Tuesday, September 28, 2010


If you're looking for something to see in Gaffney, this giant peach is probably it. "Peachoid" is a 150-foot tall water tower that holds one million gallons of water and welcomes motorists along I-85 to South Carolina. This upstate landmark was built in 1981 to promote the fact that South Carolina produces almost as many, as many, or more (depending on who you ask) peaches than that "other" state. Upon learning that we were headed this way, our friend Margie told us, "Just look for the giant peach." Now we know what she meant!

Just around the corner from the giant peach is the Freightliner Custom Chassis Training and Service Center. With a service appointment scheduled for last Thursday, we arrived in the heat of Wednesday afternoon and were assigned to our spot: lucky number 13. It wasn't much, but it was free. (If you don't include the cost of the service to come!)

During Bullwinkle's stay in the Freightliner hospital, our tech spotted a leak in the oil pan gasket. Because our engine is under warranty, we had to make an early morning trip on Friday to complete the work at Cummins in Spartanburg, some 20 miles away. Here's Bullwinkle getting reading for his early morning ride to Spartanburg. That's the moon up there in the sky!

With the gasket replaced and oil change complete, we traveled back to Gaffney and checked into the KOA. After spending a couple of days in service center waiting rooms, we were ready to kick back and relax for the weekend before we headed to chassis school.

That's right, we went back to school! Monday and Tuesday we attended "Camp Freightliner", a two-day class designed for owners of motorhomes with a Freightliner chassis. That's Mike, our instructor, pointing out something vitally important on a demo chassis. It is fascinating to see the "innards" of our moose. Everything is so much easier to see, reach and understand without a motorhome sitting on top.

After two days of learning about everything from alternators to zerks, we have a much better idea of what goes on behind the scenes when we turn the key and run down the road. Let's see, up front there are a couple of air tanks. Behind that is the fuel tank. The batteries are behind that. And, way back there in the back is a big ol' Cummins engine, an air cleaner and a radiator. Miles and miles (That might be a bit of an exaggeration,) of wires and lines get strung through after the chassis arrives at the motorhome factory. We learned lots!

With our chassis and engine service work complete, Bullwinkle is ready to run trouble-free for the next year. With our new-found knowledge, we have a good idea of how to help make that so. Yep. After our week in Gaffney, everything is just peachy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Return to Crossville

After spending a quick overnight in Paducah, we have spent the last two nights in Crossville enjoying this charming spot in one of our favorite campgrounds.

We're planning a return visit to Paducah in about a month, so we'll share more about that town then. The most noteworthy sights during our drive from Monett across southern Missouri were a couple of bridges. First up was this skinny little thing that crosses the Mississippi River. Two lanes and no shoulders made it an extra challenging crossing.

Minutes later we made a right turn and faced another bridge! This one crosses the Ohio River. We breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of that itty bitty bit of shoulder which, compared to the previous bridge, seemed huge! Thankfully there was very little traffic on both, and we didn't meet a single semi on the way. Paul did an awesome job!

Just off the bridges, tucked away in the bushes, was this sign welcoming us to Kentucky. It's almost as if, after the two scary crossings it took to get here, the state didn't want us to know where we were!

After resting up in Paducah, we didn't have to cross any bridges to get into Tennessee. Although our friends who live here joked that we might have to check our shoes at the state line. (Of course, we didn't!) Our days here have been as wonderful and restful as they were when we were here last year.

Tomorrow we're heading on to South Carolina. But, it won't be long and we'll be back here in Tennessee!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Monett Revisited

Our unexpected trip to Kansas City brought with it some pleasant surprises. We spent some quality time with our family, including relatives from Monett. As we planned a new route for our travels, we decided to swing through this friendly little town in Southwest Missouri on our way to South Carolina. When we pulled into the same park we stayed in when we came through nearly a year ago, we smiled when they assigned us the same site.

That sent us flipping through our photo files to find this shot from our first visit. Parked here in the same site with our new moose we can really tell a difference in how big it is. Last year we had plenty of room to spare. This year, we're using every inch of our site in this nice little park.

Since our last visit, a couple of family members have launched new businesses here. We checked in on Cousin John, who is busy supplying Southwest Missourians with pellet fuel for the winter. If you're driving around these parts and see "Big Red", that's John making a delivery!

John's wife Melissa is hard at work at her very specialized printing firm in Springfield. We stopped by for a quick tour and were very impressed. Melissa and her team work very hard to keep their customers happy.

The timing of our visit was a real treat. We arrived just in time for Aunt Martha's 89th birthday. She chose the spot for her birthday dinner and enjoyed some fried ice cream for the very first time. We think she liked it!

The western sky looked dramatic as we left the restaurant after Aunt Martha's birthday dinner. How does that saying go? "Red sky at night, sailor's delight?" Well, not so tonight. Not long after this peaceful shot was taken, we tucked Bullwinkle in, packed the cats in the Jeep and headed to John and Melissa's as some severe weather passed through.

Last night's storms brought welcome cooler weather and clear skies today. Tomorrow we'll point the moose toward Kentucky. But, we look forward to visiting this fun little corner of Missouri again.