The Long Trip in 2006
September 3-4: Travel Days
Traveling West from Virginia to Illinois
Hi all, we are back again on the road. Well, not really as we are planning to go for a much longer period this time and we are still getting ready to go. Tropical Storm Ernesto came through Sterling on its way to Pittsburgh and dropped a bit of rain on us; which wasn’t too bad, but we forgot about the de-humidifier that we left running the night before. So the top vent kept opening and closing throughout the night and as the rain was moving sideways, we got a bit of water in the camper. So not only are we packing today (Saturday) but we are also drying out the camper with a fan and a space heater. We hope the camper will be dry by tomorrow, when we will pack it up and pack up the trailer.
It is Sunday September 3rd and it looks like a beautiful day – great for packing. Sasha is still asleep, so I am going to do some errands and then come back and start packing up the trailer – wow here comes the sun!
This is the CLEAN and disinfected galley by Laura, plus clean closets, bed area, refrigerator and door.
Sweaty man loading trailer (almost packed – or not), Inside Trailer, Closer Still – firewood wrapped up in blue, notice outdoor shower stall base on left, motor bikes in back, and the water, gas and diesel cans on either side.
The packed camper – done by Laura, many drinks in the refrigerator, and some food, Tons of storage in bedroom area and closets, for a truck camper, anyway!
[Future Laura -I did pretty good on the cleaning!]
The Log of The Travel Days Cont.
Well, it is about 5 pm and we are almost all packed. We are going to go tonight, just do not know exactly when but the camper is all packed, the trailer is almost all packed, and we have not killed each other yet. I have been letting Sasha do his thing with the trailer, I felt I would get in the way – not knowing where he wants to place things and what-not.
OK, Sasha has taken his shower and there are just a few more things to do before we leave, it is now 7 pm. [Totally Crack of Noon Club or even later….]
Yahoo! We are on the road! at 7:30 PM – oh well, at least we are on the road.
Starting at 22760 miles on truck at 7:30 pm left house.
The truck and camper are moving out with authority, we saw Erica right before we left, and she took our picture with the camper and trailer. One of the big things that we will have to deal with is driving on the right lane only because of the camper and trailer, we just can not go as fast as everyone else.
Called our parents to let them know that we were on the road, they both said “Be Careful and Have fun” but especially BE CAREFUL.
The Sprint card is working pretty good, although it does not have the same type of system as the as the T-Mobile card (no bars to be seen, and a little tougher to know when it is working and when it’s not.) It has a green light for working and a red light for not.
Well, I spoke too soon, it is not working now, we are on Route 7 near Bluemont and there is no internet service, and the GPS is also on low power – GPS will flash green, yellow or red. Red is not good. I also have my wireless service on just checking to see if I see any wireless access points and again, nothing found.
Got to Winchester Flying J at 851 pm and saw another truck camper in the diesel RV Lanes. They were an Arctic Fox. They came from Oregon and were at one campground for three months. Wow!
Interesting – I checked where we would be heading – we are thinking of the Cracker Barrel in OH at St Clairsville and looked up the Sprint locator to see if there would be coverage. Nope, they could not even find St. Clairsville. But lo-and behold, T-Mobile has coverage. You can put in an address and they will show what the coverage is. Sprint, you put in a zip code.
Dead Ends Are Not Our Friends!
We were in Flying J and parked and Sasha made a turn that was a dead end, so we went over a curb – not only the truck but also the trailer – it was slightly scary but I got out and directed (not that it helped much) and Sasha (God bless him) did just great!
We just got onto I-68 and we will be on that for a little while, going through western Maryland and into West Virginia. Our elevation is only ~ 460 Above Sea Level (ASL) but it seems like more. There are not that many people on the road right now, mostly cars as opposed to trucks. Of course, it is almost 11 pm, so that is all relevant. Now we are going up in elevation as my ears popped. We are at 680 ASL.
Just lost wireless and GPS 11 miles from Flintstone. We are at elevation 940 feet.
Smart Decision – Not to Drive When Tired
We decided we were not going to go too far tonight, as we are both getting tired. I got up at 6 am this morning and Sasha did not sleep great last night (too excited I think!) We are going to go to a Welcome Center in WV and sleep there.
Since we are traveling with a trailer, it is harder to get into the camper (can’t put down the stairs as the hitch is in the way) so Sasha devised a system of a ladder on the one side. We put down the ladder and climb into the camper, then – put the ladder up so no one can get in or out. As long as no one takes our ladder, we can get out. When we get to the campground, we won’t have to do that anymore.
