Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pulling out and heading South for Mammoth Caves

Monday

After being in Indiana since May 8h we finally pulled out of Elkhart 4H Fairgrounds and headed south.  The target to day was Cave City, KY.  We skirted Fort Wayne, then Indianapolis, and then straight through downtown Louisville.  We took our time and arrived at Singing Hills Campground off Exit 53 of I-65.  Boy were the roads rough in Indiana so rough that we lost part of the coach.

We lost a hub cap.
Not sure when it happened but I noticed it when we filled up with 80 gallons of diesel at Pilot just into Kentucky.

It should look like this
Well I think this is common but I hear they are getting hard to find.  The trip really wore me out and I almost put off writing the blog and went to bed.  But here I am.

We are only about 5 miles from Mammoth Cave so we ran over there to check out what tours were open this time of the year.  Hopefully we can see some of the cave tomorrow, there is a good selection of Ranger led tours.  We did get a treat on the way in.  We saw several mature turkeys strutting their stuff for a couple hens.  Also a few immature Toms.

I see the weeds got in the front of him

This one was really strutting.
We decided to eat and maybe run to Walmart.  The campground owner had suggested a Mexican place and we gave it a try.  It was really good, I could not finish mine.  Here is a shot of Bonnie's

Nachos Supreme
Thats it for me tonight I need some sleep.

Tuesday

I slept pretty good last night, I could hear a a train whistle way in the distance, nothing like the 150+ trains that passes within a couple hundred yards the whole time we were at the fairgrounds.  Wow that was a busy train track.

I had my oatmeal and coffee while Bonnie got up and dressed and read some email.  Then before I cleaned up I figured I would tackle a couple jobs.  First was to look again and try to see if something was under the bedroom slide that is not quite going out all the way.  We got it out close to all the way, still did not see anything under it.

Next is one I have been dreading.  The toilet has not been holding water like it should.  After its flushed a little water needs to stay in it to seal out the stink from the tank.  I have had the seal for a long time but was not sure it was the correct one.  Others have assured me either will work.  So with Bonnie's help we dove into it.  The toilet came apart easily and I set it in the shower.  Bonnie went to work cleaning it.

Cleaning up the seal
 Not a pleasant job but seems we had the right stuff

Cleaning the dust off the decorative trim.

I cleaned the flapper valve and got ready for the reinstall
We set the clean toilet back on the pedestal and I got busy tightening it with the plastic rings and band.

Not a pretty site

Just about finished
I had put our fantastic roof fan on reverse so it was blowing air into the coach and that keep most of the smell (bad smell) from coming in the rig.  So far we have a success and it is holding water.  I did find some mineral deposits on the old seals and imagine that is were it was leaking.

The next job was to see why the bathroom fan was not spinning.

I removed the screen so I could get at it
I suspected the plunger type switch that provide a ground when the cover raises I just needed to get at it.  The fan blades are to close together for me to get my hands up through them.  Just need the right tool.  Well that tool turned out to be a fork.  I used a fork to work the plunger up and down a few times and when I threw the switch it worked.  I am happy for that it saved a trip up onto the roof.  Enough for today.  I put the tools away and sat down to cool off.  Its getting warm but its ok with the windows open and the fans running.

Bonnie picked out the tours she wanted to day today at the caves.  One is too many steps for my tired knees so she will take it.  It has 440 stairs, the shorter one that I will take is 12 stairs and much shorter.  Time to change and clean up to go.  Hope to write more later.  The CG has good internet.  I was able to make reservations in AL for memorial day weekend.

I showered and layer down for a 15 minute power nap.  Looked out the window and noticed the slide topper stitching is coming apart on the living room slide, another project.  Did get a quick nap and then we headed over to the Cave for an afternoon tour.  I turned on the AC to keep the coach somewhat cool while we were gone.

Bonnie choose the Historical Tour and I took the shorted Frozen Niagara tours.  Hers had over 500 stairs and my knees will not take that.  My good camera had dead battery when we got there so all these pictures are iPhone pictures.  I was surprised how good they came out.  My tour had 85% of the cave formations on it.  Bonnie's tour did not have the typical cave formations and she was not able to get any pictures.  So here is the afternoon in pictures.

Our Tourist Shot
The buses took me 3 miles to the man made entrance, Bonnie went in the natural entrance

Ranger Thomas did a great job and had some neat stories

This is the entrance and exit that we used.
These are Camelback Cricketts
 The crickets leave the cave to feed but can not survive if their body temperatures get over 70 so they live in the cave where it is 55-60.  They have to feed every two weeks.

A few of the formations

A view looking down into Crystal Lake

This is the bottom of one of the many sink holes.  A good amount of water is falling from it.  
We could not use a flash so its hard to see the water.

A few last formations

A close up of the Camelback Crickett

This is an old Pack Rat nest it even has an old flash bulb in it, can you spot it?
We enjoyed the tours Bonnie's was totally different a very dry part of the cave and she likes all the pretty colors and formations better.  We made a quick trip over to WalMart for food and parts for some other projects that are in the works.  Chicken and baked sweet potato for supper and now watching to see who wins the Voice, then off to bed.

Wednesday

It seems to get light very early here so I was up before 8.  Nothing planned for today, I do need to pay the campground for tonight.  There are a couple small projects to do on the coach and I think Bonnie is going to do the wash.  It is warming up into the 80's today so we may need the A/C.

First thing I need to do is set up my medicine for the next few weeks, same as if we were at home.

Four weeks worth morning and night
Next I got the pieces, parts, and connectors out for a few projects.

My parts from Walmart
Well I got the tire monitor repeater set up to work in the car, then I moved onto look at the TV I think I need to replace some connectors and re-route some of the wiring but the picture is a little better.

Little repeater to set up in the car
Then I moved outside to the the Motion Light Bonnie got at the Escapade.  Everything fit, I had the right connectors and it went up easily.

Opened it up after reading the directions
 Got the ladder out and took off the old light that was partially melted from the hot light.  This one is LED so should stay cool.

It fir right in the original screw holes

All buttoned up now to check it out when it gets dark
Since I had the ladder out I went around to the other side and checked out the Slide Toppers.

Top view just about the whole seam is open

Bottom view
Hopefully it will stay on the ends until I can get my son to help me take it off.  I bought some industrial strength adhesive at WalMart that I read about.  It should come off easily and hopefully the glue will hold until I can get it sewed or maybe replaced.  Seems they do not use the correct UV resistant thread when they make these.  While a lot of things shake apart on a motorhome a lot are just not made with the right materials.

I went up to the office to pay for this last night and had a nice talk with Eldon he and his wife Beth own the campground.  They were missionary teachers in Zambia for about 7 years, then he was a broadcast engineer, ( we even know some of the same people), now they own this campground and are enjoying it.

Well we just got a Thunderstorm watch for later tonight so I am going to go ahead and post this.  We hope to pull out mid morning or so for Alabama.

Thanks For Checking In!

"If Your Dreams Don't Scare You, They Are Just Not Big Enough"