vanilla ice cream. After that lunch it was time for a short nap After our nap, we had to do that pesty laundry stuff, about 3 hours later, Trudy was back at the RV after doing the laundry... while Trudy was washing stuff, I was searching for RV parks for the next part of our journey. During the upcoming week we'll be staying at Laniers CG in Surf City NC, and the next day we'll be at Savannah Oaks RV Resort in Savannah GA. June 20, Saturday, day 22,, Today we got to the Historic Williamsburg area about 10:30 am and the weather was already hot and humid. By noon, we were dripping sweat... after an hour of walking through a historic building or two, we were ready for lunch at a place with air-conditioning... which we found... .... after about 5 hours of site seeing and walking through buildings we were ready to call it quits (we were dragging out feet)... we got back to the RV about 5 pm, immediately had a cold drink, and then a nap... later we got cleaned up and fixed something to eat in the RV... the end of a long hot day Tomorrow the adventure continues... on to Surf City North Carolina... Dale, Trudy, and Doug
  17. Sore feet for both of us... since Monday June 15, we have been tourist every day.... On Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, we bought and used "Hop-on/Hop-Off" tickets from Gray line Tours. We've seen all of the presidential memorials, and Arlington Cemetery and the Changing of the Guard. We saw the war memorials, both during the day and a second time in the evening. On Tuesday we had lunch at the Smithsonian American Indian Food Court, and the food was terrific... we recommend it to anyone. Tuesday night we had dinner with Lexi and Dan at an popular greasy spoon diner. On Wednesday we picked up the UHaul tow dolly. The pickup process was easy and the tow dolly works fine. Thursday we spent all day at the American History Museum. We had lunch at the American Café (think of hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, BBQ), the café experience was very good, it was easy to get to and lots of room to sit. Thursday evening we had dinner with Dan (our future son-in-law)(Lexi was working) at a Salvadorian Restaurant. We stayed busy day and night for four days.... Whew! It was a lot to see! On Friday, June 19, we plan to leave the Cherry Hill RV Park, and head to Williamsburg VA for a couple of days. Stay turned to more adventures, Dale, Trudy, and Doug
  18. Friday, June 12, Day 14 of 32, Today we took the Metro into Washington DC. We have a 1 PM appointment to tour the Capital. We were able to get connected to our congressional representative's office and we only had 6 folks in our group, and then an Intern led the tour. What can we say about the tour of the Capital... it was great! A two hour tour only touches on the various things to see and hear about our country's history... it is an amazing place. Saturday, June 13, Day 15 of 32, Whack! We acted as tourist all day. We met up with Lexi and Dan, and then drove to Baltimore MD, to the Port of Baltimore. OK, for those folks unfamiliar with the term "Whack", here is the definition: to strike with a smart, resounding blow or blows. I'll explain later, but first when we got to the Port of Baltimore and parked the car, we then walked to the Aquarium Pier and bought tickets to tour the USCGC Taney (last remaining large Coast Guard Cutter) and the USS Torsk (the last submarine produced for WWII.) We then got tickets for using the Water Taxi Service. After a bit of waiting and several water taxi transfers, we ended up at Captain James Landing... ...Whack, Whack, Whack! at Captain James Landing, a seafood restaurant with a outdoor eating area right next to the water, we ordered fried Calamari, and a dozen LARGE crabs... Whack, Whack, Whack!!! That's the sound of mallets cracking the legs and claws of the crabs... Ops, I should also mention that we had sufficient beer to wash down the fresh crab, Calamari, and French Fries... Whack-Whack-Whack!!!! ... and one more thing... we had milkshakes and ice cream at Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Parlor. Sunday, June 14, Day 16 of 32, Today is a rest and washing clothes day. We had to breakfast out, spent several hours with clothes, walked Dale several times, and then dinner out. Tomorrow, Monday, we are planning to tour a number of sites in DC. ... Stay tuned, Dale, Trudy, and Doug
