Friday, August 2, 2013

500 Miles, 500 Miles....

Actually, Eldy drove over 630 miles from Elkhart today...First, as you know, we dropped off our rig at Total Value. We left out a little bit from yesterday. Sparky had spent the last week cleaning every nook and cranny down to using a toothbrush in the tiny crevices of the ogee edged Corian countertops that are everywhere in the rig. She cleaned the shower twice, cleaned the shower door tracks, cleaned the bathroom three times, cleaned all the places you would never look for dust, like the tops of the slideout wood trims, cleaned the fantastic fans, got the glass sparkly and shiny, oiled all the wood cupboards with Murphy's lemon oil furniture polish, and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, hoping that all her efforts got the coach spiffy enough to not have to pay 250.00 to have it detailed. We actually found an air conditioning vent IN THE CLOSET in the master bedroom that we never knew was there in the three years we've been full timing. Why they have an AC vent in the closet, we're not sure, but maybe it's to help with humidity reduction or something. Needless to say, that one filter needed a GOOD cleaning!

So we get over to Total Value, and ask about the detailing. "What do you guys do to get the rig ready when you have it detailed?"

"Shampoo the carpets, clean everything, oil the cabinets with Murphy's oil furniture polish...." YES! Sparky even did the Murphy oil treatment on the cabinetry, and cleaned the shower tracks with a toothbrush and cleaned every possible surface except for shampooing the carpet, so we are having them do that. There's so little carpet in the Phaeton that we didn't want to rent a carpet shampooer. We think it looks beautiful, inside and out, and Total Value seemed very happy to have a Tiffin Phaeton on the lot to sell. Here's hoping!

It was hard saying goodbye to our rig....But it's on to new adventures and a new home waiting for us to get back and finish painting and decorating little by little...

We made great time today...Eldy is a driving machine whether he is behind a diesel pusher, or behind the wheel of a little Honda CRV, which is our tow vehicle. It got GREAT gas mileage today...over 31 m.p.g. consistently on the highway, even at speeds up to 70 mph. And it has over 104,000 miles on it! We were really happy with that...It sure has been a great car for us. Nothing major has ever needed to be done on it. It was a great year, that 2009 model.

Sparky LOVED seeing the hills in Kentucky, the barns....the mountains in Tennesee...the craggy rock and cliff formations. It sure is a beautiful country, the U.S.A. So much to see, such a variety of geography...We've been around the country twice in the three years of fulltiming, but it never gets tiring seeing all the beautiful and wildly different parts of the country. We reminisced about coming through this part of Tennessee with the rig the first time we came through, worrying about the percentage of the grades of coming down the mountains, seeing the runaway truck ramps and wondering if RV's ever had to use them. :-) We love seeing the "hokey" touristy stuff along the way...Like Dinosaur World in Cave City, KY. That would be a fun place to take grandkids!

Usually, Sparky would be knitting up a storm in the RV in the passenger seat. This trip, Sparky is just sitting back and watching the scenery, hour after hour, soaking it all in......There's something to be said for just sitting back and watching...or NOT!

We were heading southbound on I-65, when we saw some sparks start under the rear tire and knew something was about to happen. The lug nuts must have come loose from the trailer rig, because then one whole wheel came flying off!  Eldy quickly swerved to the lane on the left which was blessedly empty, and we watched as the tire bounced to the right of the rig, take a bounce behind the rig and go flying straight across the lanes to the LEFT of the tractor rig, bouncing off the median fencing, then slamming into a vehicle in the northbound lane. It happened so fast, we have no idea what happened to the car or truck that the tire hit on the other side of the highway, but bet there was some significant damage. Scary!

On we drove.....Driving through Kentucky, we saw signs for the world's only UNDERGROUND zip line, the Mega Zip Line in the Louisville Caverns area called Mega Caverns. There are SIX underground zip lines, with the cavern covering 17 miles under the city of Louisville. That sounded cool!

