Monday, July 22, 2024

2021-08-08: Road Trip from Texas to Colorado, Geocaching and Breaking Down Twice in Motorhome

Hello again everyone and welcome back to our AwayWeGo's Work Traveling and Geocaching Adventures Blog. Well it's road trip time! Our time in Texas was only a couple of weeks. Now I'm needed in Montana. WOHOO! It's been a long time since I was in Montana. So let's hook up the Jeep to the motorhome, hit the road, and see what we can discover.

So a couple days ago I was at work in Bonham, Texas. About noon on Thursday I received a phone call asking if I wanted to go on an adventure to Montana for a short task that should take only a week. WHY OF COURSE! Cool. So he'll let me know on Friday. About 10 AM on Friday he calls me back to say it's a go and can I be in Montana by Monday? I'll do my best. I tell my co-workers there in Bonham that I gotta go. By noon I'm hooked up to the motorhome and on the road.

About an hour or so into the drive westbound on US-82, I'm getting some noise on the back end of the motorhome. I turned on my emergency flashers, pulled over onto the shoulder and took a look. The rear airbags were deflated and the suspension was completely down causing some tire rub. Ughh!! Googled an RV shop who could take a look and the nearest was in Wichita Falls, TX. Not too far, but only able to go 20-30 mph, it was going to take a while.

The clock was ticking past and I was running out time to get there. I finally arrived but a mere 10 minutes too late. They were already closed. It was after 5 pm on a Friday. I guess I'll be sitting in their parking lot for the weekend until their mechanics return on Monday morning.

Saturday morning I started thinking about it and extended the rear jacks down to raise the rear of the motorhome. I slid underneath not really knowing what to look for. I took some photos of the air bags and suspension. There was a Freightliner shop about a block away that was open. I hopped into the Jeep to see if I can figure out a solution. Their shop was too busy to take in anything new but he looked at the pics and immediately saw the problem. The level adjustment rod was broken.

After a short discussion, I figured I could fix it myself. He sent me over to the parts department. The parts guy said there were two different ones. So I went back to the motorhome, removed the old one and brought it back. I bought the correct replacement and installed it. You can see from the combined photo below the broken part on the left and the new part on the right.

Living the RV life and traveling the country isn't always a dream vacation! However, we're back on the road headed north on US-287/385 into the Oklahoma panhandle and then Colorado.

I did get a call from the other surveyor I was to be meeting up with in Montana on Monday. He was leaving from a jobsite in Mohave, CA but got called back to the jobsite for another task before leaving. Then got sick and tested positive for Covid for the third time. Now he's in quarantine for two weeks. So we now have plenty of time to get there.

Since I have already completed my geocaching counties for Texas and Oklahoma, I didn't spend any time stopping for geocaches. We finished the day yesterday crossing into Colorado and parking for the night at an old truck stop in Springfield. Now that we're in Colorado with plenty of time to reach Montana, I can start picking up new counties for my geocaching map.

Today is Sunday and before hooking the GeoJeep back up to the motorhome, I drove over to the Springfield Cemetery to find a geocache for Baca County (GC1FBM8).

Driving north up the road into Prowers County, we made a roadside picnic area stop at Gobbler's Knob for an Earthcache (GC3HVX5) at these giant beehive looking rock formations. Unlike a traditional geocache, an earthcache doesn't have a container with a log sheet to sign. It's more of an educational geocache. You observe the geological area and have to answer some questions about it. Most are fairly easy but some are like taking a college course. I was never good in science and just answer as best I can.

Also in Powers County, we just had to make a slight detour for our next two geocaches (GC76E0, GC1Y6H5) at a historical site and a dark time in our nations history. After the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt ordered over 110,000 men, women, and children of Japanese descent to be rounded up and detained in what was basically a military style P.O.W. camp. Japanese-Americans, two-thirds of which were United States citizens, removed from their homes and incarcerated in these remote camps scattered throughout the country. Not a single one was ever convicted of espionage or sabotage.

