Music memories fill blue book

Published 3:19 pm Sunday, August 29, 2010

Several readers noticed that I didn’t have a column this year about the dulcimer festival we attend every spring. We happened upon the annual Southern Appalachian Dulcimer Festival at Tannehill Historic State Park one May more than 20 years ago, and were lured by the music year after year. This spring, however, health problems prevented our much-anticipated annual trek.

These days when I walk by our RV in the driveway, I sometimes get itchy feet, longing for a camping trip. Hopefully, it won’t be long before we can resume our RV adventures. In the meantime, I reach for a tattered blue “nothing” book where I began recording our RV travels in February 1984. That year we bought a 1964 Airstream travel trailer. In the beginning, we towed that RV with our car. Months later, we bought a used truck to tow the Airstream.

At first, we made brief trips to a nearby campground to acquaint ourselves with life in an RV. We learned fast through experiences with a too short water hose, leaky sewer lines, water backing up in the shower, blowing fuses because of too many appliances plugged in at once and other goofs.

We took along our dachshund Lillian, who turned out to be an antsy traveler. She once jumped from my arms and chased the camp cat into some bushes. She finally emerged yelping after racing through a briar patch. No sign of cat scratches appeared, but she had plenty of stickers embedded in her lengthy little body.

We had other problems at times, the most major having to replace an engine in our second truck. We had an extended warranty, but about that same time, the company filed for bankruptcy. We wound up paying for the replacement and compiling a thick file of correspondence and much time on the telephone over a two-year period before we received partial reimbursement.

Overall, most experiences were good. Our first long trip in the Airstream lasted about two weeks. We had a little scare crossing the Mobile Causeway when a speeding truck almost blew us off the highway in hurricane weather. We continued on into Mississippi where we enjoyed a show of lightning bugs, the sound of whippoorwills calling and shades of pink on a lake in a state campground. We headed back to Alabama, stopped at Tannehill, moved on to the state park in Eufaula, and then made our way to a KOA campground in Panama City, Fla.

Through the years, we enjoyed two more motor homes before switching to our current Class C motor home. We can’t “hit the road” right now, but we can relive our RV journeys by opening up that tattered blue book.