Wow! Has it been three weeks already? I guess it’s time for our first post from the road.
It’s always hard to say goodbye to family when we set off on a new adventure. But we waved goodbye with a promise to be home in August for one of our daughters engagement party.
Nick drove the easy three hours from Voorheesville to Syracuse, NY. It was Bella’s first-time riding in the RV. She quickly got over her surprise and fell asleep. We pulled into our daughter’s driveway for a quick visit.
It was nice to see Lindsey, Chris and their furkids, but we had a restless night. The thought of driving the RV for the first time kept me awake for several hours. Bella couldn’t get comfortable in her crate because I didn’t put her bed in it. She rattled around for a while before we finally let her out to sleep on the bed. My anxiousness, Bella’s restlessness and his own anxiety about the trip kept Nick awake. We finally fell asleep only to wake up at 4:30 AM. We headed out to the RV for a quick cup of coffee before heading out.
Our plan to drive almost 600 miles from Syracuse to Greenville, Ohio in a single day was ambitious and we knew it. Nick got us on the highway and pretty soon it was my turn to drive. Nick pulled off at a rest area and we switched seats. I thought I was going to have a heart attack as I buckled myself into the driver’s seat.
Our RV is at least two feet wider than a car, and it’s pretty hard to keep it between the lines. It really takes all of your physical and mental attention to drive it. And when a tractor trailer rolls past, it feels like you are just inches apart. After twenty minutes or so, I began to breath normally. I observed that the big rigs hugged the sides of the road when they passed or were being passed, so I started to do the same. I drove through a construction zone or two without too much trouble. But after about 3 hours I needed a break.
We continued to rotate the driving duties every two to three hours. As we approached central Ohio, our weather apps advised us of bad weather ahead. I was driving and traffic had gotten very heavy. The tractor trailers were whizzing by us one right after the other. I was terrified of the thought of driving in heavy traffic in a downpour. Nick found an alternate route that would avoid the worst of the storms and we quickly detoured off the main highway onto a smaller one.
What a relief! Route 30 had almost no traffic and the scenery was much nicer, as well. We rolled through farm-country and a few light rain-showers. By the last 100 miles, we were both exhausted and couldn’t wait to finally arrive in Greenville.
We camped at the Drake County Fairgrounds in Greenville. Nick hooked up the water, electric and sewer and within just a few minutes we were settled into our home for the next 10 days.
Greenville is a charming town, but our main reason for visiting was to spend time with our daughter, Stacey, her husband Ryan and our 20 month old grandson, Everett. The are in the harness racing business, and train their horses at the fairgrounds. Nick was happy to spend time mucking stalls, jogging horses and being around horses. Our time in Greenville was relaxed and mostly uneventful.
I say mostly uneventful because we made our first “rookie” RV mistaken Greenville. A few thunderstorms rolled through during our stay. They brought in lots of rain and intense thunder and lightening. The awning on our RV had one broken piece, but the awning was functional. But we knew that if a big wind hit it, it wouldn’t hold.
One day when we knew Ryan was out of town racing, we offered to feed and water the horses in the evening so that Stacey could stay home with Everett. We took the 3 minute walk to the barn and before we knew it, a huge thunderstorm hit, complete with powerful wind gusts. We waited in the barn for the storm to pass, knowing that the damage would be done before we made it back to the RV anyway. Sure enough, the awning was hanging limply against the RV after the storm. Three of the four braces were broken and the fourth was missing altogether. We later found it on top of the rig.
The next day, we tried to find someone to repair the awning. It quickly became apparent that it was going to take 3 to 4 weeks and hundreds of dollars to get someone to repair our awning. Nick found the parts on line for about $125, paid for expedited shipping and had the whole thing fixed within a few days. Yay, Nick!!
After 10 days in Greenville, we were ready to move on. Next stop, Lexington! We had scoped out RV parks and selected the Kentucky Horse Park Campground in Lexington for our next destination. This campsite offered water and electric hookups, but none of the sites had sewer hookups.
We hadn’t made reservations, and we were surprised when we arrived on Wednesday morning that they were fully booked for the weekend. They offered to let us stay in the overflow “primitive electric campgrounds and told us that many of the sites also had water. We found an nice level spot with both electric and water and quickly settled in.
On Saturday, camp personnel came by to inform us that we would have to move the next morning. Someone had reserved the spot we were in for the upcoming Bluegrass Festival at the campground. The good news was that we were being upgraded to main part of the campground, where the sites were roomier, came with picnic tables and fire pits, and were closer to the pool, store and bathrooms.
We packed up on Sunday morning and moved to our new and improved camp site. We were also able to extend our stay for a couple of days, although not long enough to enjoy the bluegrass festival. Since we had stowed everything for the move, it seemed like a good time to dump the tanks and hit Walmart for some groceries before settling into our new spot.
Wow! what a difference being in a defined campsite makes. The primitive electric section was sort a grassy parking lot, with a transient bunch of visitors. Our new campsite feels like a home in the upscale suburbs!
We enjoyed exploring Lexington, but I think I’ll save that for another post. In the meantime, here’s what we learned in our first three weeks on the road.
- Five or six hours of driving is a comfortable limit.
- Don’t assume you can buy beer or wine on Sunday.
- Retract the awning if there are thunderstorms nearby.
- Make reservations at campgrounds before you arrive.
- Uber is awesome!
Until next time!
Lynne, Nick, Bella and Arvie!