Wednesday, August 22, 2007

In a volunteer state...

We are at the Natchez Trace State Resort Park (map), east of Wildersville, TN, and not to be confused with the Natchez Trace Parkway, the entire length of which we did two years ago.

Yesterday we got an early start out of North Little Rock, and managed to avoid the interstate until just 20 miles west of here by taking US70 and US412. Actually, had we realized where the camping was located in this park, we might have continued on 412 into Lexington and come in from the south, but our guide only discussed an entrance off I-40. It turns out that the main campgrounds are further south in the park, near the lake, and enjoy a nearby lodge with dining facilities, a store, and a swimming beach (we assume these facilities are what constitute the "Resort" part of the park). We stopped instead at the first campground south of the Interstate, which happens to be the "Wrangler" horse campground. It's mostly empty, but there are some tenters, a few other rigs, and at least two occupied horse trailers here. The ranger told us it would be full this weekend, as there is some sort of horse event scheduled.

In any case, the pedestals here have 50 amps (although the most we could pull in the 100+ heat was 35 amps or so per side without tripping the breaker thermally), so we could run at least two air conditioners and get some much needed charge into the batteries (running one A/C all night in the Kroger lot had pulled nearly 700 amp-hours out of them). There's lots of tree cover, and we had to try a couple different sites before we could get the satellite on-line.

We are, apparently, still working air out of the steering system, as I had a couple of instances on the way here when I was clearly steering manually. We ended up putting another quart or so of fluid into the system as well. Unfortunately, when we arrived here in the heat we noticed we are leaking fluid again. I am hoping this is just a matter of one of the new fittings needing to be tightened, and I am going to try to leave this to the next shop we find, since wriggling under the bus in this gravel camp site is an unpleasant thought.

Tonight we will be in Christiana, south of Murfreesboro, visiting friends. Actually, these friends are folks from the small community of US Neoplan owners, and, among other things, they have some parts for us. These are the folks who sent me the upper windshield that we replaced back in April, and they also happen to have a tag axle A-frame like the one we bent back in October, just before heading into Mexico. Russ is actually selling off all his Neoplan stuff, so who knows what other goodies we might take off his hands.

Russ is checking around for me today regarding shops that can look at our steering leak, the fuel delivery issue, and maybe change the oil. I hope to get that scheduled here in the Nashville area before the end of the week -- we really need to change the oil before we drive much further, and the steering leak is, if nothing else, leaving ATF all over the state.

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