Saturday, May 6, 2017

2017-8 Vidalia to Augusta Georgia, black smoke rising


Black smoke is never a good sign.....

Petersburg Campground COE,
Augusta Georgia

Vidalia Georgia
Augusta Georgia

Sweet Onion Rv Park
Campground: Sweet Onion Rv park. $18 full hookups, though electrical is 50amp only service. No limit on stays, 4 over the air TV stations. Good Verizon signal. Large campsites.

Campground: Petersburg campground, COE. Senior rate: $13.00 Water/Electric. At Strom Thurmond Dam, Augusta GA. Lake side views are awesome. From each paved camp loop it's a bit tricky attempting to wind down and around the gravel side roads leading to these campsites with water views. Well worth the effort.

From North Florida to NE Georgia

Vidalia Ga

I've stayed at this city park in the past, it's a great stopping point, close to town and a Walmart. I arrived a day before the Vidalia Onion festival and was able to get one of the last to campsites available. I'm within walking distance of part of the festival activities and on Saturday I'll attend the theater production “ Tales from the Altamana, “Fiddlin, Feudin, and Foolishness”. I'm doing the matinee since the temps are going to be in the low 90's this afternoon.

a large cast of performers and backstage help

The matinee was fun, telling tales of the beginnings of this county, describing the early days when land was often stolen from neighbors by changing the site lines marked on tree stumps. And general everyday life happenings. An enjoyable way to spend a hot and steamy afternoon, indoors in a/c.

Vidalia Onion festival

Vidalia Onion festival
The Chuck Wagon cook off as well

baking a Georgia peach pie

Chuck Wagon cook off

follow that receipt

and of course sweet Vidalia Onions for sale

I think this means I'm in Georgia

Distance Traveled: 185 miles
Augusta Georgia

It was supposed to be a simple drive up US 1, a most pleasant Georgia county road, often being a 4 lane divided highway with little to no traffic in either direction. Even the two lane sections were just fine. Then it happened....

15 minutes from my next destination, traveling along hwy 221 heading into North Georgia. The scenery becoming very wooded and the road becoming more of a roller coaster ride as it traveled up and down along the foot hills as I got closer to the Georgia uplands.

Suddenly, I see a faded red truck on my left, flagging me down. The universal RV signal, flapping of hands in all directions along with a look of dire concern on the other drivers face, indicating something is very very wrong with either my camper or truck. I pull off the road quickly, with the red truck pulling off the highway as well. Jumping out of the truck, I round the corner of the truck to check out the passenger side.... black smoke is billowing out from one of the back camper wheels/tires.

I quickly open the camper and grab for the small fire extinguisher and smother the wheel with a spray of white power. No flames were evident as the driver of the other vehicle and myself kept an eye on the now smelly remains as wisps of black smoke gradually die out. Brakes, wheel bearings, something either locked up or caused damage.

fortunate to get in for repairs
and an overnight stay on-site

After a few minutes to calm my nerves and get some good advice from my road warrior angel, I was directed back about a mile and a half to Cushmans RV. I was able to get there without further incident and after talking with Angelo, he was able to get me in the shop. Almost unheard of these days, as most RV shops are usually booked weeks if not months in advance. They have only been opened for about three years and are gradually building their business. All would not go smoothly, as they have had to order a new wheel bearing assembly and have it overnighted.

repairs being made, parts ordered

life on the road includes repairs on occasion

In the meantime, they were able to check out, repack and grease all the other wheel bearings and check them out in the process. Along with discovering a good sized nail in one of the tires. They of course installed a plug and at least that was fixed. I was able to drive into Augusta to another rv shop in search of a new gray tank handle which had mysteriously fallen off along the way. Of course I have three such handles for the thee holding tanks and only one is positioned outside the the basement bay area. That would be the one that fell off. Happily tumbling down the road on it's own journey of discovery. The Rv supply store gave me two handles (free of charge) as they were not a part of their normal inventory, but not the bolt to screw it on with, so a short drive to Loews, and for $1.27 I had two replacement handles and enough bolts to secure them for a lifetime. A spot of super glue should hold the bolt on while bouncing down the road of life.

