August 30 – LeRoy, Illinois to Georgetown, Kentucky (326 miles)

There is not much to report today, just a drive on the interstate highways. I have to say, though, that I enjoyed spending the night at a truck stop.  The trucks leave their engines running all night and I liked the steady hum.  It was a noise canceling thing.  I didn’t hear anything else to keep me awake.

We got underway at 0810, again, without eating any breakfast. We pulled into one rest stop long enough for me to take some medicine.  We stopped for lunch but not for fuel. Kentucky is beautiful and I hope to see more of it than just what I see from I-75 one of these days. We arrived at Whispering Hills RV park at 1507. It is well maintained but still pretty much a gravel parking lot with utilities.  They do have a nice pool.

b Sao in Campsite, Georgetown, Kentucky
Sao in Campsite, Georgetown, Kentucky
b View Forward

View Forward

My Sister Barbara reminded me that I have not posted a picture of the new car so here it is on the Tow Dolly.

b New Car on Tow Dolly

b New Car on Tow Dolly Front

Daughter Kathy sent some pictures she took when she visited.  It is Cam with a chocolate frosting face.

b Cam and Chocolate Frosting


Christmas Present – The Prince and the Frog

I forgot to mention the nice Christmas present I received from my son-in-love George when we were in Coral Gables. Well, I did’t really forget; I just wanted to study it before posting it. It’s a book.

b01 The Prince and the Frog

Notice the house with chicken feet on the cover.  That’s Baba Yaga’s house. If you are not familiar with Baba Yaga, Wikipedia has a nice description. She is a figure in Slavic folklore, commonly, a witch, but often a counselor. I believe she has also been known to eat children.

When Owen was born, George pronounced me Baba Yaga, because my house (or motorhome) moves, but not on chicken legs. I am also known to nibble on babies fingers and toes. So my grandsons call me Baba Yaga.  Well Owen does.  Cam says Baba Waga.

b02 Title Page

Here is a closer look at he title page.

b03 Close Up Told by George Barton

It is a nice fairy tale with a prince and a princess disguised as a frog.  I won’t go into the story, but Prince Ivan came upon Baba Yaga’s hut in the forest and sought her counsel in finding his frog/wife.

The last line is my favorite.

b04 Happily Ever After

They lived happily ever after…and Baba Yaga visited them every summer….

I do visit the grandsons every summer.  We park Baba Yaga’s bus in the driveway for a month


October 21, 2015 – Wildwood, Florida

Another day at the shop.  As he said he would, Mechanic Kevin arrived around 0700 to take Sao into the shop for more work. We went tot he customer lounge and watched some RV news.  That got old quickly and we decided to take a walk around the property. Of course, we stopped by Sao on the way out to see how Kevin was doing. The had the instrument panel pulled off the dash and was testing diodes.


b01 Kevin Checking Diodes

I went around to get a better look.  The problem that he was addressing was the “low air pressure” alarm.  The warning light and beeping have been going on regularly since we left the Smokies at the end of June. A couple days it has beeped non-stop and nearly drove me mad. The boost air pressure gauge is supposed to read 60 psi, but normal has been 30 psi.  The last few days of driving, the gauge had gone down to 5 and 10 psi. Kevin was also going to change the air dryer filters.

b02 Kevin Behind Dashboard











The yellow things at the top left are the two-way radios that JR Smullen gave us.  Thanks again JR; we use them all the time.

Here is Sao sitting in the oil change bay.  We got the lube, oil, and filter changes for the engine and the generator.

b03 Sao in Oil Change Bay

Then we headed out for our walk. I noticed (not for the first time) that many of the service bays also have a motorhome sitting outside and they are being worked on.

b04 Back of Alliance Garage

Here is something we have never seen before.  Apparently that motorhome is having trouble with its propane gas system.  There is a hose running from the propane tank to tower and they are burning off the propane from the tank. It was burning hard too. We could hear it.

b05 Burning Off Propane

This large Live Oak is next to the employee parking lot. Live oaks with Spanish Moss hanging on them are one of the great charms of the south.

b06 Live Oak Behind Employee Parking Lot

We noticed that we have a new hub cap.  We don’t know where we lost the old one; we have been on so many rough roads this summer, it could be anywhere. The hub cap is just the shiny clean part in the center.

b07 New Hub Cap

Here is another large Live Oak out in front of the Alliance Coach building.

b08 Live Oak in Front of Alliance

These small Morning Glories are growing along the side of the road.

