Travel

For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

May 9, 2016

warning

Sorry.blogger glitch


Hitch was installed completely wrong by dealer - Jeff Couch RV Nation

Warning to all. I was lucky I didn't kill anyone on the road. Hensley being cooperative. Please make sure if you buy a Hensley that your dealer knows how to install it. I thought not putting the pin in was the worst of it. The four main bolts that keep the hitch on the trailer were never installed. It took 1K miles for the hitch to slide down far enough to give me trouble on the way home. There is so much more to the story but I can"t write it with one finger on my left hand. Just wanted to warn my friends in blogland. This has ruined everything for me including being able to get in the water to keep my back and SI joints from reverting back to a painful situation. So a brand new trailer sits in my driveway looking perfectly normal, but is a LETHAL WEAPON.

No trip west for me. :(

      

May 8, 2016

MURPHY AT WORK

I got a black cast so no one could sign it! Right!


May 2, 2016

What No Sleep Will Do To You

I went back to correct grammar, etc., in the past three posts and even I couldn't follow what I had written. My kids will get a laugh out of this one day. So, I'm sitting here waiting for a mobile RV guy to come.

The sun came out this morning, I got some sleep, so I decided to try to fix the hitch. I started by cleaning it up as I had grease all over the place. Then I loosened the spring bar and...


KABOOM!

Hensley is being very cooperative although they have no representative in the area that could come out to fix it but whoever I can find to fix it will have their full attention over the phone. They are concerned since I didn't touch the latch for the ball and hitch that whoever put the ball into the hitch put the wrong size. The saga continues...

May 1, 2016

Days of Fun - Overnighting at Seven Points COE Campground in Tennessee

It’s been a grand time. Yesterday, we went into the town of Wynne. I stuck to my diet in spite of the aroma of barbecue lunches the other gals had (I’m just ignoring cheating at all other times). We walked through the town—I don’t think we went by one person who didn’t give us a cheerful hello. First, we went to Walmart and picked up a few necessary items. We hit a few “antique/junk” shops, and I picked up a few things. It seems as though I get things out of one door of the house and bring in things through another door. If I decide to sell the house when I return from the west, the grandkids can have some fun shopping in my house. The rest will be in a very big garage sale. I only need so much for an apartment.


We were lucky. The bad weather we were watching coming closer to us wound up being some rain during one night and bright sunshine the rest of the time I was there. I understand it rained or was supposed to after I left.

Hitching up was difficult this morning, but Wilson and I were able to get it done—mostly Wilson who has a talent for fixing things. I still love the way the hitch works with the trailer. I had one mishap. Fortunately, I had decided to stop at a rest stop to stretch my legs. When I went to turn, the truck shook so hard and steering was so bad that I couldn’t pull in where I was supposed to. The steering wheel just wouldn’t let me so I pulled straight ahead to the car section. As people were yelling at me and waving their arms (and voicing their annoyance) I looked for and found a spot where I was out of their way. I pulled over to check the trailer and hitch. As I walked back to the hitch, one of the people who was yelling the loudest at me stopped and said there was a lot of movement in the trailer. I think he felt badly. He probably just thought I made a mistake and didn’t use the park/trailer section.

The sway bars were very loose. I noticed that though I had the chains underneath every thing I didn’t have them between what I think are the struts so I think the chains got bound up on the turn. I changed that and tightened everything up. I made one more stop to double check that things were okay about 50 miles down the road in another rest stop. Everything was good. It was a scare, but a good way to learn how to figure out what was wrong.

Okay, there was another problem, too. Unfortunately, when I bought this trailer I got no instructions and no walk through hitching and unhitching. You need one if you are going to buy a Hensley. The trailer started to sway—a lot! So, I pulled off the highway and went back to check everything. It turned out that the nuts on the struts were loose. We had tightened them before I left, but I guess I’ll check them more often for a while. Usually, after a long drive (and it was a long drive (I sat in traffic for a total of 3 hours) I come in and relax before unhitching. Traffic was terrible all the way from Nashville and I landed in Atlanta at commute hour. Fortunately, I got off 75 before hitting the perimeter (I85) and took a longer route on side streets for about 20 miles because I heard on the radio that there was trouble at the intersection—that could mean hours.

