East bound and down
We left Red River NM on September 30th on our way to Norman Oklahoma to visit with Jen's brother and his family while their parents were visiting Oklahoma. The drive out went much better than the way in, but it was still very beautiful. I put up a pretty long video (about 1 hour) of the dash cam in the bus, Jen thinks we should make it a time lapse and shorten it up a bit, she's probably right.
After climbing out of the mountains of New Mexico, we made our way back to Dumas Texas. We left on the same day as a couple other new work camper friends. Just outside of Clayton NM, we noticed a class "C" motor home on the side of the road, and asked each other if that was our friend Sylvia? Jen got on the phone and started calling people (we didn't actually have Sylvia's phone number) before turning around, because getting the bus turned around on a limited access road, isn't accomplished without significant effort. After about 5 minutes we heard it was her, the other couple that left about the same time as Sylvia had already stopped and they didn't think we needed to turn around. We waited for them in Clayton, they pulled in about 15 minutes later. Turns out the above cab area on her class c had de laminated and was flapping in the wind as she drove down the road. We got it torn off and put some screws with large fender washers into sturdy material. Upon inspection we noticed there was some water damage from a leak that went unnoticed and that's what caused the issue. Sylvia has since purchased a new small class "A" which I think fits her well. We got it all buttoned up and were back on the road, this time as more of a convoy. Our friends were continuing on to Amarillo, so we said goodbye to them and headed on to Dumas. For those of you that have been paying attention, this is where I had the air springs on the bus fail, and I spent 3 days getting new ones and putting them on in the parking lot of the city RV park. This time it was much better, at least for me.
We only spent one night in Dumas this time, and its just a quick 4-5 hour drive to Norman OK from there. We made it to Norman with no problem, other than when we got to the fairgrounds, we found out that there wasn't a spot with full hookups available. We stayed in a spot with power, but no sewer for a couple days, but then a spot opened up and we moved. We stayed in Oklahoma for a couple weeks visiting with family.
We set up the giant slot car race track that Jen's parents had bought for the grand kids. We all had a lot of fun racing each other, Jen said it was hard to tell the difference between the big kids and little kids. We also spent another day at the Science Museum Oklahoma, they've updated the planetarium to new digital projectors since the last time we were there, it is now even more awesome than before. We had lunch at Pops diner, a Route 66 tourist diner with hundreds soda pop flavors to choose from.
We put Jen's parents on the plane and got to spend a few days with the kids, they each got turns "camping" with us in the bus. While we were there I replaced the headlights in the bus. They were old school 4"x6" and were cracked and were dim as hell. I picked up some LED projection lights. So far they seem pretty good, but I haven't actually driven at night yet. After that it was time to move on.
We drove from Norman OK to Texarkana. It rained the whole day, and by rained I mean RAINED! It actually stopped raining as we pulled into the RV park. We only stayed one night, but did get some laundry done. The next day we drove to Meridian MS, and stayed overnight. Next leg was to Pine Mountain GA, and the Wanderlodge Owners Group Rally.
We stopped at a Walmart in Montgomery AL, and loaded up on some groceries. Because we're in a 40' RV plus tow vehicle we have to park way out of the way. As I was pushing the cart across the parking lot, about 50 feet from the bus the shopping cart comes to a complete stop giving me a nice gut check. What the heck! Started checking out the situation, the left front tire was locked. What the hell, nothing jammed in the wheel, then I noticed it was a different color than the rest of the wheels. Apparenlty to discourage people from taking Walmart's carts out of the parking lot, they have a sensor built into them that only let them go so far. I'm not sure if its radio or if there is a wire buried in the parking lot, but even dragging the cart back towards the store did not release the wheel. So we hauled the groceries the rest of the way by hand. Still thought it was pretty funny about the anti cart theft device.
From there it was only about a 2.5 hour drive to Pine Mountain, and the start of the rally. The only issue we had is that Hurricane Michael had just hit Panama City Beach, and we have a couple friends that have houses in the area, and they needed some help. After talking to our friends, everything was pretty much being handled and they didn't really need any more assistance at that time. So the decision was made to head to the rally, which is a story for another time.