Saturday, November 5, 2011

We're free! We're free!


We are at the Wal-Mart in Cedartown, Georgia (map). We are finally back to our preferred travel mode of just a couple hours on the road each day, and this spot is just 80 miles south of Rossville and the Choo Choo Express Garage, but it feels like a world away.

We actually wrapped up at the garage on Thursday afternoon. Shortly after I posted here Wednesday, they asked us to be ready to pull in over the pit at 8am. Joel went ahead and replaced all four of the tag axle bearings, although he allowed that they were in much better shape than the front ones were, starting with having a lot more grease still in them. We kept the best set of take-outs as spares.

While he was under there he also greased the chassis, and I had him inspect the brakes and kingpins as each wheel was off. I also asked him to swap the tag wheels, as the left seems to be wearing faster than the right and I wanted to even it out a bit. When all was said and done Choo Choo billed me for 14 hours, which seemed a bit high but it is hard to complain when we've been living in the shop for nearly three weeks, and the rate is only $55 per hour.

It was past lunch time when we were finally finished and buttoned up, and we decided to roll over to the Banfield veterinarian in the Petsmart store near the mall (map), about seven miles away. George, who has kidney disease, was nearly out of her prescription food, and we could not get any more until she had a checkup. Dr. Martin was great, and we left with new prescription cards as well as a note in the file to dispense lactated ringers as needed, which we can pick up at any Banfield (in many Petsmart stores) around the country.

We wrapped up at the vet's just a bit after 5, and decided that as long as we were at the mall, we'd just walk over to Bonefish for dinner. That left us with the option of spending the night at Wal-Mart, or rolling back to the shop, and considering the temperatures have been dropping into the 30s, we decided to head back to Choo Choo for one more night of 20-amp power, which I figured to have already paid for. That also gave us the chance to use the dump station yesterday before heading out, and to put in some fresh water as well.

We had a very leisurely morning and did not roll out of the parking lot until after lunch. With no specific destination in mind, we decided to head more or less directly south on US-27, which cuts through historic Chickamauga Battlefied just south of the shop. It was a very pleasant and relaxed drive, in stark contrast to the weeks leading up to our arrival in Chattanooga.

We did not want to get too far south until we make up our minds about a general direction to head, and this seemed like a good stopping point. We needed to stock up on supplies anyway, and there is a nice Mexican restaurant, El Nopal, right across the street. We had a peaceful, if brightly lit, night.

It is nearly lunch time here and we still do not have a destination in mind. We've been playing phone tag with out boat broker over the last three days, with one possibility being to head to Florida to look at some more boats. The other option would be to meander west along the gulf coast into Texas. If we choose to head to Florida's east coast, we'll start angling east not far south of here, so we'll try to make a decision before I fire up the Detroit.

Photo by Camdiluv ♥, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Our Freightliner shop here in Olathe, Kansas gets $117.50 per hour and they have an up charge for working on Motorhomes where you have to do most jobs from underneath.

    That might make your Choo Choo rate seem a little more palatable.

    Keep those new bearing spinning!!!! LOL

  2. Wow...I guess I'm not feeling too bad paying $100/hr in California then!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Made a typo, so it got deleted.

    55 an hour is dirt cheap! Don't tell them, they could be getting much, much more. That's almost a "Shade Tree Mechanic" rate.


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