Friday, November 3, 2017

Day 25: Back at Dunromin


No sleeping in on our last day on the road. Shadow and I were up around 6:00 and on our way at 7:15.  As  I wasn't sure if hwy 400 northbound had reopened after a horrific multi vehicle accident earlier in the week, I took hwy 27 north as far as hwy 89 and then  onto hwy 400 which was open after all.
I made two stops:  at the OnRoute Centre in Barrie and at the Ultramar station for gas south of Huntsville.
It was overcast and 8º when we left Paul & Maureen's. We drove through a few showers. It was dry and only 4º when we arrived home  around 11:30, a 269 km drive.
Jean was in her studio and ready to help me back into the port. Shadow was very happy to see her.
I spent the afternoon unpacking  but took a break to get a much needed haircut in South River.
It was another great RV trip with Paul and Maureen. Much of it was a repeat for me but I enjoyed it just as much, especially with the new added adventures Paul had researched and suggested. We travelled 6,402 km.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Back in Canada

There was a lot of rain overnight as the temperature rose to 10º. We were all awake at 4:00 when our neighbour hit the panic button on their remote  to their car and set off the horn and lights. There was no getting back to sleep after that. Thankfully the rain had ended by the time I walked Shadow and Paul and I did a pre-winterizing dump at our site. We also emptied  the water tank. 
We left the campground at 8:40, drove through a few showers as far as Detroit. We stopped at the Duty Free shop, bought a couple of bottles and joined the bumper-to-bumper, stop and go traffic crossing the Ambassador Bridge to Canada. Lots of truck traffic. Once we got to Canadian Customs, there was no line up for cars. We were asked the usual questions and on our way at 10:10.
We made two stops on hwy 401 at OnRoute Centres, the first one for comfort and Tim's, the second one for lunch. Traffic got heavier as we neared Toronto but there were no tie-ups. We pulled into 10 McGillivary at 3:00  after motoring 410 km. Paul and Maureen were very organized; they didn't take long to unload their things. The showers held off til they were finished. It was a mild 15º, the warmest in the past few days.
We had a delicious take out Hawaiian pizza for supper.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Closer To Home

The rain started before we left the campground and continued all morning. At only 3º, we were lucky it wasn't mixed precipitation as forecasted. We had a good laugh when I found the Cincinnati radio station playing Christmas music at this time of year, the same station that we listened to in 2010 on our fall trip.
It took us less than an hour to drive to West Chester. While Paul visited Entrainment Junction, all about model trains,  Maureen and I found a Walmart nearby and did some personal shopping.
We were on our way homeward bound around noon and stopped at a rest area  for lunch north of Dayton. We eventually left the rain behind but it remained overcast and only 7º. Interesting that we were the only rv heading north on I 75; we saw several heading south. We stopped at a Pilot station in   Toledo and filled up @ $2.35 / gal, the best price we'd seen in Ohio.
We arrived in Monroe Michigan at Camp  Lord Willing RV Park around 4:30. Good that we had called and reserved a site; we got their last one. They turned away another rig while we were registering. We paid the most yet for a 3rd person, $8.00 but the total was $48.50 with my Good Sam discount. Our last night on the road. We motored 386 km.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Motoring North on I 65


It was a much milder +4º when we left the rv park and went next door to a trailer dealership. There I was able to buy a side light marker to replace the one we lost early in the trip.
We were on our way north at 8:45; the traffic was light. We started to see more fall colour change the farther north we drove. We stopped at a Flying J in Franklin Kentucky for gas @ $2.13 / gal.
                In Louisville, we picked up I 71 and stopped at the first rest area for lunch. We crossed into E.D.T. as we turned north on I 75 and took
I 275 West around Cincinnati to Indian Springs Campground in North Bend, Ohio. We checked in at 3:45 and drove to a local Kroger for a few groceries. We were back at the campground and set up for Halloween by 5:00. The campground is in Ohio but as soon as you pull out onto State Line Rd., you're back in Indiana. We have full hookups for $40. We were able to get our bbq propane tank refilled for $3.21, another bargain. We drove 454 km, a good day's drive with the time change.


