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:

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