Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama--Day 17--Home

Spent part of the day yesterday trying to find out the problem with the windshield wipers. Checked all the fuses and found none that had blown. Checked the motor that operates the wipers and found that it was hot to the touch. This should not be since the coach had been sitting overnight with the ignition turned off. We (Don & I) decided to spray everything to do with the wipers down with WD-40. This seemed to work in that it loosened up the motor and we could manually move the wiper blades. We folded the wiper arms away from the windshield and they appeared to work fine. We could also get the system to work if we only put the driver's side arm up with the blade on the windshield. Put both up and everything stopped. Final diagnosis: The motor is going out and is not currently strong enough to operate both wipers. We wound up removing the arm and blade on the passenger side until I can get a new motor. We also coated the windshield with Rain-X. Turns out this is great stuff.

We left Don and Vicki Leith's house around 9:00 this morning in another rain storm. Was very impressed with the Rain-X on the windshield in that we seldom even had to turn on the wiper. The rain just streamed completely off the windshield. We drove in rain all morning. After a stop in Russelville for fuel and another stop a few miles later for lunch we finally crossed the state line and returned to Oklahoma soil. We arrived home about 4:30 this afternoon, just in time to pay the lawn guy as he was just finishing up with the mowing and edging. The coach is now in the driveway waiting to be unloaded. That will happen later this week.

This was a great trip. We got to spend time with some old friends, met some new ones, had some great entertainment and ate a bunch of fabulous food.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama--Day 15

We are still on the road but no longer in Alabama. We loaded up Saturday morning and pulled out of the Gulf Breeze RV Resort around 9:00am and headed up U. S. Highway 98. This road took us up through Mobile and across Mississippi to Hattiesburg. From there we went north to Jackson and then west into Louisiana. After turning off Interstate 20 onto U.S. 65 we stopped for the night in Oak Grove, Louisiana. Our plan was to spend the night at their Wal-Mart but when we got into town we saw a sign that directed to a city park with RV hookups. Turned out they had 30 amp electric and water and the cost of free. We always like free. We were unable to get any TV reception in this town so we decided to watch one of the movies I had picked up recently when a video store in Oklahoma City was going out of business. The movie starred Jennifer Aniston and it turned out to be one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

We had beautiful weather to drive in all day Saturday. The sun was shinning and there was not a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately it did not stay that way. About bed time it started raining and continued to rain all night. When we got up this morning it was still raining. We pull out of the park around 9:00 am and headed north on U.S. 65. We had about 240 miles to drive and it was in rain all the way. After about 20 miles our windshield wipers were having a hard time working since we were driving directly into a heavy wind. At that point they stopped completely not to come back on for the rest of the trip. So, we wound up driving just over 200 miles in a blowing rain storm with no wipers. The only saving grace was in the coach we sit up much higher than the regular car traffic and could still see the road.

We arrived in Greers Ferry, Arkansas around 2:00 pm and are now set up beside our good friends home. This is our third visit to Don and Vicki Leith since they built their new home. To make it welcoming to their RV friends they have two RV parking sites adjacent to the house, complete with concrete pad, 50 amp electric, water and sewer. They also have a WiFi Internet connection for those of us that don't carry telephone company air cards or other means to reach the Internet.

The Leith's took us out for Bar-B-Que this evening at a local place. Tomorrow I'll start trying to figure out why the windshield wipers on the coach decided to quit working. Hopefully it is just a blown fuse.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama--Day 13

After wrapping up the rally last night today was a day for sightseeing. This our final day down here in Southern Alabama.

Got around this morning and drove out to the far end of Mobile Bay to Fort Morgan. This was a very important site during the Battle for Mobile during the War of Northern Aggression. (People from the north call it the Civil War but a study of history will show there was nothing civil about it.) This fort is now maintained as a tourist attraction by the State of Alabama. Adjacent to the fort property was a fishing area maintained by the state. The bird pictured here was standing watch on two fisherman, hoping they'd throw some scraps from their cleaning his way. It was curious that he only had one foot but that did not seem to bother him. He flew away when we got too close.

After wondering around the fort we drove back into Gulf Shores to have a late lunch at Lulu's at one of the many marinas in the area. We had a great seafood lunch in an open air facility followed by some more driving along the beach front, admiring the home and condos along with the beautiful white sand beaches.

Later in the day we met up with two other couples from the rally to take a boat cruise, on the Southern Rose, to see the dolphins. Usually the tour boat goes out into the Gulf of Mexico on this trip but the Gulf was way too choppy today for that. We had about a two hour tour of the inner bay that is part of the Inland Waterway. We did see several dolphins as they swam around us and feasted on fish that they caught. As the dolphins surfaced a person had to be quick with the camera to get a picture. In most cases by the time I was able to take the shot the dolphins were back under water.

This has been a good week in Southern Alabama. We will reluctantly head out tomorrow morning, working our way back to Oklahoma. One highlight of being at a rally is we usually have a vendor that will detail out our coach. We had our pressured washed and a complete wax job done on it, including the roof. This is a major job that I have been reluctant to take on myself. Here is a picture of our coach today after they new wax job.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama--Day 12

We wrapped up the Monaco Fall 2009 Rally this evening here in Gulf Shores, Alabama. This has been an outstanding rally and everyone seemed to have a good time. Most of the morning was spent at the information/registration desk accepting money from our members. As the club treasurer I have the responsibility of collecting all the funds that come in and to maintain the accounts. We have just started our membership renewal drive for calendar year 2010 so many of our members paid their dues during the rally. Additionally we have already received 26 applications, with full payment, for the Spring Rally that will be held in Hutchinson, Kansas, starting May 25, 2010.

This evening the caterer served us all a fine steak dinner with all the trimmings. After dinner was an evening of Bingo for those that wished to participate. I am worn out and had a splitting headache, which it seems I've had since we arrived down here, so I cam back to the coach to clean up the financial books and do other paperwork that goes with putting on a large rally.

The main part of the clubs First Vice President is to put these rallies together. The person who is currently in this position is Gary Granat from Indiana. He has served in this position since early 2004 and has done a tremendous job. Not only is he responsible for securing the site for the rally but he books the entertainment, catering, lines up vendors and the dozens of other things required to be successful. This is his last year in the job since he has elected to step down and let someone else "have all this fun". The Hutchinson rally in May will be his last in this capacity. The picture is of Gary presiding over the session prior to dinner tonight.