Trip from Hell Continues

Last post left us in Indiana at a truck stop right beside a main rail line with trains racing past all night. Now we’re on the road again.

The price of fuel at the Flying J- not good

The price of fuel at the Flying J- not good

Day 4 Thursday Nov 21

Woke up refreshed and ready to be on our way to a rainy day, temperatures in the mid 40s (that’s 5 or 6 C for you Canadians) headed toward Indianapolis- check engine light came on again- pulled over- Mike fixed it. Carried on to the Welcome Centre just inside the Illinois border where we entered a new time zone and gained an hour, which as it turned out we were going to need. Truck started making a funny rumbling noise in the front. Not going any further until we get it looked at. Using our great new Rand McNally GPS we found a GM dealer 10 miles off the highway in the small town of Paris, Illinois. Sat in the waiting room for 3 hours. Turns out the driver’s side wheel assembly was worn out and we would not have made another 50 miles before the wheel fell off. They put in the new part and we were on the road again. Isn’t it wonderful what great gobs of money can do?
It was dark when we left Paris- turned down the wrong country road to get back to the interstate- had to turn the rig around in the dark, in the rain, with soggy farm fields on both sides of the narrow road. Many harsh words were spoken. Made it back to the highway unscathed, drove another hour to a Flying J to find it wasn’t suitable. Went across the road to a TA truck stop and tucked ourselves in safely for the night.

TA travel center- price of diesel is even worse.

TA travel center- price of diesel is even worse.

Day 5 Friday Nov 22

A cold front is moving in, predicted temperatures well below freezing, into the low teens. We’ve been travelling too much west and not enough south so today we headed straight south from Effingham, Illinois to Memphis, Tennessee and further south in a race ahead of the the freezing temps. Crossed the Mississippi River twice and travelled in four states- Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi. Thermometer hit 54F (9C) not very warm, very overcast skies. Stayed in a Loves truck stop. Had difficulty getting into a tight spot. Made it safely, though more harsh words were spoken. Although today was an easy day, the stress of all our challenges is wearing us down. We need to get to some warm weather soon, or a laundromat, all my long pants are dirty. Need to get my capris out.

Day 6 Saturday Nov 23

generator and battery charger at work

generator and battery charger at work

In the middle of the night an alarm in the trailer sounded indicating the trailer batteries were low. Without the batteries our slides won’t go in or out, front legs won’t raise or lower, fridge won’t run when we’re traveling, no water pump or furnace. At 2:30 in the morning Mike was outside in the rain hooking up the generator to the battery charger to bring the batteries up to the the proper level. I stayed in bed – out of his way. I didn’t want to “fuss him to death”.

Some new rules of the road we have added during this trip.

Rule 1: Don’t try to refuel in a truck stop at noon. Every trucker and RVer has the same idea. Better to go further, if you can so you don’t have to wait an hour- trucks take a lot of fuel.

Truck stop sign

Truck stop sign

Rule 2: Don’t try to get into a Walmart with a big rig near a big city.There a lot of big box stores and the turns are tight. If you do get your rig in you may never get it out again. Better to find a Walmart near a small town, right off the interstate, where it is a stand alone. Easy in, easy out.

Rule 3: NEVER,EVER backtrack. Wanted to go to a Flying J truck stop for propane. Just one exit back from where we got on I-20 in Jackson. GPS took us miles out of our way- never did find it. More harsh words were spoken.

Where we didn't get propane

Where we didn’t get propane

Corrollary: Don’t always trust your GPS. They can be a boon. Found us some great spots, but every once in a while GPSs really screw up.

Stopped in a campground in Louisiana. Did my laundry- good thing too because it is still really cold. No capris yet.

Decided to stay two nights to rest and recuperate.

Stay tuned for the final installment of The Trip From Hell.


6 comments on “Trip from Hell Continues”

  1. We’ve all been there. That’s probably why I cringe when folks say, “you’re living the dream”. Sometimes its more of a nightmare. Hope you find those warm temps soon.

  2. Good Grief! What a nightmare..
    We are staying at the Spring Runs in FL this winter..while we can still toss the canoe up onto the car! I will miss TX and the Americana… year!

  3. Oh dear, seems like all your problems are coming at once ! Here’s to a better journey from now on. Are the prices for fuel in litres or gallons ? We pay the equivalent of 10 dollars a gallon ( 4 1/2 litres).

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