Sunday, October 28, 2007

Going Back a Bit on Lazy Sunday

The year was 1985. New Coke was introduced, "We Are The World" was recorded, the wreckage of the Titanic was located, the Ninendo game console was introduced, leaded gas was officially banned in the U.S. and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened in Cleveland. Oh, and Denny and I got married.

The family took two trips that year; one to Gatlinburg where we got married and one to Stone Mountain, Georgia. Denny and the boys took a separate trip to our property near Fair Play, South Carolina, but since I was not fond of using a 5 gallon bucket as a commode, I passed on that particular vacation. I much prefer the way we travel now.

Our beloved van (with the paint job I designed) and our 14 acres on "Lake Linda". When we asked the realtor who assisted our purchase of the property what the name of the pond was, he quickly responded "Lake Linda". He was good, real good--and he made the sale!

Lake Linda--hard to believe we sold this, huh?

Stone Mountain in Georgia. This is a great place to bring your kids--they can climb the mountain, play at the water park, ride a train and more. The laser light show at night is fabulous.

You can walk all the way to the top of Stone Mountain, and twenty-two years ago Denny and I could do it. I think it would take us much longer now. Note that Darby had to wait for us to catch up. Pant, pant.

The view from the top of Stone Mountain. The climb was worth it.

Darby throwing rocks into the creek at our cabin in Gatlinburg. This shot reminds me of a statue. We stayed at Carr's Cottages which have kitchenettes and creekside cabins. I love to sit outside and listen to the sound of the water rushing over the rocks here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Visit to the Museum of Appalachia

I think Denny and I have driven up and down Interstate 75 in the area of Norris, Tennessee about fifteen time or so. After sitting in the trailer for a couple of days while it poured rain (yay, it was needed) we finally had a nice day and so we decided to explore the Museum of Appalachia. What a good decision that was!

Located off exit 112 of I-75 in Norris, TN, the museum sits on 60 acres of land. The founder of the museum, John Irwin, has collected artifacts, tools, musical instruments and log cabins from throughout the state of Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina in an effort to keep alive the history of the people of these mountains.

It is an impressive collection of pottery, basketry, tools of every day life, guitars, folk art and so much more. It took us several hours to walk around and read about everything. On the second weekend of October they have a big festival and there are special events year round. The museum is open daily and if you are at all interested in the lifestyle of people who lived a "hard scrabble life", then this is the place to visit.

Click on the pictures to have them open in a new window for a larger view.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Trip on an Aerial Tramway

Most of our weekend in Palm Springs was spent at the ball diamonds watching the Central Ohio Lawmen play softball. Only two of the team members were on the original team that Denny coached and played with, but that didn't lessen our interest in watching them play. Of course, Denny kept a running commentary going, critiquing plays and players but for the most part kept his thoughts to himself. There were a couple of suggestions that he made to Woolfie and Jimmie, knowing they would accept them in the spirit offered. While Denny hasn't played in years, the competitive spirit still lives on inside of him.

Saturday morning before the first game Jimmie called and suggested we take the tram ride. Denny and I talked about riding the tram the first time we were in the area, but we had a lot of other stuff going on so we didn't get around to it. Sometimes you just need a push to get going! So off we went.

Some quick statistics about the tram ride. The cars are the largest in the world and the only ones of their kind in the Western Hemisphere. The floors rotate as you are ascending and descending the tramway--a slow rotation that goes around twice going up and twice going down. That had a tendency to throw you off balance a little, especially when attempting to take pictures! The trip up to the top tram station is two and a half miles and takes ten minutes and boy is it a long way down! When we loaded onto the cars the temperature was in the high 80s and when we arrived at the other end the temperature was in the high 50s. On a clear day you can not only see the Salton Sea 40 miles away, but you can see Mt. Charleston, located near Las Vegas, NV. When you step off the tram at the top, you will be entering the Mt. San Jacinto State Park with 54 miles of hiking trails, a primitive campground and an activity center for winter activities. There is a snack bar, a lounge and a restaurant there, with outdoor platforms for dining and viewing the scenery. You can certainly spend a few hours here if you wanted to pack a picnic and hike around, or just lounge in the sun enjoying the view.

