Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wednesday & Thursday, 2 & 4 October

We may start packing days together, since we are not sight-seeing or visiting anyone for a couple of days.

Wednesday we had breakfast at the campground cafe (the first one we've seen), then headed for Amarillo. We got to Discount Tire by about noon. As suspected, the tire couldn't be repaired, it needed to be replaced. And since the other three tires have 45,000 miles on them, the prudent thing was to replace in matched pairs. After some discussion, Gene opted for a pair of Cooper HT's, 10-ply tires. The advice, based on recent tests by Michelin, was to place them on the rear as actually being safer. So that was what we did. Again, the hardest part of the job seemed to be removing and replacing the spare.

We left the tire place about an hour and a half later and $378 poorer, but with more confidence in our tires. That lasted until we were out of town and into a strong cross-wind. The motorhome was very squirrley and hard to keep tracking straight. This on a high-speed road cluttered with trucks. We stopped at a nearby Information Center and Gene checked tire pressures. He had told them three times that the van took 80 pounds on the rear and 55 on the front. They had moved the left rear tire to the right front to get both new tires on the rear. The rear tires showed 85 pounds --- probably from heat buildup. The right front showed 85 pounds, while the left front had 59 pounds (again, probably from the heat and driving). So Gene bled the right front down to 59 to match the left. On the road again, the motorhome behaved much better, though we were still being knocked around by the strong wind (not unexpected).

The rest of the day went uneventfully, and we managed to run 283 miles and cross into Oklahoma in spite of the delay.

Thursday dawned cold and windy. We both needed to dress warmer than recently. The weather forecast was for a cold front to come through with 15-25 mph winds. It apparently had arrived. It was cold, windy, and overcast as we left the campground. Gene needed to get a number of prescriptions refilled, including two that had expired. We stopped briefly at a Cherokee Trading Post while Gene tried to get the phone number of one of the doctors. No signal.

When we got to El Reno, we found a convenient Super Walmart where we were able to get help from the pharmacist, buy some groceries, get fuel, and get some lunch. They were able to fill one prescription, and got faxes from both doctors, but needed to confirm with them. They said that we could pick up the other two prescriptions at any Walmart along the way. That stop took two hours, but we were all set to scoot for Arkansas.

As we went, the winds seemed to die down. We hit some light rain (at the frontal boundry?) and even saw a little sunshine. In the lighter wind, the Roadtrek was behaving normally. We seemed to be outrunning the cold front. In fact it was quite warm when we checked in to the campground in Arkansas. We hope the front doesn't catch up with us during the night.

The countryside gradually changed from dry flatlands in Texas and much of Oklahoma, to greener, more forested, rolling country in the eastern part of Oklahoma.

In fact, the campground just over the line in Arkansas, was on a creek, interesting enough to rate a picture. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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