Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Visiting the Battleship USS Alabama

During our travels from Arizona to Florida on I-10, we traveled through Mobile, AL where the WWII battleship Alabama is berthed as a museum. I had seen it from the interstate several times and this time, I wanted to be sure that we could stop and pay a visit. As we drove into the park and saw this great ship, I was delighted we had made time for a quick stop. This is especially true since this is the sister ship to the battleship South Dakota.

While there is plenty of room int he parking lot for our coach, we spent the night in a Mobile RV park and then drove to the ship in the morning. Wow -- is this ship BIG! This shot shows the 16" guns on the bow and you can just see Orinda standing next to the turret to give a relative size. These guns can fire a 2,000 pound shell some 20 miles! Glad I am not on the receiving end of this.

You can tour throughout the battleship -- including the brig where this errant sailer was being punished! I will have to see if I can get Orinda sprung out!

In addition to the Alabama, there are many other great exhibits including the USS Drum, a WWII submarine that you can tour completely. Orinda did not want to tour given the close quarters, but Rick could not wait to check it out.

This is a great tour! This is a remarkably preserved vessel and you get a great feel for how subs operated in WWII. Here, Rick is in the aft torpedo room.

Rick is not as young as he used to be as he learned when crawling though these hatches. Glad I don't have to run through these!

Finally, there are a number of historic aircraft displayed including this A-12, a fore-runner of the famous Blackbird (SR71) . All in all, this has been a great tour and one that I really enjoyed. If you are traveling though Mobile, be sure to take a few hours and visit this great museum.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wee-Bee RV Service helps out on the Tour

Rick has been pretty slack about posting to the blog! During the last month or so, we have been on the road and traveling from Arizona to Florida. Upon arrival in Eustis, FL, we found that one of our slide awning tops had pulled away from it's mount on the coach. At first, we figured this was no big deal, but we learned otherwise when we had a heavy rain and the slide awning formed a funnel where it pulled loose and directed a terrific amount of water right on the slide gasket which seeped some water into the coach. After this, it was definitely time to fix the awning!

Since we had just arrived at the Southern Palms RV Resort and did not know our way around, we checked with the office to see if any mobile service firms could work in the park. We received three names and called each one. Cody Wambolt, of Wee Bee RV Service, sounded knowledgeable and was interested in coming over, so we choose his service and were very glad we did.

Cody and his wife arrived at our coach right on time and quickly determined that our awning had separated around the plastic bead that fits in a channel on the coach. He un-wound the awning roller, pinned it, and then all three of us proceeded to slide out the awning fabric (all 20' of it) so we could examine it. This sounds easier than it was since this stuff is very flexible and hard to pull. Anyway, he got the material out of the awning rails and spread it on the ground where Rick (me!) used a special glue to re-fasten the awning material over the bead. This allowed us to save the money of a new awning since our current one was in great shape, but the old glue had let go.

Finally, we had the chance to re-thread the repaired awning into the rails -- which was a real thrill. It took all three of us to pull, push and maneuver the awning into position. I was really pleased that Cody knew exactly what to do.

All in all, this was a very good repair experience. Cody and team arrived on time, were very knowledgeable, and reasonably priced. Plus, he and his wife are fellow fulltime RVers! What more could you ask for! We highly recommend this firm if you are in the central Florida area.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Traveling from Arizona to Florida

We had a great couple months at Palm Creek RV Resort in Casa Grande, AZ, but it was time to head to Florida to visit with my parents. This is an interesting trip as we travel first in desert terrain, then hit the hills of Texas, and finally the coastal areas of Alabama into Florida. We followed I-10 for most of the way and found that the road was great most of the way.

Shortly after leaving Casa Grade, we stopped for fuel at Kingman, AZ and found ourselves on one of the few remaining parts of the original Route 66. We thought about how much longer it would take on the old two lane "Mother Road" as compared with the I-10 interstate.

Here we are hitting the state line of New Mexico. We are sure still in the desert area and thought about how comfortable we were tooling along in the motorcoach. We stopped at a nice RV park in Demming and headed out the next morning.

Finally, we hit Texas. We were again amazed at the size of the state -- heck, this is more like a small continent. You can count on traveling almost 900 miles on I-10 while in the great state of Texas! To put this into perspective, this is about the same distance as driving from Orlando, FL to Baltimore, MD! First, we drove in flat desert terrain, but after a few hundred miles, encountered hills, trees and lakes. Amazing! We want to come back to Texas and really explore this huge state.