Airstream Travels

There’s just so much out there…..

Eastern Tennessee

Hey folks,

Been awhile.  Things have been quite routine of late, just working and going about life in general.  The holidays are coming though which got me to thinking.  I haven’t seen my mother in a few years.  The obvious solution – ROAD TRIP!   So come along with me for a ride to East Tennessee.

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Call Ron

We’ve had LuLu for a year now and have taken a few trips but this would be my first big trip – 600 miles from Ocala to Elizabethton, TN.  I’ve been up here many times in the car and have always taken the interstate.  In the past it’s always been quick 2-3 day trips then back to home to work but now with LuLu it’s much easier to stay longer – in this case we’ll just stay the whole month.  I also entertained the idea of taking the back roads this time as well.  The interstate is faster but there’s no scenery; not to mention all those incessant billboards, well…. like this one.

In the end I decided on the interstate anyway.  I’m still new to towing a combined 12,000 lbs of truck and trailer and I felt more comfortable on a route I was familiar with – billboards aside.  Actually this one is okay.  That’s Ron Slonaker, the same Ron who put together the outstanding seafood gumbo featured in the trip to Orlando.  If you’re in Florida and need good counsel Ron is your man and a good friend – even though he is a lawyer.

Our backyard at Silver River State Park, Ocala

Our backyard at Silver River State Park, Ocala

We hit the road from Silver River State Park where we had been staying.  There’s an earlier post about that too so I won’t go into details except to say it’s another advantage of living in a trailer.  Nice backyard the Silver River.

North bound and down. I-95 South Carolina

US 441/301 to the state line was uneventful.  Then it was I-95 through Georgia.  My two girls were also making the trip from Ocala.  They’re only staying a few days so were in their own vehicle.  We talked and I found out they had left an hour after we did so I was looking for them in Georgia.  Just across the state line into South Carolina they came along side. It’s surreal seeing your two little girls tooling down the interstate.  They’re young women now but always will be my little girls.  Jenna took some pictures and waves were exchanged.  After a few minutes they went along their way but we ended up passing again as happens on long road trips. I stopped at a rest area and they stopped somewhere for ice cream then we met up again.  After that they left their slow pokin’ old man behind for good.

All tucked in for the night.

All tucked in for the night. Cracker Barrel, Spartanburg, SC

I had also decided, since I was staying so long, to just stop somewhere overnight.  There was no hurry and I didn’t want to be pulling LuLu at night.  Evening came at Spartanburg, SC and Cracker Barrel.  For those of you who don’t know, Cracker Barrel is a roadside country style restaurant chain predominantly in the South.  Good food and always room to park a 40 some foot RV.  If you ask real nice the manager will even let you stay the night which is exactly what I did.   I had a great fish dinner and a good night sleep, total cost $9.00 plus tip for dinner.  Thanks Cracker Barrel.

Gotta love the views

Rest area, I-26 in Tennessee

After Spartenburg came the mountains.  This was an unknown for me but Hank performed flawlessly.  It really paid off to get two times the truck needed to tow LuLu’s 6,000 pounds.  As the grade increased he just dug in and made it look easy.  More importantly the downhills were just as easy with the engine brake kicking in just when it was supposed to and keeping us at a safe controlled descent speed no matter the grade.  Bald Mountain pass is the highest elevation at over 3,300 feet and we topped it with no problem.  My confidence is much better now for those future Rocky Mountain passes.

So all in all a very safe and satisfying road trip.  The weather was great and traffic light.  We’re parked now in my mom’s driveway.  My Verizon MiFi can’t quite do the job here since we’re in a “hollar’ so I’m hard wired into the internet.  So much for calling in sick to work but that’s okay, it’s back to work and life in general but with a new backyard and family just outside the door.

Unfortunately Margo had to stay behind for bank business but we felt it was best for me to see mom for the holidays then come back later when she came come along.  We’re still in transition but looking forward to getting on the road for good.  It’ll come.  In the meantime I’m really missing her but family is important too.

Mom's driveway

Mom’s driveway

I’ll post soon about our adventures up here in this beautiful country.  We’re going to have some cold weather challenges too but LuLu is prepared and I’ll share my strategies about that with you too.

Til next time.

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December 9, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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