I am overnighting at Seven Points COE Campground. It’s a beautiful park and a bargain at only $22. Coming down there was a terrible accident going west on I40. A semi hit a DOT truck and killed a man standing in front of it (they had been changing a tire. Two or three others were seriously injured. Traffic was backed up for at leas 25 miles as I40 was closed going west. I saw that they were diverting traffic. I bet some of those people before they diverted sat there 4 or 5 hours.

Both Campgrounds Were Great. Seven Points Near Nashville has huge sites as you can see.
Part of the lake. I took some sunset pictures, but they weren't that great.
There's a Sandy Beach, But I thought these rocks were unusual.
The reason I left early was so I could take flowers to the cemetery so I didn’t follow my regular routine, but something went askew unhitching. It rained, today, so I’m going to see if I can fix things, tomorrow. Hensley isn’t open until Monday. I know I did everything right because I was reading the manual and my notes. I drove away and the hitch spat out my yellow blocks. I hooked up, again, and the same thing happened only this time, I couldn’t hitch back up so I took part of the hitch off and will will try to put “Humpty Dumpty” together again, tomorrow. Since I wrote this, Jim Dixon called me and suggested a great solution. Hensley also contacted me--I'll talk to them tomorrow. I'm pretty sure I can put everything back together BUT I sure wish I had an expert's eyes to tell me I did it all right. The next time I tow, I'll be a bit nervous for a while.

I have come to the conclusion that I need to buy some wood from Home Depot to put under the hitch when parked—maybe square plastic leveling blocks are just too light. I also ordered a torque wrench. I really had no idea what a torque wrench was or did, but Jim explained it to me. I can use it to tighten the lugs on the tires, too. Nothing was mentioned about it when I picked up the trailer and it didn’t come with the hitch. The instructions said to tighten the strut nuts 45 degrees or pounds or whatever. Huh? No sleep last night so I’m forgetting names of things which isn’t out of the ordinary. It’s 5:25 a.m. and I don’t know whether to stay up or try to get a few hours sleep if I can sleep.
Well that’s my story of fun and woe all wrapped into one! Oh, if there’s anyone reading, I’ve forgotten how to get to my dashboard to insert pictures, would you leave a comment, please. Oops. Never mind. I found it.

I'll leave saying I'd still buy a Hensley. It towed that well. I'm in a learning curve and Sandy said she was in tears the first few trips with theirs. So, I feel better. Rained all day to day. I finally went to bed at 8 a.m. and got four hours sleep. It's time, now. Don't let my snoring disturb you.

More of Village Creek in Arkansas

There are six of us camping here in Arkansas. In no particular order; Dixie, Teresa, Bobbi, Wilson, and Patricia. Yesterday we went kayaking; a first for me (they all have a lot of experience)! I loved it and can't wait to do it, again. The wonderful news is that Teresa presented me with a bracelet signifying that I’m officially in the kayaking group. What a surprise. It’s hanging on the wall in my trailer, but I’ll show you a picture. I'm not at all sure, but I think we paddled about 2-1/2 hours. Since it was my first time, Wilson and I got a two seater. I don't know if she was just fluffing me, but she said I did well. I did try to do my part. She was brave in as much as she knows I’m a Calamity Jane!





I've always enjoyed Sherri's blog describing how she and David paddle in and out of the secret places they find, and of course the stories that I've heard from my friends. At last I got to experience it for myself. Now, I understand. There's peace and quiet floating on the water. Well, most of the time. It was only us on the lake so the occasional shrieks of laughter didn’t spoil anyone else’s day.

