Journey Through North Carolina – Part 16 ~ By Tom and Audrey ~

Hello and welcome to part 16 of our journey through North Carolina.

As we ventured off the Blue Ridge Parkway, we wondered if there was a Roadtrek  dealer anywhere  near by that could look at our macerator pump which died at our last campground.  For those of you wondering what a macerator pump is, well, let’s just say it pushes the waste material from the holding tanks into the septic system at campgrounds and is a very important gizmo if you don’t want things getting stinky as you drive down the road in the hot sun. 

We found “Carolina Coach and Marine  and what a class act this place was.  We could get the vehicle in and serviced and the best thing was they gave us a loaner vehicle so we could continue our exploration of the area without being stuck in a repair shop all day waiting.  We also felt comfortable that they would do the right thing about needed repairs

Well this is it for today.  We hope you come back and see how the trip unfolds as we share more of USA Through Our Eyes.  Until then be safe.

usathroughoureyes
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  1. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

    Back on the road in good repair with barely a hitch in your git-a-long. Clean living and a guardian angel! Fun photos – love the floor.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • usathroughoureyes

      It was a great place. We did run in to a glitch though but we’re sure it was just an oversight on their part and will make it good. While there we had new batteries put in the back end that run the camper part at the tune of $500.00. The only problem is when we got home and had the end of trip check-up we discovered they installed 10 year old batteries. We’re sure it’ll all work out for the good. Sorry it took so long getting back with you but we’re down in Tennessee to check out the eclipse.

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      • usathroughoureyes

        All worked out with the batteries. It was just an oversight and all is good. Gosh its so nice when things get resolved, lol. Tennessee is incredible and the solar eclipse was amazing. Also we took you up on the suggestion of Cades Cove! Awesome, absolutely Awesome! Thank you.

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      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        Good for you. In my experience, reasonable people, approached reasonable, usually respond reasonably. (Eventually – lol) My landlords teach me that lesson over and over and over.

        Sometimes I wonder, however, if their game-plan is to ignore requests until the boiling point is reached – and I don’t like to operate with that much heat! 🙂
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        Yes, sometimes it happens eventually, lol. Landlords are a unique group aren’t they. We love it when the residents get together on an issue and then it seems we are heard more and retaliated against less. At our age we don’t like operating with that much heat either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        Worked best in NYC – not so sure I can rally the students in my building. I’m the only long-term tenant here (and the oldest in years).

        Come to think of it, I’ve only had one truly stellar landlord in a long life of renting – one who put people over profits. He was a joy!
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        Wouldn’t it be great to see a revival in the neighborhood theater group. Seeing the young blend with the old to entertain rather then the tube. I think the days of benevolence over greed with landlords has gone by the wayside.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        I’d like to believe that this obsession with Corporate Capitalism is a phase that will eventually pass. Meanwhile, it would be fun to see such a revival. There is NOTHING like live theatre, IMHO.
        xx,
        mgh

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      • usathroughoureyes

        We wonder if corporate capitalism will pass. You are so right about live theater. We get amazed at how they memorize their lines. I have a difficult time remembering my name at times.

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      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        hahaha – everyone outside the biz always marvels at that. Lines aren’t that difficult, actually – they’re narrative. – even patter songs.

        There are exceptions that take work and a lot of repetition before they “stick” – Shakespeare, Godot, etc. – but even those have a rhythm that helps. Every Shakespearean actor prays that they never have to use this stall, “Oh what a noble mind is here o’r thrown.” lol – but we ALL have it in our back pockets. 🙂

        It’s annoying when you are supposed to be “off book” and somebody still doesn’t know his lines, but at least he or she can go back on book in rehearsal. What’s tough is when the other actor in a 2-person scene “goes up live” (meaning can’t remember their lines in performance). Then *you* have to wander off script with your best rendition of BOTH lines, hoping to get you both back to it while you alone move the show forward.

        I once had to do **an entire scene** with ZERO help from an actor who literally froze – actually pushing/dragging him around on stage trying to remember his lines and make them into something I could say. It was Fiddler – the scene where Tzeitle was bolstering Motel to ask Tevye for her hand in marriage.

