||[Nov. 19th, 2011|08:15 am]
In mid-October, we set out on the first stage of an easy run down to Arkansas for the holiday season. Our first stop was Beacon Hill Campground in Intercourse, PA, where we planned to spend a week or so catching up with local friends and family. Beacon Hill was great; it’s small and the campsites are pretty tight, but it’s inexpensive for the area and right in the heart of Lancaster County, an area that J and I both like a lot. Plus, quilt shops less than a half mile away, what more could you want? Unfortunately, J and I both came down with nasty colds, so we had to seriously curtail our visiting. I spent all day Tuesday resting, but did manage to get by the quilt guild meeting on Wednesday and visit my friend D on Thursday.
We went out to lunch with another friend and then she came with me on my consult with a long-arm quilter in the afternoon. I came away from that meeting with a much better sense of what long-arm quilters can or cannot do. I had three quilt tops I wanted done. The one I thought I’d be leaving for her to work on turns out not to work as a free motion design. The quilting I want done on it would be much better handled by a computerized quilting machine. I had much more flexible ideas on the other two quilts – which of course were sans backing or anything. I had a loose concept for one, but just unfolded the other, shrugged and said: “I got nothing,” and the long-armer thought for a bit, rummaged around and pulled out a sample design that will be just perfect for that quilt.
Between us all we were able to come up with concepts and designs for both quilts that I am very happy with. I left the two tops, a promise to send backing for both, and a deposit. Now I just have to find a computer quilter who can handle what I want for quilt number one.
And when I’m talking to folks about J and I’s somewhat erratic schedule, I need to stop saying: “His company could call anytime and say ‘we need you in Dallas on Tuesday.’” D and I were chatting about that very thing on the drive, when the phone ran and J said: “You’re gonna laugh…” I almost never laugh; I try not to cuss too much, though. He said: “They need us in Dallas on Tuesday; we can just make it.” I didn’t cuss; D was in the truck and we actually did laugh about it instead. Once I got home, the rest of the day was spent cleaning up and getting everything ready to go, and we pulled out first thing Friday morning for the 1600 mile speed run.
The AllStays Camp and RV app on J’s smartphone really got a workout. I love that app for drives where we’re making time and not sure how far we’ll be able to go in a day. When we’re a few hours out from needing to stop for the night, I can call it up and look ahead on our route and see where the best (sometimes only) campground is for us. Then call from the same app and check to make sure they have sites open, then use the app to get directions. So worth it, and so much easier than the campground directory books. We spent Friday night in Wythville, VA, Saturday in Denmark, TN, (at Joy-O-RV Park, a surprisingly pleasant roadside park I’d stay at again) and then we cheated a bit and spent Sunday in Texarkana. That was a short drive day, but we stopped there so that my MIL could drive down and meet us. She took a hotel room for the night and we had dinner and breakfast together; it was a nice visit.
Turned out to be a good thing we’d stopped short; just as we were thinking we should start packing up and get on the road, someone pointed out a rear tire on the trailer was flat. Pancaked. Pretty new tire, too. The spare we had was due for replacement and we weren’t sure it would stand up to the driving we had planned, so I took it over to our favorite Discount Tire store (conveniently in Texarkana, what are the odds) where they made short work of putting on a new one. We swapped the flat tire for the new spare, and a quick check turned up the reason, a nail in the tread. It’s under warranty but we had to get on the road, so we jacked the flat up into the spare’s position, ate a quick lunch with MIL and headed out.
We had a pretty easy drive into Wylie, TX. Since it turned out J needed to be in Plano I’d booked us into East Fork Park, a favorite CoE campground. We stayed there last time he needed to be in Plano, and we just like the park. It’s on Lake Lavon and it’s a flat grassy loop with trees every so often. It’s always been windy when we stay there, and the lake is beautiful. You wouldn’t know from the landscape that the local Walmart is half a mile away and you’re twenty minutes from the Dallas metro area.