b09 Small Morning Glories

Of course, I had to go take a look at the lawn-mowing tractor parked in a field.  I realized that I look at tractors a lot when I recognized the Massey Furgeson symbol on the front. One of my fantasy jobs would be driving a large lawn mower.

b10 Tractor

We came around to the back of the garage to see that Sao had been moved from the oil-change bay to the wash-and-wax port. Two men were hard at work with extra-long-handled brushes and a large bucket of suds.

b11 Washing Sao

We stood and watched them for a while. One fellow was cleaning the wheels as they both worked their way around Sao together.

b12 Washing Sao Wheel

They got to the front and I realized that one of them was pressure-washing right above the other, but the other guy never got wet.

b13 Washing Sao Front

Wash job done, Sao is sparkling clean. Believe me, we had a lot of dirt we dragged in from all across the country.

b14 Shiny Clean Sao

One guy started wiping Sao dry while the other one came behind him waxing. We went to lunch at that point.

b15 Wiping and Waxing Sao

We spent most of the afternoon in the customer waiting room/lounge.  Andy studied the Alliance Coach catalog and I continued reading Macho Metaphysics by our friend, Bob Elkins.

b16 Alliance Waiting Room

Kevin has already finished some jobs:

Found and repaired a leak in the rear port slide out.  This is where I had musty, mildewed clothes last winter.

Found the problem and fixed the rear heat pump/air conditioning unit.  Fortunately, that turned out to be a simple sensor replacement.

He fixed the entry steps, which had come loose and were sinking when we stepped on them.

He took apart the light fixtures in the bedroom and over the kitchen sink. He is going to change them to LED lights.

He checked our LP gas system for leaks.  We didn’t have a problem, but Andy wants it checked.  After we lost our friend Bob in a gas fire, we are a bit sensitive about it.

Kevin looked at our rear-view camera system, but can’t figure out why it doesn’t work half the time.  We got a new monitor two years ago and a new camera last year.  We still have the problem.  I think the problem in the wire between them, but Will Burke says that would cost too much to fix.

We always have a list when we come to Alliance. My darling friend Sue Meyer asked me to include what work we are getting done.  They have a motorhome too.  All this probably makes her queasy. But Mac can probably fix most of this stuff himself.

October 20, 2015 – Wildwood, Florida

Those of you who drive motor homes and those who have read my logs for the past few years will be familiar with an RV dealer and repair facility. So, for the rest of you, I took some pictures of my surroundings today. You can see an aerial view on Google Earth with this address:  4505 Monaco Way, Wildwood, FL 34785. It is a large piece of property, larger than Google shows because they now have recreational vehicles parked in a big field along the highway.

Mechanic Kevin had another motorhome to work on this morning; the parts came in.  That meant I did not have to be up and dressed before 0700.  I woke up anyway.  Andy made crepes for breakfast.  He had a flipping accident with mine, but I assured him that it was still delicious, especially after I loaded it with Nutella, raspberries, and whipped cream.

Andy discovered that AARP members get a 15% discount at Carrabba’s restaurants and there was no holding him back.  He found one on line and was ready to go even before Mechanic Kevin came out to take Sao into the garage. We stopped at Walgreens to pick up a prescription and then used the GPS to find our way through The Villages to get to Carrabba’s. Then we stopped at Walgreens again on the way back to buy a card for our service adviser, Will Burke. Today was his last day at work this week; he is getting married on Saturday.

So, here is what we are seeing at Alliance Coach today. We are parked in a “campground” of sorts out behind the building.  It is not like dropping your car off at the garage and getting someone else to take to home or to work.  Many of the customers, like us, live in the motorhome full time or for extended periods. We stay with the motorhome. They provide parking spaces with water and an electrical outlet for those of us waiting with the coach. It is still just a parking lot with some grass between the spaces. Ha! That describes a lot of RV parks we’ve been to. This is the view out the front window.

b01 View Forward

I walked out in front of Sao and took this picture looking to our right toward the garage building.

b02 View to Starboard

And, here is Sao, with our little red car, parked in Space 35. It is a really nice parking lot.

b03 Sao in Parking Space

Here is Sao in Mechanic Kevin’s bay in the garage.

b04 Sao in Garage Bay

I took a picture down the next aisle over to give you an idea how big the facility is. There are thirty-some service bays in there.

