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Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Busy Week!!

At long last, we have arrived at Mount Desert Narrows Campground, in Bar Harbor Maine :-).

Last Wednesday morning we said our good-byes, and headed north with the truck and our u-haul trailer full of our stuff tagging behind. We had initially planned on having me drive our Chevy Trailblazer behind, with our kayaks loaded on the roof, but with all of our issues we decided this wasn't the summer for a grand experiment. So the kayaks and the blazer stayed behind. Of course, that meant some re-packing of stuff in the u-haul, but we did manage to get it all in there, and didn't even hurt ourselves opening the back of it :-). Do you know how much stuff shifts around inside one of those?? We found out :-).

Our first night was a long drive, we made it from Homosassa all the way to Murfreesboro TN. Sorry, Murfreesboro, but I was not excited with the area :-(. We got a decent enough night's sleep, for a motel on the highway. Times like that really make you miss your trailer! The next morning we hit a bit of traffic around Nashville, not too bad, but I didn't realize it was the morning of the funeral of that famous singer in Nashville, and I don't know if that was snarling things at all. After Nashville it was pretty easy up to our destination for the night, Shipshewana Indiana. We had selected Shipshewana because it had the closest campground we could find to the Keystone factory, and we were planning on dropping off the u-haul trailer at the campground before heading over to take possession of our repaired fiver. The folks at Shipshewana Campground South were so nice, and had us take the u-haul trailer right to our campsite and drop it at 9:00AM before going to get our unit.

It was about a twenty minute ride to the Keystone factory, and we were taken care of right away. We were taken to walk through our trailer by one of the customer service reps, who went over all the repairs done, including a few things that we didn't know were broken :-)! It was also still inside, so it hadn't even been put outside to deal with all the horrid winter weather they had. We seriously can't say enough good things about the service we have received by the Keystone folks. Being that the trailer was no longer under the one year warranty, I had never expected them to step up and take care of things. They certainly did, and we were not charged a dime for any work that was done. We asked what the cause of the crack was, and they said a couple of welds had broken overhead from the flexing. I'm still astonished that they replaced the entire side wall, and looking at it, you would never know. I can say that so far, we are satisfied Keystone customers.

Once we got the trailer back to the campground, it was time to start moving back in! It actually went faster than we thought it would, even going slow and taking breaks because it was quite warm, in the 80's, which I don't think is really normal for this time of year? I must of done a decent job of clearing out unused items as well, as I seem to have a lot more closet and cupboard space :-). Saturday we finished the last bit of putting stuff away, and went down to Shipshewana to see the MayFest parade. We also sampled the local restaurants, and we give our seal of approval to the Blue Gate Restaurant for some really good Amish comfort food :-). We also had to bring back some baked goods to the trailer, and refilled our freezer with meat from the butcher shop :-). We really liked Shipshewana, it was a very pretty town and friendly as well.

Sunday was departure day from Shipshewana headed to Bar Harbor. We had broken the trip down into three segments: Shipshewana to Rochester NY; Rochester NY to Boston MA; Boston MA to Bar Harbor ME. We really don't care to travel that fast, but in this instance we really had no choice, we were late reporting in to Mt. Desert Narrows as it was. They were nice enough to be understanding of the situation, and hold our spots for us, so we didn't dilly-dally getting there :-). The first leg of the trip was fine, totally uneventful. The weather was sunny and warm, and not much traffic anywhere on the interstates as we traveled through Ohio, and up the Lake Erie coast towards Buffalo, and ended at a KOA just on the east side of Rochester.

