Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, 26 July

Here we are, off on the Big Trip. The one we have talked about for over a year. We being Gene and Jean, along with YumYum, an elderly Shih Tzu. We got away about 11:00, an hour later than we had planned, but about the time we usually get away on the first day.

The weather is hot, very hot. YumYum lies curled up at Jean's feet, right under the vent for the a/c. Our goal for the day is to meet Vic Cardi in Jackson, Ohio. That's a long day's drive so we press on. As we get into the mountains, we get an occasional warning light for the oil. We have never gotten that before, and we just had the oil changed at a local truck repair place.

We stop for lunch at Tamarack, in Bekeley, WV. The plan is for us to go inside to eat, and YumYum stays in the motorhome with the a/c running. The generator will start, but it won't run. That's the same problem we had in Virginia Beach on the last trip. So we start the engine, and Jean stays in the RV with YumYum while Gene gets a couple of sandwiches and drinks to go.

After lunch, we shut down the engine to let the oil drain down so Gene can check the level. While waiting, Gene bleeds some of the air out of the propane tank like they did in Virginia Beach. After bleeding air for 5 or 10 minutes, he tries the generator again and it runs this time. The check of the oil level is inconclusive, so we refuel at the Travel Center and press on.

The oil light comes on from time to time, and we can't associate it with anything, so we just keep going. We notice that when it comes on, there is a message on the digital display that says, "HI." It appears that there may be a little too much oil in the engine, but it only shows up occasionally.

As we approach the Ohio River, we get a call from Vic that he is experiencing a strong storm, which he expects will catch up with us before long. About 5:00 the sky gets very black, the wind comes up, and the heavens open up. We cross the river surrounded by lightning flashes and driving rain (but luckily the wind has dropped). The storm continues, albeit at less intensity all the way in to Jackson and while we are having dinner with Vic at the Bob Evans. The rain ultimately continues until about 11:00, but the temperature went from 100 to 70 degrees in minutes.

We determine that it is too wet for us to park at Vic's, so after talking until about 11:00 (way too late to find a campground), he goes home and we head for the local Walmart. No power, but the night is cool enough that we don't need to try the generator again.

We expected a long, boring drive to Ohio but the day provided ample problems and excitement for this old pair of Jeans.

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