Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Day One: Road to Knoxville

Thursday morning, we got loaded up (including Kat, who we decided would make the trip with us. Al and Eileen have Molly, a rather crazy/shy dog. Figured they may, or may not, get along) and on the road. This time, heading 20 through Louisiana, Mississippi, then up through Alabama to Knoxville. It will be a good route, or one we regret.

First stop was quick and at Buc-ee’s in Terrell (https://www.buc-ees.com/index.php ) to see what the deal was with this “truckstop, but for cars only.” It’s HUGE. They sell everything from candy to crawfish boilers. To beef jerky and all kinds of stuff that you don’t need. We bought breakfast tacos (not that great) and on we went.

It’s really a pretty easy start to the drive.

Until we got to Shreveport. Interstate 20 through Shreveport is AWFUL. Bumpy, bumpy. More bumps (you get it). We’re rounding a corner and HUGE bump. I happen to be looking through the mirror and … there goes the right fender off the trailer. Straight off and up in the air. Bye-bye. We exit (at a not very good place to exit) and pull into an alley-like road to check things out. Yep, it’s gone. No getting it back.

So, off we go, stopping outside of Monroe to grab lunch on the go (Burger King – forgot that their burgers are drippier to eat in the truck). In Birmingham, we decide to stop and gas up before moving on. At this point, we’re not making great time. It seems that every stop loses us 30 minutes and we’re not terribly efficient with our stops. And, we had some rain that slowed things down for a bit.
That’s when Tony checks the trailer and bikes (Note: Yet again, we’re not in a very good place to exit. There’s a lot of iffy characters – one kept pulling his shirt up and peed on their truck). Well, fender number two (the one with the license plate) is completely lose and just sitting on the tire -- big surprise it’s still there. It’s getting dark. This is not good. We look up hotels that are pet friendly in Birmingham (not near this exit because I don’t want to stay anywhere near here). We’re going to have to stay the night. Driving a trailer without any lights – not a smart thing. We’ll figure something out in the morning.

Holiday Inn Express (we stayed at the one in Birmingham-Irondale, on top of a steep hill with a view of Sam’s Club) it is. Not bad. Not great. I hate that they charge an extra $35 for a dog, but can’t do anything about it. Kat’s better this time in a hotel room because we brought her bed. The remote in the room doesn’t work and they can’t find a replacement (don’t stay in room 203 in case they haven’t fixed it).  The woman at the front desk was very helpful and apologetic and we tried new batteries, but no luck.

Hope for the best in the morning. Tony and I have definitely had our adventures to and from trips with this trailer.

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