A Riveting Day

It’s never a good thing when a trucker passes you, tooting his truck’s horn, and pointing back toward your rig. The only time this has happened to us was on I-10 outside Baton Rouge and we made an emergency pullover to find our heavy electrical cord had got loose, had draged along chafing the plug connectors to nubbins. Well, we had a similar event today outside Knoxville.

I had thought that the trailer was acting a little squirrelly but once warned, I grabbed an exit, looking for a place to stop and look, and ended up in the parking lot of Tennessee RV Sales. As we stopped, I told Mary that I was almost afraid to go back and look.

The rear part of the belly pan had broken loose and was dragging on the road. Heavy rains had soaked the insulation and the weight had caused the collapse. I didn’t even think of trying to get the service guys to fix it – on the day before New Year’s Eve – plus, I’m a Vermonter – we fix things ourselves (sometimes not a smart idea.)

It was 38 degrees with a wind but Mary and I tackled it. She stuffed the insulation into garbage bags while I hunted for tools and stuff in the truck cap. Fortuntely, I had bought new drill bits and brought the riveting stuff and after a half hour of grunting, dropping rivets with numb fingers, I had four good rivets through the frame and we were on our way. I’ll look at the pan when I get to warmer climes but I think we are OK.

Yesterday’s trip was mostly in rain, very heavy at times. The truck traffic, even on a Sunday, was nasty as they threw up geysers of spray. We stopped overnight in the parking lot of a small Walmart in Marion, VA. It had this Sonic burger joint across the street so we had the faint noise of folks ordering from the takeout spots – always reminds us of that wonderful Peter, Paul, & Mary routine – called Paultalk.

Today’s leg, aside from the mishap, was easy. We finally got off I-81 and tonight, are in Harrison Bay State Park outside Chattanooga. We have stayed here before and it’s a little decrepit but there’s water, power, and hot showers. We de-winterized the trailer and are ready to rock and roll. I took Penny on a walk just before dark and saw a bunch of birds – including some real active Golden-crowned Kinglet and my first- of-year Carolina Chickadees. Off to Mississippi in the morning.

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