Posts Tagged With: tow dolly

Wheels Up at 0600 . . .

The big loop

I always wanted to use that phrase, even though we are not flying anywhere, but it kind of seemed to fit the moment as we embark on our next big Western adventure. And as with all good stories, there is a little background information needed to bring you up to speed.

Valve stem extension

Tires and wheels are an important part of motorhome travel, as we all learned two years ago when we popped a flat tire. I have been just a bit concerned with one of our rear tires not holding full pressure between trips, so I took the motorhome to a great local spot for tire work, Contractors Tire. They figured the problem was a leaky stem hose, so we went ahead and replaced it. You see, to reach the stem of the inner rear tire there is an extension on the valve that brings it out where you can check pressure or add air. Happy that that is now fixed.

Worn tire on tow dolly

While checking the tow dolly tire pressure, one tire was definitely worn and had a pretty good chunk missing from the tread. Looks like it might have lost air pressure on the trip home. I ordered a replacement, actually a pair, online and have them now installed. I would have used the spare, but the valve stem on it bleeds air when the cap is removed, so it is pretty much impossible to get it to 80 lbs pressure. I also took that one to Contractors Tire where they quickly replaced the valve stem. So now we have three good tires for the tow dolly and all are at proper pressure. Yes, motorhome owners are pretty much consumed with tires (and toilets – the two big topics online).

Our new rug says it all.

Now about that trip – where exactly will it be taking us? It is a journey that follows much of one that my family took in the summer of ’69 (see prior blog about Plotting the 2017 Adventures). We have 5 days to head north and west to South Dakota and the Badlands and Custer State Park, where the adventure will really get started. From there we head to Bighorn National Forest, Devil’s Tower and on up to Glacier National Park, with a brief glimpse of the solar eclipse. Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park will come next, with a whitewater rafting trip down the Snake River. Leaving the wild west, we head southeast to meet up with friends Dan and Terri at Santa Rosa/Grayton Beach on the Florida panhandle before the final drive home.

We have a new spotting scope that we hope will help us see wolves, bears, moose, bison, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, pronghorn and whatever else happens to be around. I definitely hope to be posting some good photos, but I will need time to crop, upload and post them.

We also hope to continue our search for the best craft beers around. Looks like there are plenty of breweries along the way, so we will do our best to sample and report our findings. It’s tough, but somebody’s gotta do it.

To get ready for the trip, we read up on all the parks and “must see” attractions and watched “North by Northwest,” since it features scenes at Mt. Rushmore. But the movie that really set the mood before heading out is the classic “How the West was Won.” Do you remember the bison stampede?  It was filmed in Custer State Park, South Dakota, one of our first big stops.

Just a little inspiration.

Hope to post more from the road very soon. Follow along as we embark on our latest adventure. Take notes – there might be a test at the end.

First stop outside Paducah, KY.

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Monday Group Therapy

It looks like there are a lot of views for the site, so now I feel an obligation to post regularly about what’s going on, even if it isn’t a camping adventure.

Had a great meet-up this Monday with friends at Kennesaw Mountain for a walk – just about 5 miles for some of us who needed to get in the steps.  Karen, Kevyn, Jennifer, Jennifer with her dog Molly, Starr, Carla, Lynzee and Anna were there for the morning walk-and-talk.  Something of a group therapy session, since we could chat about the good and bad of the recent year of teaching.  I didn’t get a picture, but I think Kevyn did, and if he wants to share one, I will post it.  Most of the conversation was about how short the summers are for teachers and how it really has become a working vacation for most of us.  For those of you who aren’t teachers and who might be saying “hey, you get the summer off, quit complaining” our answer would be “try a year of teaching and you will understand how much you need a few weeks off” (without pay, I might add) to decompress, get caught up with your normal life and just unwind from the stress.

Unfortunately, the summer weeks have become required staff development and training, often unpaid.  Several walking with us will spend the next 2 weeks in science or math training sessions to learn the updated curriculum and new ways to teach students.  Not that math is really any different or science has suddenly changed, just that there are “new” ways to present the material, new terminology and new pacing guidelines to increase the all important student achievement.  Bit of editorializing there, but it was supported by an article in the AJC this week detailing how much is expected of teachers now, with so little in return.  I could go on about all the crazy expectations of teachers, but I will save that for another day.

Back to camping and RV adventures for a moment.  I made a little “hitch helper” for the hitch end of our tow dolly this week that makes moving it around much easier.  Essentially three caster wheels on a board with a 2″ hitch ball so you can hitch the tow dolly to it and roll it around as needed.  Right now it is rolled under the back of the RV and taking up no more space in the driveway.   (After using it a bit, I would probably redesign it to include a balanced 4 casters or cut the wood as a triangle).  Also, we just booked two weeks back in St. Andrews State Park for next June at the site next to the one we had this year — Yippee!  If you are planning to be camping in the state park next year at that time, let us know — and if you aren’t, why not?

hitch dolly

Tow dolly attached to the new “hitch helper.”

Hitch dolly 2

Side view of casters and hitch ball.

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