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On The Way

Posted 09-08-2018 at 09:29 AM by mbubbaca

Only a few days past the original leave date. We deleted the Iowa State Fair and are beating feet across on US 40 West as direct as we can to Albuquerque.

Itís been a hoot of a trip already.

Planning can go two ways. It can be meticulous or loose. Weíre a terrific partnership because one of us approaches planning directly opposite of the other. Meticulous won for the trip out, we have official reservations with approximately 4 hours of driving between stops.

Itís working very well so far.

A couple of observations on drivers, ( is anyone surprised that I have opinions on who people drive on the road with me? I talk to them all the time).

The truck drivers have become more professional as we move west. My respect for truck drivers is once again very high. I believe the more senior drivers get the long coast to coast hauls. What we see around Charlotte are relative rookies on the road.

My head shaking about S.C. drivers continues. The latest isnít the usual, staying in the left lane for miles and miles with a full line of cars waiting behind them. This SC driving ambassador was a motorcycle that parked in the middle of a truck and trailer only spot. In the middle, so you couldn't even squeeze in behind it. One motorcycle parked in a space reserved for trucks and cars with trailers. Iím really surprised that one of the professional drivers didnít just pick up the motorcycle and move it. They were backed up on the on-ramp to the rest stop.

Weíve missed most of the rush hour traffic in the cities weíve passed through. But man, when they tighten the lanes for construction, I get a little white knuckled. I've seen pictures of what those big orange barrels do to the side of an AS.

Weíre traveling along outside of Memphis and had already seen 5 Airstreams when there was one on the side of the road near an exit. We waved and honked our horn like crazy people. The guy on the back of the truck looked up and waved. We noted the big red numbers assigned to all AS by the WBCCI. Gaile looked them up and saw it was someone going on the same caravan we were. They too were on the way to Albuquerque.

We had a bit of a panic, what if they are stuck and need help? We had no phone number for them. The member book does list emails so Gaile wrote them an email and put out a request on FB for a phone number. Social media, technology, and tenacity by Gaile ( all I did was keep driving) we found out who it was and made contact.

They were OK and very nice about our intrusion into their trip. Bob and Betty were not having a great trip. They already had a flat tire and had to wait for 3 hours for AAA. Bob was trying to stabilize something on the roof when we saw them

We had a fantastic first night and a very neat and clean campground. Extra points for the planner on the team. A great spot on a lake with full hookups.

The next day was pretty sweet for driving but the landing site was a little different. It was an RV and Trailer Park. The emphasis on Trailer Park. The enterprising owner took about 100 yards of frontage and paved it, put some stripes and hookups in and charges $30.00 to park. Very spartan. Lots of vintage trailers overrun with vegetation running up the sides and over the windows.

We were surprised by another AS from NC pulling in and spending the night with us. Our past-president and first lady had caught up with us, they left from Pinehurst, NC. We spent a pleasant evening catching up.

The couple we left on the side of the road, called us. We had a longer conversation than our first one and we discussed where we were stopping next.

I have discovered that there are two large tribes of AS owners. They are of the very free tribe. No plans, no reservations just go on down the road stop when you get tired. So our chances of seeing them before Albuquerque seemed slim. Right now we're in the planning tribe.

We have plans! No Wallmart parking or Cracker Barrels for us.

When we left the next morning our fellow NC people said they might stay with us at the next stop. Neither of us is the get up early and move on down the road traveling types.

I now have a greater appreciation for how long a state Tennessee is, It's the only state we've needed two nights to get across. On to Arkansas, we go.

So far I am not impressed with Arkansas. We discussed staying in Little Rock but there wasnít much to see other than the Clinton Library. Itís an old joke. You should see it coming. We would go there but, all the pages in the coloring books are already colored.

Our next stop didnít look like much, all pull through meaning another night of not having to unhook all the stuff. 
 That's a good thing when you're staying only one night.

We didnít have to unhook but we did hook up!

What a great night! Because Gaile and I are relaxing and in pull the team from the side of the road, the one we worked pretty hard at running down. They remembered where we were staying and pulled in 2 slots down from us. Our fellow North Carolinians were right behind them. All of a sudden weíre a caravan already!

We had a fun night getting to know each other. They had both been on another caravan before with each other.

So howís life in the Poodle Palace?

First of all BB, the poodle is being pretty mellow about all the riding. She chills in her bed on the console. Sheís got a custom backstop to keep her from flying into the back seat when I take off. She also has a lead keeping her from flying forward too. Her bladder lasts as long as either of ours so the total timing of stops is perfect.

That and as soon as I get to Ĺ a tank of fuel I start looking.

Bringing me to give an update on the GMC 2500. Itís running so well! I understand we havenít hit any real long hills to pull and things might change. Right now this is the right tow vehicle for us. If I put it on a speed, using what my old man used to call Cruise-O-Matic, it stays at that speed up or down hills. Iíll be very happy if this continues on the higher, longer hills.

The planner gets kudos again for planning food. We have a freezer full of homecooked dinners. It's so nice to have a meal already together without trying to find a dinner or lunch spot. No time off the road waiting in a restaurant and knowing what we're eating. That will also change as we go down the road but it's pretty sweet right now.

This is the first stop with very strong wi-fi and I'm making the most of it. More to come when it can.
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  1. Old Comment
    Boxite's Avatar
    You obviously did not spend any time researching Little Rock for things to do. There's a fantastic University and Pioneer Village that teaches a history lesson you'll never forget. The restaurant at the University-Hotel is run by students studying hotel/rest. mgmt. and the food and service are impeccable. The state parks in Arkansas are better and prettier than most Nat'l Parks, and have excellent accomodations and food. And the Clinton library has a great deal to offer, even if not a fan of the Clintons. A simple example is the replica oval office desk made of timbers from the English Ship HMS Resolute, presented as a gift to the U.S. from Queen Victoria. I'm afraid it's a sign of our times that Americans claim to love America but hate Americans.
    Posted 09-11-2018 at 01:39 PM by Boxite Boxite is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Sorry that you took my comments as an insult to Little Rock, The Clintons, or the State Parks. No insult intended. Just rushing to meet our Caravan in ABQ. Thanks for the Chamber of Commerce recommendations. I do Love most Americans I've had the privilege of meeting. I've seen the real Oval Office and the real Resolute desk. I just cannot support the president that made me explain oral sex to my 8 year old, even if it's stopping at his library.
    Posted 09-11-2018 at 05:01 PM by mbubbaca mbubbaca is offline
 
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