Happy  Halloween




Monday, October 30, 2017

Nashville: Music City

It was a very frosty 0º outside but quite heated inside as I struggled with the weak Wi-Fi to buy our Old Trolley Nashville Tour Tickets. I finally succeeded when I switched to my Surface. We took the 10:30 Music City Shuttle from the rv park to downtown Nashville. (Round trip was $10.00 each.)
It was another sunny, beautiful day for sightseeing. The Hop On - Off tour was a 12 mile loop with 15 stops. The sights included the Ryman Auditorium and Country Music Hall of Fame  that we visited last time we were here. We saw the new Nissan Stadium and impressive Music City Center, Music Row, the State Capitol and more.
We got off at the Farmers' Market and ate lunch in the International Food Fair. We took time to see the  Pathway of History in the park nearby.
After the tour, we walked along Broadway with so many stores, restaurants and  saloons where up and coming musicians were performing. I bought new Merrell shoes in one boot store.
We returned to the rv park at 3:30, regrouped for our night out on the town.
Paul treated us to Nashville Night Life Dinner Theater which was a short taxi ride from the rv park. The southern buffet was good. The show featured the "Best of Country." The drummer and one of the back up singers had toured with Tammy Wynette back when.  The two hour show was very good and also featured a comedian, Steve Hall. Lots of laughs. A great way to top off our visit to Nashville, thanks to Paul.


 




Sunday, October 29, 2017

Travelling The Music Highway





It was the coldest morning of our trip, 1º with  frost and fog patches which burned off quickly as we left the rv park  around 8:30 and took I 40, the Music Highway east through Tennessee. Sunday traffic was very light out of  Memphis as we listened to  Paul's playlist of Gospel music which included Elvis.
We saw some  fall colour change and fields of cotton along the interstate.

We stopped in Jackson at the Casey Jones Museum and Village. Casey Jones  was the railroad engineer  who died trying to stop his train from colliding with a stalled freight train. He saved the lives of his passengers which made him a hero. The museum was closed but we walked around  the village.
The country store was fascinating. We did some grocery shopping at a Walmart before leaving Jackson. We made two more stops along I 40, at a rest area to have lunch and in Fairview at a Flying J for gas. No bargain there as we paid $2.31 a gal. We crossed the Tennessee River.



We stopped at  the Vacations Made Easy office in Nashville to pick up our dinner theatre tickets that we had ordered on line days ago. Two Rivers Campground, our campground for the next two nights was close by.
We drove 365 km. Another bright, sunny but cool day, reaching only 11º. It was 3:45 when we checked in. Our site on the outer row of the campground is two sites down from the Yappy Hour Dog Park (a fenced area).  Shadow has a front row seat .... you can guess the rest. Oh dear....pass the water gun.





Saturday, October 28, 2017

Graceland

It was only 2.2º when our day started and never got warmer than 9º. Much had changed at Graceland since we were last here in 2010. In addition to the mansion,  Elvis Presley's Memphis has been added. It is a very large mall like complex of museums, gift shops and restaurants. There is now a small hotel, The Guest House at Graceland, across the road. Four different tour packages are offered. We chose the Elvis Experience Tour which included an interactive iPad and audio guided tour of the mansion  featuring stories and commentary  by Elvis and Lisa Marie. The tour took us through several rooms, out onto the grounds and the Meditation
Garden where Elvis and his parents are buried.
Elvis bought Graceland at the age of 22 in 1957 for $102,500.00. It sits on 13.8 acres of land. Graceland was named after the former owner's Aunt Grace. It is one of the five most visited homes in the USA with over 600,000 visitors each year.

Our ticket also included Elvis Presley's Memphis. We visited the Presley Motors Automobile Museum with over 20 of his cars,  Elvis: The Entertainer's Career Museum with 100s of artifacts like his collection of gold and platinum records, his jumpsuits, memorabilia from his movies, etc. etc. etc. The Elvis Discovery Exhibits include Icons: The Influence of Elvis Presley which showcases 25 artists like Bruce Springsteen, Elton John.

We also saw Private Elvis which features his time in the U.S. Army, Elvis Fashion and  Graceland Soundstage A showing his movies.
It was all so very interesting, and tastefully done, well worth the $51.75 each. Paul paid an extra $5.00 to tour Elvis' customized airplanes.
We toured the mansion and two museums in the morning, returned to the motor home for lunch; we bbq'ed hamburgers. Paul and I returned to Graceland in the afternoon to see the remaining museums and exhibits and do some souvenir shopping.😁

It was a most enjoyable day spent with The King in 2017, the 40th anniversary of his passing.

