NOTE: This took a while to get back to. Having written the entire post, there was a glitch and everything went away. We have had quite a bit of “bad internet” time, which is fine except for work and this blog. Hopefully, we are now on track again.
Thursday morning we were up and on the road before 8 AM. The drive was beautiful through lots of farmland where we saw plenty more of that amazing corn. Near Sonora, Kentucky, we came upon some huge farm equipment traveling the road. I’m not sure what they were carrying, but they were certainly cool. I added a pic for you below. For lunch, we stopped at a small county park and made sandwiches. After lunch we continued northeast, heading for Indiana. It was a beautiful day for a drive, and we were enjoying the weather, except for the heat, of course. That was interrupted, however, in Owensboro, Kentucky, by the sound of an explosion. Really, it sounded like that! It scared the crap out of us, but MW (Mr. Wonderful) knew immediately what it was…blowout. Well at least that was better than all of the stuff running through my mind! We were on US 60, which is an interstate bypass at that point, and had just passed over a bridge. MW quickly swooped right across the on ramp and was able to get us pretty far off of the main road, although the on ramp cars were flying by pretty close. We checked for damage…wow! Tire shredded. Molding disappeared. Metal skirting all bent out of shape. Underside of the slide ripped up. Brake wires torn out. Ugh!! Since we have more than one roadside assistance plan, we decided to call them rather than change it ourselves. (I didn’t particularly want MW taken out while squatting down on the on ramp. I’m not quite through with him yet!) We called Lionshead, the tire company, first. After waiting on hold for a few minutes, the young lady took our information and reached out to find a provider. When she came back to us, she said she had found someone to come change the tire, but they charged a minimum of 2 hours at $130 per hour, and that Lionshead would pay $100. WHAT??!!?? Why the heck would we pay anyone for 2 hours to do a 15 minute job???? We told her we would figure it out, then hung up and called Coach-Net. Once again, we waited on hold for a few minutes, then the agent took our information and said she would call us back with the name of the person coming to help us and that they usually have someone to us within an hour. (UNRELATED SIDE NOTE: As I’m writing this, the TV is on a local channel, and the meteorologist’s name is Kevin Doom. Not cool for that career. Needs to marry Lisa Gloom, don’t you think? LOL) By then we had already been stranded for 30 minutes. We waited… and waited… and waited…and…you guessed it…waited. After an hour, MW called again, explained the situation, and was assured that someone would be with us soon and offered to send the police out to keep us from getting hit on the ramp. (Two Sheriff’s deputies showed up pretty quick and sat behind us until the wrecker finally arrived. When I got out to get something to drink and offer them drinks, I chatted with one of them for a bit. Super nice; he had been on the job for 24 years.) About 15 minutes later someone called and said they were still working on it. About 15 minutes after that, they called to say someone was on the way. Finally! About 2-1/4 hours after we started the ordeal, a wrecker showed up. The guy was great and took 15 minutes to change the tire (MW had already pulled it down from under Petunia) and check the pressure on all of them. We threw the shredded one into the truck bed and were back on the road. Thank God!
We still had 40 miles or so to go, and everything was great until Evansville, Indiana. We were approaching a railroad crossing, which MW always slows down for. The crossing was pretty smooth, but what we didn’t see until it was too late was the patch job on the other side of the tracks. There was a ridge that felt like rolling up on a curb! That isn’t something you want to do when towing a trailer. Petunia’s rear end bounced all over the place! We finally arrived at Harmonie State Park late in the afternoon. Once Petunia was parked, I peeked inside. OMGosh! Sh*t was EVERYWHERE! A couple of cabinets had opened, and some canned goods, paper plates, and other assorted stuff were strewn about. Inexplicably, the round pizza stone, which is normally stored under the sink in vertical pan slots, was out in the floor. How did it clear the 4″ lip? Worst of all, though, was my containers…you know, flour, sugar, brown sugar, etc. Apparently they bounced pretty hard in the cabinet, causing the lid to come off of the flour and raisins. Both were everywhere, looking like lots of little snow-covered beetles. Luckily, the only damage was a broken brace for the upper shelf where the canisters live; an easy fix for MW. We cleaned up and returned everything to its rightful spot, except those top shelf goods. Then we just vegged with some local TV.