        “I know you’re just a poor tailor, Motel, but even a poor tailor deserves some happiness” beat…beat. “I know you’re afraid that . . . but even . .” beat…beat. It seemed eternal.

        In the back of my mind I was wishing I could say, “Oh to hell with waiting – lets just go tell Dad” and be done with it.

        Funny story in retrospect, but notice I still remember 40 years later as if it were yesterday. I’m sure he does too! At least it was dialogue and not his SONG! I could never have made ‘Wonder of Wonders’ work. (That director used me a lot after that, but I’ll bet that was the last time he cast “a voice” instead of an actor!!)

        Names, on the other hand really DO take memorization and/or a great deal of familiarity — for me, anyway. I’ve never been very good with names, but I could usually learn an entire show overnight if I had to. In the early years of my career I got quite a few calls for sudden replacements once I became known for that ability.

        Thanks for the prompt to wander down memory lane. I truly LOVED those years (and most of the actors I worked with were very professional – lol).
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        You have us laughing so hard as we read what happened with the actor freezing. That had to be a very difficult moment. Thankfully you were able to carry it off. That had to take some serious acting on your part to make it all seem like part of the production. Did the guy freeze or just forget to prepare? You could write a book on your years in the business Madelyn. You might help guide some of the young folks trying to get in and help them realize what they are in for. But then again you are needed right where you are teaching us on the topics that effect peoples lives deeply.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        lol – in the moment I just did what I had to – and I think most of the audience was none the wiser, since Motel was supposed to be scared to death. He did okay in rehearsal – I think he got spooked because he wasn’t prepared for a theatre full of people in those seats. SERIOUS case of opening nite jitters. (I’m just glad none of the reviewers mentioned it! )

        I do have A TON of funny stories (personal and from many of my acting buds) — Theatre Legends all, back in my day. Like the time the brakes failed on the projection stage during the opening number of Guys & Dolls on opening nite in Baton Rouge – entire cast onstage.

        It was dinner theatre and everyone else in the theatre – waiters, cooks & box office included – were scrambling to move patrons, food and tables out of the way of a stage that never stopped advancing – almost all the way to the opposite wall., only stopped because it hit step up to another level of seating.

        The cast kept on singing and dancing throughout — on a moving stage. 🙂 The show must go on, you know. It’s in our blood. GREAT training for life.

        Those “magic stages” can be tricky – but at least this was not one that dropped from above (where the actors ride down from a green room on the upper floor and the stage goes back up for scene changes). But those have gotten stuck half-way down or half-way up too, and that’s A LOT harder to work around.

        Guys and Dolls had to be completely reblocked on the fly, dance numbers and all – since the stage couldn’t couldn’t be fixed until the show was over. The actors had to motivate tromping through the audience to get to the stage, what was blocked for a thrust stage had suddenly become theatre in the round – and the scenery had to be changed in full view of everyone.

        WHAT a nite, huh? The audience loved it, thankfully – and I’m sure they’ve been dining out on that story ever since.

        And although this is already overlong, I simply must mention the white pigeons that fell all over the stage in Hurricane W.Va – dead as doornails – as an actress was singing “When you walk thru a storm hold your head up high and don’t be afraid of the storm” The audience was in stitches during what was NOT supposed to be a comic moment in the show.

        I don’t know how the actress kept a straight face and kept singing as she dodged dead birds and stepped over pigeon carnage as she moved downstage. The producer didn’t want to pop for white doves – or raise the budget to rent them for rehearsal – and the heat of the lights killed them as they had to be held above until it was time for them to be released.

        Great memories ALL, in any case – except for those pigeons of course (and the producer, who had to pay to replace all those dead birds). The majority of shows go off with only small hitches like props that go missing, zippers that get stuck during rapid costume changes causing late entrances you have to vamp through, etc.)

