Our Location: Walmart, Franklin, Tennessee
First, hello there, I didn't forget about you but we've been busy. I'm going to put a number of posts together here, but no photos.
Tuesday, Oct 11.
Riley and I left our summer spot about 2 pm. We said our goodbyes and closed up everything until spring. The weather was sunny and coolish. Our first stop was just off the Island at Birch Island to fill up with diesel at about $1.70 per litre. Our second stop was in Espanola to grab some lunch to go. (It's approx 1 1/2 hours from our spot to Espanola). From there we motored on heading north for another 40 minutes before finally turning the Big Dog southward and we have been heading in the proper direction since then. We ended our first day (after a late start) around 4:30 - 5:00 pm just about 40 minutes south of Sudbury, Ontario at a truck pull off. We spent a quiet night, but the rain started before the night ended.
Wednesday, Oct 12
We were up and on the road before 9, heading southward in the rain, wind and cold. The day didn't get any better until much, much later. The rain stopped around Barrie, Ontario and while things weren't sunny, they weren't dripping either. The 401 and Weston Rd was my first ever accident. The merge space was big, no one was there, I started over and looked ahead, looked back and I seen the little black car coming sideways across the lane and couldn't stop the Igloo from coming into the lane behind the Dogsled. It was a kiss but still not fun. The Igloo has a few scratches and we need a new cubbie panel and lock but everything still functions and works just fine. The nice lady cop arrived and we sorted things out. I swear those folks think every opening is their own personal invitation to get into it as fast as they can and say, "I was here first". In all my years of driving I've never had an accident. About an hour later, we were once again on our way heading through Toronto, Mississauga, Burlington and all the other little towns in the GTA before finally hitting the 403 and scooting on out to Brantford. We found the conservation park, got a nice little pull thru spot ( we were so lucky to leave early, the park closes on Oct 15 for the year, as does pretty much every park in southern Ontario). We headed off to Walmart to get a few last minute things we needed and then off to daughter Bradey's home. We visited with Bradey, David and grandson Auston, but new baby Lincoln was asleep already. The night was cold and the morning was wet with more rain. A few minor things around the Igloo and a bank visit before we headed off to visit with Bradey and boys again for the day. We had an enjoyable day with all of them and left shortly after dinner. It was nice to see them even though it wasn't a long visit. We just couldn't connect with daughter Courtney in Toronto but we will in the spring. Friday morning found me heading to Strickland's Chevy dealer in Brantford for a new air filter and a new bulb in the running light. Complicated thing to put in those pesky bulbs, took a couple of hours but by 11 I was on my way. Did I mention that the wind really, really picked up and the skies opened up, pouring down so much rain that it was unbelievable. It passed in 20 minutes, all while I was sitting at the dealership reading my book. Back to the Igloo at the Conservation area by 11:30, Riley and I hooked up and headed out even though it was a still a bit windy but nothing overly bad like it had been. A drink of fuel in Brantford had us paying $2.19 a litre but the onRoute at Dutton had us drinking at $2.29. I like to keep us on the upper side of half when we travel. The border crossing was interesting, it was fast for what it was, very few cars at all in the lines but I was waved over to the truck lane. No idea why but it was interesting, never been in the truck lanes at Detroit before. Two nice lady border agents checked out the Igloo and seemed to be all smiles as to the fact that we could get away from the weather, wished us well and sent us on our merry way. We didn't have to pay a toll. How weird. We managed to make our way to Walmart, Wapakoneta, Ohio arriving about 5 pm. Sunny skies, warmer temps of about 55F/12C but still a wee bit cool as the sun went down, I was glad to have my sweater. Parked by the lawn and garden/automotive side, very quiet, excellent place to park.
Saturday, Oct 15
After a quiet night, which I didn't sleep much we woke up and made tentative plans for the day. Cold this morning, around 43F/6.1C but at least there was no frost. We headed out around 9 am after stopping for fuel at the Murphy's, diesel was $5.49 per US gallon. Pointing the Big Dog's nose southward we just let him run and run he did. We stopped a few times but not until we reached Kentucky, we stopped at two different rest areas that we would certainly consider to be prime spots to overnight in the future. The first is just north of the I-71 cut off, lots of space there, very clean and welcoming. The second was along 1-71 around Bowling Green, KY, also nice and welcoming, good for overnight, very big lots. We crossed into central time right around that same area, it went from 1:30 to 12:30 and we were still letting the big boy go. We debated about Franklin, Ky, White House, Tn or Franklin, Tn for the night. Each Walmart offers overnight parking. We were happy to be through Nashville today and so we pushed on arriving here around 4:30 pm. We've never stayed here before and I wouldn't recommend it for these reasons: it's an exit only, we will need to find a way to get back to the interstate in the morning:, the lot is big but chopped up and not very well suited for anything our size or bigger. Smaller vans, even maybe small motorhomes but we had to angle the truck to get the back end of the trailer in out of the lane. It's a very busy store. Very warm as the day progressed, our high temp reached 78F/25.5C. No wind and sunny skies. We are happy campers. Tomorrow we plan on arriving at a destination of our choosing to rest up for a number of days.
Some notes for those coming behind us via I-75, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. First the I-75 in Michigan is greatly improved, or at least southbound it is but there is still an ugly stretch near Monroe, not as bad as before but still plenty ugly. Our first sighting of fuel in Michigan (diesel of course) was $5.99. Ohio roads are fair with some rough areas, lots of scored pavement with the top smooth layers gone and just the grooves remaining. Not as good as in years past. Cincinnati is still under lots of construction of course but it's getting better too. Fuel in Ohio (diesel only) ranged from $5.98 to about 5.39. You need to really watch. Kentucky, was well, Kentucky, roads were decent overall with some long rough areas and fuel was running a little less than Ohio with around $5.60 to $5.35. Tennessee roads have quite a few rough patches but Nashville was a breeze with little construction. Fuel was in the low $5's, less than $5.50 but we did sight off in the distance a $4.98 (credit), $4.68 cash (or something like that, with a big difference). Overall there is lots of construction in all states but it being Saturday, we didn't have any troubles. Of course the lanes are narrow, uneven and always squeezing by the big cement barriers with only a hair to spare. The leaves are barely turning yet, a few hints of colour here and there but nothing to speak of once you get past mid Ohio.
As always when we travel I've been calling my dad to let him know we've arrived safely and where we are. Always nice to chat with him. Today was the gender reveal for nephew Jesse and wife Claudia, a baby girl is expected in March. Congratulations to all. Condolences to the Bowerman family in the passing of Andy on the evening of Tuesday Oct 11.
So now I think you are up to date and I'll be blogging on a more regular basis now. No photos today as I can't get the computer to recognize the sim card from the camera. I'll work on that another day.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit.
Until next time... take care, be safe, stay healthy,