We stopped at a Country Inn Suites for the night in Dalton, GA. for a really great night's sleep on a decent bed in a suite for a decent price AND a terrific free hot breakfast--eggs, sausage, pancakes, waffles, lots of juice choices, and all the usual cereals, muffins, whatever you wanted to eat. Eldy likes a suite because he gets up really early and can come out in the living area to watch the morning news, make coffee, and let Sparky sleep in. You walk out the front door of the hotel and there's a MOUNTAIN right in front of you...Dalton, which is right off I-75 in northern Georgia and the neighboring town of Ringold, GA, look like a very cool historical area. There's  Ruby Falls and Rock City in Dalton. National Geographic says Rock City is "one of America's top 101 places to visit." You can see seven states from an observation point at Rock City. Dalton is also a historic area where the Battle of Chickamauga was fought, the bloodiest two day battle of the Civil War. And on a lighter note, Dalton is still thought of as the carpet capital of the U.S. as well.

What else is there to do in Dalton? Sparky is making notes in the blog in case we ever get back to the area. There's the Pinhoti Trail--a 245 multi-use trail that connect the Appalachian Mountains to the Talladega National Forest in Alabama. It's the longest footpath in the state. There's also the Disney Trail, no relation to Walt, but named after an English born Confederate named George Disney. This steep trail ascends Rocky Face Mountain, and is considered to be the most challenging trail in Northwest Georgia. Sounds like a challenge and something to check out!

How about the 93 mile Conasauga River, a gentle river for canoeing or kayaking? If you're not into canoeing or kayaking, there's a Civil War Driving Tour, a two hour drive on CD with a guidebook.

We kept seeing TONS of signs for Ruby Falls. Ruby Falls is a massive underground waterfall at Lookout Mountain. It's a waterfall 1160 feet underground and is America's tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public. It's also on the National Register of Historic Places. Eldy said he thought it was a big tourist trap, but Sparky loves 1) caves and 2) waterfalls, and had we not been on a mission to get home to FL, she would have checked that out!

And one last cool thing just five miles north of downtown Dalton....the historic Western and Atlantic Railroad Tunnel that is now a museum. Built completely by hand in 22 months, it was completed in 1850 and later abandoned in 1928 when another tunnel opened nearby. You can take guided tours through the 1,477 foot tunnel where steam from the trains' exhaust is still visible on the ceiling. It's a museum that you shouldn't miss!
courtesy of the internet
Back on the road again...Over 600 miles the second day, and the Honda CR-V got between 31-32 miles per gallon at 70 miles per hour! Awesome! But no wind, no rain storms, the weather really helped us get the great gas mileage, we're sure. And today was driving through some hilly areas again, in GA, and the northern part of Florida.

We made it home and everything was's great to be back in a nice roomy house. With Sparky feeling mostly back to normal, it's back to some more painting repairs, and getting the house in tip top shape.

More later.....


  1. If you ever go back that way, do stop and see Ruby Falls. We stopped there fourty years Ago on a trip from Wisconsin to Florida. Loved It. It has always stuck out in my mind as a special place. Sorry you missed it.

  2. You had quite the adventure today, glad you're ok after that scary episode on the road. I don't see any pictures of you ziplining in the underground caverns?

  3. Glad you made the trip south with (almost!) no incidents. Now it's time to get that home decorated and make it yours :)

  4. As sad as it was to leave the motor home, it must be so nice to be home again to start the next phase of your lives. I love being in a new house with all the expectations it brings.

    I was in a car driving from Lake Tahoe back to the Bay Area in CA once when a vehicle going uphill lost a wheel. I can still see it. It bounced and bounced, back and forth along the road, which was going downhill toward us. There was nothing we could do but pray that it wouldn't hit is because it was bouncing all over. It missed every car and finally stopped alongside the mountain. Whew. That was quite an experience, so I know exactly how you were feeling.

  5. Sounds like your title should be 600 miles or 700 miles. Boy you two are something. Makes me tired just to type that big a number. :-))

    That tire thing sounds really frightening. Was the truck beside you or on the other side of the road??

    Hop you picked up a few dollars from the Dalton Tourist Bureau? You've got me looking it up on the map.

  6. glad you are feeling better. . .and I added Ruby Falls to my wish list. . .that list keeps growing and growing. . .LOL!

  7. Our Phaeton did not have an ac vent in the closet but the Breeze has one in the cabinet over the bed?? It keeps the Direct TV receiver nice and cool :)