Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Friday, October 31, 2014

Tire Pressure Monitoring System - Third Time the Charm?

At home near Fort Worth, Texas...

During our trip outbound to Tennessee a few weeks ago, our Tire Tracker pressure monitor had a spasm and began to show tire pressure warnings that were clearly bogus, setting off the alarm when there was no problem. Changing the sensor batteries didn't help, and I refused to call the company for assistance since I had been treated poorly by them in the past. The owner's manual was very poorly written back then, so I gave them a call. I got the impression that the outfit was being run from a cranky old couple's kitchen table, as they answered the phone with "hello" instead of the name of the company, and they had been quite condescending when I started explaining the difficulties I was having--acting almost as though some dimwit had interrupted their dinner.

Now I won't deny that I may be slow at some things, but I can point to a few achievements that might indicate at least modest brain activity. However, I was obviously not able to summon enough intellectual acumen to figure out, for example, how to add more sensors and program them correctly. The instructions they gave over the phone only confused me more. So, with this background, I had a decision to make there in Tennessee: Call Ma and Pa Kettle and wake them up or toss the system. I chose the latter.

I had been quite complimentary of the Tire Tracker in a previous post, thinking that I had found a good system at a price lower than most of its competitors. And, to its credit, it gave good service for about three years. But there was still the problem with a faulty owner's manual and poor support (I never was able to add more sensors successfully). Now, with this unexplained failure, I just decided to give up.

I also might mention that this was the second tire pressure monitoring system that I have had to throw away. The first was a Pressure Pro that didn't work properly from the beginning. I didn't like the monitor, either, so it got the heave-ho without having made a single trip.

The latest system is from Truck System Technologies and, so far, I'm very pleased.

You may notice that I use this to monitor only the toad's tires. This is because Phannie's powerful engine could drag poor little Mae halfway across the country before I would know of a low or flat tire. (The toad's tires, of course, are not visible in the rearview TV monitor.)

I know quite a few RVers who don't use a monitor of any kind and, if that works for them, it's fine with me. However, this arrangement gives me an adequate comfort level for now, and I suppose I will stick with it unless something happens to change my mind in the future. Perhaps because I'm very careful about tire upkeep and replacement, I haven't had a single tire problem in almost ten years of RVing, and I hope it stays that way.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Home Again

At home near Fort Worth, Texas...

Our stay in Red Bay was amazingly brief, by Tiffin standards. After having arrived on Friday, we got the call early Monday morning to drive over to bay 32. This was an express bay, and we were allowed three techs for three hours, deemed by Tiffin's ubiquitous service writer Norris to be adequate for our short squawk list. The main necessity, of course, was the replacement of the living room window that the thieves had broken when we were in Pigeon Forge. The techs made short work of that, then moved on to the driver's side cockpit window, which was not draining rain water properly through the weep holes at the low point in the track of the sliding window. The tech who was cleaning out the weep holes accidentally cracked the glass, which resulted in Tiffin's replacing the entire window at no cost to us. Thanks, Bob Tiffin, for doing the right thing. The whole window assembly in this photo was the one Tiffin replaced on their dime:

After a few other issues were addressed by the techs and the bill had been paid, we backed Phannie out of the bay and returned to our campground spot for one more night before starting out for home. The next morning, we launched for Little Rock by way of Memphis, some 340 miles. That's a bit more than we like to travel in one day, but we were ready to get back home and take care of some personal business before going in for some routine medical and dental appointments. The older we get, the more of those we seem to have, don't we?

We decided to overnight at the COE park in Maumelle, just outside Little Rock; we had heard some good things about this park but had not stayed there, and we wanted to check it out. Arriving late in the afternoon, we found a nice spot right on the bank of the Arkansas River. Here is our view from Phannie's door:

Wow, what's not to like about this? Like most COE parks, this one is very nice with wide spaces, large concrete pads and paved roads throughout. No sewer, wi-fi or cable, of course, and the park is heavily treed, so we didn't even try to deploy the Direct TV dish on Phannie's roof. Here's another view from our location, looking out on the interior of the park:

We hated to leave this bucolic setting, but Texas was beckoning. We didn't exactly hurry in leaving, however; it was about noon when we finally pulled away from our picturesque parking spot. Another 340-mile leg lay in front of us, and Phannie finally pulled into her familiar home berth in Fort Worth well after dark. 

She seemed to sigh in relief after a very busy summer and fall and many thousands of miles from Utah in the west to North Carolina in the east. And what a reliable old girl she has been, especially considering the challenging driving out west in the Rocky Mountains.

