We slept on the bus last night but did not sleep well, probably due to a combination of factors. We had too much to eat for dinner, too much to do when we got home from dinner, too much anticipation of our early departure, too much anxiety about the weather, and too much awareness of it and other sounds. The motorcoach seems, at times, like a living thing. It makes its own unique set of sounds and motions, even when parked, and it always takes a few days and nights to get reacquainted with it after a period non-use. It is well enough insulated but we are still in much more intimate contact with the weather when living in the coach than we are in the house. It rained most of the night; hard at times, and woke us up when it did. We would normally sleep through the rain if we were not thinking about oversleeping or having to get up and complete out travel preparations in the dim light of a rainy sunrise.
Sunrise was at 7:39 AM. Normally it would be light enough to work outside 30 minutes before that but densely overcast skies and rain kept the light level very low. I had been awake at the bottom of each hour from 4:30 on and we finally got up at 6:45 AM. We did not have breakfast or hot beverages but did have a small glass of orange/grapefruit juice with our vitamins. We (mostly Linda) straightened up the interior and secured the pantry and refrigerator for travel. There was a lull in the rain at 7:30 and we used that opportunity to make our final departure preparations.
Linda shut off the circuit breaker for the engine block heater and I shut off the Aqua-Hot burner and engine pre-heat pump. Linda got her BAHA and calendar from the house and shut off the circuit breaker that feeds power to the RV outlet while I put on my rain pants and coat and took care of the outside stuff. I disconnected and stored the shore power cord. I got the car ready to tow, opened the air supply valves for the various air-powered accessories, and switched on the chassis batteries. When Linda was back on board she arranged towels around the base of her seat for the cats. I started the main engine, let the oil pressure come up, switched it to high idle, and switched the suspension to drive mode. After the chassis was fully aired up I did one last walk-around to check the clearance above each tire, got back on board, secured the entry door, and got out of my rain gear.
Juniper used to get behind the old passenger seat and Jasper used to get under the edge of it by the center aisle. Juniper can still get behind the new seat but it is narrower and Jasper cannot get under it. With the engine running he was looking for a place to hide so Linda set his carrier on the platform next to the seat, arranged the blanket inside it, and put Jasper in but did not zip it closed. We weren’t sure he would stay in it but it apparently provided the sense of shelter and security he was seeking and he settled in. We buckled ourselves in, I raised the rag axle, let the suspension adjust, dropped the idle to low, put the transmission in first gear, released the parking brakes, and pulled forward. It was 8 AM and raining lightly so our local dirt roads were muddy. We had almost 400 miles to travel today, but only the first 2.5 miles were on dirt roads.
We worked our way very slowly down the pothole riddled ribbon of dirt that serves as an excuse for the road we live on. North Hacker Road was in somewhat better shape, but not great. Traffic was almost nonexistent, being the Friday of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, so I kept our speed between 10 and 15 miles per hour and got passed by two cars. Question: How long does it take to go 2.5 miles at 10 MPH? Answer: One quarter (1/4, 0.25, 25%) of an hour, i.e., 15 minutes! We did not have any trouble turning right onto eastbound M-59 where, again, there was almost no traffic. A couple of miles later we got on southbound US-23 and I got the coach up to 65 MPH. Except for construction zones, 55 MPH urban speed limits, interchanges, and one rest stop, I kept the bus at 65 MPH +/- 3 MPH most of the day. I think the rest stop was near Piqua, Ohio but we honestly do not recall where we stopped as we did not leave the coach to use the rest stop facilities.
We had persistent light rain as far south as Findlay, Ohio and intermittent light rain until somewhere between Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio. The drive through Cincinnati and over the bridge into Kentucky is always interesting. The road twists and turns with frequent entrances and exits and occasional interchanges but I stayed in the center lane and it was fine. As soon as you cross the Ohio River and enter Kentucky there is a long, steep uphill grade, but I handled it a lot better than I did two years ago. That was partly because of lighter holiday traffic and not getting stuck behind a maximum weight semi in the right lane. I stayed in the second lane from the right, dropped the tranny into 4th gear, kept the RPMs and turbo boost up, and did not drop below 50 MPH while keeping the engine temperature from exceeding 200 degrees F. My technique was definitely better, but perhaps having a clean air filter and having fixed a faulty turbo boost pressure sensor line last December also had something to do with how the bus performed.
The drive through Kentucky was dry with high clouds to mute the sun a bit. There was a stiff wind of around 15 MPH all day out of the south to southwest so that undoubtedly hurt our fuel mileage a bit. We took Exit 76 onto KY-21, went west about 0.4 miles, and turned into the Oh Kentucky Campground RV Park at 2:30 PM.
Linda got us checked in and a few minutes later we pulled into our nice 50 Amp full-hookup site. It was a straight pull into the site and will be an easy left pulling out. We agreed that it was the same site we were in two years ago when we stopped here on our way to Florida for the first time. We got the coach leveled and then I connected the shorepower cord, switched off the chassis batteries, and shut off the unneeded air valves. I started the car, ran it through its gears, shut it off, removed the key, and locked it. As I was doing all of this I observed that the coach was very dirty.
The temperature was in the lower-mid 60s and we were both feeling the need to do something besides sit. Linda read the campground rules and they stipulated a $10 charge for washing a rig, payable in advance. We decided to pay it and take advantage of the near ideal weather conditions: high overcast, light breezes, temperature in the low 60s.
Linda went to the office and paid the $10 cleaning fee while I got out the cleaning supplies and the hose and nozzle. We mixed four capfuls of McGuire’s automotive soap with a couple of gallons of water. Linda handled the hose and I handled the soapy long-handled brush. We washed the bus and the car, including the tires and wheels, in about 75 minutes. Either my wax job had held up very well since I applied it in Quartzsite, Arizona last February, the water was extremely good, or the McGuire’s soap was the right thing to use, but whatever the reason some combination of the three cleaned up the bus nicely with no hard water spots.
The site in front of ours had a small 5th wheel on it and a couple about our age (or a bit older) was installing foam insulation skirting around the space under it. We went over and chatted with them for a while and then retired to our coach for the evening. The Wi-Fi at the RV Park was a bit flaky so I turned on our Verizon MiFi and got our Wi-Fi Ranger connected to it. Linda connected with some of her online word game opponents and I played some of my solitaire games. For dinner we had leftovers from yesterday’s fabulous meal. Afterwards I exchanged text messages with Chuck and then worked on this post.