“Miz-ur-ree” or “Miz-ur-ah…

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Gateway Arch, St. Louis Missouri

Actually, both are acceptable according to St. Louis lingo.

We arrived at Branson Shenanigans RV Park, Missouri, to our coldest night so far!  Although some of the hills look intimidating, the RV sites are level, gravel, and well kept.  The owners were very helpful in getting us parked in Lot 3 and then filling us in on some of the shows and good places to eat.

After setting up and relaxing a bit, we were off to see “Raiding the Country Vault” at The Starlite Theatre.  This musical group is made up of country artists who have played with and written music for Shania Twain, Dierks Bentley, Hank Williams, Jr., Kenny Chesney, Travis Tritt and many more.  It gives the history of country music while performing country classics from Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, Kenny Rodgers, Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton, John Denver, Garth Brooks to name a few.  It was a fantastic show!

The next day we opted for an outdoor activity since it had warmed up a bit.  We decided on Table Rock State Park and Table Rock Dam.  We wanted to check out the State Park Campground for future reference and found that campground loop 2 was very nice and suitable for our rig. They had full hook ups and level concrete pads. We’ll keep that in mind for later.  It was great to get out and photograph some birds and landscape.Red-headed Woodpecker

Once again, we had worked up an appetite and headed over to the recommended Farm House Restaurant specifically for dinner and dessert,   The apple dumpling with cinnamon ice cream, Two Thumbs Up!img-6111.jpgOne last show we went to was Samson at Sight and Sound, yes the same Sight and Sound as in Lancaster, PA!  All we can say is “WOW”!  We also need to give a shout out for Pinegar Chevrolet Buick GMC of Branson for giving us such quick service, ride to and from service center to replace the DEF tank heater and the NOx/O2 sensor both under warranty.  It was nice to have time to set a spell and now on to the next stop but…

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Cha-ching, Cha-ching $$$

Thanks to the maps from our good friends Bill and Linda, we arrived Wednesday, April 11th at MORryde, Elkhart, Indiana without any incidents.  There were three main reasons for coming to MORryde: 1. Increase bed rail clearance between the RV and truck bed rails; 2. Repack the greased bearings, alignment check, brake, independent suspension and pin box inspections 3. All new tires mounted, balanced and installed on the RV including the spare.

In the parking lot Gary Wheeler greeted us and immediately jockeyed a rig around so we would have a place to park with electric for the night.  Rob Kolean went over the work to begin bright and early at 6:00 a.m.  Measurements forward and aft of the frame were taken to see if the RV was being towed level and the rig at that point was level.  The big issue remains having only 2 ½” bed rail clearance resulting in problems as in the picture from our rig.

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Broken molding from insufficient bed rail clearance

Rob recommended and went along with us to Dans Service Center to look at raising our existing hitch.  Unfortunately, the hitch could not be raised to give us bed rail clearance.  A new hitch would have to be installed.  The new hitch will be 5 inches higher so now the RV would have to be raised three inches above the axles to continue to tow level.  This was precisely why we came to MoRryde to resolve these issues.  Ryan and Nate from Dans Service Center were extremely helpful and informative, even offering us a car to use while they worked on our truck installing the new hitch.  IMG_6067

That gave us the opportunity to take a tour of the DRV plant in Howe, Indiana the next day.   A small group of people took a two-hour tour to see the assembling of a DRV from start to finish. One couple in our group actually got to see the DRV they purchased being assembled!

The tour was very informative and again reaffirmed some of the reasons why we love our DRV.  Only 10-12 DRV’s are manufactured a week.

Next was a stop at Lambright Comfort Chairs in Topeka, just outside of Shipshewana Indiana, to check out their quality furniture perfect for an RV.  And of course, we worked up an appetite to sample and purchase goodies at the Rise n Roll Bakery and Deli, known for their doughnuts!  Our hearts (and stomachs) will always love the Dutch country.  While living in Florida for five years, we found a little niche of our hometown Pennsylvania Dutch cooking at Yoders and Der Dutchman in Sarasota FL.  To our surprise for dinner, is a sister restaurant Das Dutchman in Middlebury, Indiana which is owned by the same people.  At this restaurant there is also a quaint village with a bakery, gift shop and much more.

We cannot express our gratitude enough to Rob and Gary at MORryde, Ryan and Nate at Dan’s Service Center and the countless gracious people we met in Indiana.  Some of the locals said “Have you stopped by Jo-Jo’s pretzels and Yoder’s Meat and Cheese Market?”  For now it’s time to be on the road again, but we’ll be sure to check these out on our next visit to Indiana!