Monday, however, was not so uneventful. It was going to be a shorter riding day, so we didn't sweat leaving super early. Weather again was great, traffic light, even as we passed around Albany NY and headed towards the Massachusetts Turnpike. About 3 miles short of the border came an event I had always dreaded....a tire blew out on the trailer. What else can happen to us?? We pulled as far off to the side as we could, and Al inspected the damage as I got on the phone with CoachNet. We are SO fortunate that the damage to the trailer is all cosmetic, nothing penetrated the floor and no lines, pipes plumbing or electrical was damaged.
The shredded tire on the spare tire mount

Exterior damage to the trailer

We were also fortunate that the repair truck showed up quite quickly, and had us going about an hour after we had come to a stop. I was not enjoying being on the side of a major interstate at all! Close examination of the remaining tires made us decide it was time to change them all out, and so I also have a story of great service that we received at the Chichester NH Camping World. I called them to see 1. if they had a set of tires that we needed and 2. would they be able to install them on our trailer the next day. I spoke with Jim in the service department who kindly got everything set up for us, and gave us an appointment the next day at 12:00 to have the work done. Being that this is "crunch" season for getting rigs ready to go, I was very happy that they would be able to accommodate us. 

So, on Tuesday, we arrived promptly, they whisked our trailer away, and about three hours later we had new tires, bearings re-packed and brakes adjusted. Ready to continue on our way :-)! It was too late to make it all the way to Bar Harbor, but we got within two hours and stopped for the night. I really hate pulling into campgrounds after dark, and try to avoid it at all costs. So Wednesday ended up being our actual arrival day at Mt. Desert Narrows!

We've been busy setting up, meeting our co-workers and met with our managers Wednesday afternoon. And we started work today, Thursday! Might as well jump right in :-). So I should have pictures soon, and start exploring the area as well. There seems like a lot of stuff to do, and eat :-), (we have already sampled the ice cream pleasures of Blueberry Hill Dairy Barn). So stay tuned for a wicked good summer of activities!!


  1. So very glad you made it safe and sound, albeit with new tires :) Get settled in, find all the great spots and we'll see you soon!

  2. Glad you made it there safely, but too bad about the tire blowout! I think you'll be good for the rest of the year - you've used up your share of bad luck! We love Shipshewana, too, and have stayed at that campground a few times. You're going to love the meat from the butcher shop -- it's excellent!

  3. Happy to hear you finally made it! You guys deserve a break. We started work Monday and will work again this weekend. We love the area and look forward to working and playing with some great people. Last Saturday we went out with Joe and Sandi to do some geochaching. We found the alien cache and a few others. Also played our first game of cards and marbles!

    Have a great summer!

  4. So glad you guys finally made it. I sure hope your summer is quiet and without incident!

  5. Wow...what a horrid couple of months you guys have had. But that being said, good luck and times are with you now. Bill said to make sure you check out all the good lobster places around because we'll be coming up soon. Take care and keep those comments coming. :-)

  6. You guys didn't bad luck you would not have any luck at all.

    Hope things start to get better.

  7. Whew! Glad you finally made it! Take a deep breath, relax, and have a GREAT summer!

  8. Glad you guys finally made it and Al is feeling well?? Hope you have a wonderful summer!

  9. Well enough already!?!?! You two have had your's and several other's share of not so great adventures;o(( So glad to hear you arrived and all is well. Hope Al is feeling well!! We'll be watching to read about all the places you can take us to;o)) Blueberry Hill Dairy Barn sounds like a great start:o)) See you in a few weeks!!

  10. Oh my gosh I was reading all about Keystone and was so happy to hear you liked them so well. And then all about Shipshe (short version) and the Blue Gate, have eaten there many times. We have considered working at the campground still thinking on it.
    Then...on no the tire. I hated to see the damage. You poor things. One thing after another. Where will you go for the repairs to your trailer? I'm so sorry all this is happening to you. I wish better days ahead for you both.

  11. Oh no.....so sorry to hear about your latest troubles. But so glad that the damage was only cosmetic. Glad you arrived safe though. I second Nancy's comment about Blueberry Hill Dairy Barn! Yum!

  12. You are due for a "break"... I hope you enjoy Bar Harbor/coast of Maine. We sure did.
    Box Canyon Mark

  13. Glad you made it safely. Sounds like a great place to spend the summer.