  19. Howdy All, This former blog entry is now updated... As mentioned in the last update we are parked at the Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park MD. Because we did not have a toad we requested a space close to the front of the park and the park folks did provide a good location for us. Monday, June 8, Day 10 of 32, we arrived late in the afternoon. Tuesday June 9, Day 11 of 32, We stayed in the park during the day to get familiar with it and to further recover from the food poisoning we had last Wednesday. In the late afternoon, we ventured out for our first use of the Metro bus/train system and went downtown to the Mt Vernon exit, and met our daughter and her finance' for dinner. We found a good Japanese restaurant within a short distance from the Metro Station. After dinner, we walked 2-3 blocks to their new apartment and picked up a Honda Accord we are planning to bring back to California. Our daughter and finance' both decided they didn't need a car in DC. Both of them have great jobs and can walk to work and the car was just another expense for them. So we'll probably make it a toad. Wednesday, June 10, Day 12 of 32 We took a 2 hour Segway Tour of the Mall... our first time using a Segway and I think they are great. The Segway toured lasted 2hours, some of the sites we went by is the White House, Washington Monument, National Mall, Smithsonian, Capital Building, and a number of other sites. Our feet got a little sore standing for the two hours, but the we covered a lot of distance. Afterwords we had a nice lunch at Ole Ebbitt Grill located on 15th and I streets (just across from the Treasury Department), The Old Ebbitt Grill, Washingtonï¾’s oldest and most historic saloon in Washington and was founded in 1856. It is a large place and was packed. It has a large old wood double sided bar, and supposedly, the Who's Who of Washington continue to come and go. ... and boy, did it rain this afternoon, just when I was going to the grocery store... lots of rain... we are used to Palm Springs CA weather where it is dry 10 months a year. While at the grocery store we located an Italian restaurant called Mama Lucia (sounds Italian doesn't it ) and the food was very good. Thursday, June 11, Day 13 of 32, A relaxed day today as we prepared to spend the evening with our daughter Alexi and her finance' Dan. We met them at their apartment which is close to the Capital. We drove around some with Lexi and Dan acting as our tour guides. We ended at an Ethiopian Restaurant where we had a great dinner and then we strolled through a large Whole Foods Grocery Store where we bought some exotic beer. We then dropped off Lexi and Dan at a birthday party planned for Lexi and came back to the RV. It was a very nice evening... because of Lexi's travels over the past few years, this was the first time in many years Trudy could be with Lexi on her birthday. ... that's it for now... we have tourist stuffed planned for the next several days. Later, Dale, Trudy, and Doug
  20. Hi Tom, I just wanted to add my two cents that I tried to follow several suggestions on fuel mileage on the FMCA forum, and it seemed to help. We just concluded the trip Total miles driven from Palm Springs CA to College Park MD, 2,863 miles, driven in 7 days or an average 400 miles per day. FYI, to have a more relaxed trip we concluded that we should have planned at least 9-10 driving days (300 miles per day average), with a rest day about every 4 days. That will be our planning technique when we head down the East Coast and then back to California later this month. But, we have had a good time getting here... We got better than anticipated miles per gallon with the RV. I planned 6 miles per gallon and it appears we averaged 8-8.5 miles per gallon. We did follow a number of suggestions from one of the forums discussions regarding improving diesel fuel mileage. According to the Garmin we have, our overall average speed was 54-55 mph. In reality, I did attempt to cruise on the Interstate at 65 mph and did use the economy mode on the Allison transmission. Tires are at 120 psi front and 110 psi rear. And I worked at talking advantage of rolling hills (and there was a lot of them.) But I think keeping the highway speed at 65 mph had the most impact. DougC
