Thank You Jessie

Jessie, I wish to thank you for contributing to the operating fund for my Heartland Tour. Perhaps it will give me another day on the road or help with fuel for a side trip. No matter what, it is appreciated. 

Thank you. 

Paul and Heyleigh The Wonder Dog. 

Moving right along

We spent 3 nights in Bethlehem GA visiting friends. Quite some time had passed since I last visited Ruth & Jerry Macy. As always, both the dog and I enjoyed our visit. 

When we left GA, we headed to Philidelphia Mossissippi and the Pearl River Resort. Many casinos allow RVs to park in the remote parts of their lots over night. I have to say that this one ranks at the top of the list for clean, quiet and roomy. 

This morning we went to Vicksburg and checked out some historical locations. I was surprised to find nice wide streets in the historic district down town. I had no problems cruising around in the T.O.A.D.

When we left Vicksburg we hopped across the Mississippi into Louisiana. I found some 2 lane roads that ran along Big Muddy and we followed it into Arkansas. 

We crossed back into Mississippi at Greenville for another night of casino camping. We’re settled in at the Trop. 

In the morning we will find some back roads to the Crater of Diamonds state park in Arkansas where we’ll stay for 2or 3 days. 

I have to add that the T.O.A.D. has averaged over 22 mpg since clearing the congestion of Atlanta. Uh… I have also learned that the generator is a thirsty beast. Note to self. Be aware how much gasoline is in the tank before running the generator for long periods. Since it uses fuel from the same tank as the engine, it could suck it dry while we sleep comfortably in the aid conditioned RV. 

Well, that’s it for now. 

Ciao for now. 

Paul and Heyleigh the wonder dog. 

T.O.A.D. is road ready. 

We’re loading up for Heartland Tour 2015 and hope to be on the road this week. 

Packing is always a challenge. However I have figured out that vacuum packing my coffee in small packages makes it so much easier to store it. 

   

It’s a wrap

We made a dash for the border yesterday. After breakfast in Ocala, a friend told me that races were happening this Friday through Sunday at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. He also reminded me that Interstate 75 traffic would be crazy. Yikes!  I looked at the weather forecast for the mountains through the day and decided that if I unhooked and headed north immediately I might just catch a slight thaw and make it home without incident.

The highways were fine all the way home. Even the first half of the 1 mile stretch my road makes to my home was fine. But then the snow, slush and ice showed up. Because I didn’t want to turn into my gravel driveway at any speed which might cause me to slide, I approached it carefully. Well, I made it just into the driveway when the wheels began to slip. With a tug from a neighbor’s 4X4 truck, the T.O.A.D. is now comfortably parked next to the house. It is plugged in and the heat is on for now. It must have been a wet winter because the driveway was unusually soggy and slippery. I believe that if I hadn’t been towing the trailer with the Harley on it I would have rolled right in.  As soon as I see a good opportunity, I will move it down by the garage, hook it up to the dedicated 30 amp electric, drain the water and winterize it.

Yes, I do see the green sprouts of the daffodils. However seeing the sprouts and thinking that winter’s cold weather is over are two different matters! I’ll winterize and forget about it.

It was an interesting trip and I accomplished most of my goals. While I would have liked to have done  a bit more photography in the keys, the tourist density and changing weather dictated otherwise. The real goals were to figure out how to survive and be happy in the T.O.A.D. and I’m pleased to report “mission accomplished”.

Ciao.

Snowbird Run 2015 is wrapping up

I began my trek north from the Florida Keys yesterday.
Last night I did a bit of “asphalt camping” at the Miccosukee Indian Reservation/Casino just above the keys.
Today I’m in Ocala Fl. The weather is nice here.
However, all the weather forecasts from home suck! That darn “Old Man Winter” who has held the east in chains has found Blairsville. Snow, ice, winter! Yikes!
I’m reminded of that Blind Faith, Stevie Winwood or Eric Clapton tune “Can’t Find My Way Home”.
But I’m near the end and I just ain’t got the time
And I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home.”

I guess I’ll just hang out here south of the border (Florida/Georgia Border) until the weather breaks.
Remember Toto, there’s no place like home. Or is there?

Early morning quiet on the Alafia River

The upper Alafia River is a perfect place to enjoy your morning coffee.  This morning the fog was wandering along with the river as the day began.

Quiet morning on the river

And we’re off

We slipped out of the mountains at 05:43 yesterday morning. It was New Year’s Eve. Atlanta posed no threat and we breezed through listening to a medley of Aerosmith tunes.
Shortly after noon (12:23 to be exact) we mixed in with a crowd of tourists and snuck across the border into Florida. By 15:00 we were in Ocala where we enjoyed dinner with friends and then enjoyed the new year celebrations.
I had planned to do some mechanical maintenance here in Ocala. I am driveway camping at a friend’s place. A friend who has several huge toolboxes full of fancy tools by the way. Using his tools, I changed the spark plugs and plug wires on the T.O.A.D. I’m not sure what VW’s engineers were thinking but it is pretty clear they thought one would never need to change the plugs.
Mission accomplished. While here, I can admire his 79 Corvette (with matching serial numbers) and the 27 Model T in his garage.

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HeyLeigh The Wonder Dog and me rolling down the road in the T.O.A.D. yesterday.

Snowbird 2015 Run is about to start.

It won’t be long now. Dog and I are getting ready to begin our Snowbird 2015 run.
Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted on where, who and perhaps why. As usual, pictures will be posted and may even be worth a word to two.
Cheers
Paul and HeyLeigh the Wonder Dog.

What do I need to document my next trip?

I thought a photograph of the dog and me behind the camera every once in awhile might be good. Having only one DSLR (currently a Nikon D7000) I need a way to capture an image of me using it.
Hey, I have an Apple iPhone and it has a pretty nice camera built in. The newest camera app even has a self timer in it. Do I really want to prop up the camera somewhere and start the self timer and then run to my spot to grab a self image? Not if I can find another way.
I’ve purchased several items to help me accomplish this.

Joby makes a slick little spring loaded device to hold your phone that has a standard tripod mount. I can put it on my monopod if I want and shoot a selfie from more than an arm’s length away 🙂

While I was at it, I found a Joby GP3 Gorillia Pod, a flexible tripod that will hold up to 6 pounds. I can use it for both the iPhone and maybe my Nikon. We’ll see. I ordered it from a Chinese outfit who doesn’t have the best feed back regarding shipping times. I’ll let you know how it works out.

I also ordered a SPARK Electronics Bluetooth remote trigger for the iPhone. It will save me from running back and forth, setting the timed release on the iPhone.

If you decide to purchase either of these items, please use the Amazon link I provide here. I’ll earn a tiny fee for referring you which will help with traveling expenses.
Thanks
Paul.