From August 1942 to October 1945, more than 10,000 people passed through the gates, living behind barbed wire and under armed guard at the Granada Relocation Center, also known as Amache. At its peak, over 7,300 detainees from a variety of professional, vocational, and educational backgrounds now worked as farmers, staffing the camp hospital, and a limited amount of other tasks. All received a fraction of their former income. Some 2,000 children and teens attended camp schools. During its occupation, the Amache detention camp was the 10th largest community in Colorado.

The total land area of Camp Amache was 10,000 acres. Only 640 acres was used for residential, mess halls, and other buildings which you see in the map below. The rest was used for agricultural purposes, growing crops and food for the detainees and the military bases around the world. Camp Amache was the smallest of the ten total detention camps scattered around the United States.

During the three years in use, the War Relocation Authority recorded 107 deaths in the camp. Many of those who died were cremated and their ashes kept in urns by the family. Others were buried here. After the war and their release, all but nine of those buried were removed and reburied closer to home. Nearly one thousand young men and women who were initially detained here, went on to serve in the military during the war. Most were analysts and interpreters for Military Intelligence Service in the Pacific. The stone monument you see in the cemetery, erected in 1983, is to honor the 31 men who died in combat as well as those 107 who died at Camp Amache.

Camp Amache's residents, often referred to as internees and inmates, were under 24-hour guard by military police stationed in eight towers along the barbed wire fence. When authorities deemed that the detainees posed no threat, the guards were removed from the towers. Though they continued their post at the main entrance and patrolled the perimeter, watching over daily activities and religious ceremonies.

Averaging about 7,000 Japanese-Americans at any given time, living quarters were at bare minimum. The one-square mile residential area was comprised of 29 blocks, each containing up to 13 barracks buildings divided into 6 rooms each. A bare lightbulb, a closet with no door, coal-fired heater, unassembled canvas cots and rough wool blankets were the only furnishings that greeted internees. Imagine being taken from your own home without provocation, held prisoner without being charged with any crime, for three years, for no reason other than being of Japanese descent.

Families of seven or fewer were assigned to a single room measuring 20' x 24'. The end units, measuring 16' x 20', usually housed either 4 single men or two couples without children. For a semblance of privacy, they often hung a sheet if they had one. They found ways to personalize and improve their cramped and sparse living conditions. Homemade curtains provided minimal relief from the constant wind and pervasive dust, but none against the brutal winter cold or unbearable summer heat. Rarely discarded pieces of scrape wood would be made into a table, chair, or shelf.

Like I said in the beginning, it was a dark few years in our nations history when we could willing deny approximately 75,000 American citizens their Constitutional rights and imprison them without charge or due process. Today only the few marked graves, erected memorials, some original foundations, and reconstructed couple of buildings remain.

After an hour of driving around in this historic, yet somber 640 acres, it was time to get back on the road. There was no barbed wire fencing and no armed guards in the towers anymore. We had the freedom to drive away. But remember those who were unjustly held prisoner in this remote location in southeast Colorado.

Back in the motorhome and driving north on US-287, we make a geocaching stop for Kiowa County. In the small town of Eads was a community park with a big enough parking spot for the motorhome. After finding the nicely hidden and creative geocache (GC9C5DN), we check out the dozen historical information boards about life on the plains of eastern Colorado. Including this Kindred Spirits monument.

Continuing on into Cheyenne County, we pull into the little town of Kit Carson, Colorado. Just as we arrived, I noticed the temperature gauge climbing! I quickly pull over into this empty lot to check it out. Another freeze plug sprung a leak. Oh great. Small town with a population of 250 people. This isn't good.

Half a block away is a small rv park. I drove over and parked in the only spot available. While checking in a talking with the owner, he says there is a good mechanic in town that he will call in the morning. And if he's too busy, he'll call the mayor who used to be a diesel mechanic too. There's hope after all. Guess I'll find out tomorrow morning.

Well it's still early in the day. Since we're stuck here we might as well go exploring and geocaching.

