Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Tiffin Motorhomes

13 August 2018

We have wanted to tour the Tiffin Motorhome factory for awhile and now we were passing close to Red Bay, AL, where they are located.  We saw that they give a guided tour in the mornings, but we were not going to get there until mid to late afternoon and were unsure if we would be able to see the plant.  As we drove into town, we knew we were in the right place as there were mini RV parking lots everywhere in town with lots of Tiffin motorhomes waiting their turn for service.

I have read on blogs about the change in service policy at Tiffin. Apparently, a few years ago, they changed their policy to allow only coaches within the one-year warranty period to make a service appointment.  The rest have to arrive and take a number and wait until they are called.  It was amazing and a bit disconcerting to see so many coaches waiting for service.

After floundering around for a bit, we found the entrance to the plant after 2pm.  We told the guard we would like to have tour.  He showed us where to park and directed us to a small reception office.  We asked about a tour and the gentleman said no problem.  To our surprise, we were free to tour all of the plant on our own and take pictures.  He pointed out a few buildings we were not allowed in due to safety issues like the welding shop. He gave us some badges, safety glasses and a map and out the door we went.  We had a time limit due to the late hour we arrived but had enough time see most everything.  The very high temperature was the real limiting factor for deciding when we were done.

Having done several other motorhome factory tours, I would say this one had the same level of organized chaos to the observer.  We watched the process from assembling the frames to the inspection section and water testing of the coaches. They also had an area of just completed and checked coaches that we could walk thru.  We did a few, but the heat finally drove us back to the office to return our badges and head out.  When it is time for our next coach we will certainly include Tiffin in the process.  

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Helen Keller birthplace

13 Aug 2018

As we continued south in Alabama, we saw several signs advertising the home of Helen Keller.  We did not have this on our agenda and at first, we were going to keep moving. As we traveled thru Tuscumbia, Al, there was a sign indicating a right turn to Helen Keller’s home.  We turned and found the home on a quiet side street in a very pleasant setting.  It was a good decision.  We enjoyed a personal tour of the home with a history of the artifacts of her life and family.

In her early years, Helen’s grandparents lived in the main house, Ivy Green. Her parents and Helen lived in the cottage a few feet away.

Helen Keller was born in 1880 and was a bright and healthy girl until she fell ill when she was two years of age and became both deaf and blind.  She became a wild child with many tales of her antics. After searching for ways to help their child, the parents eventually hired Ann Sullivan as her teacher.  The now famous breakthrough in Helen’s understanding of her world occurred in 1887 when she understood the motions that her teacher was making in Helen’s palm was the word for water she felt running into her hand from the hand pump.  After this realization, she made rapid progress.  She would go on to become a world-famous author, lecturer and activist.

Sullivan would remain with her for 49 years. 

Hers is truly a story of amazing courage in overcoming her handicaps and rising to international fame.  It all started at Ivy Green homestead, where she was born.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Davy Crockett State Park, TN

12 Aug 2018

After saying goodbye to our friends, we headed south and stopped for the night at Davy Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg, TN.  After figuring out where the check in office was hiding, we were told to pick our own site.  The park is under repairs with lots of signs of the ongoing work.  It is a tight fit for even our small rig on some of the roads.  Section one near the river can only accommodate very small RV’s or tents.  Since it is very close to the river, flooding is obviously an issue.  We picked a site in the second section, which was also being worked on.  The sites were large enough, but the layout would make parking an issue for some bigger rigs.  We had a large remodeled site, and everything worked. There were also new bathrooms within a short walking distance. 

Before setting up, we made a quick trip to the Davy Crockett museum before it closed.  It was very small but interesting. The office warned us that the small bridge to get to the museum was 14ft clearance, but when we approached, a big sign on the bridge declared that it was 10 ft clearance.  It looked taller than that, so I slowly drove under it while Anneke carefully watched the clearance. It was no problem for us, but I cannot vouch for the claimed 14ft the office stated.  
 I trust the pictures will tell the story.