Before I start reporting on our stay at the Finger Lakes, I don’t want folks to think we have gone a week or so without some type of issue impacting our trip. After all, our adventures sometime seem to be the misadventures of Liz and Steve.
On our way to Niagara Falls the check engine light came on in the Ventana. Geeeez! I pulled over at the next rest area we came to and called the 24/7 Freightliner number. The tech talked me through the steps needed to find the fault code. Once he had the code he advised me that it was not a serious problem and that it was OK to continue driving. He also said that the code usually clears itself with several engine starts and stops. I believe he said it had something to do with the NOx sensor. I didn’t hear too much after he told me it was OK to drive and should clear the fault on it’s own : – ) Thank goodness for the 24/7 support provided by Freightliner. He was correct, the code cleared in a couple of days.
It’s been a long time since either Liz or I have been to the Falls. Both of us came as kids longer ago than we want to remember. It was even more impressive to both of us this trip. If you haven’t been here you need to add it to the list of must see sights. Pictures and video can’t represent the feeling you get from being next to the majesty and power of it.
We chose to stay at a KOA on Grand Island, NY which is only a short drive from Niagara Falls. It was pricey, but we opted for the convenience to all the attractions that we came to see. The sites are all pull through and gravel with plenty of room between each one. It is very clean, well maintained and has a playground, two pools and a small dog park. There is also a pond for fishing and paddle boats.
We left Illinois and headed to Newmar for a service appointment that we had scheduled several months earlier. Newmar is headquartered in Nappanee, IN and not only builds their coaches there, but will service them too. They just opened a new service facility and 60 site campground for those having service performed. This is a dramatic improvement over the old facility, which worked out of several buildings, and had a camping area sorely lacking in adequate full hookup sites.
Unfortunately the new campground was not finished at the time of our scheduled service. It seems the rainy spring season pushed the completion date back a couple of months. When finished, It will be a gated 60 site camping area with concrete pads and full hookups.
It’s hard to believe, but we are already into day 28 of our trip. We are currently finishing up a two week visit in Illinois. We’ve been able to see some ole high school friends, visit with my mom and take care of some maintenance issues at the farm. Our trip has been great fun with only a couple notable stories to add to our list of adventurous mishaps.
Before I start on our upcoming trip, there is one other change that has recently happened to our family. If you remember, one of the unfortunate things that happened to us was the accidental death of our dog Montana. Those of you that have pets know that they become part of the family and are really missed when they are gone. Montana had traveled over 23,000 miles with us, and it just didn’t seem the same traveling without him. We had planned to get a new puppy in the summer after Montana was hit by the truck, and we had actually picked one out. A beautiful Australian Shepherd from a breeder in North Carolina. However, Liz’s accident resulted in us cancelling the new puppy. Well, once Liz recovered we decided to go ahead and still get a puppy. We contacted the same breeder and on January 22nd we picked up our new little girl, Brandy. We decided on the name Brandy because of the song by the same name. Some of the song’s lyrics contain the words, “She’s a fine girl with eyes that would steal a sailor from the sea”. We thought that really described her. She will never replace Montana, but she will be with us as we all start a new chapter in our lives.
Now that we are into the new year we are looking forward to our 2019 travels. Last year is behind us and we feel like we have a fresh start. We began in January by camping with friends in central Florida. It was Liz’s first time back in the coach since the accident last July and she did great.
As I think back to the accident, I’m thankful that things worked out the way they did with our decision to not sell the house and go full time. Her recovery, once released from Brooks Rehab, was so much better facilitated being in our house. Our son installed grab bars in the shower and toilet area that really helped during the first few weeks of her recovery. She would have not been able to rehab in the motorhome. I think we would have probably stayed with one of our kids had we not had the house to go to. I certainly would not discourage anyone from traveling and living in their motorhome full time. After all that’s what we originally had planned to do. However, I would stress that it is important to have a plan of somewhere to stay for an extended period of time should an emergency similar to ours arise. Never in a thousand years did we think anything like this would occur, but fortunately we had the resources available to make the outcome successful.
