Dotty’s maiden voyage into the deep south started two Fridays ago. We found the weather very unforgiving, at 45 to 50 mph, the winds were atrocious. A major storm front was developing to the west. The camper felt like a sailboat being tossed on the high seas. After only about four hours of driving, we were exhausted. The drive left us racked and on edge. Making it only to Findlay, Ohio (Flag City) we parked Dotty and batten down the hatches, boondocking at the first Wal-Mart we could find.
Saturday morning came early, the winds died down to 20 mph making it a little better for driving. We sailed our way to Richmond, Ky taking it slowwww. Dotty was running great but the steering was a little squirrely. Noticing a rain front was coming in, Bill tested the windshield wipers. Oops, they don’t work! Great… not going any farther, we’ll just be boondocking at Meijers tonight.
Bill woke early Sunday morning as he always does. Something was telling him to look at the weather radar. We had two hours to get motivated and beat the nasty storm that was quickly building to the West. No windshield wipers, I need to wake up fast, Ugh. With fifteen minutes to spare we headed South out running the storm front covered in red.
We didn’t talk much as we approached Southern Ky and Jellico Mountain. The tension was building and we were both very nervous. Would Dotty make it up the mountainside? We were gonna find out. Well, she did. A big 50 mph all the way up the hill. Not fast but she made it. It was a big sigh of relief when we got to the top. We took a small break at the Tn. Welcome Center, which was very crowded. Dotty was starting to draw attention from travelers. People are eager to ask all sorts of questions about her. She is one of a kind.
Down the mountain, she came with her sails a flying. She had Bill a little panicked, I tried not to pay attention. I was thinking to myself, “He’s one hell of a driver”. I don’t know why we were so nervous, he’s driven in some of the most God awful weather conditions while expediting. We swallowed hard and drove down the mountain.
Off to another cheap night of camping at the Flying J, south side of Knoxville, Tn. The temperature was high, in the low 90’s. It was not comfortable. All the windows open, we were sweat’n puddles. Bill takes a look at our cat, Mel, and decides it’s too hot for her. He plugs the fan into the inverter and places it on the floor facing the cat. Well hell…It’s gonna be a great night.
It was a hot, sticky, crappy night. Along with the heat, we had to listen to young’ns racing their hot rods up and down the street. We won’t be staying at that Flying J again, travelers beware!
With less than a fulfilling night sleep, we woke on Monday morning ready to get to Warner Robins, Ga. and see the family. Traveling was uneventful until we caught up to a major traffic jam in a Resaca, Ga. Miles, upon miles of traffic, creeping ever so slowly down the interstate. An hour and a half later and six miles down the road, we made it to the closest exit in Resaca. Now how are we going to get around this mess, Google it!! Looking at the routes, we chose Hwy 41 to get us through Atlanta. Now, this is not a quick route, but it’s better than sitt’n in traffic. We burned a couple of hours going through small town after small town. Finally picking up I-75 South, we managed to pick up speed and making it to Warner Robins around 8pm that night.
What a ride, what a trip. We’re we crazy to take a 1975 Motor Home on a 1000 mile trip South? Part of me says “yes” but part of me says, “I would do it again.” The stress was worth seeing the family and grandkids. You can’t put a price on that.