Saturday, October 29, 2011

What! You've never been to Chattanooga

Well what's wrong with you.

Cathy and I have been coming to Chattanooga for probably over 20 years, the first time we came here and went downtown it made Detroit look safe. But they have done so much to the downtown river front area that it's hard to believe, every year there is something new to see. One of the things is that most of the development is by private companies or investors, The two aquariums, the Art museum, the new baseball stadium, theater house, all the restaurants and tons of other things just means you can't get bored. And that's just in the city.

This year so far we discovered the huge new VW plant and the Amazon warehouse distribution center, we found these because you have to drive past them to get to the new Nature Center which is located on the old TNT munitions factory property. This was is use during WWII, we drove around the perimeter road the other day and it was about 7 miles, everything inside of this is either paved biking/hiking trails (about 10 miles worth) or dirt/gravel trails for hiking/Mt biking (probably another 8 to 10 miles).

I'm trying a slide show here which is pretty big, about 70 pictures from the last few years of Chattanooga and the riverfront area. The river front has a 8 miles paved hiking/biking trail that runs right along the river, (about 85% of the trail in right on the river) there are a few areas that go around homes or buildings but not much.

As Forest Gump Said


After a week in Crossville Tenn we did a nice easy drive down to Chattanooga, since we were going right by a Sams Club on the way to the park I decided to gas up the rig.  About a block from Sam's a guy cut in front of us and hit his brakes so that he could make a right turn into a hamburger joint, half way in to the drive for some reason he stopped with the rear end sticking out into our lane about 2 feet.  Well, I managed to nail the brakes hard enough and swerved a little to the left so that we didn't hit him but a block later when we pulled in for gas I thought that the front right tire was on fire there was so much smoke coming out of the wheel well.   It turned out to be just the brakes, no fire.  So after gassing up we drove 4 miles to the Campground which happened to be at Camping World, after registering I made an appointment to take it in first thing in the morning.

Of course they have to order the parts so the we stayed around camp Friday until they called at noon and said all the parts were in and that they were picking up the rig in 20 minutes so we would have it back by 5pm.  The problem was the brake caliper froze and wouldn't release the brake, so we had to replace the calipers on both side.  He recommended doing both since Ford redesigned the calipers and it's better that they are both the same.  We have 59000 miles on this rig and this is makes the third set of calipers.  If Ford has a better idea I would like to know what it is.  Since they had it up on the lift and half torn apart I decided to have them do new pads and replace Ford's other great idea, the 18 inch long rubber brake lines, which were what broke down the last time and caused the other calipers to freeze up.  After 5 hours and and 2 tons of money the brought the rig back in time for us to set up in the cold rain.

So here ends my bitch, and I'm not going to let any of this bug me because it can always be worse then it is, it's only money and we're in CHATTANOOGA and we love CHATTANOOGA, so now we're going to go have some fun.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spotted this on a walk

I wonder what this guy is thinking?

Monday, October 17, 2011

University of Tennessee Gardens

Since our beloved Detroit Tigers went down in flames the other night we decided we had to stop crying and get out of the house so we took a drive down to the UT Gardens, right on the Tennessee river. We were really going to go down there Saturday figuring it wouldn’t be as busy as a school day until we realized that LSU was in town for a football game against the Volunteers. When the Vols are playing at home you don't want to be anywhere near downtown.

It's not a big garden but is very well done, one of the things they do is try to adapt plants from all over the country to grow in Tennessee. We spent about an hour and a half touring the gardens and they are free.
 The best way to tell you about the garden is just to post a ton of pictures, so here they are.
(Click to enlarge pictures) Don't know why but when I tested the blog and clicked on a picture to enlarge it, it opened a program, I think Picasa and made kind of a slide show which showed all the pictures in the blog but no captions to explain the photo.  It may have some thing to do with Google+ but I can't figure it out.

