Thursday, September 3
We decided to dry dock just one more night since we were unsure how far we would get so we set our target for St. Joseph, Mo.
We only went through a small portion of Iowa, however it is definitely someplace to come back to. We did stop at a rest stop that was the prettiest rest stop I had ever seen. We continued on into Missouri and made our way to St. Joseph, MO where we stayed overnight at the Walmart. Again, we decided it was not worth dry docking if we were going to have to run our generator continuously so we located a place for the next night and made our reservation. It is in a little town called Hardy in Arkansas.
We arrived at the the park and it was beautiful. It was a small city park (less than 2,000 population), only 20 or 30 spaces and located directly on the Spring River. Huge shade trees and lots of grass, a walking trail all along the river and we could walk into town. We got all set up and was ready to take a tour. We checked out the facilities and oh, awful, awful, and awful. You could not pay me to go in there for any reason. A nice big spacious shower would have been nice but the little shower in the RV works just fine for times like this.
It was dark by the time we got all settled down and we decided to have breakfast for dinner. I cooked up some bacon, eggs and toast and it hit the spot. It had been a long day so we headed to bed. The next morning we were up early and ready to go. As we were pulling out and we saw all of the neat old buildings, we decided we really could not leave until we at least walked through the town and stopped in a few of the old shops. Fortunately it was not a problem parking on the street so we parked and spent about an hour walking through the shops, checking out the old buildings and talking to some of the people. I purchased some homemade jams that I can’t wait to try but the rule is, we can’t open anything new until the old is empty and we already had a jar of jam open. We started that rule as at home, we frequently have 4 or 5 different types of jams open at the same time and we knew we would be in trouble with this tiny RV refrigerator if we did not change our ways.
Most of the buildings were constructed in the early 1920’s and it does not appear that much of the town has changed. We were glad we took the time to enjoy this little jewel.
It is getting harder to make ourselves slow down and enjoy what we are seeing. Now that our sights are set for home, we seem to be taking less time to look around us. Again, our plans were to stop in Memphis and possibly stay overnight and visit with some friends before heading to Red Bay, Alabama.
Just to explain about Red Bay, Alabama, that is the home of Tiffin Allegro Motor Home Manufacturing. There is NOTHING in city of Red Bay except Tiffin and this place is huge, they have about 200 RV spaces and they usually have about 150 RV’s parked waiting for service. It is just a great big parking lot. It is a first come first serve, no reservations accepted; however, I understand that the newer RVs getting warranty work may get a little special treatment. In any case, since we needed to get the broken sink repaired and a half dozen other miscellaneous items taken care of, it was to our advantage to get there as early as possible and get on the wait list. So we decided not to stop in Memphis and head straight to Red Bay.
We arrived on Saturday about 3:30 PM, we were checked in quickly and we were given space #1 right in front of the office. Now that didn’t mean we were going to get taken care of any sooner, it just that as it happens, space #1 is relatively small and we were probably the only one that could fit in the space. We are most definitely the small kids on the block. We were the only 29 footer on the lot with 130 other RV’s, the next smaller was 35′ but the majority of the RV’s were between 38 and 45 ft. However, there was a lot of interest in our little RV and we got lot’s of questions and there were several women who told me that they really would prefer a smaller RV and even a couple of the older gentlemen admitted that as they got older, they would prefer a smaller RV (to drive and clean). So again, we did really good with this and it has exceeded all of our expectations.
Tiffin hours are Mon – Fri 7AM to 4PM, so arriving on Saturday did get us in and got us a space and on the list, however with the holiday, they would not be open again until Tuesday morning.
Sunday we got up and drove to Memphis and spent the day with close friends, Judy and Al. They are our RV mentors and good friends that we have known for 20+ years so we always enjoy our visits with them.
We headed back to Red Bay and on Monday we spent cleaning up the RV and catching up on laundry again.
Tuesday morning about 7:30 one of the service men stopped by to check out our list. They had also already done a cursory check of several things outside the RV and gave us a status and thumbs up. Based upon our list, they would have to decide if they could put us in the express bay, which would mean about a weeks’ wait vs. one of the bigger bays that requires more time and that would mean 1 to 3 weeks. So we had to wait and see.
We walked around the park and talked to a lot of other RV’ers. They are a great group of people and we always get great information talking to them. In fact, one of gentlemen Steve talked to gave us the resolution for a problem we were having with our satellite so we were able to take that off the list.
We also decided to take a ride over to the world’s only “Coon Dog Cemetery”. This is located in Cherokee, Alabama and again, I made my jokes but these people take this serious. The cemetery was established in 1937 when the first Coon Dog, named “Troop”, was buried there. A dog must qualify in order to be buried in the Coon Dog Cemetery.
- Must be pre-approved
- Must be a Coon Dog (papers not required)
- If they do have papers, one witness must certify in writing that he has observed the dog tree a coon
- If no papers, two witnesses must certify in writing that they have observed the dog tree a coon
- One time charge of $100
- One photograph must be provided
It is up to the owner to do the burial and provide stone/marker (if desired).
Wednesday morning we got the call that they would be ready for us at noon. They were finished by 2:30 PM, at one point they had 6 people working on the RV at the same time. They have people who are specialist with different parts of the RV so they call in whoever is needed. They also do routine checking of various parts of the RV, for warranty/upgrades, and provide input as to condition and any areas of concern. We were happy to know there were no issues identified and we were good to go.
They replaced the broken faucet, unfortunately in this model the sink and faucet is all one piece so the entire sink had to be replaced. They took care of the other miscellaneous things we had identified except one item that they could not fix unless we were willing to spend another week or two. We noticed that when we played a DVD, the screen on the front TV was pink but when we watched a TV show, it was fine. It turns our that is is a bad HDMI cable that would need to be replaced and it runs the length of the RV, and is buried deep in the wall/frame. We decided that since we have 3 TVs in the RV, we could live with watching a DVD on the other 2 TVs. So all was done and we are clear to go.
Our next report will be from Tampa, we should be home on Saturday.