It would have been difficult for me to get through this ordeal without the direct support of my family and the encouragement of friends. Our youngest son, David, came from South Carolina to help for a few days. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay as long as he wanted because his job at the time didn’t provide any leave. Our oldest son, Doug, is a Marine and was on ship deployment. He called regularly to check on his momma and provide what support he could. I found a campground and moved the motorhome closer to the hospital. So my daily drive went from 80 miles each way to a little over 10 miles. My daughter in law Renee, thank God, is a registered nurse case worker in South Carolina and she handled many of the insurance issues with Blue Cross. She also researched rehab hospitals in Illinois and the Georgia/Florida area. Her involvement became even more important later as I will explain.
I apologize for the length of this story, but I think it’s important that I explain our experience in it’s entirety. Because of the length, I’ve divided it into three parts. It’s my hope that our near tragic accident, and how we handled it, will help others prepare for those unexpected incidents that we all think won’t ever happen to us.
We started 2018 excited about the upcoming year and our planned RV travels. 2017 was behind us and Liz’s back surgery in February seemed to help her condition. She was now able to tolerate her back pain and seemed to be winning the battle with her osteoporosis, which, by the way, was originally thought to be bone cancer because of the number of collapsing vertebrae in her back. We were also still stinging from the loss of our dog Montana in December of that year. He broke away from Liz on a walk and chased a truck which unfortunately ran over him. It was in our neighborhood and the speeds were low, but we believe the driver was distracted although he didn’t admit that. We rushed him to the vet, but his injuries were too severe to save him.
As I said we were looking forward to traveling in the upcoming year. Our travel plans would take us to North Carolina first to camp with some fellow retirees from my previous job, and then on to South Carolina for service at Freightliner followed by a visit to Illinois to see my mother who is in assisted living. Our first sign that this trip might be “jinxed” was when we got a call from the assisted living facility well before we could get to Illinois. They said that my mother kept trying to walk out of the building and that she was very confused and angry. We were told that this situation needed our immediate attention so we hurried to Illinois. Long story short our one week visit turned into six weeks. We were, however, able to have mom’s medication adjusted which stabilized her situation. Consequently, we felt comfortable continuing with our now modified travel plans.
If you haven’t read the post entitled – Changes To “Our RV Travels” Site, please do. It will put this post in context and consequently it will make more sense.
Again Hello to everyone and sorry it has been such a long time since my last posting. When I started this blog, one of my promises to myself was that it would always be fun. I never wanted to try to monetize it in any way or feel that I had an obligation or duty to post at specific intervals. Consequently, there has been gaps of differing amounts of time between posts and also a different focus in each individual post depending on how I felt at the time. Having said that, I plan to continue to capture our travels so that we can have a historic record of it and can look back at our thoughts concerning the experiences at that time. It is already fun to look back on our posts from the first year. Finally, I hope that things that we have learned through our adventures and share here can be helpful to others who enjoy this type of travel and living.
Liz and I returned from what ended up being a ten week adventure that kept us mostly in the Midwest, Mid South, and the Mid Atlantic region of the country.
We viewed the full eclipse in SC, then visited with my mother in Illinois, traveled to Newmar in Indiana to have all our furniture re-upholstered, visited the Great Lakes region of Michigan, traveled to an RV rally in Marion, NC, then headed to the NC coast for a reunion with folks I used to work with who have RV’s, then back to Sevierville, TN for a week. Finally we ended up at Lake Lure and
It’s been two years since we have posted to this blog. So many things have happened in those two years that it’s going to take some time to explain everything. It’s been a real roller coaster of emotions for us and a lot of our friends and family. I’ll explain more later, and be as concise as possible so as to keep your interest. Suffice it to say that all things considered we have been blessed with the outcome. Hopefully there will be something useful readers can glean from our experience. I should start by telling all of you that might still be out there reading this blog that we changed our Url from fulltimingit.com to rvintheus.com. That is as close as I could get to rvingtheusa.com which is what I wanted. I believe that the new url better reflects our current status.
I’m going to start by publishing a post that I wrote over a year ago and never published. It will give you a little background before I move forward with what happened in 2018 and our plans for 2019. The post is entitled “Reflections and the Monkey”.
Join our sometimes roller coaster ride around the U.S. and Canada