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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > May 2009 Trip, part5

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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 08/19/09 11:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

May 2009 Trip
A Cross Country Journey
California to South Carolina and back
Part 5, To Lexington, KY and Beyond
All of part5PHOTOS


May 11,2009

Rising early, the darkness still covering the soon to be morning like a warm blanket on a bed not yet wanting to be uncovered. Having only hot coffee to unfreeze my sluggish blood and chase the morning fog out of my brain, I wanted to make an early crossing to Lexington, KY. Taking a routed dirt road back to I-54, this reminded me of an old movie of a RV being chased by bad guys crossed the desert on a nighttime dirt road.
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The nighttime blanket of darkness was slowly being pushed back the light marching forward, peering over the distance horizon.
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Traffic was speeding along at the pace of people in a hurry, for it was a Monday, the being of the workweek for many a people. Off in the near distance I’d spied two bridges approaching with ever deceasing distance.
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Video Crossing the Missouri River
Crossing the Missouri River, for St.Louis wouldn’t be far ahead on this blacken path of my chosen course. St.Louis Arch could be seen in the landscape of skyline buildings tower over the interstate.
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Making my way through the web of St.Louis interstate arms, clearing the downtown area of narrow pathways I decided it was time to eat a meal for my stomach was complaining to me,” feed me, feed me.” Spotting a Cracker Barrel just off the roadway, I pulled in for a bite to eat. Once again heading east and changing pathway to the I-64, for this is to take me through Louisville, KY. And it’s many bridges.
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Video Ohio River Bridge
Louisville laying dead ahead, I would soon learn about it’s tangle connections of concrete roads.
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Passing through this city of twisting roads I was glad to be out on the open highway going for Lexington. Boundaries of Lexington were soon upon me, my daughter had told me to call her went I got here. She was at her in-laws home and gave me direction to their home.
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This would be my first time to see my newest grandbabies (twins). Dana was holding Cylas (boy) and Shirley were holding Presley (girl).
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My new grandbabies kept Mom and Dad going non-stop, for one would sleep while the other one would stay awake to make sure Mom and Dad weren’t going anywhere. This made for doing most of our visiting done at home, for sometime the kids would outlast the parents.
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Dana was able to show me around town a bit, like where the nearest shopping center was and it also has a movie theater which Julie and I would be using.
May 13,2009
Julie was arriving this afternoon in Louisville airport and right in prime traffic time. Being a well season driver of Southern California freeway nightmares, Louisville congestion only called for a minor amount of cursing and hand gestures. After successfully reaching the airport and getting Julie on board, the drive back to Lexington was covered with raindrops.
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Video Lexington Rain
We would enjoy the next couple of days with our grandbabies and take turn in helping out our worn out parents.
May 16,2009
Julie getting the TC ready to jet on down the road again and unfortunately we couldn’t spend more time here.
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Leaving Lexington by the way of I-75 south heading to Tennessee for today the skies had scattered clouds and little chances of rain at least for today. I-75 took us on a journey through the Daniel Boone National Forest and along the eastern edge of this forest island. Stopping in Tennessee at their state line welcome center, at this time it was relocate to a temporary place with a hotel behind it
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After a short stop of forward motion, it was time to get going down the I-75 and through some hills with veil thin clouds floating above the highway.
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Just short of entering North Carolina we exited at Tennessee 451 at Big Creek River, which runs along the I-40 at this place. Stopping on the bridge to take a photo some rafters came into view bring our attendance to the frontage road along this river.
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Video Big Creek Rafters
Well this only enticed us for little off route exploring, which took us to those rafters staging ramp and much older powerhouse. One of the river master told me that his grandfather had helped in building this very powerhouse
[image]Video Big Creek Powerhouse
This was a pleasant diversion, but we had to get going only after a photo of us standing in two states, Tennessee and North Carolina.
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Making fast tracks down interstate 40 with only a quick stop at the welcome center in North Carolina. Interstate 26 wasn’t a much farther drive and would take us south to my mother-in-law’s home. Many areas of the roadside were covered in blooming flowers from yellows to pinks. Arriving at my in-law home, I’d parked in the usual place along the side. While staying here we would be sleeping in the house.
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Anne (mother-in-law) is a sweet lady and she has given Julie several pieces of furniture for us to haul back. Julie’s Dad (gone many years) had bought this furniture out of a catalog from Singer Furniture Company. I can tell you it looks as good as the day it was bought. That night I took a surprise photo of Anne.
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May18, 2009
Joe, a good friend of Anne came over to help with moving all the furniture to the garage, which would be loaded into the U-Haul trail later.
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Joe and I got corralled in rearranging half the house before it was all over we had moved 3 rooms of furniture. For our hard labor Anne treated us to a late lunch at Bell’s, a good local restaurant.
