Friday, December 28, 2007

Third Day to Asheville - Fri. Dec. 28th

Of course there should not have been a third day to Asheville. We should have arrived yesterday, but then we could not drive by night, because we can't run with both our headlights on and the trailer lights and still recharge the battery - even with the rebuilt alternator, and the new battery.

But here we were in New Jersey. The first day we only got out two hours in the evening, and had to stop in Sturbridge, MA. The second was all traffic through Connecticut, New York City, and New Jersey, because we had to travel by day.

I attempted to start the car in the morning, but after ending the previous evening driving around looking for the motel with my lights on I did not have enough power to start it. We had hoped to be on the road by 7am, but after waiting for AAA to help start the car we did not leave until after 8am.

Leaving the Econo Lodge on the New Jersey Turnpike we headed south, and were able to travel a little faster than the previous two days. Now we were typically traveling between 55 and 60MPH, and the trailer wasn't swaying behind us - well, I had to slow down once in a while. So we were making our best time yet.

We were supposed to be staying at Rhonda's dad's house just south of DC, but that was supposed to be after the first day of driving. We knew that traveling by day only, we would just have to go as far as possible. Bev called Sarah (Rhonda's step-mom) and told her we would just have to travel as far as we could during the limited daylight.

After traveling nicely for a couple hours we came to long gentle inclines on 95 in Maryland. We were taking the hills a little faster than the previous days, but soon we found that the old 740 was over-heating. We pulled over at a roadside stop, and I found that I needed to add quite a bit of fluid to the cooling system, and wondered where it all went. This became the ongoing problem for the day. We would travel a ways. We would watch the water heat gauge rise as we traveled up hills. We would stop. I would find no leak in the system. I would add coolant - sometimes lots of it. We would travel again.

At 4pm it grew dark. It began to rain at about 4:30pm as we were traveling down highway 81 in Virginia. I suggested we go as far as Harrisonburg, and so we made it to the Ramada Inn - another place where they accepted dogs.

Moments of interest along the way:

We were talking about Charlton Heston, and mentioned Bible Movies, and guns. Bev was sitting in the back seat, and thought we said Charlton Heston was about Bibles, boobies, and guns. I suppose that might make a good book title.

We made our last stop before coming into Harrisonburg. Once again we were over-heating, and ended up low on coolant. Bev and mom saw a used car, and trailer lot on thee side of the road. They wanted to stop, and trade the Volvo in for a truck to pull the trailer. Hmmmm...good idea except for the fact that I have a 1986 Volvo with 215,000 miles, and I'll get a few hundred for it, and need to pay a couple thousand for something I can be just as confident about.

Well, I unhooked the trailer after arriving here, and drove to a store across town - in the dark with the lights on, and Crash the hound in the car. I made it out and back. The alternator will charge the battery sufficiently as long as the trailer is not attached with its lights it appears.


ded said...

Quite the journey!! Are you home yet?

Wow, ifyou are going to visit Asheville from time to time, maybe I could meet you there. I live 1:45 from Asheville.

Our trip to Maine in summer may be put off for now.

Pastor Phil said...

Hey ded,

I will be in Asheville from time to time. And yes we should meet. I am home, and finally getting an opportunity to write the last few days of the story.