Thursday, July 30, 2015

We’re Back in the Mountains


Blairsville, Ga

We arrived safely back our place in the Georgia mountains.  We were tired after a stressful day, so we did a minimal set up, grabbed an adult beverage and walked down to our other site where our friends Terry and Ralph are camped.  We were happy to find Catherine, JoBeth and Grace the dog sitting there with them.  We had a nice visit. JoBeth and Catherine went home to have a healthy dinner, but Terry and Ralph decided to join us for a dinner out.

We only had about a 240 mile drive yesterday, but we had to go through Atlanta, so it wasn’t a fun drive.

We stopped for fuel at the last truck stop before Atlanta and then continued on northbound on I 75.  When we got into downtown Atlanta there was some sort of slowdown so it was very slow going. It turned out to be a good thing, because with 8 lanes of traffic, slow is better and we had plenty of chance to read our signs to make sure we were in the correct lanes. 

Once we got out of the downtown area, traffic picked up, speed picked up and the crazies came out, and we still were in 8 lanes of traffic.  We almost got sideswiped by a semi as he decided to change lanes way too soon.  I don’t know how he missed us. We were in one of the middle lanes but we were wondering if he thought we should have been in the far right lane. We were going with the flow, but he was in a hurry.  Maybe he was just a bad driver, or maybe he was punishing us.  Either way, it was very nearly a disaster.  In Atlanta, you have to be very careful which lane you are in because many times the lanes become exit only lanes  and in a big rig you can’t easily change lanes if you find yourself in the wrong lane.   You have to stay over a few lanes to avoid that.  We prefer to stay in the right lane and only have to worry about vehicles on one side, but in Atlanta you just can’t do that.  We had already had another semi almost side swipe us earlier in the day and then a large pick up changed lanes and almost clipped our front end.  It was the worst experience we’ve had in Atlanta so far.

Once we got through Atlanta, it was smooth sailing except for a short delay due to an accident.

We very happy to be back in Blairsville and things appeared to have fared pretty well over the months since we left.  When Al opened up the cabin door, he discovered a wasp nest between the screen and main door.  Apparently he upset them because they came at him with a vengeance and he was stuck in the cabin, with no wasp spray. He managed to finally escape with no stings.

We managed to get in a nice before dark golf cart ride. We didn’t see any wildlife, but it was nice anyway.  It’s definitely warmer here than usual, but it was quite nice during our evening ride.  We’re hoping the heat wave will end soon.

We went to bed pretty early  last night, tired after two travel days. I woke up at 3am this morning, extremely anxious to get up and start my day.  I haven’t felt like that since we got back from the Keys.  It’s nice to be in a place where I’m excited and eager to get out of bed.  I managed to stay in bed until 4:30.  Finally I could stay in bed no longer, so I got up and quietly turned on the coffee.  Evidently not quiet enough because soon Al was awake too.  Sorry Al.

Our plans for today are to set up the lot with our decorations, lights and furniture. The main things today are to fill the hot tub, plant some flowers in the flower boxes under the cabin windows, and go to Home Depot and see about a gasket for the refrigerator in the cabin.  The refrigerator door will no longer stay closed and the gasket appears to be shot.  It was fine when we left in November, and we can’t figure it out.  We thought the best thing to do was leave the doors open.  Maybe not?

Now all that has to happen is for the sun to come up so we can start!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Massive Traffic Jam and a Real Mystery


We finally were able to leave Tampa yesterday and head north toward the mountains.  It’s 560 mile trip so it’s a two day trip for us.

We are settled into a wonderful little campground in south Georgia.  It was 99 degrees when we got here.  We will have to deal with Atlanta traffic this morning, but then it’s a pretty smooth ride up into the mountains.

Heavy rains delayed our departure, but we finally got on the road about 11am.

My friend messaged me about 7am that I 75 north had been closed due to an accident.  We didn’t think much about it since it was 4 hours later when we left.  It was just a few days before when the same stretch was closed due to a crazy man shooting at a police officer.