  21. Yippee! We have arrived at Cherry Hill RV Park, in College Park, MD, just next door to Washington D.C. We are set up and already had a pizza for dinner. Total miles driven from Palm Springs CA to College Park MD, 2,863 miles, driven in 7 days or an average 400 miles per day. FYI, to have a more relaxed trip we concluded that we should have planned at least 9-10 driving days (300 miles per day average), with a rest day about every 4 days. That will be our planning technique when we head down the East Coast and then back to California later this month. But, we have had a good time getting here... We got better than anticipated miles per gallon with the RV. I planned 6 miles per gallon and it appears we averaged 8-8.5 miles per gallon. We did follow a number of suggestions from one of the forums discussions regarding improving diesel fuel mileage. According to the Garmin we have, our overall average speed was 54-55 mph. In reality, I did attempt to cruise on the Interstate at 65 mph and did use the economy mode on the Allison transmission. Tires are at 120 psi front and 110 psi rear. And I worked at talking advantage of rolling hills (and there was a lot of them.) But I think keeping the highway speed at 65 mph had the most impact. Anyway, that is more technical stuff then most folks want to know about. ... we'll close for the night... we are taking a Segway Tour of the Mall on Wednesday... and planning to do other stuff... Later, Dale, Trudy and Doug
  22. .... I wanted to finish day 7's blog, As I wrote before, day 7, Saturday, we were feeling perky and scheduled a number of tourist activities. - We took a Grey Line Tour of Nashville, the highlight was visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and we got done with that about 1 pm. - We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch... our first full meal in 3 days. - We purchased Grand Ole Opry tickets online the night before and attended the 7 pm show... which was great! ... at the end of the day, we were feeling about 90%... So ends day 7, Day 8, Today we left Nashville to drive to Lake Ridge RV Resort in Hillsville VA, a 410 mile drive... which we did and I'm tired... it's been a long day. Trudy is a really good driving companion, she stays awake 98% of the time, which helps me passing the time. Tonight we both have saddle sores from sitting all day Dale on the other hand is still wondering what we are doing... he is more relaxed now... he is being pampered a lot so he is OK with the trip. Today's driving covered some nice scenery as we passed through East Tennessee and into Virginia. We did stop for Krystal mini-burgers (we hope to also find a White Castle during the trip.) Tomorrow, day 9, is our final drive to get to Washington D.C., where we will stay for about two weeks. That's it for tonight... as I said earlier it has been a long day... Dale, Trudy, and Doug
  23. ... on Day 6, Thursday, June 4, in the early morning, We were both very sick... I was in no condition to get behind the wheel and drive to Branson MO. So we decided to go to Plan B, don't go to Branson MO, but stay in the current KOA campground to recover, then leave tomorrow morning to go to Nashville TN, which is about 700 miles away. That's the best we could come up at the time. By the way, anybody else get food poisoning while on the road? Any remedy suggestions? Still on Thursday, June 4, about 9 am, we made arrangements with the campground management to stay another day. Then I stumbled back to the RV to continue recovering from the food poisoning. Remember that our goal is to be in Washington DC by next Monday, June 8 for our daughter's birthday (the whole point of the trip). Driving 700 miles from Little Rock AR to Nashville TN in one day we concluded was not going to happen in our conditions. So we came up with a new plan, Plan B-Part 2, which is to break the Nashville trip of 700 miles into two parts of 350 smiles each. So continuing with Thursday, June 4, about 10 am, we decided to sleep another 3-4 hours, drink a lot of Gatorade to rehydrate ourselves, and eat a mixture of yogurt with probiotics mixed with bran (ymmmm About 2 pm we got on the road, I was sucking on a bottles of Gatorade and munching on pretzels. While we wanted to drive about 350 miles, there was a KOA in Merrilton AR at about 275 miles, and since it was about 6 pm, we stopped for the night to continue our recovery. More liquids and simple food, and early to bed to rest. .... Day 7, Friday June 5, , we are alive and better, as we had about 400 miles to drive today to Nashville TN, we were up early. No coffee this morning, more Gatorade and yogurt with bran... but we were feeling much better, not 100% yet, maybe 80%. So we got on the road about 8:30 am, and drove the 400 miles to Nashville, easy driving on I-40, we