Dec 112009

When we got up yesterday morning it was 12 degrees in Elkhart, Indiana! That’s to damned cold for any sane person to be living in, which apparently explains why my pal Al Hesselbart from the RV Hall of Fame Museum is spending the winter there. 

But, at least the wind had died down, the sky was clear, and they got the repaired driver’s seat reinstalled. With even colder temperatures on the way, Terry and I decided to make our escape while we could. We settled up with Duncan RV Repair, hooked our van to the back of the Winnebago and pulled out about 11:30 a.m.

When I first plug in our PressurePro tire monitoring system, we get a warning signal if the tire pressures are low, which they will be after a cool night. But we had been in very cold weather for days now, and it took forever for the tires to warm up enough for the warning alarm to stop beeping. Terry scanned all of our tires pressures to be sure they were okay and we kept on rolling. Nothing short of a wheel falling off the rig was going to make me stay one minute longer.

We retraced our route south on U. S. Highway 31 to Indianapolis from a week earlier, picked up the I-465 bypass to the east, and got off on Interstate 74 eastbound. For the first 75 miles or so we had some snow blowing across the highway, but the roads were pretty dry overall. There were a few wind gusts that caught us by surprise, but nothing so bad as to be dangerous.

We entered Ohio for a few short miles, and then took the I-275 loop around Cincinnati, veering back into Indiana for a short stretch before we crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky.

Our Ultimate Advantage has a digital thermometer on the dashboard that measures outside temperature, and as it climbed from 12 degrees in Elkhart up to 18 in Indianapolis, and then 28 degrees as we drove south on Interstate 75 in Kentucky, I told Miss Terry we were having a heat wave. The temperature had risen by over 100% in just a few hours!

We stopped at the Flying J in Walton, Kentucky, and got another scare as some idiot in a small car went flying out of the parking lot as we were pulling in, driving up on the curb with two wheels to get past us, with inches to spare.

While I was filling our fuel tank, I saw an older couple with an Allegro Bus who were having problems trying to dump their holding tank. The man apparently has some physical problems, so his wife was bent over fighting something inside the sewer bay. I asked if I could help, and discovered that the plastic access hole cover in the bottom of the bay had been wet when last screwed in and was now frozen in place.

Since the configuration of the bay was such that the sewer hose had to come up from the bottom to attach, there was no way the lady could hook up her hose. I got a large screwdriver and a hammer out of our toolbox, and after several hard whacks on the end of the screwdriver was able to free the cover. Then the hose was too cold and stiff to want to stretch enough to reach the dump station, so I helped them with that and held it in place until the husband could get his foot on the end of the hose to secure it. My good deed for the day done, I finished filling our tank, shivered my way back into the motorhome, and off we went.

We pulled into Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington about 5:30, just as the sun’s last light was disappearing from the sky. Every year they decorate the Horse Park for the Southern Lights Christmas display, and it is pretty impressive. But not so impressive that I want to stay any longer. Its a few degrees warmer than Elkhart, but still way too cold. I have some medical stuff to deal with at the VA hospital this morning, and we hope to be back on the road quickly. I know that somewhere there is a palm tree with my name on it, and I’m gonna find that darn thing even if it kills me! 

Thought For The Day – A short pencil is better than a long memory.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  19 Responses to “Escape From Elkhart”

  1. Nick it sounds like you and Terry are finally headed in the right direction. I’m sure it won’t be too long before you’re posting pictures of you on the kayak!
    We hope that everything continues on a positive note for the two of you.

    Be safe.

  2. When you stretch out under that palm tree you can let out a sigh of relief that the Elkhart ordeal is behind you. Make sure it is not a coconut palm. We wouldn’t want to read that a coconut dropped onto your drink and broke the little pink umbrella :).

    Good to see you back on the road again.

  3. I can just picture you headed out of town with the music turned up. “on the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again.” I’m sorry about everything that happened up here and hopefully the memory will fade with time. At least you got to spend some time with friends and now you’ll really appreciate the warmer weather. Hope your appt. is uneventful and you can continue your trek southward. (just wish I was hiding in your cargo area) Take Care and drive safely.

  4. OK, Nick, That’s It…..NO MORE Snafu’s for you…you are declared officially “done” with those!! So keep on heading South, and let smooth sailing and clear skies prevail for y’all for awhile…you deserve it!! 🙂 (Let’s see if the “power of positve thinking” thing works!!!)

  5. Nick,

    Been giving this a lot of thought and believe you and Terrys past several days in Elkhart are a movie script made in heaven. Stay by your cell ..the studio is gonna call. Has it all.. action..drama and of course a very sexy female and macho male. Now lets see who plays Terry…ah I got it..Taylor Swift!! Shes beautiful and can sing when either working on the motorhome or cooking the meals Nick torments us with. Now for Nick…humm..ah..come on gang help me and suggest an actor who can play our buddy Nick.

  6. I think the perfect person to play Nick would be Bad Nick. They look like twins, well, duh, they are. But we would rather see the wonderful Nick play himself!

    Ethel and Charles

  7. Nick:
    Don’t come to Rockport it’s cold!!!
    c u on the road

  8. Well we want to tell you that we have have two Palm trees in front of our park model here in Avon Park. Neither one is named but you can put your names on them. Stop in for a visit.

  9. After reading the story of the intruder, and Nick bashing the guy’s arm in the door, I think Steven Seagal should play him.

  10. Somehow I can’t see Steven Seagal helping a old couple with their sewer hose in the cold.
    Perhaps Santa Claus could play Nick, right size and happy spirit. Connie B.

  11. Don’t know Nick’s shoe size, but nobody, NOBODY, could fill those shoes. He’s gotta play himeself!

  12. Yahoo! Rolling, rolling, rolling. Keep that Winnebago rolling….south! Glad your back on the road.

  13. I think Dog the Bounty Hunter should play Nick. In fact Nick maybe YOU could play him!! Give it a shot, could be a new work camping gig, traveling around kicking bad guys butts !!

    Glad your both safe and back in the “traveling” mode, take care.

  14. Glad to hear you guys are warmer. The next time you encounter a Tiffin coach @ a dump station you could offer up a real pearl of wisdom that has been incorporated in the wet bays since as early as the early 90’s. The elbow, where one would attach the hose, will rotate or swivel upward to allow the hose to be attached and routed out the compartment door. This is a real time saver. I had my old coach for over 13 years before I realized this feature.

  15. My vote is for Charles Durning, but the version of Mr. Durning that was around 10 years ago.

    Nick: you are very quiet here.

  16. Oh come on people, use your colletive heads! The obvious and only choice is Danny Devito, in his character of Louie, the dispatcher from Taxi!

  17. We are talking about Hollywood where they rarely choose anyone who is like the one being portrayed. Someone like a Chinese basketball player who wants to get into acting or some Bollywood star who wants to make it big in America. They would also change it so the criminal was rifling through a Prius instead of a motorhome and found the hero’s secret Ninja assassin tools.

  18. I was thinking Ahhnald but he’s busy for now, being a politician….. I’m glad your finally southbound!

  19. Danny DeVito was my second choice, after Phillip Seymour Hoffman, but not too many people would know the name, even if they knew the face:

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