Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Last Six Weeks Before Final Departure

It was October 2nd when we arrived back home after our maiden voyage. The next six weeks were full of things to do! We never moved back into the house. After sorting through the last room in the house, a few more things were added to the trailer, and some last-minute items went to storage. By this time, realizing that we were taking more with us than we originally had room to take, we decided I would drive the Chrysler mini-van and pull a small trailer. We would sell that van and the small trailer later by March 1st.

There were a few things we still needed from Amazon for the trailer. While we still had a physical address, it was the best time to get them ordered. I will talk later in this post about the Mr. Heater Big Buddy Heater that we ordered.

Our first night out on our maiden voyage, we boondocked at Walmart in Marshall, Illinois. It was there that we discovered our microwave would not work with our inverter. For our microwave to work, we needed a Pure Sine-Wave 2,000 watt Inverter, so we ordered the Xantrex Pure Sine-Wave 2,000 watt Inverter.

One morning when we got up, there was a puddle of water on the floor in front of the cabinets. It seemed to be in front of the larger lower cupboard. I emptied that cupboard so we could get to the plumbing under the floor. John found one fitting that he had forgotten to tighten so that fixed the problem, or so we thought.

A puddle of water continued to show up, sometimes every day and sometimes every other day. This took forever, actually about a week, to rule out causes of the leak, but John traced it to a bad check valve. The original manufacturer did not list it on Amazon, and would not warranty it. According to the original equipment manufacturer, none of their suppliers listed it either. Possibly, a third party who did not have a clue it was faulty may have listed it. For this reason, we went to the local plumbing shop to get a replacement check valve because the time allowed to return it to Amazon was well beyond their thirty-day return policy. Once installed, we had no other problems with the leak.

Listing the House For Sale

The house was far from empty. We were leaving all of our furniture, some tools, building supplies, kitchen items, a lot of miscellaneous household, and garage items. After exhausting our list of people who sometimes purchase left-over yard sale stuff and/or estate sale items, nobody seemed interested this late in the year. We continued to search and finally found someone who would come to the house in hopes they would give us a price to purchase all the contents. Our plan was to get the house empty and then list it with a realtor.

I am not sure how the story goes with the best laid plans of mice and men, but our plan fell through. But not all was in vain because the people who came to look at the contents recommended an auctioneer who had a good following. That same day we contacted the auctioneer. He came to the house. Everything seemed to fall into place. He would sell the real estate as well as everything else. The auction date was set for Friday, December 11, and we could now concentrate on things we had to do to get on the road again.

Saturday night, the 14th, before we left, we were coming home from Walmart and hit a deer in front of the old hospital building on our way home.  We were fortunate that we were going slow enough to almost stop, but he still crossed in front of us and did damage to the front driver side of the vehicle.  The deer ran away, but we had a cracked grill, parking lights, and one piece just above the bumper, not enough damage to keep us from leaving.  Our insurance company said we have a year to get it fixed, so we will schedule it when it is convenient to do so.

One of the last items to go into the trailer was my spinet piano. You read it right. One thing I asked John was if I could take my piano, the spinet-style my parents bought for me after I learned to play. It is approximately 57 inches long, 27 inches deep, and 37 inches high. To do this, we had to park the trailer horizontally in front of the garage door and jack up the side farthest away to make the trailer level, so the piano would not roll to the opposite side after it was loaded. Our driveway had a fifteen percent grade from the garage down to the street. The French provincial styling of the legs stuck out just enough that it would not go through the door until we removed the left front leg. Then we got it through the door and re-installed the leg.

Cherokee Village, Arkansas, to Texarkana, Texas

When we left the house, it was 11:15 AM on Thursday, November 19. Must have been about 1PM before we really got on the road as we had some errands to run. While grabbing a sandwich at Subway in Ash Flat, AR, we saw some of my co-workers from when I worked at Walmart and said good-by to them.

Our route took us south on 167 towards Batesville, Bald Knob, and southwest towards Beebe. Then we took 31 south to 165, and then west to England, AR, and then 15 to Pine Bluff, where we filled up with gas at the Romero Mart. Continuing southwest, we boondocked overnight in the Walmart parking lot in Fordyce. The temperature dipped to around 37 degrees that night, and we kept warm with our Mr. Heater Big Buddy Heater. For safety, we always opened the fantastic vent overhead when using any propane or butane fuel canisters inside the trailer. In addition, we also have a carbon monoxide detector. After the inside of our trailer was warm, we were able to run it with just the pilot light on to keep the inside very comfortable. It sure was nice to have the Mr. Heater Big Buddy Heater to rely on and keep us warm. We also purchased the carrying case for it.


The next day, our route took us to Camden, where we got on 24 and traveled through Poison Springs State Forest all the way to Prescott, Arkansas. The E-Z Mart gas station at Fouke was a welcome site as the gauge on the Chevy was telling us it would need a fill-up soon. John just told me we averaged better mileage pulling the camper than driving it on short trips around home without the camper. From there we got back on 67, which parallels Interstate 30 and took it all the way to Texarkana.

Much of the area we traveled through had a lot of water standing along the roadsides and in the fields. We concluded they must have had rain like we had two days prior to leaving. In spite of all of the water, our scenic route led us through a lot of beautiful countryside and many small towns.

Late Friday afternoon, while grabbing a sandwich at a Burger King, we checked the internet for a good place to stay that night. Much to our surprise there was an RV Park just down the street. That night we stayed at the Texarkana RV Park in Texarkana, Texas.

This park consisted of two sections with a small pond between the two...
where the ducks came down to the water.
One side of the pond had a large statue of a blue heron.
One section of the park had unpaved sites. We stayed in the other section that had paved streets. Our site was large enough to park both vehicles and the trailers in tow.  It was convenient to the nice, very clean, tiled private heated restroom/shower rooms.

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Next Post...

We will leave Texarkana and head further south where we will spend Thanksgiving. If you want to follow our adventures and be notified of new posts, you can subscribe by email or one of three other methods. Your comments are welcome.


  1. I am loving your blog and encourage you to keep going! If you meet interesting people or see interesting little historical signs along the way and pull over to investigate, please do include conversations and sight-seeing details. So much fun to read those!

    1. Thank you, Barbara. Appreciate your comments, and glad you are loving the blog. As we continue, am looking forward to sharing more information, interesting tidbits, and experiences along the way. Stay tuned!


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