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Later on Julie and I stopped by the local boating area to take a few photos (Lake Marion)
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May 20,2009
Julie’s brother Andy and his family came over; it’s been a long time since we saw them.
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They could only be out here for the day, so we made the best of the time we had, catching up on family events and such. Of course a trip out to The Alpine was in order.
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Gary, Julie’s little brother, and his wife Barbara arrived in the early evening for dinner. They would be staying for a few days and we would have a good visit.
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May 21,2009
The only U-Haul that had a 6x12 enclosed trailer was back in Santee, a 20 mile round trip. One of the things I like when visiting this area the lack of traffic and the easy going of the people. In short order we were back at the house and the real work would start, loading all that furniture into that wheeled box was like trying to put together one of those 3-D wooden puzzles.
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It took all of the rest of the day to fit all the pieces in the trailer, having to sometimes pulling pieces back out to rearrange pieces to fit along with some choice wordage. It was great having Gary to help me stuff everything into the trailer. After loading it up it close to dinner time and the place to go was a definitely a restaurant call Chief Choice
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May22, 2009
Well this is the day we head west, but not until after breakfast and once again were at Bell’s
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Today goal would be to make it to Mississippi via the I-20. We had planned on going through to Carlsbad’s, NM. To see the famous caverns. Picking up the I-20 west out of Columbia, SC. We soon ran into road construction and this would be a re acurrenting theme along most of the I-20.
[image]
After a few hours of driving my legs need a bit of stretching and the Georgia Welcome center was coming up. Off in the distance clouds were getting darker, there was a storm cooking up and we are headed straight into it.
[image]
Getting back on the interstate would be interesting; due to construction there was only 3 feet after the stop sign to get up to speed and me pulling a trailer.
[image]
Lucky enough the posted speed was 45mph and getting back on the interstate wasn’t too bad, once out of the construction zone traffic ramped back up to 70mph. Along the way we saw a airplane on a stick off to north side of the road.
[image]
Our next stop would be Alabama’s welcome center; this one is defiantly one of the nicer landscaped stops.
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Traveling the asphalt road isn’t without its hazards as this fellow traveler had found out. What isn’t seen in the photo is the passenger side of the trailer front corner is crushed in as in a jack knife accident.
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We did make it to our destination for today, Mississippi and their welcome center were we’d be spending the night.
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Video Mississippi Welcome Center
Rain continues all night, but I was very tried and after a little dinner hitting the sack was a welcome event.
May23, 2009
4:00am does arrive early and coffee would be badly needed to break loose some motivation to get moving. My Julie is always upbeat even in the early morning.
[image]
This morning a quick breakfast of cereal was done with plenty of steaming hot coffee to wash it down. I had stepped outside so Julie could tidy our home on wheels, wetness covered the asphalt parking while our camper was being guarded by the big brothers of the road.
[image]
Slipping out while others are still slumbering would get us well down the road before traffic thickens. Traveling across Mississippi on the I-20 was uneventful and only stopping once for fuel. We made it to the great Mississippi River while the countryside was still sleeping away.
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Video Mississippi River Crossing
Waving by the welcome sign for Louisiana our vessel of the road continued on. Approaching the city of Monroe in a few more miles, I said to my Julie that we just couldn’t be in Louisiana without stopping for seafood. It was decided that we would stop in Monroe and locate some local eatery and partake in the area’s delight. Lucky for us the visitor center is well marked and just as easy to find. Monroe visitor center is also part of Restoration Park, a wetlands restoration project.
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Taking our time we stroll around the wetlands with its many outlooks before going over to the visitor center for information of local eateries involved with seafood. The ladies running the place were great, not only did they find us a couple of restaurants that were close by but also are where the locals go to. They also called the places for opening times and gave wonderful directions, heading back to out rig out front, for one of the eatery would be open soon.
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Oh, yes there is this Big Blue Bird (Great Blue Heron) was trying to hitch a ride with us. Scott’s Catfish and Seafood is were we ended up at and it turned out to be a good choice.
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After a wonderful meal of crayfish, oysters, catfish and shrimp we fired up our vessel to continue our cross-country trip west bound into Texas. Rain showered us on/off several times and stopped as we approached Shreveport, taking the by pass for I didn’t want to go straight through Shreveport and the city traffic. A little more rain fell from above, slowing traffic down a lot. Leaving Shreveport behind and crossing the imagery line into Texas, yes we did stop at the welcome center.
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Farther down the road my truck had to be fed so into a fuel station we went. On display were a couple of oil well pump.
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It has already been a long day and time to find a place for the night, Julie had spied a sign for Cow Town RV Park west of Fort Worth. That’s the place I went for and this place turned out to be very TC friendly, meaning that I could unload my camper if I wish to. Catching up with laundry, dumping tanks, e-mail and a shower to keep the fly’s away.
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Part6 in the oven baking to completion.
Thanks to all for following our journey.


