Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Made it to Lake Placid!

Well, Dan and I got into Lake Placid last night about 8 o'clock - which means that we made the trip from Juneau, Alaska to Lake Placid, Florida in one week - we left Juneau at 3:30 local time last Tuesday (7:30 Eastern time) and arrived in Lake Placid one week and 30 minutes later - not too bad! Dan and I spent all our nights but two in rest areas (we stayed at a campground once in Canada - Ft. Nelson, Yukon, and outside of Macon, GA on our last night). We were up and on the road no later than 7 every morning (in fact, most mornings we were on the road by 6) and we drove until at least 9 every night (most nights till 10 and one night we actually drove to 1am - but more on that night later!). Dan was determined to get here as quickly as humanly possible, but even he was surprised that we made it in a week.

For the most part, our trip across country was very uneventful; however, there were a few times that made us hold our breath. Let's start on day one - our last morning in the campground was very uneventful - we did our morning rounds, had everything packed in the unit, and had all our paperwork turned in to the Ranger Station. We left for the ferry terminal at about 12:45 and was at the terminal before our 1 o'clock time frame. The ferry came in and was unloaded - then we just stood (or sat) around and waited, and waited, and WAITED! Finally, a girl that worked for the ferry system came over and told us that they were having a problem with an area on the ferry and the Coast Guard would not allow them to load until it was fixed. They thought they had found the problem and had gone to get the part. However, if that didn't work they would have to cancel the sailing and we would have to reschedule. Well, I was getting ready to panic - I mean I was worried that we wouldn't make it in 10 days and they were talking about canceling and the next few ferries sailing did not have room for a 55 foot unit! Well, I sat and fretted for about 30 minutes when all of a sudden they came over and put us on the ferry first! Yahoo! The first hurdle was past and within 45 minutes we were underway. We arrive in Skagway about 10 Tuesday night and we decide we would just sleep at the terminal instead of trying to find a campground that late (plus, we had heard that the campgrounds in Skagway were really expensive!). Dan woke me up at about 5:30 Wednesday morning and off we went.

We didn't have any issues passing through customs to get back into Canada and we headed across the country. Our goal was to make it to Watson Lake (the place where we spent my birthday night back in May), but we were there by 4 in the afternoon and Dan didn't want to stop - so, we kept going. At about 8 Wednesday night we had made it to Ft. Nelson and decided to stop for the night - finally found a campground - got hooked up and turned the water on when the toilet starting leaking! So, Dan tried to fix it and just couldn't figure out what was the issue, so we just turned the water off and went over to the bath house for a quick shower. We were up and on the road Thursday morning by 6:30.

Thursday was uneventful for the most of the day - we made good time and Dan was feeling good about the progress we were making. We ran into some rain, but it wasn't bad. Then the trouble started. We are coming into Edmondton - I'm looking at the Milepost and having to read it backward - as it is intended for people who are heading INTO Alaska NOT coming out of Alaska. This had not been an issue until we reach Edmondton - we needed to change from the road we were on to the Expressway #2. Well, guess what - Edmondton does NOT mark their roads - I guess they figure everyone knows where they are going - NOT. So, here it is, dark, raining and we have no idea where we are going with a 38 foot 5th wheel behind us. We end up in downtown Edmondton driving down through streets that are meant for cars NOT us - well, we finally see a sign that says Route #2, but it doesn't say which way to go - so we go through this intersection and just as we are passing the intersection we see this man frantically waving for us to turn. Well, we can't and I look up and there is an underpass that is too low for us to go under. Dan gets us stopped, but we are in the middle of a busy downtown street, in the rain, and we are stuck. We can't go forward and we can't turn around - it's a one-way street! Well, Dan gets out and talks to this man who had been standing on the side of the road. The gentleman stands out in the middle of the road, in the rain, and stops traffic so we can BACK UP and go the correct way! I was so proud of Dan, backing up the unit around a curve, in the rain, and didn't hit anything or anyone. Turns out, this man was homeless, who we think the good Lord put there as an angel for us. We handed him some cash to say thanks and were on our way. It still took us another half an hour before we found the correct road and then it was just by accident - I saw a sign that said "Calgary Trail" and we turned on it - turned out to be the road we needed. I was a wreck - I can say that I said some very unpleasant things about Canada and Edmondton. By the time we got out of Edmondton we were almost out of fuel. Now, we can't find a fuel station that is open that we can get the unit into - it's after 11 by now. Well, thank goodness we had extra fuel in the back of the truck that we had talked about using. We put in 10 gallons of fuel and talked to a trucker that was at the "rest area" (which is really just an extra lane on the side of the expressway that you can pull off into). He told us that our best chance of finding fuel would be Red Deere. So, to make a long story short we make it to Red Deere, find fuel, and head off down the road again. We travel about 30 more miles down the road until we finally found a rest area that we stopped at for the rest of the night. By this time it was after 1 in the morning and Dan and I were both whipped. We slept for about 5 hours and was back on the road by 6 the next morning.