We hop in the GeoJeep and continue down the road. First stop a few miles away was this very small Colorado ghost town called Wild Horse. Town history from one of the two geocaches here (GC6RWXV): "A small detachment of U.S. Cavalry was assigned to protect the surveyors as they laid out the grade stakes for a new railway line. Early one morning in 1869, as the cavalry rounded a bend in the Big Sandy about twelve miles west of Kit Carson, they saw a band of several hundred wild horses around a water hole. The water supply was good so the troops decided to establish an outpost camp and call it the Wild Horse Station. From 1869 until 1906 Wild Horse was just a station."

The school building which still stands in Wild Horse was built in 1912. Between 1921 and 1923 the Wild Horse School was a branch of Cheyenne County High School and conducted classes for freshmen and sophomores.

"The boom was on and from 1906 to 1909 other buildings included a two block lumberyard and office, drug store, two restaurants, two livery barns, three saloons (one only lasted a few weeks) a hardware store, pool hall, two cream stations, a barber shop, newspaper building (The Wild Horse Times), a shoe shop, another grocery store and dry goods store, a depot of sorts (two box cars joined together), a warehouse, a butcher shop and the Alfalfa Valley Bank. Local promoters proclaimed Wild Horse to be the "best little town in the world." Soon after 1909, after automobiles began to displace the horse, one livery barn became a garage. Wild Horse reached a peak about 1910-1911 at which time Charles Collins bought the controlling interest in the bank and moved it to Kit Carson."

Then a series of fires hit the town. The warehouse burned; it was not replaced. A restaurant burned and then the butcher shop. Then came the big fire in 1917 which destroyed almost entirely the east portion of town which was the business section. Someone started a fire in a wood stove in the cream station and some time after midnight, the stove toppled over and flames engulfed the town. Water was in short supply in those days and the bucket brigade was no match for the fire. The destruction was complete; the value of the loss was nearly total."

"It was the beginning of the end for Wild Horse. Part of the town was rebuilt but the Depression and the "dirty thirties" followed soon after and like so many other small towns, Wild Horse lost its young folks to greener pastures."

The McIntire Cemetery (GC1Y3ZB), also known as the Wild Horse Cemetery, is a very small cemetery. There are only 66 internments here, the oldest from 1884 and another in 1887 while just a Calvary camp station. The rest are after 1908 when the town started growing. John McIntire was a large ranch owner who immigrated from Ireland. John died in November of 1931 at the age of 83 and is buried here.

Out on the western edge of Cheyenne County is another ghost town and another geocache (GC20AJE). Joseph O. Dostal, a Bohemian immigrant and veteran of the Civil War, came to Colorado in 1866 and established the J.O.D. Ranch to the west of Kit Carson, CO. The J.O.D. headquarters was located and the town of Aroya established in 1869 as a camp for the railroad workers near the new Kansas-Pacific Railroad which built a watering hole there.

Most of the original townsite was lost due to a fire. The current location was three miles east and selected due to being closer to a better water source. The businesses which survived the fire moved their buildings to the new location. As the town continued to grow, the smaller school house at the old site was left behind and a larger school house was built at the new townsite. That school building is still standing to and pictured below.

Over the years since the state highway bypassed the town, its businesses closed, the buildings were torn down, and the people moved away. Only the schoolhouse, the old gas station, and the store building remain standing.

Crossing over into Lincoln County for two more geocaches, the first was a quick rest area stop (GC1FBCZ).

Then about a half-mile south of US-287/US-40 down a county dirt road, is what remains of the ghost town of Clifford, Colorado. The geocache (GC1Y3RG) brought me to this small area containing the graves of three children. It is believed that they were children of railroad workers. Two sisters (4 yr old and infant) from 1893 and another infant girl from 1907.

Doing my research for the blog, I couldn't much on Clifford's history. Perhaps it was settled because of a nearby stage station called Mirage, which there is no trace of left. And then because of the three graves, maybe it was a railroad camp. There is the old schoolhouse pictured below still standing. And a supposedly haunted Montgomery Ward catalog house remaining. A couple of foundations, but nothing else remains. However...

... there could be some buried treasure hidden in the area! I found another site that tells a story of notorious gang of robbers on a crime spree in 1847 back in Sacramento, California. They then decided to lay low and made their way to eastern Colorado. By 1862, the gang were living a quiet life as farmers and ranchers.

