Fort Rucker – Athens, AL – Columbus, IN – Hopkins, MI…More Adventures

Monday, May 16 dawned a little foggy and muggy after a rainy night.  We packed up, hooked up, and headed north.  Our intended route took us on I-65 all the way to Indianapolis, then 31 to Michigan.  As we approached exit 263 near Athens, AL, we were enjoying a Tom Clancy audiobook.  I heard a very out-of-place noise (and our audiobook didn’t come with sound effects!).  Bill looked at his side mirror and discovered that we had blown a tire on the RV.  Talk about God’s timing….we were just before the exit, and at the end of that very short exit was an empty lot next to a gas station!

Given our recent experience with Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance, we knew it would be easier to fix it ourselves…so we did.  While we were changing the tire, another car silently glide into our makeshift parking lot.  Out popped the cutest little girl, followed more slowly by 3 adult women.  The little girl skipped over to us (love the energy and enthusiasm!) – and asked if we had a gas can because “my mommy runned out of gas”.  We did; and were delighted to be able to have enough that she could make it over to the gas station instead of having to carry gas back and forth in a small gas can.  An hour and a half later, we were back on the road after treating ourselves to cold drinks and treats from the gas station.  We seem to choose 90-degree days with high humidity to have our adventures.

As a result of our tire misadventure, we sustained considerable damage to the plastic and sheet metal on the side of the RV.  We did a quick fix to stabilize the loose fragments.  A quick check with Apple maps located a tire shop in Athens as well as a campground.  We opted to spend the night in Athens, get up early and visit Clem’s Tire Shop for two new tires, and a breakfast at the local Sonic.  We were back on the road by 9:30 – pretty much our usual launch time, maybe even a little early.

Tuesday afternoon found us in Indiana looking for a campground – which are few and far between on I-65.  We finally found one in Columbus, Indiana – a great relief – since we were at the point of starting to look for a pet friendly motel with enough parking space for the rig.

This morning was grey and overcast with the threat of rain.  We packed in up, tucked everything in, and hopped back on I-65 North.  The rain found us somewhere around Indianapolis and followed us into Michigan.  Bill was able to contact a body shop that has done some repair work for us due to a warranty recall in the past.  They are able to give us an estimate for the damage to the side of the rig, so will be stopping there in the morning on our way back to Heart of the Forest.  We are staying in Hopkins at the Sun Retreats Gun Lake.  This is a really nice campground – more like a “glampground”.  We enjoyed a walk around with Piper, then another walk for more distance while she napped.

Total Miles traveled since Monday:  936. 

Lessons learned:

  1. Keep your tire changing stuff handy.
  2. Keep extra gas in your gas can so you can share.
  3. Be flexible – “Semper Gumby”.  Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of time unknotting your panties.
  4. Download several RV/camping apps.  Each one seems to list different campgrounds near you, but none of them are comprehensive.
  5. Sonic Breakfast Burritos are best served with Rolaids or Tums on the side!
  6. Hot Chocolate from Speedway is like warm pourable pudding – just don’t be tempted.  Stick with water or sweet tea!
  7. Albanese Ultimate 8 Flavor Gummies are outstanding!  Not the worms, or the 12 Flavor Bears.  The Ultimate 8 Flavor Gummy Bears – absolutely the best 😊

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