We woke up this morning with the sound of rain pitter patting on the roof. There isn’t any type of sleep medication that works any better for me than rain falling on the RV roof. I don’t know what it is but my brain tells me to go back to sleep but not this morning.
I got dressed, had breakfast and went outside, in the rain, to begin picking up the connections. First thing coming around the nose of the RV is I stepped in a camouflaged puddle in the grass and soaked my socks. I wear Crocks a lot now days so getting your feet wet is no big deal but it was an eye opener!
I unlocked the toad and started the engine and ran the car for 3 to 4 minutes and shut it down. The fuse by-pass switch I installed in the passenger footwell works really great. Just a reach and click is all I need to do where formerly I’d be removing an access panel and pulling a fuse. Briefly running the car in the morning puts the fluid where it needs to be before the day’s run. Placing the gear shift in neutral and turning the key to the off position, I exited the car. Concluding, I quickly checked the towbar and cables and we were good to go! I accomplished a quick scan around the pedestal, doors closed and everything looked in place, I made my way back into the RV.
At this point, everything was picked up; slides were in and ready to go. I fired up our engine to begin getting some heat going and I pressed the store button on the jacks. Of course I had to make a quick pit stop to get a nice pair of dry socks. Back in the driver’s seat I selected drive and began to pull on the toad if only slightly at first bringing up just a few RPM and the rig just begins to pull but it doesn’t move. Colleen looks over at me with a little concern in her voice and asks what’s wrong? I said, not much, all I need to do is press a little harder on the gas. So that out of the way, we began pulling out, wipers sweeping in time with the tunes that Colleen had put on the Sirius radio.
We headed out of the campground and back through town and we came on a Shell station whose pumps were parallel to the road and had a nice roof over the service area. We filled up at 2.339 cents in Baileyton, TN. As I was filling the tank one of the station people was pricing the gas down on the roadside fuel prices. So as of today the price of gasoline hasn’t been too bad. Finished, all I had to do was just pull forward to the right and back on the street we went down to the entrance ramp on the I81 southbound. Getting out our paper and pencil, we figured out that our MPGs for yesterday’s run was 7.49 MPG. This isn’t bad at all considering all the pulling that we did coming up the I26.
We continued to run south on the 81 and passed Sevierville the site of one of our iRV2 National Rallies, Colleen and I reminisced about that rally and all the people that were there and all the neat stuff that we did. My favorite stores here were the Stages West store and the Smoky Mountain Knife Works. I also remember buying and having Oemy help me change the spark plugs in my motor. This was the great band aid fiasco. All of our close friends were here in Sevierville. Those good times are certainly not soon forgotten.
The I81 soon turns into I40 where the highway comes up from North Carolina. We saw a few more highway signs stating that a rock slide had occurred and that the highway was closed at the NC State border. I could be wrong but I think that I81 ends where I40 merges at Dandridge, TN. Still raining, we pressed on as we noted that the exit numbers had jumped up into the 400s. We motored down to Knoxville and took the northern bypass, the I640, up to the I75. Our overhead signs indicated Lexington, KY!
The geology featured a number of cuts through rock as the highway winds its way undulating across the central highlands of northern Tennessee. Not too far off to the west lies Oak Ridge, I believe the home of the first nuclear reactor in the US. The stratum where the highway cut through the peaks of the mountains was at times cut very tall perhaps as much as 60 to 80 feet. I look at those cuts and I wonder if the falling rock sign really is going to tell us something. With the entire side of a mountain falling on the I40 not far from here one can only think about these things but we made it through without any trouble. I do take cause however in remarking that there were some rather large rocks sitting at the base of these cliffs and at times small portions of the rock face had collapsed outward toward the road.
We continued northbound and crossed into Kentucky at Williamsburg. The Daniel Boone National Forest provided a scenic view and a foreboding sense of doom all at the same time. The rain continued to fall; clouds enshrouded the peaks in huge wisps as the highway’s visibility at times decreased to less than 100 feet in fog. Carefully proceeding through this weather, the clouds began to break by the time we approached Richmond and the sun had come out to greet our entry into the Lexington area.
Passing the birthplace of Daniel Boone I couldn’t help think of the Alamo and that ol’ Bowie knife that Daniel wielded. This part of the country is certainly special. Entering Lexington there was a huge poster I believe in the side of the road perhaps on a water tank which stated that it was the capital of the thoroughbred racing horse. I would not challenge that however there are some folks in Ocala, FL that might. The farm lands up in this area are all fenced by planked fences and appear to be very organized and quite clean. We didn’t see very many horses however there were many small groups of black cattle or cows for all we know. Continuing on, we were beginning to get a sense that we would soon be arriving at our destination.
Interstate 64 runs west out of Lexington to our location in Clarksville, IN which we figured to be about 80 miles away. Coming into the Louisville area we found that there was a Flying J in Waddy, KY at Exit 43 so we stopped to top off our tank. In Kentucky gasoline prices were at an average in the 2.499 range and all the way up to 2.60 in Louisville. Filling up at the hook we calculated that we achieved 6.8 MPGs for what we had run so far today.
The run into Louisville to our destination continued straight through town on the I64 until we approached the JFK Memorial Bridge into Indiana. We rolled out passed Exit “0” to Exit 1 on the other side of the Ohio River. We had never seen an Exit 0 before. Getting off the highway we turned left on E. Stansifer Ave, under the highway and then made another left onto Marriott Drive, past Tom Stinnett’s RV dealership and left into the KOA Louisville Metro Campground.
About the KOA, probably one of the smallest and aside from the Arrowhead Campground in Wall, SD this place does not have a lot of esthetic appeal attached to it. It is clean I will give you that. On a scale of 1 to 5, it scores maybe a 1. Approximately 100 feet in front of our rig is the major railway line that goes into Louisville. It’s not that the railroad is ahead of us but it’s also raised some 20 feet higher than we are. While writing this I was actually able to watch Roxy vibrate across the couch from one end to the other. Good news is that we’ll only be here we expect for 3 days.
Tomorrow is “Showtime” so hang in there, pictures at eleven! If I can find a free PC in the pressroom I’ll drop in a quick note about what the highlights of my report might detail tomorrow evening. Right now I just hope that it’s going to be as interesting as it was last year. Good night Mrs. Calabash wherever you are!