Note: Clicking on the slide show will open it in another window in a larger size.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Little About the Police Softball Hall of Fame Induction

Wow! What a weekend! Denny and I arrived in Palm Springs, California on Thursday along with a former co-worker and softball team member Jimmy R. and his wife. After we settled in a bit, Denny and I drove over to the casino/hotel that was the tournament headquarters for most of the policemen coming in. While we waited for some of the other team members who were flying in to play softball as part of the World Series at the Big Dreams Field Denny and I won a little money on the slots, which is always fun. Several of the officers and their wives on the Central Ohio Lawmen softball team hit a local sports bar for a little TV, beer and dinner.

Firday evening was the opening ceremony of the World Series and the Hall of Fame induction. I was going to try to get the entire induction ceremony on video, but all the men lined up on the baselines with their backs to the audience so I just watched most of it instead of catching it on the camera.

A color guard marched onto the field, followed by a high school band who played the Star Spangled Banner.

Officer Shevy Wright threw out the first ball to start the tournament.

The 2007 Hall of Fame inductees.

Denny with some of his fellow HOF inductees.

Some of the members of the Central Ohio Lawmen softball team and their wives awaiting the start of the festivities.

The official Hall of Fame medallion.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The First Pitch

The opening ceremonies of the 2007 Police Softball World Series started with a police color guard, a marching band, and a somber ceremony honoring a fellow police officer who died in the line of duty. And then came the most touching moment of all, when little Shevy Wright, an officer with the Chandler Police Department in Chandler, Arizona, threw out the first pitch.

Shevy was diagnosed with a brain tumor late last year. His desire to grow up to be a police officer led the Chandler PD to create an honorary police officer position for Shevy, complete with uniform and badge. Police officers around the country donated money so that Shevy and his family could attend the Police Softball World Series, paying for their flight, room and board for the weekend. The Chandler Police worked to arrange a donation of a used car for the family to use in transporting Shevy to his medical appointments.

I couldn't get a clear shot of little Shevy throwing out the first ball because everyone in the stadium was on their feet cheering when Shevy took the field and threw that pitch. You see, Shevy probably won't make it until Christmas. But a whole bunch of people made it a special weekend for Officer Shevy Wright here in Palm Springs at the Big League Dreams Ball Park on Wrigley Field.

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's Too Early

A friend suggested buying something called "Airborne" for our plane trip to California. It's supposed to prevent cold symptoms and is comprised of various herbal ingredients. I'm all for herbs and one we were on the second leg of the trip I was so happy we had it because every third person on the airplane was sneezing/coughing/nose blowing/eww. I guess by next week I'll know if it works.

Today we'll head to the softball diamonds and watch the Police Softball Tournament games. There are only a couple of guys left on the Dayton team that Denny used to play with and manage, but it will be fun watching and we're sure to recognize players from other cities that the team used to compete with. Tonight is the Hall of Fame induction and probably some serious partying. How long Denny and I will last is unknown, since the difference in the time zones had us awake at 3AM Pacific time this morning. Ugh. However, there will be lots of stories and tall tales and laughter going on which is not to be missed.

If all goes well and the ball diamonds are well-lighted, there will be pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

California Here We Come

Why is it that a sky that hasn't produced a drop of rain in five weeks will let go with a downpour on the one day you have to cut grass? But we got the garden pulled and the lawn mowed at Denny's dad's place.

Today we're packing up and closing up. Patches will be taken to my mother's house to be cat-sat for the duration. Claw trimming will happen first, as my mom has very thin skin and Patches can get snippy. All of which reminds us of why we chose to be pet-free for so many years. Moot point.

If all goes as planned, pictures will be posted of all the goings-on over the next three days or so. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hitting the Road Again

Denny and I are heading back to the Dayton area today. We've got to pull the last of the garden at his father's house, mow and handle whatever maintenance needs to be done before we fly out to California for a few days. There's also lawn mowing to be done at my mother's house, covering up the glider and water fountains in the back yard and settling Patches in since my mom will be cat-sitting for us.

