Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

There’s the Good News and then There’s the Bad News

June 8-19, 2016                                                                                    Most Recent Posts:
Laurel, Maryland, I 64 between                                                 Hiking in and Near Charlottesville
Charlottesville and New Market                                
Three Weeks in May: Memories, Maintenance, and Festivals





The whole purpose of our visit back to Virginia was to be here for the birth of our granddaughter Celia Claire and to spend some time with her.  After her birth on May 19th, the new family had only a week to spend together before Matthew had to go back to work since our country has such absolutely horrible family leave policies unlike most other western countries.  Both Carrie, who works for the Federal Court of Veteran’s Appeals” and Matthew, who works for a private company, had to take their vacation time for this or rather I should say they were “permitted” to take their vacation time. 

So in early June I traveled to up to Laurel Maryland to spend some time with and hopefully help the new family.  Carrie and Celia were home together, Matthew joined us in the evenings.  We took walks and rides and had hugs and kisses and just enjoyed being together.   Celia has a bit of colic it seems and especially around the dinner hour is uncomfortable and makes some very worried faces. Poor thing. We were busy so I didn’t take a lot of pictures of much of anything but the baby, of course. Smile


Like many babies, riding in a stroller or the car puts her right to sleep.



She can change attitudes faster than you can snap your fingers.  Look at that coy look and then, not so happy.




Sweet Little Celia has long legs.  She’ll really like that when she’s a teen or at least I would have loved havin those legs.  On her feet are little booties crocheted by her Great, Great, Great Aunt Carrie whom I wrote about in my previous post on memories.   Sure wish Aunt Carrie could enjoy her wearing those in person.




The pacifier is exactly that.  We think she has a bit of colic particularly around the witching hour of 6:00.  She doesnt’ much like to be on her back and doesn’t sleep well that way but the doctors say it’s important for babies not to be on their stomachs for fear of SIDS.   I guess we didn’t know as much about it when her mama was a baby because she slept on her stomach.


Happy Mama and her sleeping sweetie.  Notice those Mary Janes her Grandma brought for her.  Too cute!



I think she looks great in hats and she has a variety of looks.





I was pretty surprised to see her looking so intently at the mobiles over her swing.  Three weeks old seems early for that.


Can you hold a sleeping baby and read a book at the same time.  You betcha!  These are my two favorite activities at the moment.



Ok, I know, enough grand baby.  Reluctantly I leave on Saturday and give the little family their week-end alone.

After experiencing a few days in the 90’s we know it is time to head north so we set out for Niagara Falls with a couple of stops on the way.  This summer we’ll be in upstate New York, Vermont, the Delaware Water Gap and Assateague National Seashore which coincidentally is in the same state as Celia so we hope she might come visit us there.  We’re on a circular trip of coolness before returning to see our little sweetheart in the fall.





Sunday June 19 is our departure date.  We start out and get about 50 miles down the road when all of a sudden we hear a loud

I know right away it has to be the tow dolly and sure enough, when we pull over on I-64 to take a look, the dolly has had a major blow out that destroyed the tire, the fender and the wiring.   Notice that the plastic fender is disintigrated and the solid steel plate behind it is bent at 90% and embedded in the tire.

Of course it is Sunday and Father’s Day and most tire stores are closed.  Note to self, DO NOT drive on Week-ends. We are along the edge of Interstate 64 headed west.  We can not stay here but we also cannot move the dolly without getting another tire so I start searching – thank goodness for mobile internet, solar panels for electricity and generator for AC in the 90+ degree heat.

No one around has the tire we need which is a ST205/75R 14”.  They have 12” and 13” and even 15”.  No 14”.  We found 4 years ago when we replaced these tires that locating 14” tires was amazingly difficult.  One place has a 75D which is a bias tire not a radial.  This is not what we want but it is all we can get in order to get the dolly moving and off of the interstate.



The main difference between a radial ply and a bias ply tire is how the tire is constructed. The cords inside a bias ply tire run at a 32 degree angle to the direction of travel, and the cords on a radial tire run at a 90 degree angle to the direction of travel, or across the tire from wheel lip to wheel lip.