My adventures for the day were almost at an end, except I needed to have my GPS redirect me off of the interstate heading back to Cushmans, as the traffic was backed up for about 10 miles due to lane closures on hwy 20.

Finally relaxing inside my camper, inside of a service bay at Cushmans, as I spend the night here, waiting for the completion of my campers wheel assembly to be installed tomorrow. My lakeside campsite will have to wait for me one more day. What a day.

A minor delay. The second wheel/brake housing was also the wrong one, so the guys at Cushmans have reassembled as much of the working parts, minus the brake assembly on the one wheel and I'm off to my campsite at Petersburg campground. After a chat with the camphosts checking me in, I head to the campsite and am blown away by the awesome views. I've scheduled a weeks stay but may try and book another week. It isn't often one finds such great campsites with views worth a million dollars.

By the way, the parts for the camper are now being ordered directly from the manufacturer and will be installed at the end of my weeks stay here at the park. I'm even adding a new brake controller, as mine is 13 years old and they've made huge improvements on their design over the years, which should reduce any stress put on the brakes and wheel bearings from ill adjusted brake controllers.

Maryland Fried Chicken
down home southern cooking at its best

After setting up, I head back two miles to a four corners restaurant, Maryland Fried Chicken, and even though it is a chain restaurant, this one is housed in an old farm house, with a screened in front porch for additional dining. Southern fried chicken, a choice of sides, which I selected a medley of tomato, okra, and rice, and a sweet potato casserole and ice tea. I am beyond content being able to sit out on a shaded screened in porch and enjoying a true southern meal. This.... is what I call good livin....

Back at the campsite, I set up my lounge chairs up in two shady spots and will be content to read a book, enjoy the views and soak up the natural surrounding I'm blessed to have made it too. And of course documenting it all on my blog so I can never forget the moment.

not just a summer book,
it has lifes wisdom wrapped up as well

While all of this is going on, I've had a few recent inquiries regarding my two Rv lots for rent. So even though it is a bit unusual to be doing business transactions while on the road, it looks like I have one of the RV lots rented for 6 months or possibly longer. A second inquiry from someone local looking at the second RV lot and I hope to hear something on that one as well. If all goes well, it will be a nice little return on my two investments. Much better than the stock market for sure.

In the mean time, I'm busy scanning and sending files and forms to future tenants. Setting up a new wireless printer/scanner to work with my new laptop. I think my timing on getting the new laptop and printer is going to work out nicely. Though the learning curve with purchasing any new electronic equipment is enough to make a person pull out some hair. Fortunately, I have little of that left and it's cut way to short to enable any pulling out of hair follicles.

a number of lumber yards are in Georgia,
though up here, the campground is also dealing with
an infestation of pine bark beetles 

views from my campsite

shopping on the outskirts of Augusta GA

evening comes to the campground

one of the other campsites near mine

lake is low they say due to need for hydro power from the dam

normally would be under water

normally this would all be under water, right to the campsite
still an awesome view

and why do I love to travel so much....

my little home on wheels

Windy weather and some rain have made it difficult to enjoy the outdoors, but the views remain perfect just the same. And that book I'm reading, “Hitchhiking with Larry David” by Paul Dolman is a gem of a find. Billed as an accidental tourist's summer of self-in Martha's Vineyard, I found the book at the dollar store and I can tell you it's worth so much more as the author shares life confirming insights wrapped in a veil of summer hitchhiking adventures and discovery. What a fun and elucidating book.

more photos:

Lyons Georgia, almost a ghost town  (no story, just the pictures)

1 comment:

Happytrails said...

You sure found some very nice campgrounds....and not too expensive either!!
What fun at the Vidalia Onion Festival!! Hope you bought some of those delicious onions!!
Glad your rig is all fixed up!!