        I once accidentally set a long fake thumbnail on FIRE lighting a candle as Queen Aggravain in ‘Once Upon A Mattress.’ I simply did a take in character, blew on my thumbnail as if it were a candle and sucked on my aching thumb – and the applause was deafening. I think they thought it was supposed to be a bit in the show.

        Ditto the time the crew neglected to wet the ashtrays during Accommodations – Atlanta or Birmingham, can’t recall – when I had to dump several into a paper bag “cleaning up” after a couple of characters had been smoking – and it burst into a rah-ther spectacular upstage fire – to which the audience, thankfully, alerted me.

        Fortunately, in the very next scene I was supposed to dump a bucket of “melted ice” on my estranged husband (hiding in a covered bathtub spying on me) – so I was able to put out the fire like business as usual and carry on. The subsequent moment wasn’t nearly as funny — and we had to figure out another way for him to be discovered without the benefit of consultation — but, as Shakespeare says, “all’s well that ends well.”

        As for what I’m doing now, I’m not so sure how much I’m really needed anymore now that the field is firmly established, but thanks for the encouraging words. I like to think I still have a lot to share that is still fairly unique.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        Wow Madelyn. These are some incredible experiences for sure. At the time they had to be trying but in looking back you gotta laugh. If only people really knew what went on behind the scenes that were playing out in front of them without them knowing it. What remarkable experiences you have had and you are so right about them preparing you for life. You have a lot to share and it’s all unique because you are unique and thank God for that fact.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oristel Guenael

    WOW! I did not know this! “let’s just say it pushes the waste material from the holding tanks into the septic system at campgrounds and is a very important gizmo if you don’t want things getting stinky as you drive down the road in the hot sun” WOW. They were very nice for lending you guys a car! I hope the car is good now. Thank you for sharing your journey!

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    Reply
  3. Ann McDunn

    Very nice to find such a good servicepoint, I am not technical at all, but I understand it was really necessary, after the repair the trip can start fresh again 😉 Nice foto’s from you both and Emma and ofcorse from Daisy on the bottom. Warm greetings, Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • usathroughoureyes

      So true. Interesting though that when we got back home to have everything checked out we discovered that the new batteries they were suppose to have installed were dated 2007 but charged us $500.00 for new ones. We are working with them to stand tall and make good. We keep all posted. We’re sure they just made a mistake?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. braddahr

    A little off topic, do you think it’s better to have an all in one RV or if you did it over again, would you go with a vehicle and trailer set up?

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    • usathroughoureyes

      This is a great question Brad. After our first real cross country trek in September 2016 to Montana and back we tented. We knew from the first few days of that adventure we wanted to do it more. As we journeyed we talked with so many folks tenting, using camper vans, and pull behinds of every type. height, width and length. What we discovered was our particular like was being able to go down paved and unpaved back roads or through towns and cities knowing we had the flexibility to park on the side of a hill and cook either on our stove or a campfire or on main street America and grab that ice cream cone we are addicted too. So after a lot of research we decided on this Roadtrek 190. It has the queen size bed, shower, toilet, fridge, microwave and seats 6 comfortably even thought there’s only the two of us and Emma. What’s great is when we do park in campgrounds it takes all of 5 minutes to hook up the water and electric and 5 minutes to pump out when we leave. When we watch some of the rigs pulling into campgrounds they work pretty hard getting things level. Our hat goes off to them though because backing up their rigs would give me heart failure. This gives us the ability to go and come. So I guess we’d have to say we are enjoying this vehicle right now. Thank you for asking this because it allowed us to look back as to how we made this choice. I guess there are the pro’s and con’s to each. Have you done the travel trailer route?

      Liked by 1 person

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      • braddahr

        I appreciate the insight. Each year we go (under duress) to a 10 day camp and we rent a trailer for that. It’s brought there, set up, and when we’re done, taken away. We’ve thought about a camper/RV something something. The thing is, I figure we could rent like this for another 10 years before we get to “it’s better money to buy instead of rent. Plus we like hotels…

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        LOL, duress can be difficult at times can’t it. We know what you are saying about the rent vs own dilemma. For our September 2016 journey driving, tenting, hotel’ing and eating out routine we kept close track of all the numbers. We figured if we were going to travel as extensively as we wanted too we had to make it affordable. The numbers crunched out that this was the best route for us. It has been exciting to see how economical it is becoming for us. That along with the experiences and memories are priceless.

