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We're back in NC!

Posted 10-17-2018 at 10:40 PM by mbubbaca

What a 66 day, 7,374.3 mile Caravan through the Southwest we had! The weather was great, except for the last 2 days, it rained on more than off all the way through Tennessee into North Carolina.

I plan to go back and fill in the story of the trip with pictures and observations now that I've got some decent WiFi.

There are way too many pictures to just throw them out there. I still have painful memories of 35mm slide shows that went on for hours as I sat with my Old Man and Sainted Mother at some neighbors post-vacation "party" looking at slightly out of focus landscape or top of the head cut off pictures of our hosts next to an important milestone on their adventure of a lifetime.

A couple of things to wrap up the mechanics of the trip. The only real problem with the truck was a real stinker to troubleshoot. When going slow and making a sharp turn my rear wheels would shutter and skip. No problem at normal speed. Same towing or not. Going forward or backward. This started after we left Albuquerque.

Google was a help. There were suggestions to drive in figure eights forward and backward. That didn't help. The suggestion was to peal out in reverse and then forward only drew stares from the "People of Walmart" that were hanging at the edges of the parking lot.

After those were a bust, I conceded to call the GMC dealer in town. Lucky for us we were camped close to a big enough town for a dealer. When I called in, the first thing the tech suggested that I be sure I was not in 4 wheel drive. I wasn't in 4 wheel drive. The last time I used it was 3 weeks ago on a steep gravel hill. He worked me in later in the same afternoon.

Before I went there I went to a gravel parking lot and drove back and forth in 2 wheel, 4 wheel low and 4 wheel high several times.

Finally, I did the test a slow turn and silence. No chattering wheels. Repeat test and the same result. I fixed it.

Just to make Gaile completely confident. We went to the dealer and they found nothing wrong. SUPRISE!

We camped in an Airstream-only campground. That was a great experience. When we checked in we got invited to a party that night. A birthday party for Dave. Dave came over and said don't bring a thing. I'm cooking ribs and chicken. We're providing beer and wine and entertainment. A Nashville singer-songwriter named Antsy McClain will provide entertainment. We know Antsy! We saw him with Tommy Emmanuel and he's a hoot. His band is with the Trailer Park Troubadours. Perfect for a park full of trailers.

We partied with about 100 of our closest new friends for Dave's birthday. Come to find out Dave is waiting for a heart transplant. That's the attitude to have when you are on a heart transplant wait list. Give a party, sing trailer park songs at the top of your lungs and tell everyone that if you're still alive in 2 years, you'll do it again.

Next stop was the Airstream dealer in Knoxville, TN. Again they were able to work us in and replace the 7 wire umbilical cord that connects the truck to the trailer. You know, the only way the trailer knows that your turn signals should come on or the trailer breaks should engage? Two very important things when you're driving a 7,000 lb. trailer even 5 miles under the posted speed limit.

After sitting in the dealership for a couple of hours, I decided to drive the 5 hours home. It rained, but I could see the barn. I curbed my enthusiasm and calmly pulled into the driveway as the rain ended.

The dash camera I hoped would document the drive was a bust. I could never get it to record more than 20 seconds. I'm trying to return it, but not very hopeful that will happen.

We came back with a lot of the food we brought along for the trip. That was because of my diverticulitis attack. We went from spicy chilies and meat to high fiber and more vegetables. So we replaced spices for grits and more bland things than I ever thought I could eat. I carried a very good steak in the freezer 7,000 miles. Some good red wine and some of the best beer from Alaska will be chilling for another week or more.

I used an appropriate number of the tools I brought along. So I really feel good about that.

My Honda 2200 propane generator worked great. I probably will end up using 60 lbs of LP. That's for cooking, refrigerator (when not on shore power) and generator for allowed hours at a couple of parks that didn't have 3 point hookups.

I will admit to 31.6 GB of pictures from my camera ( 4,218 items). That doesn't count my phone pictures or Gaile's pictures on her phone. I was religious about downloading my SD card every day to my laptop. Only 2 times did I use 2 SD Cards in one day. Like I said I have some editing to do.

So now to get the dust out of everything in the truck and trailer...we have another Airstream Rally next week...Alumalina. So far 280 Airstreams are signed up for that rally. Should be some good times.
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