Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Off on our trip in March, Vive la difference!

 

We really had a great year of travel in 2016, Florida, Alabama, Georgia including Charleston SC and Lexington KY in January, February, March; back to Ontario, then over to England in April and returned to Ontario for the summer, fall and winter.  We turned our five year pattern of RV travel from November to April upside down.

I have a couple more blogs about England to complete. 

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The highlight of 2017, was meeting our first grandchild in Australia, Finn James McEachern, born February 6.  Chris stayed for two weeks and I enjoyed a full month with new Mom Dani and Dad Al.  I will be posting an Australia blog soon.

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I arrived home from Australia on March 4 and Chris and I performed a whirling dervish to finish laundry, shop for last minute items and pack up the motorhome.  We finished a day before our goal so decided to take off and began our journey south on Tuesday March 7.  We enjoyed a sunny day for travel, crossed the border with ease at Port Huron and quickly were away from all the snow and ice into Michigan and Ohio. 

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Sad sites of poverty, destruction and folks barely hanging on in Detroit.

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Surprise: Highway 75 South is closed!?!  What the?  Long detour followed .

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      Love it when folks do this…train station near the art gallery.

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                         Ohio River, First sunset of our journey.      

We decided to follow the lead of our fellow Rver’s “The Bayfield Bunch” and the first night on the road, we stay overnight at a Cracker Barrel .  After a comfort-food dinner we crawled into bed early.  CC was tucked in to a quiet spot  out back of the restaurant beside some grass and a few trees for Dixie.  Exhausted, we all crashed out immediately but were wakened abruptly about thirty minutes later.  A truck rumbled and we grumbled about our parking near the back of the restaurant, our fears of a food delivery early morning had been realized…But…

It was only 11:00 pm!  This was no delivery but a specially skilled labourer who hauled out a giant piece of sheet metal and spent THE ENTIRE NIGHT hammering, sawing, drilling and sanding on it.  We could not believe our bad luck and did not even contemplate moving the RV as we could not foresee  his obnoxious sounds lasting very long.  Awwww,  he finally left at 5:30 am. 

We rolled over to seek a few more ZZZZ’s.  HOWEVER!!  At six am. the loudest rumbling , chugging, whirling and sucking noises exploded into the morning air a few feet from our bedroom walls.  A humongous “grease-sucking” truck had arrived for its monthly visit to gulp who-knows-what from the restaurant into its holding tank.   By the time we pulled in the slides and made ready for travel, his job was complete and the truck lumbered away. 

In the deafening silence we got the hell outta there, after eggs and coffee of course.  We were staring at a beautiful sunrise through glassy eyes that slowly registered in our foggy brains and promised that things could only get better.  Let’s just continue with the one day at a time philosophy.

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Ohio is one large state.  We drove for five hours passing lovely farmland breaking into spring, small towns with Forsythia and Daffodils in bloom, swollen rivers and muddy ponds and many views and bridges over the grand Ohio River.  One of the bridges in Point Pleasant OH was the famous rebuilt Silver Bridge whose 1967 collapse was linked to the Mothman sightings as told in the book by John Keel and later the film with Richard Gere.   It was a great drive with little traffic and we settled early in the day in West Virginia at a Cabelas’s parking lot.  The wind was brisk but the warmth of the sun allowed us to hunker behind CC and soak up some rays.

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As a lover of the colour red, my Mom would have loved this property.

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                                                 So quaint!

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                              Nice to have the road to ourselves!

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          Spring runoff looks metallic shining in the afternoon sun.

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                       I trust that the driver’s name is Violet too.

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          Silver  Bridge, Point Pleasant,  “The Mothman Prophesies”

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We hunted around Cabellas perusing the merchandise that is unfamiliar but amusing to us.  As well as the camo section, there is a huge gun area, hunting and fishing and camping gear, stuffed animal displays (not the kind Gund make) and even a gun museum with weapons from the old west, various wars and combat, hunters and collectors. 

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Prep for mosquito hunting aka Monty Python skit.

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        My dilemma, what tote to buy?

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Finally found a decent sized iron frying pan!

After a great night’s sleep we continued on through West Virginia’s beautiful rolling hills.  The Appalachian Mountains were sometimes in our distant vistas and other times we travelled through them via the tunnels.  As well as many small lakes, the James and Ohio Rivers twinkled in the sunlight warming the hopes of boaters and fisherfolk.   New growth on the trees screamed the colour of the upcoming St. Paddy’s Day.

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                                       So much jerky, so little time!

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        Tree-top mountain or West Virginian fella’s chin?

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                 I love to imagine who might live in these places.

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                                     On your mark, get set, go!

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We enjoyed our relaxed drive packed with signs of spring spreading across the fields and into the small towns as we passed through Virginia, North Carolina and parked at our destination, Freightliner Service Centre, Gaffney, South Carolina.  Regular blog readers will know that this is an annual stop for CC’s checkup.  We park in their lot and hike in the beautiful historic Cowpens park while we wait for the service.

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   It is always a relief to see this big bum….we know we are in Gaffney.

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                            Oops…I meant peach!

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