Well, we made it out of Rising Sun, IN. Well…first we only made it about 10 minutes before the truck decided that it was most definitely not fixed. A drive that should have taken about 5 hours took about 8 with all the stops, but we kept our game face on, no tears, no yelling, and we got through it! On the bright side, the RV traveled really well. Since we haven’t rolled with it much, it was hard to know what items needed to be moved and secured. I always take a little extra precaution, but it’s nice when you get to a point when you know precisely which cabinets and drawers not to trust. Overall it did great. This is also the first time we’ve traveled with flat screens on the walls. Usually, we take them down, but these are set up a bit differently. They did pretty well. The one in the living room shimmied out a bit, so we decided a bungee cord would fix the issue, but in the meantime I took a blanket and made a makeshift rope to keep it in place, not to bad for a roadside fix.
We pulled into Pigeon Forge, TN about an hour or so after dark. Luckily it was an easy site to get into, plus I think Hubby really knows how to move this trailer. It didn’t take us long to get set up. Even with our new setup, it doesn’t take us more than 15 minutes or so to get everything ready on the inside. Maybe a bit longer for Hubby on the outside, but he had to mess with the dump lines a little more than usual. Some people think it must take forever to get these things ready to roll and set up again. But really, putting away the groceries is a bigger task than setup and teardown.
Since it was such a long day, we headed to bed pretty early. The next morning Hubby and I scoured the internet for a good diesel mechanic. We still had an idea of what was wrong with the truck, but we wanted someone else to take a look. He took it over in the morning, and we spent a leisurely day at the RV, kinda nice just to sit and relax. The next morning we heard back about the truck. Still no real idea of what the problem is. So we decide that we’ll go with the next step and that’s sending off the PCM for a repair and return. Ugh! Unfortunately, this became a logistical nightmare. And of course we kick ourselves for not doing this while we were still in Indiana, but we thought we were making the right decision based on what we knew, and sometimes that’s just all you can do.
And this is when living in an RV gets a little messy. So we know we can’t stay at this park because they are closing for the winter. We also know that we have to get this part out of the tuck and then in the mail. We also know we will be without our truck for about a week. So you start thinking logistics. First off was to head to the Walmart to load up on groceries, while we still had the truck. Plus we were going to enjoy a nice evening out since we would all use a break from the trucks woes.
Well…we just barely made it through Walmart, and we got a call from Alaska. Turns out the heating unit in the main house went out. Fortunately, it did not appear that the house had frozen over….yet! We tried to go through some troubleshooting, but it didn’t look like that was going to work. I got on the phone with the technician and he said he could be there Monday, this was Saturday. So in the meantime, we had our guy set up an electric heater, and turn the faucets on a trickle. And just wait it out. Ugh! Oh man, we couldn’t even get a day!
I have to be honest after we checked out of the Walmart I was spent. I was so worried about the dumb house, and all I could think of was crawling in bed. And that’s exactly what I did. I am not proud that I wasn’t able to pull myself together. But sometimes that’s just the way it goes.
I slept late the next day, still not totally wanting to deal with our crap. And then finally decided to put my big girl panties on and apologize to my family for being such a dick! They, of course, forgave me, and we took a trip up into the Smokies. I just wanted to get out and drive and walk a bit. Other than having to reset the truck a few times, which we knew would happen, we had a great time. We laughed, listened to music, walked along the creeks, and breathed in the fresh mountain air.
By Monday morning Hubby and I had gotten a plan together. He drove the truck to a different mechanic, had the part taken out, walked to the UPS store, and then Ubered back to the rig. It’s funny, it all sounds so easy when I write it down. Now we wait. Hopefully there is something actually wrong with the part, and hopefully, they can fix it. We should know more in the next couple of days. As for the house, the tech still hasn’t made it out there, hopefully working on it today, so we’ll see how that goes. We think we found someone to move us to a different RV park on Thursday and that should get us through until we get our perfectly fixed truck back! Peaks and valleys, man! HA!
So now you’re all caught up. We did however have an awesome New Years Eve night. Luckily there’s a pretty extensive trolley system that has stops along the Parkway, the main drag of Pigeon Forge, and hits a lot of the campgrounds, and grocery stores. So really, there are worse places to be stuck without a vehicle. We hopped on the trolley in the afternoon and had plans to do an “Escape the Tomb Adventure,” dinner, and “The Island” to ring in the New Year!
The Tomb was super fun. A little cheesy, but that’s what we expected. It was about an hour adventure, solving puzzles while you moved from chamber to chamber, trying to outsmart the Pharao. It was nice because it was just the 4 of us on our journey, with our guide, who was super funny! Definitely glad we did it! And thank goodness we escaped the Pharaos wrath and made it out alive!
The Island is a bit like the City Walk at Universal Studios. Restaurants, shops, attractions, and moonshine! Turns out you can’t get booze at a local store in town, but they will gladly sell you overpriced moonshine at that little brewery you see in the photo! And Hubby and I totally bought in!
We watched some great white rappers!
Drank some shine! Checked out the attractions and a few shops. And then we were ready to call it a night! It did to start to rain a bit, and we kinda wanted to beat the crowds, so we made our way out of the busy area and attempted to book an Uber. The trolleys were done running for the night, and my phone was acting up, so Uber wasn’t an option. So in true Cunningham style, we decided to wing and just walked the couple of miles back. It was actually kind of nice to walk in the rain.
And even though I love to get out and about I truly enjoyed watching our New Years Eve CNN live stream on youtube. Usually, we’re just hanging out in cold and dark Alaska, and we do our hourly videos. This year though I’ll have to come up with an impromptu year in review and spring it on the kiddos when they least expect it, ha!
But for now, all I can really say is that 2018 was what it was and I am so ready for 2019! We learned a lot. Made new plans. Tried new things. Enjoyed some adventures. And got out of Alaska for the winter! I am so proud of this little family, and these kiddos who are just the coolest little people. And my Hubby, how that guy deals with me, still amazes me to this day!
So now we’re just kind of hanging out. I had to rearrange a few reservations, we’re just going to hope for the best and plan on getting back on the road next week! I’m sure we’ll enjoy a few more attractions in the area, Ryder is ready for a return to Magi Quest, and Liv and I really want to get our feet pampered. We’ll keep you posted!!