Friday, October 27, 2017

What a Power Wash!

 It was overcast and still a mild 17º when we left the campground at 8:15 and continued east on I 30 into Arkansas. I 30 is also called The Purple Heart Trail.
There was not much to see for all the trees which even filled the median such that we could not  see the westbound lanes. At least the trees buffeted  the 35 mph winds broadsiding us from the northwest.


The rain began  west of Little Rock where we stopped at a Love's  for a tummy break (coffee, hot chocolate and Krispy Kreme donuts) and  topped up the gas tank @ $2.10 / gal., another good price.
We drove through thunderstorms and  torrential rain often horizontal with the wind. It was slow going, 70-80 kph with flashers on. We stopped for lunch at a rest area where the storm had ended but another one blew in before we got going again.The temperature had already dropped to 7º with the cold front. Thankfully there were no accidents; everyone drove cautiously.

The rain had almost stopped by the time we reached Memphis and arrived at Graceland RV Park and Campground, literally across the road from Graceland. We checked in at 2:45 and pulled into our site just as it started to pour. Even with raincoats, Paul and I got quite wet as we struggled with our water connection. The tap was so close to the ground.
We drove 442 km of which about 300 km were in the rain. Showers continued well into the evening but had ended by the time I walked Shadow at 9:00.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Our Last Day in Texas





The day began with another RVing first. Our complimentay breakfast was prepared by two women, full-timers from  the RV park using the park's kitchen. It was delicious; we left a generous tip.


We were on our way at 8:20 on I 35 North. Mid-morning traffic was not bad through Dallas. It was a windy drive  as we continued east on  I 30; we were often  broadsided by the 30 mph SE wind.

We stopped at a Pilot station in Caddo Mills for gas @ $2.04 / gal. and a little farther east at a rest area for lunch. We made very good time and arrived in Texarkana around 1:30 It was a hot 30º


The Arkansas - Texas state line runs approximately through the centre of the city. In fact, it runs through the middle of the Post Office and Courthouse, an impressive building built in 1932. The post office has two separate zip codes. The building is said to be the only federal building situated in two states.






We stopped to see the Ace of Clubs House Museum. Built in 1885, the 22 sided house is said to have been built from the winnings of a poker game. Really??
We arrived at the K.O.A. around 2:30 and spent a relaxing afternoon in air conditioned comfort. There was a short  trail through the woods to walk Shadow. We motored 412 km.





Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Shopping Along I 35 North

It was clear and a much cooler  7º when we got up and prepared the motor home to motor again. I took Shadow for one last walk along the river. We waited until after rush hour and left the rv park  at 9:05. We made the turn for home and headed north on I 35.

First stop was in New Braunfels at my favourite store, Camping World. I was able to buy all four items on my shopping list.

Next stops were in San Marcos. While Paul visited Dick's Classic Garage Car Museum, Maureen and I visited the Tanger Outlet Mall. Maureen did some shopping.
We ate lunch before we continued north. Traffic was much lighter as we passed through Austin with just a couple of slow downs due to construction.
We made one last shopping stop in Waco at a Walmart for groceries.




We arrived at I 35 RV Park just north of Waco around 4:30 after motoring 329 km. Another nice Good Sam  find: full hook-ups for $32.50 which includes a hot breakfast served at the rv park café in the morning.
And another beautiful day; it reached 28º but a weather warning:  polar air from Canada coming. Yikes!






Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Shadow's Day



It was a day to recharge our batteries after two full days of sightseeing in San Antonio. We did do our laundry. It was also Shadow's day, a day for her, after spending two days mostly alone in the motor home. She has been SO good.



In the morning, I took her for a one hour walk along the San
Antonio River. In 2011, The Riverwalk  was extended several miles from downtown to Mission Espada south of the city.   Great that it  passes right by our rv park. The walk is more notable for its emphasis  on the ecology of the river with trail improvements to support hiking, biking and even paddling. I saw two cranes, a heron and cormorants.

We did some planning for the week ahead as we make the turn for home and head north. We motored 3,335 km to San Antonio via Chicago. We made campground reservations for Thursday to next Monday.
After lunch, Maureen and I sat outside with Shadow while Paul took his "craft box" to the rec. centre and did some painting. It was perfect weather, breezy, partly cloudy and 25º. Shadow and I also had some play time in the campground  doggy play park.