The trip to Bulls Gap, Tennessee was over an hour longer then it had to be since we refused to travel back through the Big South Fork Gorge to get back to US 27. Instead we traveled southwest to I-40. Of course, this meant we had a couple of rest stops along the interstate to break up the trip. After traveling through the center of Knoxville we headed north along I-81 to Bulls Gap where the whole adventure began at Tri-Am RV center when we bought the RV. It was time for our annual checkup as we had them check out all the systems, as well as, the roof. We also had them install a new microwave/convection oven to replace the unit that quit working. We had purchased an extended warranty when Peterson Industries went out of business and we lost the original warranty. Consequently, the new unit was going to cost us only $135. Due to the extended trip we got in around 3:00 in the afternoon and did not expect them to do anything until the next morning. However, they got right on the work and had our new microwave installed by 5:00. Since the rest of the work should only take a day or two, assuming they found nothing seriously wrong, we had decided to stay with the RV until they were finished. Therefore, they provided electricity and water for the night and we slept in their parking lot right outside their garage. This also gave us a chance to try out the new microwave, which gave off that awful “new” smell but seemed to work great. The following day we spent in their waiting room while they replaced a couple of slide seals and checked everything else out. The roof was in good shape and they did not find anything that needed attention. Unfortunately, they also could not figure out why we were getting water in the front boot either, but they did reseal all around the outside. I don’t think this will fix the problem, but unless we can figure out how the water is getting in, there is not much else we can do. In any case, they finished up by noon and we once again hooked up the RV and set out for my sister’s home near Maryville, Tennessee.
When we got to my sister’s there was nobody at home since they were working and the kids were in school. So we backed in the RV next to her house and I apologize for the deep ruts the RV put into her yard. I was a bit concerned that it could sink down to the axle if we got any heavy rain and it could be a challenge to pull back out. We did get some heavy rain over the next two weeks it was parked there and there was some additional settling, but never down to the axle. We spent the next couple of days relaxing at my sister’s taking advantage of their cable connection to get caught up on some TV shows that we had missed over the past several weeks without good TV reception. I even got to finish watching the previous season of Game of Thrones with plans to watch the current season next week.
On Friday we took off with the truck to visit my daughter, Bryna, in Asheville. She was able to juggle her schedule at the hospital so she could spend the entire weekend with us, so we planned to leave on Monday. After a couple of beers at Hi-Wire brewery, we went out to a great dinner at one of the many great local restaurants in Asheville. Saturday was the annual “Stout Bout” at Hi-Wire. This event is an opportunity to sample local craft stouts and vote on our favorites. There was 16 different stouts to sample from 14 breweries including Hi-Wire. The name of the brewery was withheld so you were suppose to vote based on the taste, however, we had “inside” information and knew which were from Hi-Wire. Kal, Bryna, and I teamed up to sample each of the stouts without getting totally drunk in the process. We would each get a sample of three different stouts and taste each one, giving a yes or no for each. Even doing this we all drank enough alcohol over the next two hours to be seriously hammered. Everyone got three tickets to vote for their favorites and we submitted our votes before the big reveal at 3:00. One of the Hi-Wire stouts came out third in the voting, even though their coffee stout was not my favorite. The whole event was a lot of fun, especially since they had a small band playing a variety of music along with comfortable chairs and rugs laid out to create the atmosphere of a cigar bar.
We did not do much on Sunday except strolling around downtown Asheville taking in the art and music downtown and doing a little shopping for baby clothes for our new grandchild. Sunday evening we went with Bryna to her soccer game. I love the fact that she has continued to play soccer on a rec-soccer league as we have missed watching our children playing the game. Bryna is on a very good women’s team and they won easily with some very good, simple counterattacks. After the game, we went back to their home and grilled some brats for dinner. It was a very nice weekend and we were not ready to leave on Monday.
The rest of the week back at my sister’s had few highlights as most of the time we spent watching TV during the day and visiting with everyone after they got home every evening. By the end of the week, I was ready to be back on the road and so was Kal.