We departed Ontario with the usual fanfare at the border with the usual questions – any meat or fruit and vegetables on board? This is not our first crossing so we know not to tempt fate and take food stuffs across so I say “no sir”! The CBP guard looked in the rig and to my embarrassment, we comes out with a tomato, a green pepper and a hand full of blue berries! Oppsss, we forgot about those few things. The guard did leave us with a baggie of celery and an egg! I guess he didn’t feel that we could feed America on that! No other issues so we were on our way – our target was a Walmart 8 miles north of Cincinnati, Ohio for the night. The weather was great and the traffic fairly light until we got to Dayton. The rain started and didn’t stop until the next day and the traffic was heavier but moving well. We arrived at our destination for the night just after dark. We went inside and bought dinner and followed the Escapee Good Neighbor Policy and asked permission to stay the night – we stayed here last year and it was great. This year, not so much as we were informed that due to a city ordinance, no overnight parking allowed! What? We were more than a little tired but the Flying J in Kentucky was only 45 minutes away so off we go! Driving through Cincinnati in the pouring rain at night was not our favorite adventure! I guess Ohio doesn’t want our business any more!
After breakfast the next day, we’re back on the road again. This time our target destination is a Walmart in Calhoun GA (about 70 miles north of Atlanta). It is still raining as we approach Lexington, KY and a little car cut in front of us, I had to stand on the brakes to avoid running over it! As I did this, the ABS and the Parking brake lights come on! We have been having an ABS sensor problem for a while and the auto techs were unable to see the problem let alone find it so I thought it was back – we still had brakes! The rain kept up until we entered Tennessee. We stopped in Knoxville for fuel and the rains came down. It rained extremely hard when we were passing through Chattanooga TN., and the traffic had slowed to 60Kms/hr. There is another long steep hill to descend and we were quickly catching up to the traffic in front of us and I had my foot on the brakes to the floor! Holy crap, Huston, we’ve got problems! By manually operating the trailer brakes and down shifting and I could change lanes, we avoided a serious mishap! I slowed us down enough to catch my breath and decided to safely make our way to Calhoun for the night! Once we were set up and approval to stay obtained, we had a very stiff beverage to celebrate our arrival! BTW, it was still raining when we settled for the night!
The next day, we call Jim & Lydia and inform them that we had arrived and asked Jim to set up an appointment to get the brakes fixed. We limped our way from Calhoun to Jasper (about 40 miles) to meet up with Jim & Lydia at the Home Depot in Jasper. The road over (Hwy 53) is not the flattest or straightest road but using the trailer brakes, we got there. Jim says he made an appointment for 1PM but not sure there is room at the shop for our rig! Hello Home Depot, when asked, they did not mind us leaving the rig there while we determined what the problems are. Jim and I took off to the repair centre while Barb & Lydia went to their villa in the mountains of Bent Tree. The repair folks determined that we had ‘blown’ a brake line to the back and lost almost all the brake fluid. Unfortunately, the brake line runs between the fuel tank and the frame and they need to drop the tank to do the repairs! The other bad news is that they could not possibly get it done today (Wednesday, Nov 23rd) and they are closed for their Thanksgiving holidays until Monday, Nov 28th! We inform Jim that we have to extend our stay a couple of days and with some trepidation, actually Barb started crying, he surrenders! Let’s hope the pineapple doesn’t get cut up!
The next day, American Thanksgiving, we go with Jim & Lydia to Cumming GA for dinner with their son Todd and his family & extended family. It was a great time; football of course, was the main event with dinner thrown in between games! Seriously, it was wonderful that they included us with their family and we had a great time meeting them all. The meal was another feast with something for everybody. Whew, someone get the wheel barrow to get me to the car!
The next few days are a blur! Jim & Lydia made sure we didn’t want for anything. And, when time was slack, we went to one of their friend’s home for dinner. Chris and John’s son-in-law, Alvero from Venezuela, cooked one of his favorite beef meals, complete with a Guasacaca dip with grilled sausage for dipping! Wow! He served a Balsamic-Rosemary Butter sauce/gravy for the beef and it was spectacular. Again, I needed a wheel barrow! As Jim would say, we were over served– it’s not our fault that we couldn’t move after the evening ended. After dinner, more of their posse appeared and soon the party was in full swing. We met lots of interesting people which brings lots of interesting stories!
|We're looking down from the screened sunroom, watching the wildlife|
Saturday and Sunday, we hung out and helped Jim & Lydia get themselves ready to go full timing! They are packing up some stuff for the Store and Lock, moved more stuff into the trailer, completed some electrical work and discovered how the satellite hook up worked with the TV. This is a pre-owned trailer so the Coax labeling is not as it appears!
|The new brake line is in!|
On Monday, the truck is finally done and we plan to leave on Tuesday which is probably a relief for Jim & Lydia. We are very thankful for such good friends keeping us longer and entertained even as they are packing up to move. To celebrate Jim & Lydia’s new adventure and our departure, we went out for dinner to a little bistro called 61 Main in downtown Jasper. Another friend, Nancy, joined us for dinner and we all had a great time bringing a fun end to our visit. It has been raining off an on for the past couple of days and the weather forecast is calling for snow on Monday night. Oh no, don’t snow yet, we’re here in the south!
I’m sure you are exhausted trying to get through this meandering so wishing you well out there and hopefully you will come back for more soon.