Sunday, July 27, 2008

Homeward Bound

Wednesday, July 23 to July 26, 2008

Wow! The Grand National Rally (Winnebago Industries) was super. Many of my questions were answered – such as, Why does my generator pulse instead of running smoothly? What all is involved with ‘replacing the side walls’? I attended several seminars, met lots of folks and compared travel notes, motor home maintenance, and discovered clever ways to stow goods. And had a new, better, ceiling exhaust fan installed in the bathroom.

It was the answer to “what is involved with wall replacement” that motivated me to head home today instead of tomorrow. I learned that I would need to take EVERYTHING out of Jeremiah II before taking it to the dealer for the work!

As soon as the fan was installed, I unplugged, pried my now-wet leveling boards up. I’d be traveling my least favorite way – drive/park, drive/park, etc. until arriving in Rio Rancho. I much prefer to drive part of a day and then park for two or more days before driving again.

After consulting the closed-road maps, weather maps and forecasts, I knew I would have to just plan my driving one day at a time. My first overnight was Avoca, in western Iowa, just south of I-80. I did get some rain along the way, and much more rain that night.

More map time once I found out that many roads in far south/western Iowa were closed or travel delays. I retraced my travel for about 5 miles and got on I-80 West, planning to cross the Missouri just north of Omaha. Oops, I missed the exit and ended up just south of Omaha to Highway 81 and then into Kansas. Thursday’s travel day ended at Assisa, Kansas.

My plan was to spend the night in Liberal, Kansas. But when I got there, I didn’t like the looks of the RV park. And since it was early afternoon, decided to drive on. Surely there will be a decent RV park in Guyman, Oklahoma, or in Dalhart, Texas. Wrong! And by the time I drove through Dalhart and realized I was just 100 miles from Ute Lake State Park near the eastern boundary of New Mexico, I just kept on driving.

I do enjoy the driving – especially on highways and other non-Interstate roads. Driving through picturesque small towns was my reward. On the outskirts of Pocahontas, Iowa, I was ‘greeted’ by this very large statue.

At a stretch of road west of McPherson, Kansas, I saw a sign “Sod, Worms and Worm Tea”! Just what is ‘worm tea’? I also passed oil fields and a huge liquid petroleum plant. As I drove through Rice County, I had a chance to pull over and take a photo of their charming county courthouse. Things like this are my reward for shunning the Interstate.

When I got up Saturday morning, I realized that Sue and Dave were in Rio Rancho (scheduled to fly out sometime on Saturday) – and maybe would still be there. That motivated me to get unhooked and on the way. As soon as I had cell phone service, I called Sue. Their flight wasn’t until 4 p.m. Oh, goody! So I got to spend some time with Sue! And Cat was delighted to be at the “big home” where she could run and be outside.

In all, I drove nearly 3,800 miles - and what an adventure! My next motor home trip will be early September.

That afternoon, I started the chore of taking everything out of Jeremiah. Being a couple of days early made this a more relaxing project. But just where did ALL this stuff come from? And why was I toting some of it all over the country?