All that means is that we won't be at the trailer much, so I don't think we'll be putting up the Internet satellite this week. Which means I won't be posting much, if anything at all. I am taking the computer to California and hope to get pictures of the Hall of Fame ceremonies put up before we leave there. If not, it'll happen sometime next week as we start our travels southward.

Have a good one.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Another Lazy Sunday After a Lazy Week

Fall weather arrived with a vengeance this week, turning cold and threatening rain for several days. It was a good time to snuggle down with a book while enjoying the peaceful quiet of a totally isolated camp site, at least until the weekend campers arrived. Gunfire from the nearby shooting range mixed with the happy shouts of children and barking dogs made it even easier to stay inside with a cup of hot chocolate and a warm cat on my lap.

Last week while having breakfast in Donegal, PA we were given a glimpse of what the fall color would be in a couple of weeks. There was also a pond with ducks and an old buckboard wagon filled with brightly colored mums to see out the big picture windows. All that and a great breakfast.

This is our little peace of private forest here near Salt Fork State Park at the Grand Haven Resort. From Monday through Friday, we were the only ones in this section of the park, which meant Patches was in her glory. She could wander freely without worrying about kids or dogs or golf carts and cars and there were deer and ground hogs and chipmunks to stalk.

This young buck wandered up into the campground early in the week, but only made one appearance. There are miles of woods around, so I was surprised to see him here.

Why does the turkey cross the road? To get out of the way of folks on their way to play golf at the Salt Fork State Park golf course! There were actually about four turkeys running hither and yon, trying to get away from the truck, but I only managed to get a quick shot of the one.

Salt Fork Lake as seen from one of the tee boxes of the golf course. Salt Fork State Park is the largest state park in Ohio. I think we drove about four miles into the park before we finally arrived at the golf course.

Doesn't think look like something a wicked witch would feed you? I'm assuming these mushrooms aren't edible, because they certainly aren't appealing.

There's not much fall color here due to the drought that Ohio has suffered this year, but I found this tiny red leaf with the bit of lichen on a broken branch appealing.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Non-golfers Disregard

I think there's at least one person who follows this blog who is also a golfer, so this is for them. Plus it helps me remember the good courses in our travels. I'm playing catch up on the last three rounds we've played, so all the non-golfers will have to go elsewhere for entertainment today.

The Oak Harbor Golf Club

Located at 10433 County Road 17 (Oak Harbor Rd), Oak Harbor, OH (800)252-1729. The cost for two of us at the senior rate was $40 total to play 18 holes using a riding cart.

Eons ago glaciers flattened most of the state of Ohio, so many of the golf courses in the state have little in the way of hills. Oak Harbor is no different, so they make use of trees and some links-style landscaping to make things interesting. The course is well maintained, has occasional views of the Portage River and is a nice course to play. Distance from the blue tees--6588 yards and red tees is 5287 yards.

Ohio's golf courses can be pretty flat.

Donegal Highlands Golf Course

There's no street address for this golf course, other than Rt. 31 in Donegal, Pennsylvania (724)423-7888. If you get off the Turnpike at the Donegal exit (exit 91) and turn right, going east, you'll see the signs for the course about 2 miles down the road.

This is a golf course to hit in peak "leaf peeper" season. We were a bit too early for that as we were still having wonderful summer temperatures in October. The terrain is much more interesting here, as the area is surrounded by mountains. As seniors, we were able to play 18 holes using a riding cart for $20 each. Love that! This is a very scenic course with enough sand traps, trees and water to make it challenging for any level of golfer. Distance from the back tees is 6370 yards and from the red tees is 4545 yards.

Can you imagine this backdrop in yellow, orange, red and maroon?

Salt Lake State Park Golf Course

This is a kick-a$$ golf course. There's nary a flat spot on the entire course. I couldn't believe it when the gal behind the counter at the pro shop asked us if we were walking or riding when we paid to play 18 holes. Yeah, I want to die young of a heart attack on the golf course!

Located deep within the boundaries of the huge Salt Fork State Park in Cambridge, Ohio, this is a golf course you will remember for a long time. Denny played this course well over thirty years ago with his then-father-in-law and remembered the incredibly steep 17th hole as if it were yesterday. The distance from the back tees is a relatively short 6056 yards and the red tees are at 5241 yards, but with all the uphill and downhill lies you'll feel like the course was twice that long.

