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Rialta

The wonders of modern science

I am home in the mountains enjoying a PUBLIX sub sandwich and a cold DOS EQUIS beer. Though the closest PUBLIX is close to 100 miles away, I have been traveling in a vehicle with it’s own refrigerator. It is the perfect homecoming lunch.
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Heartland Road Tour

Driveway camping

One of my friends has been busting my chops for not finding parks and such to “camp” in on my delivery journey. I figured that by visiting friends along the way we could catch up and at the same time, I could check out the RV in a controlled environment with “support” (tools, transportation, etc.) close by. We’ve dubbed it “Driveway Camping”.
I’m in another friend’s driveway just outside Ichetucknee Springs today.
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And, I may stop at one more friend’s driveway on the last leg of the journey home.
The drive from Tampa to Fort White yesterday was uneventful. Everything operated and handled as designed. This was the longest stretch we’ve traveled in the Rialta so far.
I do have one concern however. Matt sent me this photo of his driveway.

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Apparently something has run off or dripped from the RV. We had no low fluids at yesterday’s oil change in Brandon and I just checked levels with all being ok. I will be vigilant the rest of the way home, checking fluid levels often.
There is one fluid I can’t check. VW decided the transmission is not “user serviceable” and they sealed it with no dipstick. When I get home, I will change the automatic transmission fluid just to be safe.
I considered doing it yesterday in Brandon during the oil change but my old quick oil change place has changed hands and everyone there was complaining about being ripped off. Heck, I chose the budged $39.95 oil change and they tried to hit me with a $129.00 change using exotic oil. I said just stick with the program. 15 minutes and $48.00 later I was on my way.
We should be home in Blairsville in a couple days where I’ll begin an inch by inch check of the whole rig.

Peace out, Y’all.

Heartland Road Tour

Rolling, rolling, rolling.

We are in command of a Winnebago Rialta! Yay.
August 9th dog and I hitched a ride south with a gracious young lady all the way to my destination on Siesta Key. Thank you Jami.
We picked up,the Rialta and headed north to the Tampa Bay area where we landed at a friend’s (Laurie) home. The drive was uneventful other than the check engine light came on. I checked all the essential systems and all was OK. I think that once we run some fresh fuel through it, the engine will be much happier. With the Rialta plugged in, we enjoyed a couple days of A/C and exploration parked in her driveway. Laurie chauffeured me around to pick up some essentials. You know, things like coffee and a coffee press.
I made one trip to a buddy’s house while based at Laurie’s place. I stopped to fill up on some low price gasoline (actually $3.11/gal isn’t really low). When I started to leave the gas station, the brake peddle went to the floor. Oh oh! Fortunately, with a couple pumps of the peddle I could stop. Hey, I grew up driving junk heaps. I drove home to Tampa from Clearwater Beach one day with no brakes. Surely I could manage to make it one more mile to John and Debbie’s house if I drove carefully. I arrived without incident. Actually, by the time I got there I did have a little brake peddle. We hung out for a few hours and when I left, the brakes felt normal again. Not that that made my drive back to Laurie’s any more relaxed. Each intersection brought a minor panic until the first press of the peddle didn’t bottom out.
It never acted up again . . . . yet. Maybe it was from sitting a long time? Maybe some crap in the brake fluid? To be safe, I went to a friend’s shop and we flushed the brake fluid and I’m ready to press on with fresh brake fluid. I don’t think I’ll cross Blood Mountain on my return trip however.
If you are in the Tampa/Brandon area, Alternative Auto Care is the place to go. Jessie is an excellent mechanic who is honest and his prices are fair.
I am currently parked at Becky and Matt Larson’s house. Both Becky and Matt are accomplished photographers and artists. In the next couple days, I hope to spend some time in their darkroom doing some wet plate work.
I’ll post an update when I shove off for my next stop.
Ciao
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Heartland Road Tour

Wandering minds

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As I draw closer to picking up my Rialta RV, I find my mind wandering about North America. I’m accomplishing this mostly via the internet because I’ve really never traveled the interior.
Other than some business trips to Dallas, Provo and Las Vegas I’ve never been any place in the U.S. you couldn’t reach by boat. Well, Vegas wasn’t really business. It was a small detour along the way.
I want to visit some national parks and I’d like to travel mostly on non-interstate highways. Ok, I probably will opt for interstates in certain areas due to environmental concerns like crossing a desert in the height of summer. Research may prove me wrong though.
Keeping in mind that I want to visit places where I can stay for however long it takes to capture some good photographs and also get to know the folks, feel free to send me your ideas.

Ciao

Road Tour 2014

Where to begin?

So, after I pick up the RV, just where do I begin? I suppose it is not much different than when I used to shove off for parts unknown in the sailboat. I think that after I get it back here and thoroughly check it out I’ll do some short trips to some of the beautiful areas nearby. Next, I’ll do a snowbird trip to Florida over the winter. That will have me close to friends just in case I need something.
After that, I imagine my destination will be parts unknown. I’m pretty far east and south so it’ll have to be north or west. Or north west.