But they still had the itch and joined together for one more big score: $100,000 in gold in the form of an Army payroll headed for Denver. (That's about $3.1 Million in today's dollars!) Well I'm gonna sum it up and say "Big Shootout, only 2 of the gang survived and got away with the gold." But it was buried out on the plains near Clifford. One clue was found years later in 1931 and another was found in 1934. I implore you to take 2 minutes to read "The Missing Treasure of Clifford, Colorado" by James M Deem. It's worth it to read, as Paul Harvey puts it, the rest of the story!

My final stop was just up the road in Hugo, Colorado. There was this restored Union-Pacific Railroad passenger depot, now used for community functions.

Also in Hugo is this Union-Pacific Railroad Roundhouse (GC1YA9Q). This is one of only three roundhouse buildings still in existence. A roundhouse is basically a semi-circular maintenance building. A circular turntable was located at the center of the radius on the side of the building. As the locomotive moved onto the turntable, it could then be rotated and aligned to the track which allowed the train to move into and out of the stall to be worked on.

Typically after a railroad closes and sells off its facilities, the new owner will often remodel the structure for its own use. In this instance though the only thing that changed was the removal of the roundhouse turntable. Now in the hands of Lincoln County, the Hugo Roundhouse was restored by the county and Roundhouse Preservation Inc about ten years ago.

Well that ends a crazy day. A DIY suspension repair to start the day. Driving from Texas to Colorado while geocaching and sightseeing. Then having another freeze plug coolant leak on the motorhome in a very rural small town. Hopefully we'll be able to get it repaired in the morning. Stay tuned...

To follow along on our travels and keep up with my latest blogs, you may do so here of course by clicking the "Follow" button to the right. And there's also my main website at AwayWeGo.US for the complete index of my traveling adventures going back to 2005. But also by using one or more of your favorite of these social media platforms: FacebookMeWeGabRedditTwitterGETTRInstagram, and TruthSocial. These all link directly to my profiles. Again, please feel free to comment and / or share.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Exploring History and Discovering a Hidden Pioneer Family Cemetery in Bonham, Texas

After our long 5300 mile road trip to purchase our new-to-us 2000 American Eagle motorhome, we arrived in Bonham, Texas for my next work project. The solar farm was already completed and we were just there for a few weeks for the reclaim work. That consists of removing the gravel from the laydown yard and using it to touch up the roads. Then spreading the topsoil back out so the grass regrows.

But while here, we got a chance to explore the history of Bonham and grab some geocaches around town. I also discovered several Pioneer children's graves from the 1800's hidden among some trees that was not listed in the Find-A-Grave database. So come with us as we explore Bonham, Texas...

One of Texas's oldest cities, Bonham dates to 1837, when Bailey Inglish built a two-story blockhouse named Fort Inglish about 2 miles from the current downtown. Inglish and other acquaintances settled there in the summer of 1837, and the settlement was named "Bois D'Arc". The Congress of the Republic of Texas named the city Bloomington in 1843, but renamed it Bonham in honor of James Butler Bonham, a defender of the Alamo. On February 2, 1848, Bonham was incorporated as a city. A 1936 statue of Bonham by Texas sculptor Allie Tennant is on the courthouse grounds.

Some of the early pioneers of Bonham are buried in the Bailey Inglish Cemetery (GC83VFM). Obviously, Bailey Inglish (1798-1867) and his wife Nancy (1806-1878) are interned there. The family marker is seen at the top photo of this blog.

Another is Dr. Daniel Rowlett (1786-1848). He came to Texas from Virginia in 1836. He served as a Congressman in the Republic of Texas from 1837-40 and again in 1843-44. His initiative pushed for the creation of Fannin County in 1837.

After his wife died, Col. James Tarleton (1789-1861) organized a force of 36 riflemen in his home state of Kentucky and headed to Texas in 1835 to join in the fight for Texas Independence. Tarleton fought in the victory at San Jacinto in 1836. He settled in Fannin County with his son Robert Price Tarleton (1833-1897).

