Monday, May 15, 2017

2017 RV Adventures - Episode 1

O.K., I got lazy and didn't write any season 4 episodes for Going Mobile. I will tell you this: We traveled 8,600 miles over three months in 2016, and (wait for it...) – NOTHING WENT WRONG WITH EITHER THE TRUCK OR THE SHUTTLECRAFT RV! I know, it's unbelievable.

So let's skip right to season 5, the year Going Mobile goes international!

Naturally, there were dues to be paid before embarking on 2017's adventures. Last fall, after our return, the truck needed $1,500 of work. A couple of weeks ago, it demanded an additional $1,700 of remedial pre-launch service.

The Shuttlecraft needed work too. The awning canvas started coming apart last year and needed to be replaced. During pre-launch checkout, I discovered the roof had deterioration issues, the air conditioner failed, and the kitchen faucet turned into a geyser. After coughing up an additional $1,600, The Shuttlecraft was shipshape. (Looking at the bright side, I'd rather pay in advance than break down on the road. Here's hoping for two trouble-free years of traveling in a row. If you want to save lots of money, stay away from boats and RVs!)

Launch went successfully at 0700 on Saturday, May 13.

The Shuttlecraft undergoing final preparation in North Fort Myers, Florida

Today is May 15, and we're in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Chew, chew on that fact. Last night, our very nice waitress at the local Cracker Barrel recommended that we check out the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge. The bridge, which spans the Tennessee River, opened in 1890. It was closed in 1978 and sat in disrepair for nearly a decade. Repairs and structural modifications were then made to turn the bridge into a pedestrian walkway. Janet and I enjoyed our walk over the bridge on this, a sunny, warm morning.

Reflection of the Walnut Street Bridge on the murky water of the Tennessee River
Look carefully, and you'll see me standing on the bridge!

If you've been following Going Mobile, you may recall that Janet and I have a penchant for offbeat, quirky museums. We hit the mother lode in Chattanooga, with the International Towing and Recovery Museum and Hall of Fame! It turns out, the tow truck was invented by Chattanooga's own Ernest Holmes, Sr. in 1916. Holmes figured it would be easier to bring disabled vehicles to his shop for repairs than it would be to make repairs at the site of a breakdown or wreck. Who knew? (If this is ever on Jeopardy, I'll be ready!)

The museum houses numerous vintage tow trucks and related equipment, and yes, a towing hall of fame! (I would never be qualified to join this august group. After an accident, I'd be a nervous wreck. If I ever break my hallux, I'll call a toe truck.)

Replica of Holmes' first tow truck

The best golf cart I've ever seen was in the museum.
Hey you folks in The Villages, eat your hearts out!

Well, I'd love to continue this chat, but it's time to catch a train back to The Shuttlecraft; track 29.