We hadn’t gotten more than about 40 miles when traffic came to a complete stop.  We finally started to inch along a few feet at a time, but mostly we were stopped.  It was raining pretty hard.   There were no exits on that stretch of the interstate so nobody could go anywhere.  We waited, and waited, and waited.   We have a computer program that hooks up to the engine and it was telling us the transmission was getting pretty warm.  The dash temperature gauge also was reading higher but not exactly matching the computer program.  We didn’t know which system to believe but in either case we were a little concerned.  The engine temperature was find. We finally decided to pull over and shut down the engine for awhile.  We weren’t going anywhere anyway.  By the time we started moving it was 1:30 and we hadn’t gone very far at all.

WE came upon the accident scene and all we saw was a red vehicle that looked like it had rolled over a few times.  We never were able to find out anymore about what happened. 

Once the interstate started to flow we made decent time, only stopping for bathroom breaks for Al and the kitties. When we stop, we make a habit of getting out and walking around the coach and truck to make sure all is well.  I got out and did the walk around and noticed the coiled blue electrical cord that connects the coach to the truck, was stretched out and had been dragging on the ground.  It was badly frayed, but still connected at both ends, and surprisingly was still working.  In doing some checking this morning, I discovered it is not cheap.  What a surprise, right?

Blue Ox Accessories and Parts

We patched the cord with some duct tape.  When we attached it yesterday morning, it was tight and no way it would drag on the ground.  We are baffled about how it got stretched out enough to drag on the ground.    Any ideas? 

The ONLY thing I could think of is maybe when sitting in stalled traffic for those hours, the sun warmed it enough to let it stretch out?   That doesn’t really make sense though, but it was the only thing I could think of.  It’s a pretty heavy duty cord.  At any rate, we will need to replace it.

It was a bit of a stressful day.  Hopefully today will be a little smoother.  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Flooding and Shootings on I-75


The entire state of Florida has been getting heavy rainfall the past few days.

Somewhere in the picture below is the state of Florida. This is pretty much what the state looked like for the past few days.



One band of rain would come through and we’d think it was finished, but then a new area would form in the Gulf.  This is the problem of being between  two warm bodies of water in the summer time.  Fortunately, we didn’t get much lightning and we were high and dry in our Rv park.

Saturday night the frogs were singing and of course that freaks me out.   The frog that had been in the bathroom vent that Al covered, is apparently still there.  We heard him loud and clear. 


Saturday morning, I 75 northbound was closed due to an armed man who shot at a State Trooper who had stopped to check on a disabled vehicle.

The Trooper was not injured.  They immediately closed the interstate down resulting in a horrible back-up for at least three hours.



Can you imagine being in your car stopped in traffic for that long?   You wouldn’t be able to run your AC that long and it was hot and muggy, and what about a bathroom break?   If you were in your motorhome you would have a bathroom, food and air conditioning.  :)

The first Trooper called for back up, they located the man.  Apparently he fired at the police and was then shot dead.  Good riddance.  That’s a scary thing to think of someone shooting at you as you’re driving on the interstate.  There was speculation he was an ISIS sympathizer, but there is nothing in the newspaper today.    Go figure.


HERE is a link about the story if anyone is interested.

We’re glad it is over and the suspect is no longer going to be a problem. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

We Found Our Leak, Thanks to a Frog


In my last post, I mentioned a huge water leak from our living room slide.  At that time, we were baffled as to how it occurred.

My dear sweet husband was on a frog hunting mission for me one night, when he discovered our problem.

I have been deathly afraid of frogs and toads for as long as I can remember.  Al knows  how afraid I am and does everything he can to keep my life as frog free possible.

For the past few weeks we have been hearing the all too familiar “barking” sound of a tree frog coming from somewhere on top of the coach.  When you’re in the bathroom, it sounds like it’s in the bathroom with you. 

A couple weeks ago, Al was doing a frog hunt on the roof and managed to catch a Cuban Tree frog.  If you’ve never seen one of these buggers, they are quite creepy.  Sorry, I can’t post a picture of one because that would involve me looking at pictures and I don’t want to do that.  :)  They aren’t native to Florida and have been eating the local frogs and lizards.  They recommend you kill any you find, but we just can’t do that.  We took him on a walk (in a container) and let him go a few blocks away.