stopped about every two hours, a little stretching, more Gatorade... no solid food yet. We arrived at the Two Rivers Campground, located on Music Valley Drive, just down the street from the Grand Ole Opry. We are both feeling better, but still drinking liquids, and no solid food yet (we wanted to have our stomachs return to normal before eating any regular food.) So the good news is we got tickets for a Grey Line Tour of Nashville and to go to the 7 PM Grand Ole Opry Show. ... so ends days 5, 6, and 7, not the best for us... but life goes on, and RVing goes on... This morning, June 6, Saturday, we are actually "perky" and getting ready to play tourist... and even maybe try some southern cooking. .... stay tuned... Dale, Trudy, and Doug
  24. ... Day 5, Wednesday, of the adventure was rather dull, We left the Oasis RV Resort, 2715 Arnot Road, Amarillo TX, and headed East on I-40 to spend the night at the Oklahoma City East KOA CG, 6200 S Choctaw Rd, Choctaw, OK. Along the way we stopped for lunch in Clinton, OK. In late afternoon we arrived at the KOA CG, set the RV up, and all seemed good. We took Dale to the pet area and had some dinner. The campground was well laid out, lots of trees, and the weather was very nice. At about 9 pm the evening began to unravel... Trudy said she wasn't feeling well, that she had an upset stomach. By 10 pm was was very sick... bloating, gas, and so forth. When she began hugging the Porcelain God (kamode) she was really sick... We weren't sure what was going on, but we did suspect food poisioning... but we both ate the same food and I was OK... or so I thought. About midnight, I also started hugging the Porcelain God. For several hours we were taking turns... what we ate wanted out of our bodies in the worst way... so, for the next several hours it sounded like two people were dying a painful death... about 4 am there was nothing left to give the Porcelain God... and we both were beat, sore, and very tired. On the lighter side... envision that the closet the kamode is in is about 24'' wide and about 42" deep... I'm 6'2", 220 lbs, and Trudy is 5'10". So as we are fighting for our place at the kamode things got a bit cramped. We were in bad shape... I was in no condition to drive to Branson MO. So we went to Plan B, don't go to Branson MO, but stay at the KOA campground to recover, then leave the next morning to go to Nashville TN, which is about 700 miles away. ... stay turned to our wild adventures, Dale, Trudy, Doug
  25. ... and the Adventure continues on Day 3... As was mentioned in an earlier blog posting we planned and did stay in Taos NM an extra day... the intent was to explore both Santa Fe and Taos. However, Santa Fee was a good 1-1.5 hours south of Taos, and the road is winding and slow. So, we stayed in Taos to finish cleaning up the wet carpet in the RV and wash a load of towels. So on Day 3, Monday, we did our chores, and then rented a car to explore Taos. We had a great time. We visited the Taos Pueblo Indian Center, very interesting. We had lunch in Taos in a restaurant locals used called "Stray Cats". We asked a number of locals about sights to see in a short period of time. We settled on a driving tour called the "Enchantment Circle", and we highly recommend it to anyone visiting Taos. The driving tour covers very different landscapes. We first went to the Raging Gorge Bridge, where a large span bridge crosses a deep gorge where the Rio Grande River flows, an amazing site. We then continued on the "Enchantment Circle" drive, going through the towns of Questa, Red River, Eagle Nest, and Angle Fire. When we drive into the Town of Red River we were ready to move there, it is one of the most quaint towns we've seen. We stopped at a store called "The Candy Crate" that had a large variety of old time candy and we bought a ton of sweet stuff... for starters we bought 5 types of fudge, Rocky Road, Raspberry/Chocolate, Chocolate/Chocolate, Maple Walnut, and Vanilla Walnut. Yummmmm! At the end of the day we were ready to relax in the RV. .... Day 4, Tuesday, We are back in the RV headed for Amarillo TX and planning to stay at the Oasis RV Park just west of Amarillo. Driving down the high plateau using Route 518 from Taos NM was beautiful and slow... it took about 2 hours to go 74 miles.... once we were down into flat country we picked up I-40 to Amarillo. The drive was uneventful and we covered about 350 miles. ... Later, Dale, Trudy, and Doug
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