Harmonie State Park sits on the Wabash River in the southwest corner of Indiana, near the town of New Harmony. The park is huge and offers all kinds of amenities: picnic tables, shelters, playgrounds, swimming pool (closed right now), miles of hiking/horseback/mountain bike trails. The campground sites were in grids, but were not right on top of each other, and they were electric only with a handful of 50-amp. Our site (131) was pretty good because it faced the woods on a corner. The bathhouse was well maintained, as was the rest of the property, although there were quite a few low-hanging limbs on the way in. None would do damage, just leaves brushing against the top sides of Petunia, which we try to avoid. Overall, though, it was a nice campground, and we would stay here again. I think we would avoid the weekends, though, because this is a huge campground, and it was VERY crowded. One thing was going on there that really irritates the crap out of me, though. Parents bring their small children and bikes, and then let them ride all over the place unsupervised. I’m not talking about older kids, but little ones just big enough to ride a bike. There was one boy who looked about five riding his bike on the main campground road not close to any campsite. People are coming and going, towing large campers, and he is weaving along on the side of the pavement. He was barely in control of the bicycle, and at any moment he could lose control and be gone in an instant. What are parents thinking?
Friday, after doing some figuring for the mileage on Petunia’s tires (12,000), we decided that she needed new shoes. We also contacted a mobile RV mechanic to look at the brakes, who actually lived closer to our next stop. We decided that, since we are currently traveling in flat areas, Brutus’ brakes could handle it for the next leg. MW contacted Discount Tire in Evansville, Indiana, who had tires in stock. He loaded up the destroyed tire and the other one from that side, and we headed into town to get them replaced. After dropping them off (it was going to take a couple of hours), MW went into Lowe’s to get some black, waterproof tape to seal up the underside until we can have it repaired. We ran a couple more errands, including picking up a book for the truck to keep up with Petunia’s mileage better. (Our plan is to change the tires every 10,000 miles or 5 years, whichever comes first. I’m sure for the next several years it will be the former!) Next we popped into Culver’s to give a Butter Burger a try. I have to say…two thumbs up! I do believe that is the best fast-food burger I’ve ever had. I’d definitely give more thumbs up if I had them. By the time we finished lunch, the tires were ready. We picked them up and headed back to camp. We were also able to get in touch with the insurance company (Foremost through USAA) to start a claim and Grand Design to see about scheduling the repairs at their facility in Indiana. When it cooled off outside some, MW put the two new tires on Petunia. The rest of the evening was spent watching TV and relaxing. For the past couple of weeks, there have been waaaayyyyy too many bugs to enjoy sitting outside; one of the reasons we prefer fall thru spring.
On Saturday morning, MW was up early, removed the other two tires, and headed to Discount Tire to be there when they opened. They were quick, and he made it back in just a couple of hours. After they were installed on Petunia and I completed the work I needed to do, we headed out for a little sightseeing. We went south to Mount Vernon, Indiana, where we found a great little barbecue place called Hawg N Sauce. MW had a sandwich with both brisket and pulled pork, and I had pulled pork. We also shared their pretzel appetizer, which was giant. We ended up bringing home half of my sandwich and a good portion of the pretzel. Truly a must stop if you are in the area for sure. Next we went to New Harmony, Indiana, which was a really beautiful town. It has a quaint downtown area with little shops, and a really neat place called The Roofless Church which is a house of prayer for all people. There were also plenty of beautifully maintained old homes. There was one thing that totally did not fit in, though. Their visitor’s center is a piece of horrendous, modern architecture that in no way represents the beauty of the rest of the town. After spending a little time looking around, we returned to camp to relax for the evening.
Sunday was visiting day. Whenever we are within striking distance of Paducah, we make a point of getting together with our friends Lori and Jimmy Grimm. There are always a few people in your life that you are perfectly comfortable with, and they are definitely on that list. After the long drive, we hung out for a bit catching up. Then we headed out to meet their son, Ben, and his wife Erika, along with their little ones, Elliott and Rylee, at Lori’s favorite Mexican restaurant, Mi Lindo Michoacan. Since it was Father’s Day, we had to wait for a bit, but the food really was worth it. We had a good visit with the kids, before heading back to the house. We spent the afternoon playing Sequence, until we finally had to hit the road back to Petunia. We did make one last stop on the way out of town, though…Taco John’s. You should know by now that their Oles are the crack of the potato world. We tried to go in, but there were two signs on the door. One said “Welcome back to our lobby.” The other said “We have decided not to open our lobby.” What? Which is true? We opted for the drive-thru, then made a beeline for Petunia.
Next up, we’re heading to Illinois. See you on the road.
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