A few days ago we were sitting outside and heard the familiar barking type sound of a tree frog. We’re wondering if the first frog came back?   Al discovered it was hiding inside the bathroom vent which is on the roof. No wonder it sounded so close from the bathroom.    Al was unable to catch it that night. A few nights later it was out of the vent hunting, but it hid under the slide topper cover and Al couldn’t catch him.  He worked until well after dark trying to catch it, but was unable to get it.

Since the frog was out of his bathroom vent, Al covered the two vents with screen so he couldn’t get back in.  If they go down into the vents, they can actually get inside and come up through the sink. 

While he was frog hunting, Al noticed that the slide topper had come out of the groove that held it to the side of the motorhome.  There was about a 3-4 foot gap in the center, where the slide met the wall of the coach. This is why we had the leak.  Both ends were still attached, so we hadn’t seen the problem until he went up on the roof.  Thanks to that noisy frog, we discovered our problem.

The next night, Al went on another frog hunt and this time was able to get the frog out of the roller tube and he finally caught him and he’s been relocated to a new home. This time, Al drove him to a new location (not as far as I would have liked but hopefully far enough he won’t come back).

I called Lazy Days on Monday, and was told the first available appointment would be mid August.  I reminded them this was an emergency since we had a leak, so they got us in the next day.  It’s an advantage if you are a previous customer and have bought RV’s from them, I guess.    We expected Lazy Days to be be pretty empty, after all this is “slow season” in Florida.  Boy were we wrong! 

The Lazy Days in Tampa has 220 service bays, and almost all of them were full!   If you’ve never been to Lazy Days in Tampa, you should visit it some day. It still amazes me every time we go there.  It’s quite an amazing place.



There is a shop on the Lazy Days property called Wade RV.  They do custom work like MCD shades, dash covers, window graphics, entry mats, vehicle wraps, solar screens, upholstering, and other things like that.  Lazy Days uses them to do some of their work.    Our toppers are made of a fabric  material that looks to me like canvas but it’s called acrylic.  Wade has the matching fabric and sews it for Lazy Days.

We arrived at Lazy Days by 9am Tuesday.  We checked in and by 9:30 we were back in a service bay hooked up to electricity with the AC running. Gotta keep the kitties nice and cool.  I had requested a specific technician, but he was unavailable so we got one by the  name of Rob.   

We decided to get our Air dryer cartridge replaced (another diesel thing) and also get a four corner weigh of the coach.  They did the weigh for $99, and we didn’t think that was too bad of a price for the convenience of having done while we were there.

Rob took off the old awning topper fabric, walked it over to Wade RV so they could match it and get the right size. They custom made the new awning topper. While Rowas waiting for that, he changed out the air dryer, and then they took the coach to the chassis department for the 4 corner  weigh.

We were a little nervous about our weight.  We have never had a 4 corner weigh done.  We weighed it at a CAT weigh station but that was only the front and rear axels, and not an accurate way to determine proper tire pressure.

Our GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) was 5270 lbs under the maximum weight.   Yay!

I still need to educate myself a little more, but we didn’t find any major issues with our weights.  It turns out we estimated pretty closely on how much PSI we need in our tires.  The PSI is determined by the tire manufacturer and the weight on each tire. 

I’ll post more about that after I do a little more research.

After the weighing was done, they brought the coach back over to Rob.  The topper fabric was done and he had the slide topper back on before 5pm.  Since it was late, we were tired and they hadn’t gotten the bill ready yet, we decided to stay the night. 

We were snug in our service bay with 50 amp electric, water and sewer if we had needed it, and free and fast WIFI.  We pulled the coach out enough so that we could put up our satellite dish and we were happy campers for the night.


We got up early the next morning, paid the big bill and headed back to Quail Run.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stranded and a Major Water Leak


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 90, low 75)

We are still in Florida.  We had hoped to be in the mountains of north Georgia by now, but there have been complications.

(The pictures today are from me wishing I was back in Blairsville)



My  Mom woke up the other day extremely confused and confusing dreams or delusions for reality.   We  thought she may have gotten dehydrated so we made her drink more water.  She just doesn’t want to drink anything.  The next morning when it happened again we decided to take her to the doctor.  The doctor ordered a CT Scan and a Doppler scan of her carotid artery.  He suspected a stroke.  She got wind of that and went into panic mode.

