Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Our Trip from Clarksville to Sweetwater Tennessee

Our Trip from Clarksville to *Sweetwater Tennessee

We both woke up around 5 am and so started packing it all up. Jerry had already cleaned out the van and taken down the satellite .  That made things go much faster.

It took me about 2 1/2 hours to get everything I wanted down off the shelf's and into boxes on the floor. I sure wish I could just leave it all up, but then I would have busted out bottom on the shelves.

I had pre-packed the kitchen as much as I could, putting the dry goods from over-head into a tub under the cabinet and the dishes in a large tub under the sink. I will have to remember to do it this way more often as it's much easier to get around with all that out of the way, when we don't need it right off, and it's not in the middle of the floor either.

The cats are not happy campers. They don't like to travel at They protested the whole time the van is moving. When the van was stopped, they would shut up. Now they are on my "short List" cause when I got up, and started trying to make Jerry's breakfast (he ended up buying on his way into the job) I found a mess, make that two messes, ON MY COUCH.  Yuck.  Now I'll have to take out that cushion and rinse it off and hope the sun will dry it out, today.  I know the cat box was clean, so no reason for this,  outside of being mad at me for something. Most likely because I didn't get up in the middle of the night and let them go outside like they begged me to. I know it's me they are mad at, cause they also "got" my housecoat which was laying on the couch, as well.

The dogs handled the trip well, considering what was to take less that 6 hours took over 14. 

We finally had everything packed up, buttoned up and unhooked from the power, water and sewer by 9:15 am.  Drove to Clarkesville, no problem, turned right instead of left, no problem.  Got onto the interstate, no Problem.  Got just about 16 miles or so outside the city limits of Clarksville and Major problem.  A van passed us, honking it's horn several times.  Jerry looks out and said he thinks we have a flat on the camper. So we pull over (on the interstate, never a safe thing to do) And yes, we have a flat tire and a slack tire. We are at least 5 miles to the nearest exit.
 The Flat tire was shredded by the time we got to a Shell station just off the interstate.
I suggested that we un-hitch from the camper, and Jerry doesn't know why.  Our GPS is showing directions to a tire place, but not how far away it is.  It's over 20 miles back the way we came !  He tells me to go inside and ask if it's ok if we park the camper where it's at, for a few hours. I go in, and ask, and it's ok.  One of the men inside offered to go to his home (3 miles away) and get us a four way( lug nut wrench). We thank him but tell him no, don't do that. We do ask are there any tire shops in the area. Yeah, down the road a bit, just past the stop light. The stop light is 5 miles down the road. So, we do un- hitch, and go "find" a tire shop. They don't have any tires that will fit, and can't even order any. (Yikes) but hey, you could try the Tractor Supply in town.  Jerry "heard" Clarkesville, about 10 miles away. Actually it's Ashland City and more like 15 miles. We follow directions and find the Tractor supply ok. Almost passed it up.  But you know, they don't have tires to fit either. But they do have a  selection of 4 ways and since I don't know one from another, I let Jerry pick it out. We are getting a bit worried about finding any tires for the camper, when the man in the back suggest going across the street and seeing if that man has any that will fit.
Oh thank the Lord,  Not only does he have tires that fit, they are new tires and each is just under $100 apiece.  Now the fun part, like this hasn't been "fun" in the first place.
We drive back to the camper (about 40 to 45 minutes) take off two tires, the two, that are bad,  Back to the tire place (40 to 45 minutes)  wait for them to change the tires, takes less than 20 minutes to do both tires. Back to the camper. I had suggested that, once we get those two tires on we pull the camper to the tire shop since the other two tires were still up and seem to be in good shape.  No.... he puts on the new tires,  goes around to the other side of the camper and removes those tires. It's so hot that it takes Jerry about an hour to put on and take off tires. Then,  back to the tire shop, 40 to 45 minutes to get there, another 20 minute wait while they are mounted onto the rims, then back to the camper, again 40 to 45  minutes, and it takes Jerry about 30 minutes to put those back on. We then get hitched back together. And are just about ready to leave. 
 A man came around while I was guiding Jerry back to hitch up, trying to help me guide Jerry, to find out he had a few questions about the Airstream. Any Air Stream it seems.  he had one he wanted to sell and wanted to know what a good price to ask for.  Well, it depends on the shape, model and year. He "thinks" it's a 1960's Model. He jaw about drops off when we say to not take less that $36,000 for it.  In the shape it's in,  Cause there are people out there who are willing to pay way more than that, to restore one that old.  He said he's selling it to buy a 4 wheel something to take hay out to his cattle with, this winter.  He said he could so some work on it, and we both said no. Let the new buyer do that work since more than likely he's buying it to restore it anyway.. Are we sure for him to ask  for that much. Oh yeah.  We tell him of a couple of Air Stream Sites to check out. He said he's thinking of selling it on E-Bay.  That's ok cause he can get bids, but there are also Airstream sites that will let a person bid on them, I just don't recall their names.  He's very please with the information, but that delayed our leaving by at least another 30 minutes.