Standing at the eighteenth tee you'll be glad to see the clubhouse at the top of the hill because you will be exhausted! The course is so challenging and has such terrific views that you'll be glad you went out of your way to find this one.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


We made it to our spot at our campground here in the hills of eastern Ohio, but at a severe strain to the new transmission. The interior roads within the resort are incredibly steep, narrow and bumpy, meaning we had to use very slow speeds going up them which was not good on the engine. Denny was freaking out, to say the least.

Crossing the borders from Pennsylvania to West Virginia to Ohio you could see the difference in the amount of rain each state has received this summer. The trees and vegetation in Pennsylvania is lush and they will soon have a gorgeous, colorful fall (once the record-breaking temperatures start to drop) while in West Virginia and Ohio the drought has caused the leaves to die without going through a color change--the leaves are either green, yellow, brown or gone. Otherwise, this area would be a picture taking paradise.

We have a feral cat that's watching our trailer (we're the only ones in this section of the campground although there are cabins that are occupied) and Patches and I discovered a chipmunk nearby. Strangely enough I saw no birds yesterday, although we were busy trying to find a satellite signal for the TV through all the tall trees. We managed with the Internet satellite, but can only get one of two satellite beams on the DISH system. That means I got my Dancing With the Stars, but there's no ESPN for Denny. Obviously, THAT'S not going to work.

It's supposed to rain today, so it will be a good day to grocery shop and locate the golf course where we made tee times for tomorrow. I think it's also time to go through the trailer and start winnowing out extra "stuff" to leave at my mother's house to be sold at the next garage sale. Methinks we've slowly accumulated some extra unnecessary weight (yeah, yeah, it's diet time too) which is placing an additional burden on the truck's engine. And we just don't have $50,000+ for a new F450.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

An Assignment

We're moving on today, heading west into Ohio. The hills of Pennsylvania will be a good test of the newly installed rebuilt transmission, but the trip will be short enough at around 160 miles that there shouldn't be any chance of the transmission fluid overheating, since our gauge isn't working to watch the temperature of the transmission fluid.

In the meantime, if you have an hour and a half to spare, take the time to watch a truly inspirational speech by Randy Pausch, who is dying of cancer. It's a lesson in grace, humor, joy and one man's love of life.

Something Different This Sunday

Tired of waiting for the service department to call about out truck, Denny and I decided to take a relatively short driving tour of the area. Striking out on the Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway, we made our way south on Rt. 381 with the thought of possibly catching a glimpse of Fallingwater. That wasn't going to happen, as there is a guard shack placed near the entrance to collect a tour fee before you get anywhere close to the house. Not knowing how much the transmission repairs were going to cost, we decided to pass this time around. Continuing south and west, we drove by the Ohiopyle State Park which has a miles of biking, hiking and riding trails, plus several overlooks for great views of the Youghiogheny River (called the "Yawk" and pronounced yaw-ki-GAY-nee).

Intrigued by the name, I had Denny stop at the Fort Necessity National Battlefield, which is located on US 40 just west of Farmington, PA. Entering the modern, new visitor center we were greeting by two very friendly staff members who explained a little about the park and visitor center and who directed us to the video which explained the history of Fort Necessity. Once again, Denny and I learned more about the history of our country simply by making an unplanned stop on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

Briefly, the area of what is now western New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and all land south to Louisiana was controlled by the French although the British claimed rights to the area, also. The British had built a fort where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers combined to become the Ohio River, but the French drove them out, building a much larger fortification which they called Fort Duquesne. George Washington, then a lieutenant colonel, was assigned the task of building a road to Redstone Creek and assist in defending the British fort. When he heard the French had taken it over, Washington decided to continue to Redstone Creek and await further orders.

Washington and his troops settled in an area called the Great Meadows, which he believed to be "a charming field for an encounter". He and his men set up camp and a few day later had a skirmish with a small group of French soldiers in what some historians think might have been an ambush on Washington's part. Whatever the facts, the French were furious when they heard the news and 600 French soldiers and 100 Native Americans were sent from Fort Duquesne to battle the British troops. Washington and his men, certain that such an encounter was coming, had built up the earthworks around the small, round stockade which held their supplies and mounted the small swivel guns on the entrenchments.