A radial tire flexes more than a bias tire, giving it better ground contact, traction, stability, and tread wear.  A radial tire will normally run cooler than a bias ply tire, especially when the tire is under a load. A tire that runs cooler will last longer.  A bias ply tire has a stiffer sidewall than a radial,

Luckily nothing else has been damaged so we take Ruby off the dolly and with less than enthusiasm but feeling like we have no choice, David heads to the Waynesboro Tractor Supply and to pick up the tire and rim right before they close.




I stay with Winnona and the dolly.   When David returns, we get out our faithful bottle jack, something I think every RVer should have, and use it to jack up the dolly. We mount the tire, tighten the lugs and are on our way.




Without the fender, the right side of the dolly has no brake light or turn signal so I don’t feel safe putting the car on it.  I drive Ruby, David drives Winnona pulling the dolly and we move along trying to make it to our campsite before dark.

I had called Endless Caverns Campground in New Market Virginia when the blow out first happened and it wasn’t clear whether we could even make our reservation.  The woman on the phone was wonderful assuring me that they would move our reservation to a later date or we could come in after hours.  Not to worry.  

I had thought since the trip was such a short one that we would be there easily in time to tour the caverns.  When we arrive it has taken us 5 hours to drive that 80 miles.  I am SO glad it is always my policy when leaving Virginia to do a 100 miles or less on the first night.

They kindly put us in an easy pull through and we collapse leaving the replacement problems for another day.  We head for Shawnee  State Park in Pennsylvania tomorrow assuming no more catastrophes.


  1. Good Sam or Coach Net would have changed that tire for you.

  2. we have Good Sam road service and love it...they bring replacement tires and change it

  3. We did call them. Our road service covers our car and our RV but not the tow dolly we just found out. Perhaps we should look into a different one. But I fear any service would be hard pressed to have this difficult to find 14" tire on hand. Given the late hour, the Sunday and the interstate, we didn't want to take that chance. Changing it was no problem, waste of someone's time to come. It was finding the right tire. Do your emergency services bring tire and rim and cover dollys??

  4. Yikes, good thing you got pulled over safely, and found a tire, etc. We hate hiccups in traveling.

  5. Hey Sherry, I know you meant June since I didn't think you were that far behind in the blog, but you said your departure date was January 19. Thought you might want to correct that.
    Sorry for your tire problem and hope you can get the dolly fixed. It really is always something.
    That Celia is a cutie!

  6. So nice to see the sweet baby and mamma and grandma. Good news was great. Bad news ended well. We had to get a 14 inch tire for Mo's wood splitter. You are right. Hard to find. Finally found a used one. The splitter doesn't travel much thank goodness. I see,a four down toad somewhere in your future methinks.

  7. Such sweet pictures of Celia :) Love her and you for coming...hopefully, we can make it to Assateague in the fall or at the least, Charlottesville. Wow - that was quite a blow out. I am glad that everthing ended up turning out so you could continue on your way to PA and not go back to Charlottesville.

  8. Baby Celia is so darn cute, she is taking her dad and moms features, wonder how she would look like in the months to come.
    Darn, things happen almost always on weekends. What a blowout, at least you made it to your destination safely.

  9. Celia is beautiful; you have every right to be a proud grandma! Blowouts stink, and I can definitely sympathize, having been in that position twice. Changing tires on the side of the road is not fun, and even worse when you have to find a special tire like that. I feel as if I wish I could carry a spare of almost everything I might need as we travel! Not very practical though. Best wishes for you to enjoy the Northeast, please be sure to visit Watkins Glen State Park, you will love the waterfalls.

  10. What a sweet baby Celia is, glad you got to spend some time with her. Sorry about the blow out but at least you are all safe. Can't wait to see where you travel in the northeast, we won't be back in that area until the summer of 2019, have to get the drivers licenses renewed then.