The welcome center said no overnight camping but did not say no overnight parking, so we parked, not camped. Don’t quite understand it, maybe they are afraid that people will put up tents.
Ending Mileage: 22,925 went 165 miles, stopped at
West Virginia Rest Stop on I-68 near Bruceton Mills
The View outside our window (Right Outside of Prison) – Make sure to click on the picture – and then the X to come back. Yes, that is a prison, did not know it when we pulled up the night before, it was pretty dark out there, not too much light. We did not see signs stating “don’t pick up hitchhikers”!
Anyway, we are getting a later start, it is 8 am and Sasha is not yet awake. Today we will go further, but right now we do not have any internet access, I tried both the T-Mobile card and the Sprint card and nothing. Oh well, we will be on the road soon.
Starting Mileage: 22,925
Oops, Icky Water, Plus More…
We dumped all of the waste and gray water as we found the taste of Clorox was not too good, at the Welcome Center dump. We will fill up the water again at a Flying J. I had told Sasha that we could tie up the ladder after we went to the welcome center – which had coffee but you had to pay for it, no other food unless you wanted vending food, and so we forgot to tie up the ladder when we left.
Thankfully Sasha remembered, and as we turned into the exit for the State Penitentiary, there was a gas station where he tied it up and I got us some breakfast. Gotta love those West Virginians, they have everything in their gas stations: beer, food, hard alcohol, guns (only kidding!)
So we are back on the road at 10 am – Crack of Noon Club, here we come! I have full bars on my cell and Sasha has only one bar on his cell, which would explain why the Sprint system is not working (as Nextel and Sprint are together); there is no wireless systems available (my wireless sniffs out and tries to find other wireless systems); the GPS is on yellow and we are at 1830 feet ASL at temp 63 degrees F.
We are going down in elevation and keep seeing campers, trailers, and others that are coming BACK from vacation. OK there was a truck with a trailer in the left lane, not going fast enough for the car behind him, yet not moving over. What is the deal people? This is a four lane highway, move over-you doing what you are doing is giving the rest of us a bad name.
Bumpy Road, Terrible Access
We are in Pennsylvania now. It is 1040; 66 degrees outside, elevation is 1027 ASL, we have bars on the cell phone and internet access (sort of) and yellow light on the GPS, and no wireless systems visible. There are not as many cars or trucks on the road either. Of course, with such a bumpy road, I would not be on it either.
We’re in West Virginia again for the third time: it is 1138 am and 68 degrees outside, the GPS is not working (acquiring)-means not working, so I re-booted and in doing so, we are now in Ohio.
We Love OHIO!
Ohio: 650 ASL elevation, 1154 am; 71 degrees temp, GPS working, bars on Laura’s Cell, bars on Sasha’s Cell, the sprint card is working well, and we are rocking out to Aretha Franklin’s RESPECT.
A Verizon wireless truck (H2) just passed us and I was like “I need that” – Verizon is the only service that we do not have – I could not justify buying another phone and the service for two weeks – TWO WEEKS is all the time that they allow you to try out the phone. If they allowed a month, I might have tried it.
[Future Laura, Imagine if we had gotten it and got their data plan, at the time unlimited! We would not be crying now.]
No Service with either the T-Mobile or the Sprint. at 1213.
Stopped and got lunch around 1240 in OH. When lunch is over, Laura will drive. Let’s just say I am a little nervous and leave it to that. We are listening to a book on CD and stopped at a TA to go to the bathroom and to get some ice for the cooler and The Four Slicks from California were there, so I got their picture. They are originally from France and will go back to France from NY.
The roads in Indiana are very tough to drive and write on. Therefore, we have not been putting info in, and not only that, I am driving and Sasha gets car sick when he has to read. Imagine that!
We are now in Illinois: at 1133 PM outdoor temp 62, elevation 555 ASL, with the internet and cell phones working.
End of the day mileage: 23,493 miles.
Starting Mileage at very beginning: 22760 miles
We went 733 miles in two days’ drive.
We drove from Virginia to Illinois. A few oops on the way, but nothing too bad, we are enjoying the ride and trip so far.
Check out more of our travel days, it takes a while to get to where we are going. Check out Traveling Tuesday and Wednesday, with more miles to go.