The Texas and Pacific Railroad was built Eastward to Bonham in 1873. A small wooden depot erected that year was replaced by this larger brick structure in 1900. It continued operations until 1950.

As I mentioned in the opening of this blog, I discovered some pioneer family graves hidden among some trees. About ten miles south of Bonham is the solar farm that I was working on. Tucked inside this group of trees separating two sections of solar panels were five headstones belonging to children of James & Wincy Miller, early settlers to the area.

One of the headstones is pictured below. No name. Just infant son of and the dates. He lived for eleven days in June 1871. Another headstone can be read also. It had Ota Aurora Miller but no dates. It just said Aged 2 weeks. Only a few letters can be made on the third stone but not enough to understand. The last two are so worn smooth they have no distinguishing markings.

This is the area within the group of trees where the graves are located. Hopefully one day information can be discovered on the remaining few headstones that can't be read.

Back to the parents James (1830-1895) and Wincy (1838-1899), they are both buried in the Moores Chapel Cemetery located within the town of Bonham. Their other four children that survived childhood and went on to live a normal life were Tennessee (1863-1934) of Houston, Lenora (1872-1963) of Texarkana, George (1874-1966) of Texarkana, and David (1879-1931) of Corpus Christi.

So that's just a glimpse of Bonham, Texas. There is plenty more here to see and a few things like this hidden pioneer family cemetery which you won't have access to.

In our upcoming blogs is another road trip. We will be three weeks exploring Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.  I hope to see you back again soon.

To follow along on our travels and keep up with my latest blogs, you may do so here of course by clicking the "Follow" button to the right. And there's also my main website at AwayWeGo.US for the complete index of my traveling adventures going back to 2005. But also by using one or more of your favorite of these social media platforms: FacebookMeWeGabRedditTwitterGETTRInstagram, and TruthSocial. These all link directly to my profiles. Again, please feel free to comment and / or share.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

2021-07: The Final Week of Our 5300 Mile Road Trip from Texas to Indiana to Florida and Back to Texas

In todays edition of the AwayWeGo's Adventures Blog, we're winding down these last few days of our 5300 mile road trip to purchase our motorhome. These last 2300 miles went by much faster than we would have gone in the past. Driving the big RV we stuck to the Interstates for the most part. I gotta learn how to route plan better so that we can still do some sightseeing and geocaching. We did stop to see a few things on some overnight stops. So climb onboard the big Eagle Bus and let's go for a ride...

After leaving the Cummins shop in Cincinnati, Ohio on Wednesday we jumped on I-75 and headed south. About an hour later getting through the Cincinnati traffic, I pulled into the I-75/I-71 Rest Area in Kentucky to park for the night. Thursday we drove nearly 400 miles into North Georgia and stayed the night in the I-75 Southbound Rest Area near Resaca, GA.

Friday is here and on the way down to Florida, I did stop at a rest area about halfway near Sycamore, GA to stretch my legs and grab a geocache (GC89X9V). We ended the day at a Cracker Barrel in St Augustine, FL along I-95. While there we had dinner with Candy's mother and brother.

On Saturday we drove down to Umatilla, Florida, where my mother lives, and stayed there two nights at the Olde Mill Stream RV Resort. This gave me a chance to spend time with my mother as well as see my two sons down in Orlando on Sunday. But alas it's never long enough time as we had to get back to Texas and back to work. I did manage to grab a geocache (GC46KYD) there in Umatilla before taking off.

Monday morning we said our goodbye's and drove 382 miles up to Troy, Alabama. We boondocked for the night in a Walmart parking lot. I did have some daylight left and drove over to the Bicentennial Park to grab a geocache (GC1C6D5) for Pike County and take these next few photos.

From there I drove the GeoJeep over to Crenshaw County. I stopped at the crossroads of US-331 and CR-50 at what seems to be an old abandoned gas station / country store. Nothing to buy anymore but I did find the geocache for the county (GC55ZNK).

Continuing north on US-331, there was another geocache stop that caught my interest. It had some recent DNF's so I didn't even bother looking for it. But I did want to stop for the photo opp. It was another Veterans Memorial (GC2W9EC) and I took the photo of the GeoJeep underneath the F-16 fighter jet you see at the top of this page. With more DNF's to follow the geocache was eventually archived, but I still added the GC link so you can find this memorial park.

