2015 Tennessee the Long Way travel blog

Today's Route

Getting on I68 at Rocky Gap State Park in the rain

I68 runs into the clouds

Nasty day for motorcylists

Rain stopped and a few rays of sun break through

Winnie at Flatwoods KOA


After a nice time with Cindy and her mom in Grantsville, MD, we were ready to resume the trip into West Virginia. The nice thing about RV travel is that you can change your plans on the fly. The plan was to head south into West Virginia to get to Durbin for a ride on the Durbin Rocket, a steam train from the old logging days, but after a night of heavy rain and a look at the radars for the area it looked like more of the same for the next couple of days. The campgrounds that we were looking at were both along creeks and one only had grassy sites, no gravel or pavement. After our experience of Winnie getting stuck at a grassy camp site in North Carolina last spring, I'm leery about trying it again with the soaking rains of the last couple of days.

I thought we could travel farther west into Ohio and get away from the rain and then head south into West Virginia later in the week as the weather cleared, so we took I68 west and headed toward Ohio. By the time we got to Morgantown, WV the rain had stopped and there actually were rays of sunlight coming through the cloud cover. A quick check of weather conditions along I79 south seemed like this clearing would persist and we decided to resume our path south toward Durbin. Glad we did as the weather improved the further south we went.

We made a short stop for fuel around lunch time and as I was filling Winnie a woman asked if I knew something was dragging under Winnie. Not again! I looked and sure enough one of the fuel tank straps was dragging on the ground this time. The rubber part that wraps around the tank had broken and the rest was dangling on the pavement. This happened a couple of years ago when I was in California traveling alone on the 2013 Wild Western Tour. That was the trip I had to fly home for Sue's emergency eye surgery.

After fueling, we carefully pulled out of the gas station into a parking lot across the street so I could get under Winnie to see what needed to be done. I made sure I stayed clear of the sewer pipe this time. It didn't look like there was any damage to the metal part of the strap so it must have just broken as we got off the interstate. I carry a couple of nylon ratchet straps along so I was able to hook each end on the frame and tighten the strap to support the tank. I'll have to keep an eye on it for the rest of the trip. I guess when the other one broke in 2013, I should have had both replaced. The stop wasn't a complete loss as we were in the parking lot of a local frozen custard/food stand. They were offering broccoli cheese soup served in a nice crusty bread bowl. While I secured the tank, Sue went and got us each a bread bowl of soup. It was pretty good.

We rolled into the KOA at Flatwoods, WV about 3:30 or so without any further problems. This KOA is located in a valley behind a Days Inn. It's a nice place with a big amphitheater. I guess they have shows in the summer. I was able to change our train reservation from tomorrow to Wednesday. Hopefully conditions at one of the campgrounds near the train will be dry enough to use.

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