b05 Inside Alliance Coach Garage

We have a lot of fun with our Service Adviser, Will Burke. Here, he has joined us in the customer waiting lounge to talk about what work has been accomplished today.  I could tell that he was anxious to go home to start preparations for the wedding.  He told us that his girlfriend had put a gun to his head to get married. We gave him his card, with enough money in it to buy his bride a nice dinner on their honeymoon. He gave us hugs.

b06 Will Burke

Toward the end of the work day, we went back to our parking space and sat in our folding chairs on the patch of grass between our space and the neighbor’s.

b07 Waiting for Sao

There were a lot of small, thin clouds smeared overhead and I thought they would make for a nice sunset.  But, I got busy and forgot to go out to look when the sun did set.

b08 Sun and Clouds

It was well past quitting time when Mechanic Kevin drove Sao back to our spot. We watched him back the motorhome in between the two cars.

b09 Sao Backing Into Parking Space

Here is Kevin just after he got out of Sao and was heading to the back to plug in the electrical cord.

b10 Kevin the Mechanic

He is so adorable.  He reminds me of my nephew Jonathan. And, he is an extremely pleasant young man.


A Good Day

Monday, April 27, 2015 – Wildwood, Florida


I was a good day.

Kevin, the mechanic was out to look at our awning first thing in the morning, as promised.  He pushed the button and the awning worked.  Andy and I stared at each other dumbfounded. I know four or five guys at Key RV who will tell him it does not work.  Andy said the awning will go out, but won’t come back in.  Kevin said he would check it out.

We hopped into the car and headed to Gainesville for Andy’s cancer checkup. It is about an hour north on I-75 from Wildwood. The appointment for the CT scan was for 1100, but we got there at 0930.  Andy announced to the receptionist, “I’m early”. They must not have had any other appointments at that hour because they called him in soon after we sat down. The CT scan only takes a few minutes and we were out of there before 1000. Andy’s plan worked out well as we had plenty of time before the next appointment.

We decided to take a short walk before getting back in the car. Then we drove to Alachua to Conestogas Restaurant for lunch. We took another walk up and down Main Street first. Then we sat down to the best hamburgers I have ever eaten.  They set bowls of roasted peanuts on the tables and I ate half of those before the meals were served.  What with the half-pound hamburger, sweet potato fries, and two glasses of Dr. Pepper, I was stuffed.  But I still kept eating the peanuts.

It’s a good day when you get a Conestogas’ hamburger.

Then, it was back to Gainesville to the Shands Cancer Center for Andy’s checkup with Dr. Mendenhall at 1330.  When Nurse Terry came out to the waiting area to call Andy in, she said she still remembers how awful the treatment was for Andy in 2012. He was walking around like a zombie back then. He looks and feels so good now compared to those dreadful days.

Dr. Mendenhall stuck the tube up Andy’s nose to have a look at the base of his tongue. Poor Andy hates that so much. Despite his best efforts, Dr. Bill could not find any cancer. I did not cry this time when he made the announcement.  I am accustomed to the idea now, after two-and-a-half years. Still, our spirits were up and our step was lighter as we walked from the cancer center to the College of Dentistry.

It’s a good day when you are declared cancer free.

Dr. Cha inspected Andy’s teeth.  He has been very conscientious about brushing, flossing, and  doing the fluoride treatment every night.  She did not find any problems. Dr. Cha is a delight and after hearing our praises, she wrote down the name Conestogas and said she was going to get one of those hamburgers this weekend.

It’s a good day when you are not worrying about your teeth falling out or your jaw bone rotting off due to radiation damage.

The drive back to Wildwood was uneventful.  Our motorhome was still at the service bay.  As we walked over to see how the job was going, someone knocked on the front window of their motorhome as we walked by.  It was Bill and Dawn Laatz, who had been two lots down from us at Key RV in Marathon! We chatted for a bit and they invited us to stop in their place in Oakland, Michigan this summer.  They said they have 33 acres and two motorhome hookups.

It’s a good day when you get an invitation to visit someone with a full RV hookup!

Mechanic Kevin was just finishing when we got to Sao. He said he did end up changing the motor for the awning.  Andy just KNEW there was a problem with the motor. Kevin drove Sao back to our site in the campground.  We will pay our bill in the morning and then be on our way, right on schedule. We should be back in Big Creek on Wednesday.

It’s a good day when all the needed repairs are done in one day.  This is the first time that has happened for us at Alliance. I don’t think we’ve ever been out of here in less than a week in the past.

Yes, it was a good day. And, I didn’t take a single picture.  I didn’t even take the camera with me, but did get four and a half miles on the pedometer.