We have had full days of fun and laughter. The weather has been beautiful although the weather report says there's rough weather ahead. I'll worry about that when it comes. Each night we've had a delicious meal. Everyone pitches in (Patricia is the chef and she makes the main dish, generally, and the rest of us either bring a side dish or plates, etc.) and then we chat and laugh around a campfire. Funny, I could eat cardboard outside and I think it would taste good. I made my banana pudding and broke my diet big time. I also made a crock pot creamed corn dish. Easy as pie. Just dump in the ingredients and set the time.
I needed this week--it's always a difficult week with thoughts and memories all the time about Rich. Anniversaries are still very difficult even after 11 years.

Teresa and Me
Waiting at the Dock

Patricia and Wilson trying to escape a picture

Patricia

Dixie

Bobbi--Could have put the one with her sticking out her tongue at me

Wilson, avoiding again. That's okay. I got a video
Teresa
Right now, I'm sitting outside with a cool breeze, birds chirping, and Molly (Teresa's pup at my side). We're just chillin'. In a few minutes I'm going to go down and get Toby, Dixie's new little adopted pup. Cute as he can be. He's getting heart worm treatment so he needs to remain calm. I'll carry him down and he can sit in my laundry basket with towels for a bed. I know the gals are trying to make me feel like I'm doing them a favor, but they know they are doing me a favor. I probably bore them to death when the subject of dogs comes up because they bring memories of Jack up--and I'm sure some have already heard them a thousand times or were there as he made them.
Tobey, the newest canine member
Teddy, always looking for a handout. He's so cute who could resist him

How luck Tobey was to find someone who camps. What a life he'll have. Another dog saved.

They are looking in the direction where their Mama's come from. That Molly By Golly in the front.
I have to download pictures. The campground is very nice and I've got a beautiful site.. I didn't take my phone or camera in the kayak--my luck they would be in the drink.
I'm getting to know my camper. At first, it seemed as though I lost everything I packed. I looked and looked for shampoo and couldn't find it the first night so I washed my hair with hand soap. I got out of the shower and picked up the little basket I put things in to store in the tub and there was the shampoo! Then, I couldn't find my hair dryer. I KNEW I had put it in the bathroom drawer, but it was no where to be found. I stopped and got the same cheap version in a Walmart on the way over. I looked in one of the bathroom drawers, again, and--voila, I now have two hair dryers. I know I looked in that drawer at least a dozen times, but didn't see it. I think the problem was that the inside of the drawer is white and so is the dryer and I don't see contrast very well. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Besides, it's the story of my life!

I wound up getting a full hook up site so dumping won't be a problem at all. Nice to have the big tanks, though. I still haven't figured out how to work the TV, but that can wait. Patricia and Wilson helped me with that. The TV light is off when the TV is on and you have to point the remote at a certain place. I've been asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow every night. I did wake up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night and busied myself, but I had taken a nap in the afternoon. Ah, the fresh air of camping would put anyone to sleep. Maybe I should go out to the trailer. I am so tired!


This blog is going to be sketchy because there was no wifi at the campground and I can’t remember 10 minutes ago much less everything that happened over a period of a week. I do know we laughed no matter what we were doing. I’m fortunate to have such wonderful friends. I’m also trying Blogo for the first time.


The wind is picking up. I hope it's not a sign of what's coming. We'll see.

My mind is even sketchier. I added a more to this post, but deleted it by mistake.

I'll do a not so detailed summary. There was a terrible accident going west near Nashville that killed a DOT worker and injured two or three others. Just a horrible sight.

I sat in traffic in a traffic coming back from Nashville (Seven Points State Campground) and then avoided another jam at I285 and I75 in Atlanta by taking back roads. It added miles, but even though it was longer I bet I saved a lot of time.

I'm mixed up, now. Will have to change later, if necessary. I'm cross eyed from no sleep. Unhitching did not go well. No one should buy a Hensley hitch unless they get a walk through hitching and unhitching and things that can go wrong by someone who knows the hitch inside and out. Long story short, the hitch is taken apart. Hopefully, later today if I can get some sleep, I'll put it back, again.