I still get excited at every day's departure when all of Phannie's utilities are disconnected, the slides are in and the big diesel comes to life at the rear of the coach. The engine sound at its 700 RPM idle is almost inaudible in the cockpit some 40 feet away--it is more of a slight rumble that is more sensed than heard. As the coach accelerates through the six gears, the engine speaks louder, of course, until cruise speed is reached. Once in sixth gear, the engine noise once again is suppressed at a normal cruise RPM of around 1700. All you really hear then is a bit of road and wind noise. I also like the billowy ride of the air suspension and the comfortable captain's chairs that allow you to recline, if you like, (not the driver, of course; I've tried it, and it doesn't work too well) as if you are in a theater, watching the scenery go by through the huge Imax-like windshield. Add to that some treats served by the stewardess (Sandy is a good one), and the lavatory on the go, and it's a lot like being in one of the airliners I used to fly. I'm offering this little aside for the benefit of readers who may be trying to decide between a motorhome and a towable RV. We loved our fifth wheel, but we've found the motor home even more to our liking. Much more, in fact.
Home again!

I couldn't be more pleased that Phannie seems more like a member of the family all the time. Rest well, old friend, until the next adventure.

Monday, October 13, 2014

More Curiosities

At the Tiffin campground, Red Bay, Alabama...

As usual, the Tiffin campground at Red Bay was full, so we decided this time to wait in Muscle Shoals for a vacancy. After arriving at the Heritage Acres RV Park, we drove the 40 miles to Red Bay in Mae and checked in at the Tiffin office to leave our squawk list and get our service number.

We spent a couple of days wandering around Muscle Shoals, and then Tiffin called us to "come on down." After our arrival amidst the other hundred or so Tiffin coaches, Norris met us and looked at our service list, advising us that we would probably be in an express bay in a couple of days. This was good news; if you're not judged to be an express bay candidate, the wait here can be weeks long!

As we drive around this part of Alabama, we find it a rich source of observations that may seem odd or curious to us, but probably don't seem so at all by the local folks. We find them "precious" (a term you hear often here in the deep south) and wonderfully revealing of a genteel rural culture that we just don't see in the big city.

I did a previous blog post on this subject during our last visit, so I thought I would reprise a few of my favorite photos from that post:

This is one of my favorites--a single metal building on the side of the road and a sign stating, well, the obvious. I can't help but scratch my head about this one...

This dummy sits in a lawn chair outside a dilapidated house. Not sure why.

Fall vignettes are popular on the roadsides around here; we loved the old Chevy truck decked out in a pink metallic paint that would make Mary Kay proud. 

Now for a some more selections from our current trip:

Speaking of vignettes, here's one in front of a Red Bay bank that extolls the variety of 'things to do' in the area. Sandy and I were amazed that pieces like the golf clubs and telescope were left there obviously with no consideration of the possibility of their being stolen. But they are quite safe; the postmaster told us she couldn't remember the last time there was any crime here. 

Stopping at a rest stop on our way to Red Bay, I couldn't help but notice that the size of the truck carrying this piece of earth-moving equipment may have been a bit of overkill.

Stopping for a snack in Scottsboro, Alabama, we spotted this advertisement for a true southern delicacy, I guess. I confess that I never thought of this combination before seeing this sign. I (almost) wished I had tried it.

These horses grace the front lawn of a Mexican restaurant in Muscle Shoals. If the rationale was to entice passersby to take a second look, I can testify that it worked!

More statuary from the same restaurant. I was a little uneasy about the meaning of the neck chain on the left statue, but the elephant...well, I'm afraid I'm at a loss, unless it's a political statement (of which I would approve). 

How about this from Littleville, Alabama: A used auto lot that sells only monster trucks. Talk about specializing!

This may be my favorite restaurant name of all time. We tried it, but weren't very impressed, unfortunately. (We are incredibly picky, however.) 

We think we may have been able to come up with a more positive name for our church, even though we might live in Burnout, Alabama.

I think this yard sale gets our nod for displaying the most overly ambitious sign we have seen anywhere.

Well, there you go. Aren't these wonderful? Somehow it all seems fitting here among these warm and friendly people who just don't take themselves all that seriously. We like that a lot.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Weather Hold in Chattanooga

At Best Trav-L-Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee...

We had been keeping an eye on the weather forecast for our next leg to Red Bay and, sure enough, the skies opened up right on schedule at about three o'clock on the morning of departure. The forecast called for two more days of rain, so we simply turned over and went back to sleep, electing to wait it out. I don't like driving Phannie in the rain for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that other drivers become crazier on wet roads. It's sort of like pouring water on cats--you never can tell what they're going to do!  At 32,000 pounds, Phannie is a pretty heavy old girl, and she doesn't react very quickly when you want her to do something like stop hurriedly to avoid hitting some lamebrain who cuts you off. For some reason, a rain shower is like a cloaking device, and other drivers are even less likely to see large objects like a motorhome. Besides, we don't mind hanging back a little longer, as we have no  requirement--like a job (shudder)--forcing us to return home by a certain date. (This is another blessing of retirement that still causes me to pinch myself from time to time.)

