Summer 2019 Part 1b – OK to WV

The next leg of our journey was travelling from Oklahoma to West Virginia. These were long driving days (500+ miles each).  We did experience a few things along the way.

Our night in Oklahoma was at the Elk City KOA.  After a weird driving day from Amarillo via Lubbock, this was a nice stop!  Upon entering the office to check in, we see that they have a mini diner and bar!  John looks at the menu and is convinced that we deserve a drink (Margarita) and their Frito Chili Pie for dinner.  After dinner, John purchased the t-shirt.  They were not cheap with their alcohol!  We both had a great night sleep.

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When we returned to our site, this was parked next to us.  That is what we need when the Zombie Apocalypse occurs!  Too bad they start at $490,000.  Manufactured by EarthRoamer.

 

Here is a view of the playground.

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Welcome to Missouri and Illinois.  So many of the rivers had high water levels.  The area north of St. Louis was flooded when we passed through.

 

Another long driving day.  View of Louisville and some horse stable/farm.  You can’t really see the horses but they are there!

 

And now into West Virginia.

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Summer 2019 Part 1a – to Oklahoma

This post will focus on a few of the things we saw/experienced along the way to Massachusetts.

Other posts in this “series” include Summer 2019 Travel Part 1 with the map getting to Massachusetts,  Wall-E’s Travel Map UpdateTow Dolly – not loving it, Tow Dolly – not loving it Part 2, Tow Dolly – not loving it Part 3, Not the Tow Dolly this time.

After leaving San Bernardino, CA Camping World, we traveled the 215/15 Interstates to I40 in Barstow, CA.  This is the beginning of the Interstate in California.  We have actually traveled the entire route of I40 before to Wilmington, NC.

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Into Arizona!  I probably have 100 pictures of this sign!

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Into New Mexico – please ignore the dirty windshield!  I love looking at the bluffs!IMG_5270

Leaving New Mexico for Texas.  One of the few states proclaiming “You are now leaving…”

Our campsite in Amarillo, TX.  We stayed at the Amarillo KOA.

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The Leaning Tower of Britten, TX.  Every time we drive by, we expect to see it gone.  I don’t know how much longer it will last.

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If only every rest area, especially those in California, we this amazing and empty!

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And finally into Oklahoma after a trying day fixing the trailer.

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Summer 2019 Travel, Part 1

Finally getting aroung to writing about our summer vacation.  The first part of our vacation was getting to Massachusetts.  We were focused on getting there, not sight-seeing.  We had a “minor” detour to visit Lubbock Camping World to deal with the trailer ratchet issue. 

Over the course of 8 days we traveled 3303 miles to get to our Massachusetts location from Camping World in San Bernardino, California

 

I think I’ve mentioned this before – we really like to stay at KOA locations and fill up at Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers (truck stops).  I really need to take photos of our stops!

Day 1 – 251 miles Kingman AZ KOA

Day 2 – 474 miles Albuquerque NM KOA

Day 3 – 286 miles Amarillo TX KOA – severe wind from Albuquerque so we stopped early for safety reasons & discovered trailer ratchet issue

Day 4 – 416 miles, 264 miles round trip to Lubbock Camping World to fix tow dolly and 152 miles to Elk City OK KOA

Day 5 – 569 miles to St Louis West MO KOA

Day 6 – 505 miles to Huntington/Fox Fire WV KOA

Day 7 – 421 miles to Jonestown/Hershey PA KOA with a detour to Todd Judy Ford in Charleston, WV to fix radiator hose.

Day 8 – 381 miles to Minuteman Campground in Littleton, MA

Not the tow dolly this time!

Now that you know all about our tow dolly issues, I bet you are thinking nothing else could go wrong on this trip.  Well, you would be so wrong!

Between Lubbock, Texas and Buffalo, New York we had to make an emergency stop at the Ford dealership in Charleston, West Virginia.

As we were beginning our day, John noticed Winnie was running hot.  Thankfully we were near Charleston and they had a Ford dealer.  They don’t have the facilities to work on RV’s but took pity on us and looked to see if it was something “easy” to fix.  A hose had wiggled loose with all the crappy roads we were traveling on, burned a hole in it, and we were out of radiator fluid.  They were able to order a part to fix the hose.  Thankfully everything could be accessed from under the rig and through the hood opening.  Otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to help us at that location and they are the “largest” one in the state.

$493 later we were on the road again!

Tow Dolly – Not Loving It – PART 3!

Yep, there is more to this story.

Can you believe this??  After leaving Buffalo Camping World, we arrive at Hogback Lake, Indiana KOA the next evening and decide to check the bolts.  Keep in mind, every time we stop at a rest area or for gas we are checking for them and the ratchets.

I bet some of you are psychic!

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image from https://www.rvtravel.com/rver-horoscopes-for-may-2017/

One of the bolts they replace is MISSING!  Of course it is a Saturday evening and most service departments are closed on Sunday.  Monday morning is another phone call to Camping World in California.  They are shocked we are calling again – as are we with a few other emotions brewing.

They run interference for us again and now we travel to Indianapolis Camping World.  They scheduled an appointment for 2 pm but we show up at 12 pm.  They finally get us into the service bay about 1 pm.

We stroll their store, spend some money, and finally are on our way about 5 pm with all of our bolts in place.  Just another day of vacation!

 

Tow Dolly – Not Loving It – PART 2

So now that everyone is thankful their vacation hasn’t started like ours, it just keeps getting “better”.

About an hour after our last post about tow dollies, I was sitting at the picnic table at just the “right” location and noticed that there are 2 bolts on the right side of the dolly but not on the left.  John inspected and we were missing 2 bolts from the bottom and one from the side that hold the ramps in place.  We got ready to leave the next morning to go to Camping World and found that the light fixture they installed was not working again! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS???

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Do you see those 2 bolts?  How I managed to see them still amazes me.
The next morning we call Camping World in California and thankfully get to talk to the same person we talked to about our previous issues.  He makes arrangements for us to take it to the nearest Camping World in Buffalo, New York.

It feels like our vacation is a tour of Camping World facilities!

We get there and they say it will take a couple of hours.  After a “relaxing” lunch at Red Robin (YUMMM), we take a drive to Niagara Falls.  Someone forgot our passports (cough Barb cough) so we stay on the US side.  It was a nice diversion while the tow dolly was being repaired.

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I love this picture of the falls!  We paid $1.25 per person to go up the observation deck to get this photo.

They called us about 4 pm to say that they “fixed” it – they replaced the bolts but they didn’t have a light fixture.  They also said one of the bolts had broken off in the permanently installed nut and that it probably happened while they were assembling it. Great!  What else did they screw up??

We return about 5 pm after a stop at AutoZone to pick up a trailer light.  They install it for us and we are finally back on the road about 7 pm.

Bet you are wondering what happened next!!