Sunday, August 4, 2013

New Beginnings

Kate's wedding was Friday night, and I wanted to leave the Saturday immediately following. Obviously, I had over extended myself and we did not leave until Sunday. We spent Saturday packing and running to tie up loose ends – which did not get all tied up, as was evident later. It rained all day, as it had been all week before, and we tracked mud in and out of the RV and were generally cranky.

Sunday dawned cloudy and early, and my hopes of leaving around 9 quickly dissipated, unlike the fog. This again was my fault, I thought I could accomplish more in less time then was actually possible. We finally finished laundry; packing up odds and ends, and dumped the Kitty into the RV. She hid under a chair, we all said tough goodbyes, and triumphantly drove with mom and Alex into the sunset. Just kidding, we drove 2 miles to Walmart.

Okay, so finally armed with a road atlas and snacks, we hopped on 71 south towards Columbus, Ohio around 11. We drove and drove and drove for two whole hours, then stopped south of Columbus for lunch at Tim Hortons. We then attempted to gas up the RV... nope. 'I don't wanna go' whined the starter. 'What are we gonna dooooooooo' whined Naomi. We checked all the fluids, discovered the oil was essentially out (loose end number one, there was a small oil leak we finally noticed); managed to get the RV up and running and headed toward Cincinnati.

Because our RV was towing a car and was created in the mid 70s, we get about 7 miles a gallon. Yep. SEVEN. We also had no gas gauge, David and John worked on the wiring for two days – nothing. I am writing this from California, and we still have no gas gauge. It is a great mystery. This means we stop every two hours or so – from Ohio to Texas, to California. Midway between Columbus and Cincinnati, we stop for gas and coffee, and the RV refuses to start. Uh oh. Was this a mistake? Would we have to get towed back to Mansfield as total losers? Nope! Alex jumped the RV. He is useful. We decide to stop near Cincinnati for a new battery. At Auto Zone, the nice man helps us test the current power of our battery. Ah. It literally had the starting power of a lawnmower. (Loose end number two.) Please take our money! With a new battery and shiny new windshield wipers, we continue South.

We book it through Kentucky, - except for when we traverse up large hills, then we go about 20 – stopping only for gas and a 'quick' dinner at BK. We are determined to make some progress, anything, please wejustleftohio ARE WE THERE YET! Night hits as we near Mammoth Cave National Park. Awesome, I think. We can camp somewhere interesting and have breakfast over a campfire! No rest stops for this woman! Yeah except, camping spots were right, we went left. Also my fault – it is a miracle I am still married after this trip. I WAS TIRED OK. The issue with towing a car behind an RV means that we cannot back up. We have to unload the car, unhook and move the very heavy car dolly, maneuver around and hook and load all that crap back up. So backing up is not really an option.

We wander sleepily though dark wooded forests for the better part of an hour, spying several possible turnoffs but not stopping quite in time to make them. 'What did that sign say?! Exiting Mammoth Cave?” Awesome. Time to wake up the GPS and get back to the highway – through the tinest back-roads possible. That was another solid hour, at least. We finally reach the highway, and realize that we're 21 miles from the Kentucky – Tennessee border. We push through – or really David does, I am just sitting in the passenger seat – and make it one mile into Tennessee, to the Welcome Center rest stop. SLEEP!

Cat was still under the chair.