We weren't sure we would actually leave the RV Ranch this morning. The weather predictions promised a morning of freezing rain and slippery roads. We woke up at 6:00 this morning and looked outside - no rain. Looking good to leave. However, a few minutes later, just as I was ready to go out with the dogs, the rain started. We talked it over and ultimately decided that we could get south fast enough to stay out of trouble, if we could get propane and pay our electric bill at or before 8:00, when the office opened. We didn't have much left to do to get ready, so we were sitting at the propane service area well before 8, got filled up with propane, got our electric bill paid, and headed south by 8:15. We didn't hook up the car, so we each drove.
We had an appointment at the Temple, Texas Freightliner shop at 11:00 to have our first oil change and transmission service done on The Castle. As we headed south, it was raining pretty hard, but we had no problem with slick roads. We did notice a slight build-up of ice on the windshield wipers, but not very heavy. The further south we went, the less rain there was. We pulled in to the shop a little before 10:00 and got all checked in. The woman who checked us in was friendly and professional. It looked like it might take longer than we hoped, since our technician didn't start work until 11:00, and had a job to finish from last week before he could start on ours. Great....
With the dogs and my computer in the car, we took off to make sure of our route out of town on Highway 95 and towards Granger Lake. After we got that figured out, we headed into downtown Temple to find a reasonably healthy place to have a meal. It was getting a little late for breakfast, but we thought I-Hop might be good, so we headed there. We went in, and the hostess started to seat us, but then put the menus down and asked us to wait while she took care of customers who came up to the register to pay for their meal. Well, people kept coming to the register, and we stood there waiting to be seated, and the hostess kept hollering for someone to come help her. Finally, as the little lobby was stuffed full of people trying to leave, and others now behind us waiting to be seated, another woman came up and looked totally confused and helpless. That was our signal to turn and run - next door to Chili's. We got in there and seated almost instantly.
After our meal, we drove back by the service facility to see if they'd taken the motor home in. They had, so we had hopes they might get finished early enough that we could get to the COE park, Wilson H. Fox, before dark. We weren't sure how long it would take us to get there, but Karon had told us she would meet us out on the highway and lead us in if we got there after dark.
We went to Walmart and walked around for awhile, basically just looking at things and keeping warm. It was misting a little, and it was cold. We soon got bored with Walmart and didn't feel like going to the mall, so we headed back over to the shop. Jim went in and checked on the progress while I stayed in the car. We sat in the car for the next several hours, with Jim going in every so often to see how things were going. Finally, around 3:30, after one of his checks, he came out and said they were nearly done, but waiting for more transmission fluid to come in! Seems they underestimated the amount of transmission fluid we needed, so had to have more sent down from Waco. Luckily, the delivery truck pulled in about the same time he was telling me this!
It was still nearly 45 minutes later before we got checked out and headed down the road. I'm glad we don't have to have this done very often - it cost us over $1,000 and a day away from our home. I don't like spending that much money to have routine service done, but I really don't like not being able to be in my home! But that just goes along with this lifestyle, and there are very few downsides, so I'm not going to spend any more energy being unhappy!
We had a quick, uneventful drive to the little town of Circleville, where the turn-off to the Wilson H. Fox park is. Karon was to meet us there on the highway and lead us to the park. Unfortunately, our timing didn't come together. She was a few seconds late getting there, and we passed the turn-off. All was easily fixed and we got on the right road, got here and set up as she and Dan brought over Dan's homemade chicken noodle soup, salad, and a dessert of pineapple angel food cake. Thank you, Dan and Karon!
We're now snug and warm, looking forward to warmer temperatures for the next few days before we continue our journey southward!