And finally just one more quick geocache (GC5M26B) stop at a fireworks stand on the way back to the RV.

We noticed that the refrigerator had stopped working so I went into Walmart and bought a cooler and some ice. Most of our food went into it. Now I have to figure out where and when I can find a place to get it checked out.

Tuesday morning we left Troy, Alabama driving north on US-231 into Montgomery. There we turned west onto US-80. Arriving in Selma, Alabama, I stopped at a small Sunoco truck stop to fuel up. Not being very busy, we decided a good place to stop for a few while I took the GeoJeep to pickup some breakfast at Hardee's. This also gave me a chance to grab a geocache for Crenshaw County (GC5PYDF).

Continuing westbound on US-80, we eventually picked up I-20 westbound at the Mississippi state line. I eventually stopped again at a rest area in Scott County to stretch my legs and grab a geocache (GC7JVWB). With just over 500 miles of driving for the day, we finally made it to the Texas Welcome Center on I-20 and parked it for the night. I got out to stretch my legs and grabbed another geocache (GC6Z4ZB).

On Wednesday we arrived in Killeen, Texas where my Candy's daughter lives. It was the house my wife lived in for a few years before she started traveling with me. If you've been reading my blogs for a while, you might remember most of my blog posts were about the long drive on Sunday back from Killeen to a jobsite somewhere in Texas.

Candy's granddaughter is now home after her three week road trip with us around the country. And we are able to gather much of our clothes, dishes, and other items we still had stored there and load them into the motorhome. Now our new home-on-wheels feels more like our home.

I did find an RV repair place nearby in Harker Heights to finally get our refrigerator checked out. We boondocked in the parking lot of the old shopping center which they occupied the end of. While waiting, I did drive over to the Pleasant Hill Cemetery and grab a geocache (GC6G1Y5). It is one of the oldest cemeteries in Bell County and dates back to 1855.

Lone Star RV Service eventually was able to check out the refrigerator on Friday. Turned out to be a bad motherboard. Surprisingly there was a recall on it twenty years ago and it had never been completed on that unit. So it would be fixed for FREE! The downside was that it had to be ordered and take a few weeks. But they did show me how to temporarily get it working using a magnet to reset it.

After a few days of boondocking, we needed to dump the tanks and get fresh water. And being late in the afternoon, we decided to wait until morning to get back on the road. So we found an RV park over in Kempner.

Thirty minutes later and about a mile away from the Rocky River RV Resort, the engine temperature gauge on the dash starts to climb and the warning buzzer goes off just as I'm pulling in the entrance. I park in front of the office and steam is coming out the back of the motorhome and the Jeep is covered in engine coolant. The guy from the RV park and myself is looking it over but the Cummins diesel engine is just covered in coolant. He calls a diesel mechanic he knows and the guy is able to come first thing in the morning to check it out. I let it cool down a bit, do our check in, and drive over to our spot for the night.

The mechanic drove over from Waco Saturday morning and was able to diagnose that a freeze plug was leaking on the side of the head. He pulled out the bad plug and drove into town. A couple of auto parts stores later, he was only able to find one of those temporary rubber expandable plugs to install. But it works and that's what matters.

We stayed one more night there in Kempner. Sunday morning came and we finally got back on the road. We headed up I-35 northbound through Dallas and arrived in Bonham, Texas just in time to be back to work on Monday.

Three weeks and over 5300 miles later, this road trip adventure comes to an end. Here's a recap and links to the blog pages if you missed any of it:

To follow along on our travels and keep up with my latest blogs, you may do so here of course by clicking the "Follow" button to the right. And there's also my main website at AwayWeGo.US for the complete index of my traveling adventures going back to 2005. But also by using one or more of your favorite of these social media platforms: FacebookMeWeGabRedditTwitterGETTRInstagram, and TruthSocial. These all link directly to my profiles. Again, please feel free to comment and / or share.