I was determined to get the heck out of Canada - and by now were were a good day ahead of schedule. So, we drive straight through Calgary and head for the border - we reach the border for the US at Sweetgrass, Montana at about 11:30 am Friday morning. It took us about an hour to get through customs - not because of any problems, but because of the amount of people that were crossing the border. Anyway, we were in Great Falls by early afternoon and Dan wasn't ready to stop. So, we kept going again until about 10 when we stopped at a rest area again - this time close to Billings, Montana.

We don't have any trouble or any issues on the rest of the trip until we reached Georgia yesterday. Everything was going fine and right outside Macon (just before we got on I-475) we decide to stop and let the pups go potty. As we are letting them run some, Dan decides to go to the bathroom in the unit instead of walking over to the restrooms. When he comes out he says that he thinks that one of the tires is low. Well, we unload the basement and find the portable air pump which he sets up to put air in the tire. After 45 minutes we can tell that this isn't working. So, we decide to drive to the nearest fuel station and see if they have air that we can put in the tire. Which we proceed to do - as Dan is filling the tire I can hear the air escaping. I lean under the unit and find a "huge" hole in the tire that is leaking air as quickly as Dan is putting it in. So, we decide to drive just down the road to a new Super Wal Mart and see if they will change the tire for us. Well, they wouldn't touch it - so, I try calling roadside assistance with our insurance company (that's why we pay for the service, right?). Forty-five minutes we have yet to hear back from them, so Dan proceeds to change the tire himself - putting the spare on and putting the bad tire under the unit where the spare should be. I call and cancel the roadside assistance. We are finally back on the road by 7. We drive for a little while, but Dan is completely wiped out by the heat, humidity, and nerves - so we decide to stop for the night in a campground. We find one right off the interstate (The Pines) and pull in - hook up the electric and water. Dan goes to the bath house and takes a shower, while I take one in the unit. We are in the bed by 10 and have a really good night's sleep.

Up early the next morning and drive down to Lake Park - there by 9:30 and talk to our dealership about a few things that needs to be fixed while the unit is still under warranty. Dan also asks where is a good place to go to have a tire fixed. We go three miles down the interstate to the tire place - Dan is thinking that we will have the tire with the leak fixed and use it as a spare, but when we get the tire place we are shown that the leaky tire is ready to separate AND that there was a tire on the opposite side of the unit that has all steel belts showing! We don't know why that tire had not blown (thank you Lord!), but we buy two new tires and put them on the unit and put the spare back as the spare. It was close to 1 o'clock by the time we left the tire place, but we are on the road safe. The rest of the trip on down to Lake Placid was uneventful.

We decided to put the unit at Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, as we need to have it attached to power to keep everything running. We get it set up, in the rain, thank you very much, but it is all set up and we don't have to worry about it. We headed down to Melissa and Justin's house where we are going to stay until closing. Today, Dan just couldn't wait to see the house - so, I called our agent and she met us at the house at 10 and Dan was finally able to see what we are buying. I was a little nervous about this, because he really had no idea what we were getting - I mean, yes, he had seen pictures, but pictures are just NOT the same. Anyway, he is happy and thinks that everything we have talked about will work out. Tomorrow we will do the final walk through before closing on Friday at 3.

Also, tomorrow afternoon I have "the" interview for the job - please keep me in you prayers and pray that I get this job. We really will need this additional income to be able to afford to do all the work that needs to be done in the house. I'll let you know how it goes.

Well, I have written a small book today, so I will let you go for today. I'll let you know how things go as soon as I know.

Take care and I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!


  1. Wow, your experience in Edmondton reminded us of ours in NY City last October. We got in a lane that took us across the George Washington Bridge (to the tune of a $35 toll) and when we saw a sign indicating a 10 ft. clearance ahead, Darrell whipped us into the other lane and we ended up--in our motorhome, pulling our car; with our friends following pulling their trailer--going right down the middle of BROADWAY!!! At least it was a Sunday morning and traffic was fairly light. We had no idea how to get out of there, but we finally did and had to go BACK over the Geo. Washington Bridge again. I was petrified to say the least.
    Linda and Darrell

  2. That you made it safely back is good news. That you had some issues along the way is expected. You can't travel as far as you did without something to make your heart palpitate. Welcome back to Florida. Get some rest.

  3. WOW! What a trip. Glad you two are back home safe. It has been very interesting to follow your blog. Thanks for asking me. I Pray everythng goes well with the house. Keep in touch. Love, Dona


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