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Catching up

May 4, 2012

I am so far behind here that I think I’ll just do a photo gallery with a few comments about where we’ve been the last couple of weeks.

The RV Fog Dr. and Charlie’s Auto Glass

We spent a week in Searcy, Arkansas, parked at Charlie’s Auto Glass aka RV Fog Dr.  It’s a busy place, and Lee Merrell stays constantly on the move, juggling jobs on a variety of motorhomes and trying to keep a variety of customers happy.  We discovered that some owners of rigs that cost a quarter of a million dollars and more are capable of whining a lot if they don’t get instant service.  Rather than give a lengthy explanation of what these guys do, here’s the link to their website at RVFogDr.

Lee and his Dad working on glass while RV owners hover

We opted to have all the windows except the door and the windshield repaired or replaced.  All of those are double pane windows.  The windows that couldn’t be repaired required new glass.  That glass had to be tempered to make it into auto glass, and the closest place to get that done is in Memphis, TN.  We had a choice:  they could put the glass on a truck and we could wait a week for it to come back, or we could take it to Memphis ourselves.  That meant driving it over and bringing it back all in the same day.  Keep in mind, most windows can be repaired, but the age of ours meant we had several that couldn’t be.  In over a week, we were the only ones who had to have completely new glass.

The glass place in Memphis is closed on Fridays, and closes early on Thursday.  We arrived in Searcy on Wednesday.  There was no way the glass was going to get done before the following week, so we sat for four days with nothing happening, but stayed put in order not to lose our place in line.

We sat for four days parked here at Charlie’s Auto Glass aka RVFogDr

Finally got into one of the work bays.  There are six, and they stayed full.

All of the side window glass was either repaired or replaced. That’s eight windows.

All the glass was removed on Monday.  On Turesday, we drove the jeep to Memphis to take the glass to be tempered.  Found ourselves going from Arkansas to Tennessee, having lunch in Mississippi (Jackson is right next to Memphis), then back to Tennessee to pick up the glass, and back to Arkansas.  It’s a four hour round trip and took us about eight hours.  Part of the double pane glass was reassembled in the window frames on Wednesday.  Installation was finally completed around 2:30 Thursday afternoon.

Colton’s Steakhouse & Grill. We ate at the one in Searcy and the one in Cabot. Good food. Good service. Good salted peanuts.  If you ever find yourself in Cabot, Arkansas, eat at Colton’s and ask for Jayme to be your waitress.

New 12 volt light fixtures

We tried to make good use of the downtime in Searcy.  I did some painting.  On Saturday, we drove back to Little Rock (about an hour away) and bought a few things at the Camping World there.  Sunday, we did very little, although I did paint some.  On Monday, we drove about 9 miles out of Searcy to a place Lee Merrell told us about.  Roetzel’s RV Parts is a mostly used RV parts store.  It’s one of those really great, musty smelling places with a room full of metal racks loaded with parts, and another room with parts hanging on nails or pegboard on the walls, and the service counter is covered with paperwork and other stuff, and all kinds of paperwork is hanging on the wall behind the owner, along with old calendars and photos.

We found a new frosted glass ceiling fixture to replace the old shiny glitter ball, enough under-cabinet light fixtures to replace all of them, and two sconces to replace the two shiny gold ones on either side of the bed.  A couple of the existing fixtures were wearing out and blowing fuses.  Instead of having one or two odd ones, the price we paid allowed us to replace all of them with the same style fixture.  I ended up at Auto Zone to buy a wire stripper and a lot of wire connectors, but we did get all the lights replaced while we were sitting still in Searcy.

Sunset at Blytheville, Arkansas

After a full week, we got on the road Thursday afternoon, and drove 137 miles to Blytheville, Arkansas.  Our plans have changed, and we are headed directly to Mount Vernon, Ohio, postponing to another time the stop we had planned in Gadsden, Alabama.  We made reservations for an overnight stopover at the Blytheville RV Park.  We put the address into our Garmin GPS, and it led us into a Walmart parking lot.  A phone call got us to the right place.  That turned out to be 18 spaces operated by the Day’s Inn in Blytheville.  It’s sandwiched between I-55, the Day’s Inn, and an industrial equipment company.  A little pricey for the location, but it did have water, electric, sewer, wifi and cable TV.  And we were just glad to be out of Searcy and on the road.

Lunch on Friday at a rest stop on I-57

On Friday, we drove 257 miles to Effingham, Illinois.  The route took us up I-55, then onto I-57 to Effingham, where we tied into I-70.

A 36 foot motorhome seems really big until you put it next to these guys.

The view from our site at Camp Lakewood, Effingham, Illinois

We had found a potential stopover the night before, so while we were rolling along the highway, Nell called and made reservations at Camp Lakewood RV Park in Effingham, Illinois.  As the Day’s Inn stopover shows, you never know for sure what you’re going to find.  We had done our research on RVParkReviews.com, and had rejected a couple of places, but Camp Lakewood sounded good.

Our spot at Camp Lakewood RV Park

This turned out to be a nice place, with full hookups, including wifi and cable.  It’s well off the highway, down a paved road and a gravel lane.  The sites are spaced fairly typically for an RV Park, close but not claustrophobic.  Since we’re only staying at these places overnight and getting back on the road in the morning, the outdoor spacing isn’t an issue for us right now.  After our night next to the highway in Blytheville, I was looking forward to the really quiet night this place would be.  Of course, there were thunderstorms during the night, so we had the sound of thunder and rain instead.

Another view at Camp Lakewood

On Saturday morning (I’m writing this on Saturday night), I unhooked everything a little too quickly.  That last pot of coffee for the road hadn’t been started yet, so I had to go back out and plug the electrical cable back in.  We finally got moving and drove 215 miles to Richmond, Indiana.

A farm in Indiana

Our spot at Grandpa’s Farm

We found Grandpa’s Farm Campground and RV Park, and made reservations online last night.  It’s not far off I-70, and easy access into the park.  We have a pull-through with full hookups plus wifi.  This park has a lot of permanent residents, but it’s clean.  We used the showers comfortably.  The pull-through spaces are angled to give each spot plenty of privacy.  The potential downside is that these spaces are right against State Highway 227.  We’ll see how much traffic noise we hear during the night.

Ford across the creek

The Middle Fork of the Whitewater River flows through the RV Park.  This crossing runs from the park over to farmland on the other side.  I didn’t expect this photo to come out quite this nice.  Since it did, I think it’s a pleasant way to end this little travelogue.  Tomorrow we’ll drive the 154 miles to Mount Vernon, Ohio.

We’ll be laying up next to the the barn at Nell’s sister’s place.  Don’t know how long we’ll be there, but it’s picturesque, and I expect to get some serious painting done.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2012 12:12 am

    Ya’ll were so close to John on Friday. He was about an hour south of St Louis all weekend.

    • May 7, 2012 11:02 am

      Just saw the photo of John on FB, Cheryl. Looks like he was having a great time!

  2. May 7, 2012 12:24 am

    Wow! You are really making tracks. How did the windows turn out? Hope the rest of your trip is more leisurely. Take care.

    • May 7, 2012 11:09 am

      D.E., we’re at our Ohio destination now, and we’ll be parked here for a while. The windows look great! It’s a pleasure to have a clear view out every window now. Thanks!

  3. May 7, 2012 2:19 pm

    Welcome back to Ohio!

    • May 8, 2012 1:06 am

      Thanks, Nancy! I love the countryside around here. Now we just have to wait for the rain to stop.

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