It was a hot day, and we have pets in the van. So we had to run the motor, to run the air so they don't get too hot, so now it's time to gas up. and pick up something to eat... have you noticed, we never stopped to eat breakfast... or lunch.  Good thing I learned long ago, not to take my shot until I knew when we are going to eat. I had a good reading though, and by the time we did eat, was still doing well. We picked up a couple of sandwiches and a bag of chips and we both have been drinking water and cola's all day long (our normal is to buy drinks almost every time we stop) Get the dogs water, and we are on our way. 
We got to Nashville at rush hour.
Now, We use to live in Kansas City and have heard (and told) of how bad Kansas City rush hour traffic is.. Nashville is much, much, much worse. At one time, we were going 3 miles and hour, No construction is going on, No wrecks are passed. and we see no problems with how people are merging, It's just how it is.  Of course since it's hot outside, and pulling the camper, the motor is getting a bit hot. So, we are cycling the air conditioner. On when we can, off when the temperature gauge starts to get a bit high.  And the cats are crying cause the van is moving and the traffic noise is loud, cause we have the windows open to get what breezes we can.. for almost 2 hours to get though Nashville, I sure would hate to see how it is if there is a wreck, if this is the normal.
Once we are out of Nashville it's back up to 55 (for us) and we are making good time.  Um... all that water and cola are catching up with me, so we get off the inter state and make a potty break for both the humans and the dogs. buy drinks, get the dogs water, and we are back on the road, again. Jerry called a place he had called, about our being late. She was ok with that. Would see us in the morning, told us which site we could use over night. Ok. ready set go.

 One mountain to go. Mount Eagle. or is it **Monteagle ?  either way.. there is a rest stop on Monteagle, and the van is starting to run a bit warm again. so we pull in and let it cool for about 40 minutes. When we pulled out, we found out we were almost to the top anyway.
While we were going up Monteagle, Jerry's phone rings. Seems a place he wanted us to go to, (cheap but clean and reasonable) has a site open up, Ok, since Jerry is driving, when we pull over in a few minutes, I'll have him call you. No problem  we get to the rest stop and pull in. Jerry makes the phone call and we are set for this campground. calls back the other campground (much more expensive and more rules) and tells her, we won't be in, don't save the site for us. She hung up on him. at least we were nice enough to call and cancel.
 Jerry had fun tossing potato chips to the birds while we were waiting for the motor to cool  and I think he needed the break,Now we have to go "down" Monteagle. Mind you, truckers Hate Monteagle. It's a 6% downhill grade over 6 miles long.  Truck have to pull over, before starting down and check their brakes. Advised to use lower gears, and have strict speed limits according to how large their loads are. Jerry had been stressing about this since before we started this trip. We didn't have any trouble at all out of Monteagle. The trailer brake booster did it's job and, although we "shook" a bit when the brakes on the trailer grabbed when he pushed on the booster control, it was a smoother trip that he expected it to be.  From here it's a few steep hills but nothing as steep or as drawn out as Monteagle is. There is some construction around South Pittsburgh, but it's all smooth and just a slight lane shift around that. A quick dip into Georgia ( the interstate goes that way then back into Tennessee) and we cross time zones. 
 Then, we are in Chattanooga. and can't remember if we had to stay in the left lanes or be in the right lanes.. We get through with no problems.  Remember all the places we use to go when we lived here back in the 1990's.  And make plans on going around checking how things have changed over the years.
We pulled into the campground a bit after 10 PM. sign in, pull in, plug in water and power, let the dogs potty, shift enough things around that we can sleep in our own beds, and are asleep by midnight.
What a way to spend our 35 wedding Anniversary. Our "gift" to each other.. 4 new tires for the camper.

