Well, after our power issue the other night and subsequent cancellation of Fun Stuff© in order to get the breaker on our site’s pedestal fixed…we were looking forward to a nice easy travel day on Thursday. It started out most excellently until Neil walked across the street to the bath house where Big Red was parked to move him over to our site so that he could load stuff in. He got in, pushed the start button…and the starter solenoid went click but did not engage to crank the engine over. He recognized the symptoms…it happened to BAT (our first truck the F450) in a similar manner. Big Red is a 2016 model that came off the line in Oct 2015 so that puts him…and his batteries…right at 4 years old…so he was pretty sure that at least one of the two batteries was toast…which means the starter won’t crank as they are in parallel.
That led to a wasted 45 minutes or so while we pulled Li’l Red over and jumped it…after which he was very careful not to turn the engine off. He looked up and there was a RAM dealer with a heavy truck facility in Parkersburg WV which was just across the river from our next campground in Coolville OH. Connie thought we would never get in…but he told her they were good old boys from West Virginia and would take care of us. He called them, described the problem and told them we were RVers transiting the area…and that we could be there by about 1430…they close at 1700…and he said “sure, bring ‘im in and we’ll fix ‘im up”.
With that in hand…we finished hitching up and departed Hocking Hills State Park about 1130. The first dozen miles of the trip were a bit dicey as we had to head up the 3 number state road to Logan…curvy and up/down as well as narrow…but it was better than the trip on the same road getting to the park from the other side. After that…we hopped on US-33 and then US-50 and had smooth sailing all the way to Carthage Gap RV Resort in Coolville OH.
After navigating the one lane only between two ponds with 10 feet drop-offs to the water on both sides…we quickly got checked in and then Teresa the owner guided us to site F4…a nice 80 or 90 foot long pull through gravel site with full hookups…slightly downhill from back to front but easily leveled. We put on power, unhitched, deployed slides and turned on the A/C units as it was getting on towards 90 degrees…then headed out to the RAM dealer.
Service there was excellent…the tech came back about 15 minutes later and confirmed that one of our batteries was bad. We told him to replace both as they were the same age and we didn’t want to get stranded again later. He came back a few minutes later and said they had no batteries in stock…but that they could run up the street and get two from Advance Auto Parts which had the same specs as the OEM batteries…and that they routinely got batteries from them when needed. We agreed and an hour or so later were heading home…we got the original sales certificate for the batteries from Advance so if we need warranty service later on it’s easy-peasy.
By the time we got home we were beat…but Neil finished leveling and hooking up utilities then we baked a pot pie for dinner. Watched some TV until bedtime…we missed last Friday’s shows we normally watch as we had no satellite visibility but DirecTV streaming got them for us easily. Right before bedtime we turned the A/C off and opened up as weather for our remaining 3 days would be wonderful…cool and definitely open-window-worthy.
We were up early Friday morning for our first Fun Stuff…a drive over to the McDonough Wildlife Refuge for a hike on the Main Loop trail…a 2.25 mile loop with about 400 feet of elevation change. According to the signs…there would be numerous chances to see wildlife from foxes to coyotes to deer to birds at the wetlands. We stopped at Chick-Fil-A and got a couple of chicken and egg burritos for breakfast…the size of that particular tasty breakfast treat has increased considerably since we had them our only other time a couple of years back.
We donned our hiking shoes and set off with our hiking poles…and as advertised within 100 yards of entering the trail we spotted our first wildlife sighting…Neil spotted this li’l guy alongside the trail.
Unfortunately…that was also the last wildlife sighting on our hike…but we enjoyed it anyway. The weather was cool so we didn’t get overheated and the uphills were a bit challenging but fortunately they weren’t too long individually so we had plenty of time to recover.
This is the “wetlands”…more of a pond really and no wildlife at all…probably because of the concentration of algae floating on the surface. There was a small open spot in the middle…and the dead calm wind would have resulted in a great reflection shot except for the algae…but I did what I could and included a shot cropped differently so you can see what reflections there were.
Along the hike…turns out that we’ve been classifying trails slightly inaccurately ever since we took our first trip to Maine some years back. Lemme ‘splain for ya.
On that first trip…we discovered that all trails in Maine are rocky and covered with roots…so we deemed trails like that as R&R trails…for rocks and roots of course.
Today however…as we headed up the first incline on our hike…Connie said that was a R&R&R trail for rocks, roots, and ruts…which Neil immediately classified as a Triple R Trail. Unfortunately…that got him started down a mental rathole and he wondered if we had possibly misnamed the R&R trail years back due to insufficient information. By the time we got to our second rest stop on a conveniently located bench at the top of a hill…he had figgered it out and after discussing it with her we now have the new and improved trail classification system.
So…rocks, roots, and ruts…notice those are in alphabetical order. The new classification system is R&R Type 1 (or 2 or 3)…with the r words selected as 1 & 2, 2 & 3, or 1 & 3…obviously for rocks and roots, roots and ruts, and rocks and ruts respectively. We’re sure that this new system will better enable us to describe our trail experiences for ya.
After the hike…we stopped by Home Depot for a list of hardware stuff we needed, Kroger for a few vittles, and a different Kroger that had a liquor store for some rum before heading home.
We were going to…originally…sit outside in the breeze…but took a nap inside instead before doing a few chores and then having some leftover skirt steak with onions and peppers in corn tortillas for dinner…they were quite yummy.
Saturday we were going to go over to this island in the river near Parkersburg including a boat ride, carriage ride, and museum tour…but Connie wasn’t feeling very well so we just stayed home instead.
Sunday it’s going to rain on and of all day…so we have no plans other than Mass in the morning, then we’ll head out for a 2 day travel period on Monday…overnighting at Lexington VA and then arriving in Powatan VA just west of the human kids on Tuesday. Wednesday we’ll see them and install the tow ball assembly that Neil bought for Big Red. Thursday we’ll drive Big Red to Knoxville, pick up a U-haul trailer and pick up some furniture that Baby Sis was house sitting for us as her estate is putting the house on the market with proceeds to go into her younger daughter’s trust. We’ll get a hotel in Knoxville and come back to Midlothian Friday…meeting Bryan to put the furniture into our storage unit. Saturday we’ll drive up to Fairfax for the annual Cassaday Financial Symposium…at least that’s the current plan…then Sunday we’ll move over to Pocahontas State Park for a few days before heading south. On the way south…with our new and revised plan…we’ll really only have 2 stops. We’ll stop in NC to see our friends Bill and Linda as well as Connie’s older sister…then a 2 day transit to Cedar Key for a 10 day stop at the Low Key Hideaway…then a final 1 day transit to North Fort Myers where the travel season will come to an end.
I don’t know if we’ll have anything else that really classifies as Fun Stuff© before our arrival back at our winter home…if I do I’ll post…and if I don’t then I’ll think of something else to write about.
Interesting stuff found on the net.