2013/12/20 (F) Berea, KY

We left Lakewood Village RV Resort in Wapakoneta, Ohio at 9 AM and drove the 231 miles non-stop to the Oh! Kentucky RV park/Campground in Berea, Kentucky, arriving at 1:30 PM.  Even though we encountered light rain at points along the way we were able to travel at 62 mph much of the time, so we did slightly better than the 50 mph average we use when translating distances into travel times.  It turns out that 62 mph is a speed that both the drivers and the bus like.  As was the case back in October, there was considerable road construction through Dayton, Ohio that required us to slow down, but traffic moved smoothly through the construction zones.  There was also still considerable construction along I-75 through Cincinnati, Ohio with posted speed limits of 45 mph, but again, traffic moved very smoothly.

As soon as you cross the Ohio River on I-75 and enter Kentucky you have to climb a long steep grade.  This was the only part of the trip where I had to drop the transmission into 3rd gear as we did less than 40 mph up the grade.  I think the bus could have done better, maybe 50 mph, but the big fully-loaded tractor-trailers could not, and that dictated the flow of traffic for everyone else.  No problem; after owning a large vehicle for over four years, and having crested the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming at under 20 mph in 1st gear, we are very sympathetic to what truck drivers have to deal with.  Eventually the grade became less steep and everyone was able to travel a little faster, or get around the trucks that couldn’t, but it seems that we were climbing for close to 30 minutes after crossing the river.  Kentucky is hilly.

The Oh! Kentucky Campground office and hardware store.

The Oh! Kentucky Campground office and hardware store.

The Oh! Kentucky RV Park/Campground was a modest place, but was perfect for our needs.  The entrance was only 0.3 miles from the exit ramp off I-75 and was an easy turn in for us.  There were more rigs here than at Lakewood Village RV Resort, mostly 5th wheels and trailers, but it was also much warmer than where we were the previous night.  There were also a dozen or so “seasonals” and a number of long-term campers.  We tend to be leery of parks with seasonal (permanent) units as they are often not well kept, but they had a great pull-through site for us with easy in-and-out access and full hookups that included 50 amp electrical for under $30 for the night.  Besides, the temperature was 57 deg F when we arrived and went up to 61 deg F before settling back to 57 deg F as the forecast low for the night.  It was also very windy.

Our easy access pull-through site.

Our easy access pull-through site.

I walked around the campground, which was not very big, and took a few pictures.  I wanted to scope out our exit path and I like to document the places we visit.  Linda and I took a leisurely stroll a little later as we usually do at a new RV park.  Steve (from the office) stopped by while I was washing the windshields to chat for a minute and compliment us on our “camper.”  Linda headed back to the office/store to pick up a few essentials and was addressed as “honey” for the 8th time.  She thought it was quaint.  She met one of our fellow campers on the way back, an older woman out walking her dog.  The woman was traveling solo pulling a small trailer with a pickup truck.  Linda went for a longer walk by herself later and met the woman again, who joined her for the stroll.  She confirmed that it was windy there all the time, not unlike what we experienced in Wyoming this past summer.

You meet some interesting people RVing.  This woman was from Montana, older, retired, and married with adult children.  She had been at this campground since September and wasn’t leaving until April, but her husband was in Florida for the winter.  She had a son who lived in central Florida.  She tried one winter there but didn’t like it.  She had daughter who lived and worked near Detroit, Michigan, apparently also in a “camper.”  Small world.

She picked Berea for the winter because it’s mentioned in the Bible (Acts), she had never been to this part of the country, and the price was right.  She did not do much other research before booking herself in here for 7 – 8 months, however, and was surprised to discover that it was not in the mountains.  The mountains are not far away; you can see the first real mountain range from I-75 southbound as you approach the exits for Berea.  Although we did not unhook the car and go exploring, our research indicated that Berea was an interesting place with a famous college and a thriving community of artists and artisans.  Perhaps not interesting enough for an 8 month stay, but then there may be enough cultural attractions and opportunities for classes to fill the time.  I suppose it depends on what you like to do.

Although it spritzed occasionally, it never really rained so I decided to get the water softener out and fill our on-board fresh water tank.  I also cleaned the four windshields and the front side windows.  Our lower windshield washers don’t work, so I decided to take a look at that.  It’s amazing what you can do when the temperature is 60 deg F!  I did not arrive at a definitive diagnosis (which means I wasn’t able to completely fix the problem) but I rigged up a work-around.  I may have a multiple failure situation.  It appears that the pump for the lower windshields has either failed, and/or the switch on the windshield wiper stalk has failed, and/or the wiring in-between has failed.  Figuring it out exactly will take more time and test instruments than I wanted to deal with today.  I also discovered that some of the small orifices on the wiper arms may have been inadvertently clogged when they were spray painted.  My work-around was to simply switch the output hoses from the two pumps.  That allowed me to turn on the lower wipers and then activate the upper wiper pump, causing windshield washer fluid to spray on the bottom windshields.  We will be driving in and out of rain all day tomorrow, which means lots of road spray, so I hope this works.

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