Yesterday (Tuesday) we were up by 7 AM, walked the dogs, then over to the truck stop, less than 1/4 miles down the road, for breakfast at Wendy's. Then we go find the job site. find it easy enough and a few places we know we will have to need while we are here. Food store, Wal-mart, laundry mat, etc. Back to the camper.. have to ask, are we staying in this site or does he want us to move in a day or two. makes a difference on how much stuff I put away. Oh, your in a good spot, you don't have to move. No shade, but then again, we are in a good spot for just about every thing else.
Jerry spent about 2 1/2 to 3 hours trying to get the satellite dish to line up, and just had to give up. He was so frustrated that he said he work on it tonight when he gets home, if he feels like it. For today, I can get by with the radio.
We were in bed by 9 PM.
Got up this morning. I'm trying to scrub out skillets and he said he'd buy breakfast out, I'm ok with cooking, until I discover I can't remember where the Ra mien soup is. That is something Jerry likes for breakfast along with his sausage and eggs. I consent that he should eat breakfast out. Go over to the couch, forget why, and discover that one of the cat used it for a kitty box.. or two of them did since I found two different spots.. Yuck. Now I have to clean the cushions of the couch today and we have a chance of rain all day. I am not  happy with them at all.
(6 AM) showered and started writing this up.
Now, it's time for me to eat my banana for breakfast. I'm going to step outside to do that since the cats have now potty in the kennel I tossed them into when I discovered the use they made of the couch. No reason for it either since I checked the cat box and it's not that bad.
Once I eat, I'll take the dogs for their morning walk. come back change cats from one kennel to the other one (Barney sleeps in a kennel at night so he has to come out before they go in) wash out two kennels and let them dry. Wash off that cushion, hope it will dry. toss each cat into the cat box. then work on putting my kitchen back in place and find that Ra mien soup so I can make Jerry's breakfast tomorrow morning.
Tonight's dinner. Hamburgers on the Grill
(7 am)
Well. I had my banana, took the dogs out, let them potty, then walked around the lower loop of the campground (it's not far)
came back in, and started cleaning up the mess the cats made. Yuck.
I had to soak one kennel (the one they traveled in) empty the water out, soak it again.. spraying where the solids were, 4 different times. It's on it's last soaking now, as I'm fairly sure all the solids are out, just being extra sure they are.
rinsed off the seat cushion and the back cushion of the couch where one of them (maybe more than one) used it for a potty.
rinsed off my housecoat that was messed on, as well. Rinsed out both the other kennels since I was already using the water hose and the cats have messed in one while I was walking the dogs. (gross)
Let Macon be outside on a line for a bit, then traded him for Barney when I brought in the first kennel. Put the cats in the back and blocked them in, only to find one was back out. T threw him back in the back again.
Sweetwater is a city in Monroe and McMinn counties, Tennessee, and the most populous city in Monroe County. The population was 5,586 at the 2000 census. Sweetwater is the home of the Craighead Caverns which contains the Lost Sea, the United States' largest underground lake.
Monteagle is most famous for the treacherous stretch of Interstate 24 that passes through the town. It is here that the highway passes over what is colloquially referred to as "The Monteagle" or "Monteagle Mountain", a section of the southern Cumberland Plateau which is a major landmark on the road between Chattanooga and Nashville. The interstate regularly shuts down in inclement weather, routing traffic onto U.S. Route 41. In the Jerry Reed song "The Legend", which is the opening track in the film Smokey and the Bandit, Reed tells the story of the Bandit miraculously surviving brake failure on the "Monteagle Grade." There is also a song called "Monteagle Mountain" by Johnny Cash on the album Boom Chicka Boom.

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