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        They sure do. We discovered they averaged about $80 per night. We perhaps could have found less expensive but we liked having doors that locked and lights around the parking lot, lol. Not that places lacking those things are always bad places.

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        LOL. We hear ya. At the time you need sleep and then you wake the next morn wondering why you chose that place, lol. We’ve done this a few times. Especially when I don’t listen to Audrey.

        Liked by 1 person

      • braddahr

        My parents did a cross Canada trip in a VW Westfalia. They really enjoyed it.
        If I got a camper/motor home I would want one that launches a motorcycle out the back.

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        Did you see that the VW is going to begin re-making that one? Its amazing some of the campers we see. They have the motorcycle, 4 wheeler and one even had a deck on the back. There is something for everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • braddahr

        I’ve seen pictures of the VW. There’s one RV place we drive by and they have a trailer with a big deck. I guess that’s for people who want to go camping but don’t like getting too close to the earth.

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        LOL. You’re probably right. For us camping dirt is cleaner then any shopping mall. There is something to waking to the smell of fresh air in the forest and the sun kissing our heads while we sip camp coffee.

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      • usathroughoureyes

        LOL. They can get fancy and exorbitant in price but WOW did we get blessed to find ours. The new ones as you know reach over 6 figures and finding used ones is like finding “hens teeth”, lol. When we came across ours and began to negotiate the dealership gave us a price that was far, far lower then we could have ever dreamed of. Our first thought was, there’s gotta be something wrong with it, lol. I mean Brad it was a true blessing. This is why we mentioned before that when you find the right deal it makes road travel very affordable for us retirees, lol. The 3 of us are snug like bugs in a rug.

        Liked by 1 person

      • braddahr

        That’s wonderful. I think God’s plan is for me to work until I die (or get killed for sharing the Good News) so I haven’t thought about retiring. 😏

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        LOL. We know what you mean about working. Its interesting how it happened for me. I kept hearing everyone talking about knowing when it was time. Well then it happened, I just knew. You’ll know. One thing for sure is He is using you and this is something I believe.

        Liked by 1 person

      • braddahr

        Thanks, I appreciate that.
        My dad stayed working until he was 70, retired, then took on contract work.
        I would like to retire and then do the traveling thing like you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        Its a difficult decision to let go or at least it was for me. Then it was so clear. After retirement I relaxed for about a month and started moving and haven’t stopped since. Now we do what He leads us to do and its all joy. Amazing how little one really needs.

        Liked by 1 person

    • usathroughoureyes

      Its been so fun Robbie to be out in the elements and seeing all the beautiful scenery and people. We are cherishing every moment knowing that everything can change in a moment. We would love to explore your area and hopefully one day we will be able too! Dreams do come true! We’re sure you know about dreams coming true with the successes you have been experiencing!

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  5. anne leueen

    Don’t you just love it when a serendipity just materializes like that! And I did not know what a macerator pump was. We did 26,000 kilometers around Australia but we had no toilet. It was either the Outback or the campground toilets. Anyway looking forward to more of your journey.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Wow Anne, 26,000 kilometers around Australia. What an adventure. Having a toilet is such a nice convenience and we can only imagine in the outback it would have been really nice. Those 2 a.m. bathroom runs can get to be a pain, lol. Its so great having you with us on these journeys.

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  6. King Ben's Grandma

    Definitely a part you want to get fixed ASAP!😱 Part of a road trip is seeing all the beauty of our country. Another part is meeting all the good people out there along the way. The news would have us believe everyone is horrible. That just isn’t true.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Amen to getting it fixed. What an important little gizmo when on the road. Isn’t it true how the news can make us afraid to leave our homes at times. We are meeting so many wonderful folks as we travel then when we do our post we get to meet even more wonderful folks like you to talk with and share.

      Liked by 1 person

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