2007 F-250 4x4 /6.0 PSD/ext cab/ 2020 Bunduvry

Lance 815/ 85 watts solar panel (sold)
2020 Bunduvry by BundutecUSA

Travelingman2 Photo Website
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Alex and Julie's Travels Blog


turtletalk

NC

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Posted: 08/20/09 04:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

really enjoyed the journey-thanks.

kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 08/20/09 05:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Still enjoying the journey, thanks for sharing.

I'll have to take go up and try some of those restaurant.


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab SRW 6.4 Hemi LB 3.73 (12.4 hand calc avg mpg after 92,000 miles with camper)
2004 Lance 815 (prev: 2004 FW 35'; 1994 TT 30'; Tents)


whazoo

Idahome

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Posted: 08/20/09 07:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You Sir, are a gypsy of the TC kind. Boy you get around there Alex. Good descriptive writing puts me in the driver's seat. Thanks a bunch...





sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 08/20/09 10:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You could only do this trip in a truck camper... thanks for sharing with us...

How did you like towing the trailer?

Sleepy


2003 Lance 1161,/slideout/AGM batteries/255W Solar/propane generator/Sat dish/2 Fantastic Fans/AC/winter pkg
AirFoil, Trimetric, LED lights, Platcat vent heat

2003GMC K3500 LT/Crewcab/duramax diesel/allison/dually/4x4/OnStar/front reciever mounted spare

c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 08/20/09 10:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sleepy wrote:

You could only do this trip in a truck camper... thanks for sharing with us...

How did you like towing the trailer?

Sleepy


U-haul trailer pulled very nicely, most of time I couldn't tell if it was there. This trailer I was packed "to the gills" with heavy furniture,Julie' Dad had bought many years ago ( Singer Furniture Company).

silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 08/23/09 05:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Alex:

Wow; a real epic!

Your style and attention to detail and photographic experimentation (night shots) keeps evolving! Looking forward to installment 6.

Into TR it goes....

Cheers,
Silver-


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 08/20/09 10:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looking forward to when part 6 comes out of the oven.


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jefe 4x4

West Slope, Northern Sierra Nevada

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Posted: 08/20/09 06:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Alex and Julie,
Thank you ever so much for another travelog installment.
I feel like I've known you a long time, already;
hoping some time, in-the-flesh.
regards, as always, jefe


'01.5 Dodge 2500 4x4, CTD, Qcab, SB, NV5600, 241HD, 4.10's, Dana 70/TruTrac; Dana 80/ TruTrac, Spintec hub conversion, H.D. susp, 315/75R16's on 7.5" and 10" wide steel wheels, Vulcan big line, Warn M15K winch '98 Lance Lite 165s, 8' 6" X-cab, 200w Solar

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