Early in the summer we decided to take a trip to Tennessee so I could take a class at Arrowmont Art School in Gatlinburg. With mom & dad on the road in their travel trailer and hearing all the fun they were having we really wanted to buy a motorhome. We just were not sure. So with TN in mind, we did our research on renting vs. buying and ended up with our 2004 Damon Challenger.
This was it! The first big test of our new coach. We left St Petersburg on Friday October 11th after work. Well, a bit after work. When I tried to air up the tires at the house that afternoon my little cheap compressor just would not do the job. We stopped at a gas station to try there, no go…not enough pressure. So we stopped at Home Depot and picked up a new 150psi Porter Cable compressor and got the tires topped off.
Stephanie drove until she was tired, which was at about 11:00pm at Tifton, GA. We stopped at a Pilot / Flying J and slept with the rest of the truckers!
Saturday, October 12th 2013
We got a pretty early start on Saturday, you have to be a really deep sleeper to sleep in at a truck stop, and headed North into Tennessee. We made a somewhat quick stop in Lynchburg to visit the Jack Daniel Distillery. This was a place Stephanie really wanted to check out. After driving the coach pulling my Vue through the parking lot we discovered not only was the RV parking all “back in” spots but that they were also all filled with cars (a common theme to come).
We headed back NE from the distillery to a small pull through picnic area about a mile from the distillery. We figured it would be OK to leave the coach there but we called the local Sheriff’s non-emergency number just to double check. After leaving a note in the front window stating where we went, when we would be back, and that we had two cats on board we headed over to Jack Daniel. It was quite a good tour including some very interesting smells (good and bad).
Leaving Jack Daniels we made a bit of a wrong turn and ended up on a very narrow country road. Luckily it was only a mile long and connected directly with the road we needed. We made it to Clarksville around 9:00pm after a “bit of traffic” going through Nashville. Ok, a bit was about 90 minutes to travel 4 miles…. Our campground for the next 3 nights was the FamCamp at Fort Campbell Army Base. The campground is a few miles outside of the gate and open to the public. With two campgrounds to choose from, we picked Fletchers Fork due to the larger pull through spots. Getting there so late turned out to be a bit of a problem. The only spot left open in Fletchers Fork was a handicap spot (there were two others but people decided to park cars and ATVs on the other two…not nice). We were tired and after a quick drive through the other campground, Eagles Nest, we decided we would use the handicap spot and move in the morning.
Eagles Nest was just too narrow and uneven to get our coach into in the dark…
The next two days were filled with two trips to Nashville and lots of visiting with my nephew Shea and his new wife Ashley. On Sunday we visited The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home.
We had a lovely dinner at Shea & Ashley’s home: BBQed Burgers and Hot Dogs!!!
Stephanie and I ran down to Nashville again Monday morning to stop at Woodcraft (I brought my lathe with me but forgot the bushings needed to make some pens). We also made a stop at Camping World. The whole trip we had some issues getting air into the outer dully tires on the coach. The stems are inside the rim and neither of our air chucks would reach. We bought some extender tubes and Shea helped me attach them to the and route them out to the wheel hub.
When we got back into Clarksville, Shea took us on a tour of Fort Campbell base and PX including showing us where he registered into the base after the last time we saw him in 2011 and where he has been living and working since then.