October 27, 2007 -- York, SC
What a great day for a drive in the country! Our trip from the Knoxville area to rural York, SC, in the Charlotte metro area, took us through the Appalachians on I-40. It was one of the most spectacular drives in a long time... the fall colors were in full bloom, the sun was bright, the air clear, the traffic relatively light... some pictures were taken but they just don't do justice to reality. Wow.
This was the first real mountain test for the bus and I was anxious to see how it performed. I was pleased. On the way up the Cummins motor had power to spare despite pulling about 36,000 pounds. On the way down, the potentially most dangerous segment, the strong exhaust brake provided more than enough energy to control our descent with only nominal use of the regular brakes. The grade was as much as 6% and we had no problems at all. With this knowledge, we're ready for any mountain around.
Our typical "moving" day sees us getting started about 10 or 11 in the morning -- there's normally no rush to get started. Once we've been driving for a couple hours, hunger sets in and we've fallen into the routine of stopping at highway rest stops along the way. For example, yesterday, the rest stop on I-40 had picnic tables and was we'll taken care of -- very clean. If leftovers need to be heated up, we fire up the generator and use the microwave. I've grown to prefer making our own lunches instead of eating in restaurants all the time.
Some of the roads leading to Tim and Chris's house were a little narrow and challenging, but we arrived without incident about 4pm. They have a large lot with much of it wooded. A long driveway leads to their house, which can't be seen from the road. Off that driveway, about a quarter of the way down, is an open area that Tim's always called "the meadow". It's nicely sized for something like our bus, but getting into it might be tight and I wasn't sure we could do it. Prior to our arrival, Tim worked at pruning and trimming trees in order to provide a turning radius for us... and it worked like a charm. I was able to back in with only a couple of mid-course corrections. For a few days, I've got a picture of the bus parked in the meadow on the front page of our website.