Unfortunately, young and inexperience George had built the stockade only about 60 yards from the woods, expecting any fighting troops to march out in a row, shooting in an orderly fashion. What the French and Indians did, however, was hide and shoot from behind the trees, while Washington and his men were stuck in trenches that soon filled with water from the pouring rain that fell that day. After several hours, the commander of the French forces offered to allow Washington to surrender, which he did.

That initial skirmish, where Washington and his troops caught the small troop of French soldiers off-guard and killed them, was the beginning of what was to be the French and Indian War. Eventually, the war ended with Britain having control of North America and India.

Imagine laying in mud, 700 rifles blazing away at you while the rain pours down upon you, ruining your gunpowder and your chance to protect yourself.

The Mount Washington Tavern is also on the grounds of Fort Necessity and is open for tours. Once part of the National Road, the stagecoach tavern fed and housed travelers on what is now US 40.

US 40, also known at the National Road, now sits about 12 feet lower than the original road as it passes in front of Mount Washington Tavern. The National Road was the first federally funded roadway built in America.

Heading west on US 40 towards Uniontown, PA, the mountain roads are very steep. Note the speed limit of 10MPH for trucks and buses. This is one road where I wouldn't want to be driving in front of a fully loaded semi, believe me.

Driving through Uniontown we saw this "graveyard" or storage area for military tanks in an array of camouflage paint and styles. I have no idea of what the story is behind it, but I did find this so what we saw must have been a storage area for BAE systems.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Good News/Bad News

The bad news is that we'll miss the fall color in Pennsylvania next week. The good news is that we'll miss the fall color in Pennsylvania next week.

The good news is that Davies Ford installed a new rebuilt transmission and oil cooler under warranty at no charge to us and we have the truck back. The bad news is that they practically pushed us out the door without explaining any of the repairs (stating that they would mail us all the paperwork detailing the repairs) and on the way to returning the rental car Denny noticed our transmission temperature gauge was still not working (it stopped working when the transmission fluid starting spewing out).

The continued bad news is, that when Denny called the service department to tell them the temperature gauge wasn't working and asked if perhaps it had not been checked or re-attached, the service tech said he wasn't aware that there was a problem with it and left it at that--no request to bring the truck back so they could look at it.

Therefore, while we are thrilled to have the truck back, mostly repaired and at no cost to us, we really would have like for it to have been totally fixed. I'm not quite sure how to rate Davies Ford. They were friendly, helpful-seeming and finally after three days, expedited the repair. Perhaps Denny calling to check the status of the repair every day bugged them too much and they just wanted us gone at that point because I'm sure they put our repair ahead of others who were already there. I left feeling that they were glad to wash their hands of us. That's not a good feeling at all.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Comfort Food

The Ford dealership has yet to pull the transmission from our truck. What they are waiting for, I don't know, but it means we'll be here a long longer than we wanted to be. Which means changes in reservations, extending the car rental, dealing with our forwarded mail, etc.

When I get upset, I bake. When I bake, believe me, it ain't healthy stuff either. We have a ton of apples in the refrigerator from our apple-picking jaunt in New York, so first I considered Vicki's scrumptious sounding recipe, but that involved deep frying. Here's what I found at the website under the Southern U.S. Cuisine section.

Apple Pan Dowdy

* 1/4 cup biscuit mix
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon vinegar
* 1 cup water
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 5 cups apple slices - 6 to 7 cooking apples, golden delicious, jonathan, etc., peeled, cored, sliced
* cinnamon and nutmeg
* granulated sugar
* 1 1/2 cups biscuit mix
* 3/4 cup light cream or whipping cream

In a saucepan, combine 1/4 cup biscuit mix, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and vinegar and water. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter.

Set aside to cool.

Place apples in a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle apples evenly with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Mix 1 1/2 cups biscuit mix with the cream to make a soft dough. Drop over the sliced apples.
Sprinkle with the granulated sugar and more cinnamon. Pour the cooled sauce over the top.
Bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Serve hot with cream or ice cream.

