Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Highs And Lows Of Our Last Two Days On The Road

We sure had a great time at FDR State Park, but the time had come for us to head on down the road. We packed up early and headed out. After getting on I-75 and heading south, we made a stop at exit 82 in Ashburn, GA. Just a reminder for all of you that don't know this, but Ashburn was where I was born (built). The old Serro Scotty factory has taken on a new life in the form of Carroll's Sausage and Country Store. The exterior of the building looks a lot different than in 1972 when I made my entrance into this crazy world, and the inside of the building is even more drastically changed. Gary went in and took these pictures so I could see how my birthplace looks now. No more trailer skins and frames. No more axles and tires. No more Serro Scotty anything. Carroll's Sausage sells just about anything you humans would want to eat or drink, and you can either buy what you want and take it home, or take a break from the road and enjoy it there. The store highly resembles a Cracker Barrel restaurant as it is now, but those of us that were created inside those walls will never forget the way it used to be. I was just a baby when I left there, but I still have a vague memory of those wonderful workers putting the finishing touches on me and rolling me out the door. I'm proud to say I'm an Ashburn Georgia Serro Scotty. Most of my cousins were built in the Serro Scotty factories in Irwin Pennsylvania and Bristow Oklahoma. We got back on I-75, and headed to Reed Bingham State Park. We have camped at Reed Bingham before, and it's a good midway stopping point between FDR State Park and home in St. Augustine. All of us, Gary especially, are getting older, and we don't like to travel more than a couple of hundred miles in a day. Reed Bingham was roughly 175 miles from FDR, so that was perfect. Dodge and I never got unhitched from each other at Reed Bingham. There was no need since we were only there for one night, and Gary didn't need to go anywhere for supplies. Our usual campsite was taken, so we chose campsite #10 instead. It wasn't bad. At least it was shady. The next morning, we got rolling early. The goal was to make a stop at Webb's Antique Mall near Lake City, Florida. It's Gary's second favorite antique store (behind Grumpy's in Tunnel Hill, GA.), and we are never in the area without stopping there. As usual, Gary spent over 3 hours shopping, while Dodge and I rested in the parking lot. We finally got out of there and headed towards home. At this point, everything was going well, and there were no worries. Gary was thinking of all the things he wanted to do when we got home, and with our first camping trip behind us, I was eager to get home and start planning for our next trip. It would be about 4:30 when we arrived, according to the navigation on Gary's phone. There would be plenty of time to get some things done before dark. We got within 10 miles of home, and had just made the turn onto the road that would take us straight there, when Dodge suddenly lost power. We coasted onto the shoulder of the road. Gary repeatedly tried to start Dodge to no avail. Dodge seemed like he was out of gas, but that wasn't possible since we had filled up just 140 miles prior. So close to home, yet so far away. Nothing to do except to call for help via AAA. It took over 3 hours for the tow truck to arrive. Daylight turned to darkness, and fair weather turned to rain. Definitely not the way we wanted to end our trip. Dodge was covered under Gary's AAA plan, but I wasn't. Gary wasn't about to leave me on the side of the road, so I got towed as well, to the tune of $87. Dodge rode on top of the flatbed truck with me getting towed behind. Sorry about my sloppy artist's (non-artist) rendering of the event, but there were no pictures taken on that dark and rainy night. It was the first time in all of our travels that Dodge didn't get us safely home, and as you know, we have done a LOT of traveling over the years. Dodge felt terrible that he had let us down, but we assured him that everybody gets sick from time to time. Gary would get to the bottom of the problem, and fix it if at all possible. Nothing can keep "The Three Camp-A-Teers" down for long.

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