Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Best Made Plans ...

I had a conversation with my mother-in-law recently about our travel blog. She enjoys all our upbeat stories about RVentures. But she wondered ... Is there a downside to full time travel? Every day can't go perfectly ... would I ever write about the days that don't go according to our plans?

Well, with sunsets like this one right outside our RV at Seven Points Campground near Nashville, I can't help but think that this is the life! We have just finished four weeks of exploring the beauty of Jekyll Island, Charleston, Asheville, Knoxville, and Nashville. We are having a good time making our way slowly back to Minnesota. Our next stop was going to be a bit further that we usually like to travel in one day (310 miles), but we thought it would be fun to have an extra day to explore a popular state park in Indiana. Long travel days can make me a bit nervous, but as the co-pilot, I was prepared. I had studied our route and figured out two rest stops and a diesel stop.  All was going great until I saw the sign ...

Just as we were crossing the border into Evansville, Indiana, an unusual noise started. I do not like unusual noises especially when we are driving the RV. What would happen next would test my skill level as co-pilot. In the middle of this busy highway through this busy town, I hear, "Find me a place to pull over, and if it is an RV service station, that would be even better."

OK, this is the not-so-fun part about traveling around in a 40 foot RV with a car behind it ... we are not going to be able to just pull into the next service station I see. But, thank God, I did manage to remain somewhat calm and find a Cummins diesel engine repair shop just down the road. We pulled into their large parking area and saw fluid dripping out under the back of the coach.

Not so good ...

Now, while we are bummed that something is terribly wrong with the Wildebeest, I am thinking ... we have a Cummins engine ... we are in a Cummins repair shop parking lot ... I did a pretty good job with this navigation job! Doug believes that it is the transmission, so he goes in to talk with them about it.

Unfortunately, they don't deal with that aspect of RV repair.

Fortunately, they are able to recommend a local repair shop and tow service company, so after a few phone calls and a little time to devise "Plan B", the Wildebeest is on her way to spend time at another high priced repair "spa".

Fortunately, it ended up being a blown o-ring on the power steering/fan clutch hydraulics. At $130/hour for labor, any RV repair job is not cheap, but it turned out to not be quite as costly or time consuming as a transmission repair could have been. 

This is the downside of full time travel. Thing will go wrong. Plans will have to be changed. We may be "homeless" while repairs are being made. But ...

And that is what I need to keep focusing on
... to stay cool under pressure, because it always works out for the best!

Our changed plans allowed us to see the benefit of our Coach-Net RV towing insurance plan that covered the $650 tow bill.

Our changed plans allowed us to enjoy some Taco Bell burritos and a local brew ... and add to Doug's beer coaster collection.

Our changed plans allowed us to explore Henderson, Kentucky, where John James Audubon, American naturalist and painter, lived from 1810-1819.

Audubon (1785-1851) is famous for his extensive study and illustrations of The Birds of America. His detailed paintings depict birds in their natural habitats. Through his studies, he was able to identify 25 new species of birds and sparked interest in the study birds and the preservation of their habitats. I just loved seeing how he brought out the "personality" of the birds in his artwork.

Our changed plans allowed us to take a walk in the woods while listening to the songs of cardinals and many other birds at John James Audubon State Park.

The cool shaded paths were filled with the chorus of birds. Alongside a group of elementary students, we learned about Audubon's life and artwork at the nature center museum.

But most importantly, our changed plans allowed us to realize that it is the people that we share the bumps in the road with that make the journey worthwhile.

Our Plan B involves spending time in Springfield, Illinois visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and seeing another state capitol building! Doug is hoping to run into Homer Simpson :-)

Until next time ... embrace the best "changed" plans ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

Love this painting that I saw an art exhibit
at the JJ Audubon State Park Nature Center.
Reminds me of my two sisters and I.
Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful "moms" in my life!

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