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Author Topic: Good Trip Report#2  (Read 907 times)
WEC4104
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« on: August 05, 2008, 06:39:37 AM »

Since Brian asked, I'll throw in a post about our family's excursion last month. Each summer, our family (wife and three sons) picks a different part of the country to explore.  This year we picked TN and KY.

On July 1st, we headed south out of PA, and down into western Virginia. The first day included the Natural Bridge (morning) and Virgina Tech's campus in the afternoon. From there we moved on to the Chattanooga area.  We toured downtown, saw the Choo-Choo, and the next day took the inclined railway to the top of Look Out Mountain. We also made a side trip to South Pittsburg, TN so I could visit the Lodge Factory Outlet.  I have to confess I have sort of a cast iron cookware fetish, particularly camp style dutch ovens.  I added several pieces to my arsenal, at pretty decent prices.

We had planned to go from there straight to Nashville, but after looking at some maps, we opted for a side trip to Huntsville AL.  We knew our boys would enjoy the Spacecraft Museum there, so off we went.  On the grounds of the museum they also have a small campground with 27 spaces that are on a first-come-first served basis.  It is no frills, but they have a nice bath house, and the sites have water and electric...  for $18 a night!   Heck, with the A/C running 24/7, that was worth the $18 by itself.

From there, we headed up to Nashville.  All trip long, the bus just ran great.  Two years ago I had an in-frame performed by U.S. Coach. The work also included a switch from the 2 valve head to the 4 valve, and changing the fuel injector size.   Maybe she is just getting broken in, or maybe it is my imagination, but she seems to run stronger each time I take her out.

We rolled into Nashville and dropped anchor for 4 days.  During this time, I had to leave the family there and head to Boston and Detroit for a 3 day business trip.  We knew about this when we planned our trip, so we arranged to get a rental car for my wife to drive while I was gone.  This actually worked out very well.   She dropped me off at the airport and spent three days seeing the Nashville sights. For my family, it extended our vacation by three days, and I got an extra long break from driving.

From Nashville we headed north, stopping at Bowling Green.  My oldest son is a big fan of Corvettes, so we stopped by the Corvette Museum and had a nice tour there.  Swung by Lincoln's birthplace for a quick tour, also.  From there we headed to Louisville and toured the Slugger factory. They do a real nice job with the tour there, and watching the lathes cut the bats fascinated my boys.

Passing through Ohio, we stopped for one night just east of Columbus.  It was at a KOA campground that had lots for the kids to do.  By now we were in kick-back mode, having checked all the boxes on the vacation planning list.  We put it to a family vote, and everybody decided we should stay another night at that campground, so we did.

Our last stop was the Gettysburg / York area. I stopped to see a fellow busnut in Gettysburg who is parting out his 4104, and I picked up a few odds and ends. We also spent the night in the driveway of some friends in York.  ...  and then home from there.

In all, we logged 2186 miles. The bus ran great with no real problems.  I did have one instance in Huntsville where she didn't want to go into reverse. I went to the rear compartment and manually exercised some of the linkage.   I got back into the driver's seat, started her up and she dropped into reverse fine. I need to fill the tank again before I can calculate the mileage, but I'm guessing at around 8 mpg.  If it weren't for all the hills and mountains we had climbed, I'm sure she would do better.

Unfortunately, the timing of our trip meant that we had to miss the Delaware bus rally at Bruce's. The last couple of years I have attended and had a great time. But this year the rally was a bit earlier so we were in TN/KY that weekend.  Sorry to have missed seeing everyone.

After arriving home my wife remarked that she really enjoyed this trip and places it high on her list of all time favorites. She also repeated what she has said before: "That bus is the greatest thing we ever bought."   Grin Grin          No argument here.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 06:47:01 AM by WEC4104 » Logged

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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2008, 07:03:22 AM »

WEC4104,

Sounds like an excellent trip!  I agree with your wife's comments!  I'm glad you were able to enjoy a good time with your family and see this wonderful country from the comforts of your home on wheels!

-Brian
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2008, 07:22:17 AM »

WEC4104,

Great to hear about your trip.

We also feel the same way about our coach.

It has been a real pleasure to own, so far.

Like everything mechanical, it has its up and downs, but when were are crusing down the highway, everybody laughing and having fun in the safety and comfort of the bus, its the best!

Cliff



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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
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WEC4104
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2008, 08:50:02 AM »

As a side note, we are close friends with another family who lives nearby. They also have 3 kids the same age as ours, and the wives are always doing things together.  Each year around the same time that we are on our bus trek to some place new, their family makes their annual pilgrimage to Louisiana. (The wife's parents live in Shreveport.)

When both families return home it is only natural that the "So how was your trip?" questions get exchanged. When I am talking with the other Dad, I try to watch what I say. I know that he has just endured close to 3000 miles of driving, crammed with 3 kids and luggage in a minivan, to go spend the week with his in-laws......  again.   I feel for the guy.    They do include a few side trips and places to stop along the way, but they are getting to the point where seeing something new means they have to stray significantly from the direct route.  The Dad keeps suggesting alternate routes, but they are longer and the wife doesn't want to give up the time with her parents.

Understandably, the comments from the kids also reflect the differences in traveling styles.  The other family's kids enjoy their destination and side trips, but you can tell the hours with their butt strapped in a seat aren't a whole lot of fun.  No doubt, I'm spoiling my kids.  As we roll down the highway, one kid is sprawled out on the queen size bed, another one reaches for ice cream from the freezer, and the oldest is surfing the internet downloading iTunes.  I almost never hear an "Are we there yet?"  No one is ever crossing their legs waiting for Dad to find an exit with restroom facilities. My kids have never experienced the joy of pulling into a hotel parking lot late at night and being awakened from a dead sleep and told to grab their suit case so we can check in.

Come to think of it, maybe I should take my kids on a long minivan vacation so that they will have a greater appreciation for the way we travel............   Second thought, scratch that idea.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 08:52:21 AM by WEC4104 » Logged

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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2008, 09:11:06 AM »

Our Kids sound so a like on the road.

While in route, the only time we stop is a driver break at the rest area and a walk for the dog.

Most of the time the kids could care less about getting out, why, they have everything inside.

I am sure they are "chomping at the bit" in your friends minivan to get out.

Now when we get where were going, its another story.

Happy trails,

Cliff


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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2008, 09:19:32 AM »

Hi Wayne,

Great story! I felt like I was in the 04 with ya..

Thanks for sharing!
Nick-
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