After spending the night at the Flying J in Midway, Florida, we had an easy run west to the Alabama state line, and pulled into the Escapees Rainbow Plantation RV Park in Summerdale about noon yesterday.
I have always said that coming into an Escapees park is like a homecoming, because there is always somebody we know from our extended family of RVers on hand to greet us. This time was no exception. The fellow in the Newmar Mountainair motorhome parked next to us, whose name unfortunately slips my mind, is a longtime blog reader.
Soon after we got settled in and hooked up, Darrell and Judy Patterson came by to say hello. They have a lot here, and when they learned that we were coming, they e-mailed and invited us to dinner, but we had to decline because we are already booked solid. We have a lot of friends at Rainbow Plantation, and more at other RV parks in the area, and when they heard that we were headed this way, we were flooded with invitations for dinner or a visit. It feels good to be so loved.
I went for a walk around the park and ran into even more folks, including Jack Mayer. Jack and I have only met once before, but we have exchanged e-mails and comments on the Escapees Forum for years. Howard and Linda Payne from RVDreams.com are also here. We met Howard and Linda at Life on Wheels several years ago, and have kept track of them through their blog ever since.
At the 4 p.m. social hour at the park’s Activity Center, we ran into even more people that we know, including Norm and Linda Payne. (Yes, there are two Linda Paynes here, and they’re both from Louisville!) They have the excellent See Ya Down The Road website, and after ten years of fulltime RVing, they have built a house here at Rainbow Plantation. Linda said that while they have a house now, they still have a lot of wanderlust left, and they keep their RV ready to hit the road at a moment’s notice.
There were lots of other folks who made us feel welcome, but these old gray cells aren’t what they used to be, and if I don’t write something down, I forget it pretty quick.
We have been living in our Winnebago Ultimate Advantage about three months now, and people keep asking how we like it, compared to our MCI bus conversion. The old bus was a great rig, and as strong as a tank, and there have been some tradeoffs we have had to adjust to.
Miss Terry misses her Avanti gas range and oven, her Whirlpool washer and dryer, and the full size Maytag house style refrigerator in the bus. But she is getting the hang of using the convection oven, the RV refrigerator, and the Splendide washer/dryer combo in the Winnebago. They are not as efficient as what we had in the bus, but the tradeoffs in space the Winnebago’s two slideouts give us, along with some nice creature comforts like cruise control and the automatic rooftop TV dish, make it worthwhile.
I love the power the 350 Cummins diesel gives us. Yesterday, rolling across Interstate 10, we started up a hill and I swung into the left lane, zipped past a couple of slow moving semis, and back into the right lane. Miss Terry said “You like doing that, don’t you?” You bet, baby. After years of life in the slow lane, staring at the back doors of the big trucks, it’s payback time!
We have traveled 2100 miles since we left Elkhart, Indiana November 1, across the mountains of West Virginia, out to the coast of North Carolina, down to Titusville, Florida, and then across the top of Florida on I-10 to Summerdale.
The 2003 ¾ ton extended length Ford cargo van we tow, which carries two kayaks, two bicycles, bundles of the Gypsy Journal, and a lot of other stuff, weighs just at 7,000 pounds.
The Silverleaf VMSpc engine monitoring system keeps very accurate mileage data. Most of our driving has been on Interstate highways, at an average speed of 63 miles per hour. According to the Silverleaf, we have averaged 7.5 miles per gallon for the overall trip. On relatively flat terrain, at 55 miles per hour, I get an average of a shade over 8 miles per gallon. Of course, the faster I drive, the lower my miles per gallon. But sometimes a guy just has to sacrifice a little fuel economy in the name of horsepower.
Thought For The Day – Part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.