It turned out she had a mini stroke or a TIA.  The doctor increased her Plavix and suggested she see neurologist.  So, that is where we are now.  She seems to be doing fine at the moment.  No more delusions and she seems to be feeling pretty well.  (Well at least as well as she ever feels)  :)    

We are trying to keep her from hearing the “S” word(stroke). She is a bit of a hypochondriac so we see no good reason for her to hear that word.  It would only make her worry more.  We aren’t sure how we’ll manage the “S” word when she sees the neurologist. 


We’re not sure if we’ll be able to get up to Blairsville this summer or not.  Our friends Tampa, Ralph and Terry are there for the month and our blogger friends Catherine and JoBeth just arrived for a month as well.  Sure wish we could be there to visit them.



Yesterday, we came home to a flood inside the motorhome.   We had water dripping out from the front of the overhead cabinets on the living room slide.  There was a flood of water on the kitchen counter, some of which had drained into the stove opening.  The couch was pretty wet on one corner, but not much water on the floor.  We were baffled because we’ve never seen this type of leak.   It looked like a bottle of water exploded into the air.  Normally when you have a leak, it’s around the slide seal and the water runs down to the floor.  There was some water on the floor but the majority was on the kitchen counter.

We think we had the “perfect storm” and the wind blew just the right way to blow water from the slide topper onto the slide and into the coach.  We’re wondering if there was a little microburst or something.  We weren’t home so we just don’t know.  There were no trees or branches down to indicate strong winds and the neighbors didn’t notice anything severe.

The seals are good, but have never sealed as tight as they should.  There is a lip on the top of the slide that should keep water from running inside, but we’re thinking the wind blew the water accumulation over the lip, under the cabinet and down the front of the cabinet.     (if that makes sense).    I’m sure we’ll have another rain today, so we’ll see what happens.

So, we’re sitting here sweltering in the Tampa heat and humidity wishing we were up in the mountains.  Our other friends are on a 11 day Smithsonian trip in Iceland!    We’re not too jealous!

Anna Ruby Falls

Monday, July 06, 2015

Lightning Strike-Too Close for Comfort


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 92, low 72)


We’re still here in Florida but are wrapping things up to leave soon.  The north Georgia mountains are calling our names. Our friends Ralph and Terry are already there and Catherine and JoBeth are heading that way soon.   We Floridians like to escape this heat.

Typical summer weather in Florida brings afternoon thunderstorms, when the sea breezes from the east and west coasts collide.

The sea breezes  collided right over our heads yesterday bringing some nasty lightning and thunder.

Florida is the lightning capitol of the world and I think Tampa is the lightning capitol of Florida, so we try to be extra careful.

We were inside when lightning struck nearby.  We both happened to be looking outside and saw a flash of light and some smoke.  It was right across the street and the first thing I though of was the vacant motorhome that was right there.  I looked for smoke coming from it, but we soon realized it struck next to the tree.  Fortunately, there was minimal damage and none to any RV’s.

It scared poor Baxter to much that he ran but couldn’t get any traction and I could hear his “wheels spinning.”  He is normally not bothered by thunder and lightning but this one shook the whole coach and sounded like a bomb hit.

Some of our neighbors went out to check it out but we could still hear thunder so we stayed inside.  Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice?  I was amazed people went outside to check out a lightning strike, IN THE LIGHTNING!  

I finally got out this morning to check it out.

It appears it entered in the concrete and traveled through the dirt and up to the tree. 

You can see how close it was to this motorhome.

Quail Run lightning strike


 Quail Run ligQuail Run lightning


You can see where it struck the concrete.

Quail Run lightning strike


Can you imagine if it hit your body?

I see people outside all the time when there is thunder and lightning.  We have a Weatherbug App on our phone which tells you how far away the nearest lightning is located.  We try to stay inside if it’s closer than 14 miles.

You can see how close it was from this next picture taken from out patio.

Quail Run lightning strike



By the way, one of our neighbors that says they have a surge protector, and the strike fried their cable box.   I”m not sure if they have the high end Progressive Industries surge protector that we do, but I don’t think it would have helped a direct hit.