  11. Yay! Grandma photos :-) It is so addicting, especially when we aren't with them all the time. She is so adorable!! They're lucky she likes the pacifier, Ezra never took to it :-( That was a helluva blow out - glad there was no damage to Ruby (must have really scared her). I'm sure you're happy to have that drama behind you. And you're all caught up!!!!

  12. How life changes when a beautiful baby like Celia is born! Nothing better than a loving grandmother holding her as she naps. :c) I see lots of fun as Celia grows, a special little lady.

    Thank goodness no serious damage happened with that blowout. You handled it well, even if it messed up your plans. We need to ban that Murphy guy from our travels... ;c)

  13. I see those beautiful long legs... probably thanks to David's genetics. Thinking little Ms. Celia looks a lot like her daddy... at this point. I remember those early colicky days well.... Karissa has lots of problems... and lots of food allergies... and as a child and adult continues to have allergies. I was always amazed at how such a little peanut could command so much attention.... but they do. Sorry about the blow-out. So glad, though, that it caused no damage to car or humans! Hopefully, by now, all this is past you and you are both happily looking forward to cooler temps and new adventures.

  14. Oh, my gosh - Celia is beautiful! What a precious little one! I love that she has the booties from her great, great, great auntie! And, love that you had some time with them before heading out. AND..., am sooo sorry about the blow out!! Glad you were able to get fixed and make your destination too. Enjoy the cool!

  15. Bet you guys are happy grandparents and will see her more often than you think now.
    Blowouts are a bummer, but it did turn out very well. Safe travels.

  16. Baby Celia is beautiful, and I don't know if I've ever seen such gorgeous long legs on a baby!

    I wonder why they don't make a more plentiful supply of the tire you need. Can the tow dolly be modified to take a different tire? Of course that would mean 4 new tires. Nah, not a great idea.

  17. Celia is absolutely adorable! Carrie looks great—and I love the photo of you holding baby Celia. How sweet to see her wearing the booties that are such a special family heirloom. Sigh—the blowout. Just glad to know that Ruby wasn't damaged. Safe travels!

  18. Celia is definitely a sweetie! Our daughter, Lindsey is really into babywearing and swears by it, especially with a colicky baby. There are so many different types of wraps and it makes both mom and baby happy.


  19. UGH...so happy you were able to get moving again, may as well keep that Bias Ply for the spare..I plan to head to up state NY myself in Aug so Ill be following along to see what you discover. Beautiful BABE.

  20. Glad you had a safe place to pull over and David could take care of it.

  21. Ouch on the car! Celia's such a sweetie.

  22. How wonderful that you were able to spent time with Carrie and Celia:) Celia is precious. Sure hope the colic doesn't last long.

    Not exactly how you had hoped to start your trip north. But glad you were able to find a tire so you could get off the highway. Safe travels as you move to PA:)

  23. Your granddaughter is beautiful! sorry about the tire trouble but it worked out.

  24. I missed the barn post and the last I heard you weren't going to be traveling this summer, so I was happy to see that you were on the road. It's too bad about the blowout, but I guess if you have to have one, that was the best kind to have.

    Thanks for posting more Celia pictures. She's such a sweet little thing. I'm sorry they didn't have much time to spend together as a family before going back to work. I was thinking here in Florida at least they had about 6 weeks family leave after the birth of a baby, but then again, I never had one so don't really know. :)

    Your summer plans sound wonderful. Can't wait to follow along your journey and I'm so glad David is finding a way to continue to travel.

  25. Yes, the good the bad and the ugly. Just glad we had no damage to the car or RV and were able to carry on to our first stop without turning back. Could have turned out much worse.

  26. Celia is so precious. How fun to spend time with the family, especially that new addition. Total drag about the tire but am glad nothing or nobody was hurt.

  27. Glad you were able to work out a solution, interesting info considering the chats we have been having about flat tow versus tow dolly around here lately.

  28. Being stranded along the road is one of the worse RV scenarios:( Our one time was also a tire. A wonderderful grandchild does make up for a lot, of course:)


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