Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It Happens

“What happens?”, you may ask.  Well alrighty then, before I answer that question, let me back up a little bit.  But, I can tell ya that it ain’t gonna be pretty. 

As you may or may not know, our original plans called for taking about a week to travel from Belfast, Maine to Holly, Michigan with an overnight stop around the Sturbridge, Massachusetts area, then spending three or four days in the Cooperstown, New York area, and staying overnight near Conneaut, Ohio on our way.

Somewhere along line we (probably I should raise my hand and fess up at this point and say I) decided it would be a good thing to save the Cooperstown visit for another time and spend three extra days in Maine so we could play with our friends.  A new plan was hatched where we would take three days to safely travel from Topsham, Maine to Holly, Michigan while staying overnight at Matamoras, Pennsylvania and the Flying-J in Youngstown, Ohio.

We awoke to a glorious Sunday morning, put the final touches on our travel preparations, and headed out promptly at nine o’clock.  Don’tcha just love it when a plan comes together?  Well, let me tell ya, plans have a way of unraveling just as fast.  Within an hour into the trip we hear KA-BAM.  What the heck?  Yep, we’ve had another damn blow out!  Unbelievable!!!

Right about here we’re going to have a little history lesson.  It was 16 months ago when we heard the last KA-BAM so, after much research, we replaced all four of the tires on the rig with 14 ply heavy duty trailer tires just so that would “never ever” happen to us again.  I can assure you that when I heard KA-BAM, I was less than your average happy camper.  It’s not bad enough to have a blow out on a tire that you purchased so you wouldn’t have to hear KA-BAM ever again, but it has to go and rip the hell out of the side of the coach as well which just adds insult to injury.

Right here we’re going to stop and take a commercial break before continuing with our story.  I must tell you that Coach-net’s service is absolutely the best.  As with the other two tire episodes, yes my friends - two, they had us back on the road within the hour.  I can’t say enough about their service and I wouldn’t leave home without them.  So now, let us return to the story.

We proceeded on our merry way and all’s well until we hit the Massachusetts Turnpike where the traffic was horrendous with major backups.  Why we have to pay the state of Massachusetts for all the aggravation of driving on that stretch of road is far beyond me.  There are more idiots per square inch of that highway than on any other piece of real estate east of the Mississippi.  To say that we were not making good time would be an understatement.

Finally we got out of Massachusetts, through Connecticut, and across New York arriving at Matamoras, Pennsylvania.  It only took us eight and a half hours to make a six hour trip, but that’s not all there is to the story, no siree!  We were still “wired” (okay, again I must fess up and say I) so it was decided by majority vote, I’m heavier than Judy, that we would press on to the Flying-J in Lamar, Pennsylvania; another three hours away.  Let’s see, eight and a half plus three, yep, that equals eleven and a half hours on the road.

Flying-J is no longer the Flying-J that we all remember and loved now that they are owned by Pilot.  It still has a lot of the same amenities, however, “they” are replacing all of the Country Basket restaurants with Denny’s – yuck!!  Plus the store is taking on a whole new look, but they still have a designated parking area for RVs, at least for right now.

Other than road construction and a twenty-three dollar fine for driving on the Ohio Turnpike all went well on our second day of travel, another nine hours.  Katie is glad it is all over and Alex still isn’t speaking to us, but we are here in Holly, Michigan safe and sound. 

So, what’s the wisdom in all this madness?  Well, the only thing that I can say, in my defense, is that we just wanted to get to Shirley and Warren’s quickly before we had another blow out.

One last thing, the past four summers we’ve spent workamping and had forgotten what is was like to travel the highways during the summer.  First of all, traveling in the Northeast on Sunday when it is not absolutely necessary is just short of stupid (of course, cramming a week’s worth of travel into two days ain’t exactly all that bright either), and, secondly, “they” need to change the season from summer to road construction, however, it’s nice to see those stimulus dollars hard at work.  And, the good Lord knows that the interstates are in dire need of repair.  Right now the highways have two driving conditions, “rougher than a cob” and “under construction”.

Well, there you have it; the misadventures of the Wandering America crew, but all’s well that ends well.  Today I will visit the Discount Tire shop where we purchased the tires with warranty in hand and I will attempt to get them to pay for the damage to the coach as well.  The guy who changed out our tire, way back in Maine, told us it was a defective tire, you think?  A blow out in less than 10,000 miles?  We’ll see how it goes, but for now you have “the rest of the story!”  Thank goodness that most travels days are not this eventful.


  1. Man, We are so sorry to hear about the blowout & rig mess. On the good side, we are very glad no one was hurt and you and Judy are safe. On with the tire company making all things right!
    Mike & Gerri

  2. Why did you get a fine in Ohio

  3. Sorry, just my weird sense of humor - I referred to the toll as a fine. Pretty expensive toll to say the least. We questioned the "category" that they charged us for since last year we were charged fees for a category 2 vehicle while this year they charged us for a category 4. Oh well, it is what it is!!