Greetings from Asheville, North Carolina! We’ll be here for a week, visiting Mark’s dad, Ken. Mark’s brothers and their lovely wives will join us on Friday and we’re looking forward to spending time with everyone over the weekend.

Zephyr has been running great and we’re confident that mechanical issues are behind us (fingers crossed). Of course the ridiculous fuel prices have put a damper on our travels, and it seems like we made a timely decision when we started to head towards home.

Unless something really exciting happens, this will be my last blog for this trip. Once we’re back home, I’ll do a final update that captures some memorable moments and photos that didn’t get posted along the way. Thanks for tuning in. Ciao!

Making our way home

Sunday, February 27:  We made it to Fort Stockton, Texas, after Fester put in 9 hours of driving.  We broke our rule of NOT arriving at a campground in the dark. Let’s just say we are still talking, and leave it at that. 

Monday, February 28:   As of today, we’ve been traveling for four months. Unfortunately, our recent bout of mechanical issues has put a bit of a damper on our attitudes and Fester is determined to put more Texas miles behind us today.  Once we get to Louisiana, we hope to slow down and enjoy our travels again. We are now in Central time zone, so we’re making adjustments to our internal clocks as we go. 

As (bad) luck would have it, while pulled over at a rest area, I noticed anti-freeze leaking from one of the below compartments. Upon inspection and some troubleshooting, Fester determined there was a leak in the diesel fired heater circuit.  Since the leak was significate, we checked the radiator level and added anti-freeze to top it off (the diesel engine and the hot water heating system share the same coolant). Thanks to our last radiator issue, we had a few gallons of anti-freeze with us – just in case.  Fester wasn’t able to make a repair without the necessary hose connections, we decided to back-track about 10 miles to a campground in Kerrville for the night.  When we arrive at our campsite at “By the River RV Park”, we disconnected the Jeep and checked out the diesel heater.  Rather than replacing the diesel heater at this time, Fester decided to re-route the hose and by-pass the heater altogether.  He’ll fix or buy a new diesel heater when we return home. After a trip to an auto parts store, we found the parts we needed and hurried back to the campground to make the repairs before dark.    

Tuesday, March 1: Tonight, we’re dry camping at a Walmart in Beaumont, Texas. 

Wednesday, March 2:  As we said goodbye to Texas this morning, we set our sights on New Orleans.  But, because of yesterday’s Mardi Gras celebrations, we couldn’t find a decent campground in the area.  Since we’ve been to New Orleans on another trip, so we didn’t mind skipping it, especially considering our travel blues.  We were making good time and decided our next stop would be Escapees Rainbow Plantation RV Park in Summerdale, Alabama.  Amazingly, we have been in four states today – Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Pretty much an interstate blur.

Thursday, March 3 – Sunday, March 6:  Although we took a few day trips to explore the beaches of Gulf Shores and visit the charming nearby towns of Foley and Fairhope, we really enjoyed just hanging around the campground and meeting fellow RVers (and ,of course, their dogs). As a matter of fact, while on a morning walk with Sadie, we ran into a couple and their dog, Skipper, that we met way back in Branson, MO. They’ve been at this park since January and we compared notes of where we’ve been since we last met.

Monday, March 7:  Looks like we’ll spend the day driving across northern Florida, hoping to camp past Jacksonville. While at Rainbow Plantation, we spent time mapping out the next few weeks of travel which will focus on stops in Charleston, South Carolina, and Lumberton, Asheville and Gastonia in North Carolina. We’re looking forward to visiting my longtime friend, Renee, and her husband, Rudy in Charleston. Then we’ll spend some time with family in North Carolina.