Friday, February 23, 2024

2021-06-30: Visiting Noah's Ark After Our First Day and Our First Breakdown in the Motorhome

On this date of our AwayWeGo's Geocaching and Traveling Adventures, we begin a new chapter. We took delivery of our RV, a 2000 American Eagle 40' diesel pusher motorhome, and begin our journey with our home on wheels yesterday. Now when we drive to a new jobsite we no longer have to stuff our Jeep with all our belongings. No longer do we have to look for a furnished place to rent for the duration of the project. We'll have everything with us and get to sleep in our own bed every night. So climb aboard the big rig RV, there's plenty of room. Today was our first day of driving from Indiana, to Florida, and then back to Texas for the next project.

Leaving from the north side of Decatur, Indiana yesterday, we headed south on US-27 a few miles to a truck stop to top off the 150 gallon diesel fuel tank. Then a few blocks past that to a Walmart to get some groceries, some basic cookware and utensils to start with, and some new linens and pillows for the queen bed as well as the foldout couch for my wife's granddaughter. The queen bed still had the original comforter and pillows which looked like they were brand new. But they didn't look very comfortable. So they'll stay looking new because we soon put them underneath the bed in the storage compartment.

Now if you have been following along reading about our travels, you'll notice that I usually like traveling the backroads. It's much easier to pickup new geocaching counties in the GeoJeep. But kinda hard pulling into rural cemeteries and outta the way ghost towns in a 40' motorhome. I'm gonna have to practice some serious route planning to accomplish that. But for now I take US-33 south over into Ohio to jump on I-75 south to Florida.

The first few hours driving the RV down the highway went really well. This diesel pusher motorhome drives, rides, and handles so much better than my gas motorhome I had back in 2005-07 when my AwayWeGo Adventures began. (Click here and scroll to the bottom to start from the beginning.)

But when you purchase a 20 year old motorhome and start driving it down the road, there's sure to be some little bugs pop up that didn't show up on a test drive or the dealer inspection. I also see others online buying brand NEW RV's with pages of items that need to get fixed too. 

So driving down I-75 south and approaching Cincinnati, the engine temperature gauge starts jumping from normal to hot and back. I don't get any warning lights saying that it's actually overheating. Plus the gauge is moving too fast. I pulled into a rest area just to check it out and make sure. Don't see any leaks. I Googled and found a Cummins dealer on the north side of Cincinnati just 10 miles further down the road and they could get me in first thing in the morning.

Waking up today we head straight down to Cummins to be there when they open up to drop off the RV. The three of us then piled into the GeoJeep and crossed over into Kentucky to the town of Williamstown. There we visited the massive Ark Encounter theme park and tourist attraction.

The Ark Encounter was opened on July 7, 2016 by the Answers in Genesis organization.  It is a full-sized replica of Noah's Ark built according to dimensions specified in the Bible. This massive structure is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. Approximately 3.3 Million board feet of wood was used in the construction of this project.

The Ark contains 132 bays that are eighteen feet high and arranged into three decks. Visitors enter through the lower deck and move up via a ramp in the center. There were mini cages for various birds, but mostly chickens for food. Another area held large liquid containers for drinking water and oil for lamps.

Just a few photos of various bays representing different animal types gathered upon the Ark. There were no live animals inside the Ark, but there was a petting zoo that you could walk through on the outside.

Located throughout are scenes of Noah's family as they would worship and work at various activities within the Ark.

After touring the Ark and the zoo, I did manage to grab one geocache (GC7NAPC) near the entrance out by Highway 36 for Grant County.

Arriving back at Cummins to pick up the motorhome, it turned out to be a loose wire behind the temperature gauge on the dash. So hooked up the GeoJeep and continued on home to Florida for a couple days before heading to Texas.

To follow along on our travels and keep up with my latest blogs, you may do so here of course by clicking the "Follow" button to the right. And there's also my main website at AwayWeGo.US for the complete index of my traveling adventures going back to 2005. But also by using one or more of your favorite of these social media platforms: FacebookMeWeGabRedditTwitterGETTRInstagram, and TruthSocial. These all link directly to my profiles. Again, please feel free to comment and / or share.