On The Road

On The Road
Dutch Star and Subaru ready to go

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 8 on the trip to Ottawa

The storm was over when we got up. The sun was just rising for a beautiful day but it was sure cooler than when we were in Livingston.
Made it to my sister's in Ottawa about 11:00 and after disconnecting the Jeep, I took the motorhome over to a near-by campground to empty the holding tanks.
The motorhome just fits in sister Cheryl's driveway and we'll be parked here for a couple of weeks. I'll try to remember to take the camera when driving around Ottawa and post anything interesting. Then in a couple of weeks its back to Livingston to get ready for Mexico.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 7 on the trip to Ottawa

The last effects of Hurricane Irene made us change plans today as the wind started to increase as we drove through Toronto. By the time we got east to about Kingston, Ontario (only 130 miles from Ottawa) the wind tried to blow us off the highway several times.
There are a number of large rest areas along highway 401 in Ontario and we pulled into one just after lunch and decided to stay here the rest of the day. As the wind didn't calm down until about 6:00pm and the weather is forcasting rain for later tonight, we decided to stay the night and continue on to Ottawa tomorrow in nicer weather.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day Six on the road to Ottawa

We had planned to spend the night in Michigan close to the border and drove off the highway to check out a KOA campground. When we got there it was like driving into Disney Land park with a million kids running around and RVs parked everywhere. After asking us if we had a reservation, we were told that there might be one back-in spot with limited hook-ups. We told them no thanks and had to have one of their staff guide us through the park and out to the exit. We decided that crowded parks were not for us plus the dogs would be barking all night at the kids playing outside.
We needed fuel and noticed there was not near as many large trucks on the highway in northern Michigan as compared to what we were used to seeing in the rest of the country and therefore not as many truck stops. But we managed to fill up before the border as fuel is cheaper in the U.S. than Canada.
Crossing the border at Port Huron was fast and easy with the girl at the Canadian border station after asking where we were from and where we were going, smiled and said you're not the typical Texans because you don't have any guns.
Once in Ontario we stayed on highway 402 to London and then on highway 401 stopping at one of the big Service Center/Rest Areas for the night. From here its about 350 miles to Ottawa and we should make it there tomorrow.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 5 on trip to Ottawa

We were able to get through Indiana today and into Michigan. Luckily I had plenty of fuel when we started this morning. I usually fuel up at large truck stops as its much easier going through the big diesel fuel pump area. Today after pulling in at the fuel pump and going into the store to prepay I was told that only tax exempt commercial trucks could get fuel at the truck fueling pumps. I was told I would have to pull around to where the cars got fuel. After looking at the small parking area where the cars were fueling I knew I'd have trouble getting in and out of the area with a big motorhome towing a Jeep. This happened at two different fuel stations and I was told it had to do with State of Indiana regulatons. As I said, fortunately we had enough fuel to get into Michigan.
Just before leaving Indiana we thought we'd stay at a State Park but after driving though the park's narrow roads we decided that our motorhome was too big to stay at a park that was built in 1924 that has campsites more suited for a Model T and a tent.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day Four on the way to Ottawa

Left the camp ground about 8:30am and headed north on highway 65. Took a long by-pass around Nashville and drove past the Grand Old Opery. Made it through Tennessee and into Kentucky where Louisville traffic was really intense. Kept going north and made it about 30 miles into Indiana. Tomorrow when we get to Indianapolis we'll shift over to highway 69 that will take us up to Port Huron north of Detroit and our crossing point into Canada.
The weather sunny and nice and a lot cooler than they are still having in Livingston with hot temperatures all week getting up to triple digit degrees.
Our MotoSat/DataStorm system seems to be working fine today although it was terrible the last couple of days.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day Three on the road to Ottawa

Headed north on highway 65 out of Birmingham and drove through Alabama and into Tennessee today. This route should keep us away from hurricane Irene.
We found a campground called "Texas T" and also gave Escapees a discount so we couldn't pass it up. It also provides internet connection and seeing that our MotoSat is giving us problems we welcomed it.
Along side the campground there's a small creek that the pups enjoyed playing in even though the water level was so low it just reached their bellies.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day Two on the road to Ottawa

We left Louisiana, went through Mississippi and stopped west of Birlingham, Alabama for the night. They're doing a lot of road construction in Mississippi and they need it as highway 20 has dips and waves that causes you to bottom out if traveling over 50mph. 289 miles for the day.
Found that fuel is much cheaper at home in Livingston, Texas where diesel was $3.59 when we left but we had to pay $3.81 in Mississippi.
The weather has stayed very hot except for the thunder storm yesterday. Everyone is happy the air conditioner in the motorhome is working well.
We're keeping an eye on Hurricane Irene and have decided to change our route and keep more inland on our way north.

Monday, August 22, 2011

1st Day on the Road

Went over to the tire repair shop first thing and had the 4 inch valve extension installed. All is good now with the tires however old Mr. Murphy and his famous law is still hanging around. The latch on one of the motorhomes basement doors stopped working and now I can't get the door open and of course its the compartment where my tool box is. Looking on line it seems that this is not an unusual problem and I will have to crawl through from an adjoining compartment and unscrew the backing plate from the door latch. I've put that chore off until I get to Ottawa and see if I can do it someday when I've nothing better to do.
We left home today about 11:15am and headed north east. Just before we crossed from Texas in Louisiana on highway 20 we heard a big bang that seemed to come from under the motorhome. I pulled off the highway thinking that we might have blown a tire but after looking all around both the motorhome and Jeep could find nothing wrong. There was also no indication of something wrong with the engine or steering and it just had to be added to the mysteries one encounters on the road.
We were able to get 272 miles behind us the first day and stopped at a roadside rest area just west of Monroe, Louisiana.
Just before stopping we drove through a big thunder storm that had the dogs hiding in the step well of the motorhome.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Final Packing and Tire Problem

All the last minute things are being loaded and departure for Ottawa is scheduled for tomorrow. Its always amazing how much stuff is hauled out from the house to the motorhome when we get ready for a trip.
A couple of days ago I discovered there was a leaky air valve on one of my inner rear tires. On the inside tire there should be a 4 inch valve extension to allow air pressure checks and putting additional air in the tire if needed. Apparently the last time I had the tires checked and rotated, the tire shop did not have one of these extensions and used four small 1 inch extensions instead. The small leak was from one of these small extensions. I took the motorhome to a tire shop in town where they diagnosed the problem but did not have a 4 inch extension. They did however remove the 4 small extensions to stop the leak and said I should check with a local RV Shop as they sold the 4 inch extensions I needed but the RV shop did not install them. Now I am unable to reach the inside tire valve to check the tire valve and to install the extension valve the outer tire must be removed. This involves heavy duty jacks and tools I don't have.
As we don't plan on leaving until noon tomorrow, I may take the motorhome to the tire shop to have the extension installed first thing in the morning.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Getting Ready for Trip to Ottawa

Plans are to leave Livingston on August 21st. The motorhome is fueled up with diesel and propane, recent oil change and the MotoSat/DataStorm is working.
This week we'll take the pups to the Vet to get their Travel Certificates in order to cross the border.
It'll be good to get out of the Texas triple digit heat that we've been living in for the last several weeks.