November/December 2015

We Just Keep on Keeping On

Surviving Heat, Cold, Snow and Another Long Drive Across I-10!


Good morning from Interstate 10, where we’ve just crossed the great state of Texas!  It’s big and open and a little boring in places, but not without its charms.  We’ve been in the east for the last couple of months, gathering up the Tiger at the docks in Jacksonville, Florida, and then carting it and ourselves between the port and Tiger Central in Columbia, South Carolina.  

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Since then, the Tiger has been busy being repaired and unfortunately still is.  Sad but true.  After opening up Tiger’s box (think Pandora here), the demons of decay and deterioration started jumping out; the aftermath of our many years wandering the unpaved roads of the world.  Actually, that’s a bit harsh and can no doubt be attributed to poetic license on our part.  

It’s not really as bad as it looks, but we had to take everything out of the interior in order to replace some warped flooring and then the Tiger staff decided it would be best to remove the roof in order to improve sealing and insulation.  Once that was done it opened up (pun intended) other options that will result in an all new and much improved interior and a slightly different exterior appearance.  Next to our Tiger is a new one being built so you can get a look at the new roof that La Tortuga will be getting.  The downside is that the patient Tiger workers will need to continue work on La Tortuga until sometime in March.  In the end it will all be worthwhile and patience will be amply rewarded, but for now we must wait, and we do hate to wait.  All this has evolved during several weeks of talks with and visits to the factory, where everyone has been wonderful about involving us in decisions and sharing ideas and solutions.  We have no complaints in that quarter and they are taking really good care of us.  But the best laid plans…

By the way, as you look at the photo above, try to imagine La Tortuga herself paraphrasing Evita and singing, “Don’t Cry for me… have you seen the roads in Argentiiiina”.

So we are traveling unaccompanied, by the Tiger that is.  We decided to move on and head to California, where we have commitments and plans.  We will remain there until we get the call, and then Rick plans to fly back to South Carolina and make yet another drive across the good old U. S. of A.  Not our favorite thing by now, but certainly something we are used to doing.

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But it hasn’t been all dismal and gloomy the last couple of months; not at all.  Sometimes it’s been hotter than Hades — in the Florida Everglades we sweltered in unseasonable heat and humidity over Christmas and New Year.  Even though it was too hot, we had fun enjoying the birds and alligators there, and further north in Florida we communed with the sandhill cranes that live in one of the parks where we stayed.  Too, we never get tired of the citrus and boiled P-Nut stands that dot the great state of Florida, the strawberries have been plentiful as well, and don’t forget the wonderful barbecue restaurants scattered about all over the South. 

Snow came down upon us as we visited with some buddies in Raleigh, NC, although we did manage to get out of there before “Snowmaggeden” arrived late last week.  Since then, as we’ve been moving away from the East Coast, the weather has improved daily and it almost feels like spring.  Oops — west Texas has just given us a taste of what the high plains do best: turn to ice and snow at a moment’s notice.  

We hadn’t spent time in Florida in more than ten years, other than brief visits to Jacksonville to ship out or to receive the Tiger.  So one of our goals back East was to catch up with old friends whom we’d not seen in donkey’s years.  We did that in spades, spending time with lots of long time friends who either live down there or spend time in the winter.  They’re all just a little older and just a little slower, so we felt in good company.  Far too many delicious meals, however.  Going to have to do more walking…

With all this “quiet time” on the road we’ve been busy discussing options for future travel.  There are many choices to be made and we’re not ready to make any decisions yet.  We don’t want to count our chickens before they’re hatched you know.  Better get the Tiger all fixed up first!  So stay tuned, keep your ears in gear, and we’ll let you know when we figure it all out!

May the rest of your winter be more pleasant than has been predicted, and we’ll all hope for an early Spring.  Hugs from Rick and Kathy and The Remaining Wheels (and there are still plenty of them - maybe too many, we’ll see).

© Rick & Kathy Howe 2001-2018