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Up & Down

by Richie
Concord, NC

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Up – At the crack of daybreak to check the weather, and sure enough it was snowing pretty hard. Big fat, wet flakes that were piling up fast. Nearby Gatlinburg was scheduled to receive a heaping 8 inches of snow today, so we made a fast departure to the south.

Down – The mountain we fled hoping today wouldn’t be hours of blizzard driving.

Up – The highway, just 20 miles away, the roads improved. To our great relief it seems the snow was localized to the immediate area.

Up & Down – The mountains we went, and as we crossed into North Carolina a splendid blue sky appeared. Apropos, that was also the name of the sweet little diner where we stopped for lunch.

Down – In Hendersonville there is another Camping World. These RV stores have 20 or so service bays, with qualified mechanics at the ready. If you’re on the road and in need of repair, this is the place to go. Since we were so early in our escape from the Smoky Mountains, we stopped in for a “simple” repair, and I’ll take full responsibility here for this decision.

Up – At home, when the coach was in the driveway, the handle to our freshwater tank valve snapped off in my hand. It broke at the stem, and the valve started dripping water out onto the pavement. Since we had plenty of time today, I thought Camping World could replace the handle.

Stay Down – Hours and hours went by. We looked at everything in the store, talked to the salesmen about RVs, paced back and forth in front of the service counter, and eventually took a nap in the lobby on pair of recliners for sale.

I snuck into the service bay- No Customers Allowed!- to check on the poor parakeet. A long black hose was strung through the inside of the coach, and little dude mechanic was underneath the chassis swearing at a stripped screw. Long story short, they ended up replacing not just the broken handle but the whole valve assembly and interior water lines. I’m going to say it needed repairing, and then we won’t ever speak of this again.

Up – And out we finally went at 4:30, having shot the whole day at the service bay. Now we’re racing to get to our destination before dark, two and a half hours away.

Down – About  dusk we were within half a block of the campground and couldn’t find the blessed place. Using all electronic devices at once, the GPS, two smartphones, and an iPad, we finally pieced together all the maps and found Apollo RV Park hidden down a side road.

Up – A short hill, we are within eyesight of the Charlotte Motor Speedway (now called the Lowes Something-or-other Speedway) which is a giant NASCAR racing complex. This area is an odd conclave of serial RV parks and double-wide homes set in residential streets.

Out – Of here tomorrow we will be!