Something called a Flapjack

Something called Flapjacks

Fallen Heart

Monolith Garden

Giant cricket

Busy Bee

Rose garden

Pond at the Rose garden

I liked this idea, it's just a small metal table covered a mesh and then covered with rock and dirt and a small garden.  They also had a bench done like this, they looked much better then the picture shows

Close up of Flapjack

We're staying at the Escapees RV park about 15 miles north of town, 

We're the little Brown one in the middle on the right.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Buy me on Ebay

Well at least a picture
I was playing around looking at things on Ebay and found a guy selling a bunch of old newspaper photos of the Detroit Police, and HA there I was.

I'm the good looking (but still very mean looking) one with the star above his head. Hiding behind the watermark.


A Wish

If I had just one wish it would be that every wife who's husband loves to BBQ would buy their hubby a Charcoal Chimney for Christmas, or better yet buy it right now.  With the end of summer most places are putting them on sale so they're nice and cheap.  You can get them for anywhere from $8 to $50 depending on how fancy you want to be.

With one of these you never buy charcoal lighter again and you'll be amazed at how wonderful your BBQ will taste being cooked over clean coals rather then stuff that was drenched with that nasty funky stinky lighter fluid which flavors your food so it taste like C@*P.

They're easy to use just crumple up a single sheet of newspaper and shovel it in the bottom, load it up with coal and light the paper through one of the holes in the bottom.  10 to 12 minutes later you'll have white hot coals to cook with, minus that nasty smell and taste, and your neighbors, like ME will love you for not stinking up my RV and forcing me to close all the doors and windows when it's 75 degrees out.

If you're really cheap like me you can make your own out of and old coffee tin, just use an old fashion type can opener (the ones with the pointed end that we had to use to open our beers before the pull tabs) or drill some ½ inch holes in the side (not the bottom) of the coffee can at the bottom rim and use a pair of pliers for your handle.

Your neighbors will love you for it.

You've probably figured out that it was a beautiful day and about half the park decided to BBQ and they all used ½ a can of lighter fluid to start there coals, which means we had to close up the rig and turn on the A/C.

Oh well, it's just a wish, I have another wish but I can't tell you about that one.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Leaving Michigan is hard to do.

No I don't mean that it's hard to leave all our Michigan friends and family behind or that the resort has been so relaxing that we're going to miss it or that the chilly,wet weather is bringing the beautiful fall colors matched only by New England.

No what I mean is we were taking the rig in for new shocks and it failed to start, plenty of battery but no spark to the engine. I start the rig every two weeks during the summer and let it run up to operating temperature but this morning nothing. OK time to give Good Sam road service a call and get a little service for my money, after about ten minutes on the phone with them and they had a tow truck on the way. We're in the middle of no where so the truck had to come from about 30 miles away, and then tow the motor home about 20 miles to where we were having the work done. It would have been about a $300 tow but Good Sam took care of it.

We started out with a bad Mass Sensor, whatever that is, they replaced it and it started right up, once. Fortunately Cathy and I were going to spend a few days at the kids house doing Football and Volley ball events with them, . Turned out to also have a bad fuel pump, it appears that the motor home company put in an extension on the wiring harness back to the fuel pump, problem was they didn't use the proper gauge wire which caused it to burn out. No I'm not going to mention Thor Corporations, Four Winds Five Thousand motor home. Once they found out that the extension was the cause and that it was bad they started looking for a new one when one of the mechanics noticed that the original wire harness was long enough to reach without the extension.  I love how the pump is in the gas tank so they had to drop the tank to replace it, labor was 4 times the amount of the pump.

We were still at the kids when they called so the next morning I left there at 6:30am drove 130 miles to the RV Center, while I was checking out they pointed out that I had a bad bulge in the right front tire. I only have about 25000 miles on them but they're pushing 6 yrs old so my next stop was the tire shop, a couple hours there and I was ready to head back to the resort and set up the rig. After that it was a simply 110 mile drive back to the kids,just in time to shower eat dinner and go to the volleyball games.

Two more days of kids volleyball and football, and now we're back at the resort relaxing for the day, watching OUR LIONS go 4 & 0, Tomorrow we'll be closing up shop here and packing everything and then hitting the road Tuesday.. We hope.