I wish I had taken a picture of the dessert. Not only is this delicious, but it looks mouth-watering coming out of the oven. Too late now! We topped it with Eddy's Slow Churned French Vanilla ice cream (because we're all about cutting calories--snort!) while the Apple Pan Dowdy was still hot from the oven. Sigh--alllll better.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


When you're weary
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I'm on your side

When times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you're down and out
When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

I'll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

See how they shine
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
---Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkle

If you're a blogger, you understand the concept of "e-friends"--those folks you have met through commenting on each other's blogs. Perhaps you've exchanged e-mails in addition to making comments or even met them in person (Hi Kim!) E-friends can make you smile or even chuckle at the remarks they leave on your site, or lead you into an off-blog conversation to expand upon an idea. As friends they are as real as that high school buddy or next door neighbor of yours and no less valuable.

So when you're going through a bit of a rough patch and blog about it, you can be assured of that comforting pat on the back that reaches across hundreds of miles and says "I care". You know that folks will be awaiting the outcome and ready to offer "e-support" whether the end result is good or bad.

What a great thing this innernets can be! (((y'all)))

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Waiting Game

There has been no word from the Ford dealership yet on the status of the truck. Denny and I drove down there once Enterprise finally delivered our rental car and we finished all the paperwork and got through all the chatty-cathi-ness of the rental agent. The service manager needed our paperwork from the installation of the rebuilt transmission that was done in Oregon in 2005 to see if we squeaked through on the mileage for the warranty. Unfortunately, all that was back in the trailer. The service manager did say that the computer check showed we had no forward or reverse gear. Which is strange because we managed to pull into the campground and back up to level the trailer on boards, but who are we to argue. We're stuck.

So when the going gets tough, the tough go golfing. That's our plan for the day. I'm sure there will be a message on the phone when we are finished so we'll know where we stand and how long we'll be here in the hills of Pennsylvania. It's really not such a bad place to be.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Pah! to Pennsylvania

I had to tone down the title of this blog. It's been one miserable mother of a day.

Denny and I decided to try one of the affiliated member campgrounds in our system that is located south east of Pittsburgh. We had never been to the area and it allowed us to see something new, and yet not wander too far from Ohio since we have to be back there in a couple of weeks to be able to fly out to Palm Springs. The trip was longish one for us, about 286 miles, per Map Quest. We made okay time in spite of toll roads (don't even get me started on the Pennsylvania Turnpike) and construction. Upon our arrival at the campground, we were assigned a site and given a map to find it. No problem, except as we drove further into the campground we saw nothing but trees. Trees and satellite dishes don't mix at all. We located our site, having to put the truck into low gear due to the severe grade of the driveway leading to the site. The interior roads are narrow and the tree limbs on the site hadn't been trimmed so that we were concerned about them damaging the rubber roof of the trailer. Since the lady at the entrance gate had told us we could pick any open site if we didn't like the one assigned to us, we drove down the hill and up a different lane. All of a sudden I'm smelling something burning and look to see that the temperature gauge for the transmission isn't showing a temperature. Uh-oh. We're partly up a hill, with no open sites around to back into. So Denny eased back down the hill to the main driveway (not an easy turn to make with a fifth wheel going backwards) and we left the campground, telling the lady at the gate that we were leaving and asking if there were any other campgrounds close by that didn't have hills. She was not at all helpful, so we just left. Remembering a campground near the turnpike, we crossed our fingers as the truck struggled up two more lengthy hills on the main roads to get to the campground. We finally located the other campground, paid an exorbitant price for a week, got the trailer set up and the truck unhitched and set up the Internet satellite so I could find a Ford dealer. I did locate one, arranged for a tow, tried to arrange a rental car but it was too late in the day. So the tow driver took the truck to the dealer for us, where the service department will look at it first thing tomorrow morning. Denny tried to check the transmission fluid but it didn't even show up on the dipstick, so I think we're in big trouble here.

So here we are, in an area that's close to nothing, stuck without a car until someone returns one to the closest Enterprise office, at the mercy of a strange Ford service department. This does not bode well.

Note; I left out the yelling, the lack of meals for eleven hours, drinks downed quickly on an empty stomach between desperate phone calls and a few other minor details. Other than that, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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