Practice, Practice, Practice…

As most of you know, we are fairly new at this RV thing and especially moving from one place to another.  Before leaving Florida, someone wise said to us “You’ll be nervous when you first start out, but after a few days you will settle in to the open road.”  We are thankful for the safe travels thus far, with the exception of a few minor bumps, scrapes, and mud to the RV.  Most of which we attributed to the learning process, issues with bed rail clearance, and sprinter (spring not letting go of winter).  The last week and a half we have been visiting with family in Pennsylvania and Delaware.  The campgrounds have been adequate.  For the last year, we were spoiled at Cypress Trail RV Resort.  Now we are adapting to no sewer hookups at times, running on 30-amp electric service, mud, gravel and lots of trees to maneuver around.  The moving around has given us practice, practice, practice!  We are more conscientious of trees, big rocks, turns, signs and uneven campsites.  If possible, we check out the area before attempting to take the rig in, and even then, we “crawl”.  In Pennsylvania we stayed at the Madison KOA and Sills Campground.  Trap Pond State Park was a pretty setting in Delaware.

One of our learning experiences happened after leaving Delaware, about one mile before going over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  A sound was coming from the driver side rear of the RV.  Looking into the side mirror it became apparent something was flopping near the driver side coach rear fender.  Fortunately, the road was wide enough that we could pull over right away.  We discovered the forward left side RV tire started to shred apart but never lost air pressure. A testament to the highly talked about Goodyear G114 H-rated tires.   First time for everything, changing a tire on an RV.

Five brand new Goodyear tires were already ordered and waiting for us at Elkhart, Indiana, since we knew they were near end of life, and now we just needed to limp along with no spare.  An overnighter at Salt Fork State Park in Ohio was planned on the way to Elkhart, Indiana, but because of our delay it was very dark when we arrived. The next morning when we could actually see, it looked like a very nice State Park.  Next stop Elkhart, Indiana, can’t come too soon!  Be sure to check out the RV Parks tab which has the link to Campgrounds and State Parks that have our stamp of approval.  Thanks for following along with us!

Here’s your sign…

After a long day of driving and taking in the beautiful scenery,  I guess you could say “Here’s your sign!”  After finally FINDING the Flatwoods KOA in West Virginia this was the sign at the bottom of the road you had to go up!  Well we made it to the top with white knuckles but then the KOA was down in a valley that was not really inviting for big rigs (it will not be on our list of RV Parks). Thank God for the WalMart parking lot close by!sign

Thumbs Up…

Thumbs up for our two-night stay at Creekwood Farm RV Park, Waynesville, North Carolina.  Very easy to get to the park, nice pull-through sites and our site had a great view of the creek out our back window.  A concrete slab with picnic table and fire pit with free pack of firewood made for a cozy site.  It was great listening to the babbling of the creek and spring peepers in the evening.

The park is conveniently located close to the town of Asheville, which we took advantage of by visiting the beautiful Biltmore Estate.  It’s a must see!  We find ourselves saying at each stop “We wish we had more time to spend here!”

Georgia♫…Georgia♫…

First stop after 8 hours of driving we pulled into beautiful Skidaway Island State Park

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Skidaway Island State Park, GA

located in Georgia.  We had a spacious horseshoe shaped drive-through site.  This state park is very well maintained, trees trimmed and ample space for big rigs, campsites very clean, nice amenities and lots of trails for hiking and biking.

Historic downtown Savannah is 25 minutes from the park.  After settling in and relaxing for a day, we were off to explore Historic Savannah.  The Visitors Center is the hub for various trolley tours.  Old Town Trolleys tour the Historic, Colonial and Victorian districts, which gives the opportunity to admire the architecture, iron work, live oak trees with Spanish moss and so much more.  Factual narration, 15 stops with unlimited hop on and off provide a wonderful way to relax and explore.  A few favorite stops were Leopold’s Ice Cream, Savannah Bee Company, Forsyth Fountain, Juliette Gordon Low House, Boyd’s Cookies and Candler Oak Tree estimated to be about 300 years old.

Many more interesting stops await us for a return trip, Paula Deen’s, The Lady and Sons Restaurant, Gryphon Tea Room, First African Baptist Church, The Pirates House, Ghost and Gravestones just to name a few we missed!

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Tybee Island Lighthouse

If you are intrigued by lighthouses you will want to take a short drive to Tybee Island Beach.

 

A three night stay just wasn’t long enough to take in all this beauty!  Georgia will be on our mind in the future!

 

…WAITING

How much time during a life span does the average person spend waiting?  One of the statistics googled said we spend five years waiting in lines and queues.  Roughly six months of that is waiting in traffic!  Perhaps for RVers’ that statistic may be higher!  Some things we wait for as a child may be summertime and Christmas, as adults we wait for vacations and retirement!  Waiting involves both positives and negatives in life.  We have been blessed to spend this last year waiting and working at Cypress Trail RV Resort.    A beautiful resort in Southwest Florida where we have had the pleasure of getting to know a great group of owners and lifelong friends.  In addition, workamping has given us the opportunity to meet wonderful friends from all over the country.  Check out Workamper News for more information.  Next week we begin a new chapter in our life we have been waiting for RETIREMENT (sort of, we will continue workamping).  This past year while waiting, we have been preparing for a life on the road.  Saying “See you later” to friends and family is never easy, but with cell phones, texting, Facebook and Face-timing we can stay in touch and wait until we meet again.  The average of five years waiting leaves time for life to happen, what are you waiting for?