We used the extra downtime to visit Wally World to restock a number of household items that were running short. I also updated yesterday's blog post with some more restaurant reviews. We also boxed up some things we had accumulated for the kids and sent them off via FedEx.

It was good to have this little respite, and we slept and napped fitfully listening to the rain on Phannie's roof.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Chattanooga: Moon Pies, Yo Yo Ma and Fried Chicken

At Best Holiday Trav-L-Park, Chattanooga, Tennessee...

As I wrote the title to this post, I thought to myself that those three terms probably never before appeared together in any form of communication. Until now.

Frankly, I have no idea if Yo Yo Ma, the classical cellist of worldwide fame, has ever tasted a Moon Pie--or fried chicken, for that matter. I grouped them in the title because I have something to write about each as I close out our visit here. The mere fact that they coexist here in Chattanooga is a testament to the rich diversity of the culture. Yo Yo Ma was performing with the Chattanooga Symphony last week in the Tivoli Theater, a wonderful old movie house built in 1920. Seating 1700 persons, the theater was one of the first air conditioned buildings in the United States and, now fully restored, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its mighty Wurlitzer theater organ still plays. 

Before the concert with Yo (as the folksy denizens of Chattanooga might wish to address him), you could have stopped in the Moon Pie store nearby and had one of the tasty little cakes that have called Chattanooga home since 1919, a year before the Tivoli opened.

The Moon Pie was conceived by a Chattanooga bakery at the behest of one of its salesmen who had been approached by coal miners to provide them with a small but filling cake that could be carried in a pocket and provide them a lunch when inside the mines. When asked how big the cake should be, a miner supposedly used his thumbs and forefingers to encircle a rising moon and said, "this big," hence the name Moon Pie. During the great depression, one could buy a Moon Pie and an RC Cola for a nickel, and this constituted lunch for countless people during that era.  

If Yo had had a craving for fried chicken, he could have meandered a little farther west of downtown to Champy's, a shanty-like structure that began life as a gas station. This place has won several awards for the best fried chicken in Chattanooga, and it is well deserved. I have eaten quite a lot of fried chicken in my time, and if this is not the best I've ever had, it's pretty darned close. They also make some killer hot tamales from scratch. We had both, and they were outstanding. I advise you to go hungry; you will not be disappointed.

Another worthwhile foodie adventure can be had at Taco Mamacita, downtown near the riverfront. This joint caters mostly to a younger crowd (I was only grayhair there), but they serve some really tasty tacos. I had a blackened chicken taco and a panko-breaded shrimp taco, along with a fresh ear of roasted Mexican street corn. It was all delicious; don't pass up this one.

We must have been hungry for tacos (we've been away from Texas for a long time), so we made an initial stab at Taqueria Jalisco, also downtown, but it could not hold a candle to Taco Mamacita. 

If you've read this blog for a while, you won't be surprised at the somewhat questionable appearance of some of the dives I seek out for a real food find. Taqueria Jalisco is one of those dives but, although it got great reviews, it came up a bit short, in my opinion. 

Perhaps I was distracted by the appearance of the single waitperson, whose gender I truly was unable to discern, and another customer sitting a few feet away from us. The latter was a heavily tattooed young woman with a nose ring and lip ring and whose armpits were quite heavily forested with hair. Frankly, I was so jolted by her visage that I'm not sure that my review of the food can be fully relied upon. I think I had tacos.

Now lest you think this joint caters only to offbeat types, there were other customers nearby who were wearing suits and talking about multi-million dollar real estate deals. This, in my view, was yet another indication of the diversity that can be found here. It is a college town, after all and, for many students, the college years are where they begin to find themselves. The young lady with the rings, however, needs first to find a razor. 

My take on this place is that you should probably skip it unless I have piqued your curiosity as to whom you might find there.

Next is my second favorite restaurant of the ones we tried: Zarzours. This tiny dive is an institution in downtown Chattanooga, serving breakfast and lunch mostly to locals, all of whom seem to know each other, judging from the lively conversations among the tables of mostly menfolk. Mary, the owner, knows most of her customers not merely by their name but by what they like to eat, which she often plops onto the flattop griddle when they walk in the door. Since Sandy and I were obviously strangers to her, she made a point to inquire, in her friendly, downhome manner, just what in the heck we were doing there. When she found out, she asked us to write in her guest book. Hopefully, her request was not merely intended to provide her with a handwriting sample. But, I digress...back to the food: We had a hamburger and fries--one of the best burgers we've had in a very long time. It was cooked as if in her own home, except better, because there's just something about a very old flattop that sears a hamburger patty better than anything else. I only wish we had another week to eat here; the blue plate specials looked superb. We will be back.

Thai Garden (in Rossville) - Good food, very fresh, and they will tailor dishes any way you like. Oddities: They don't serve nam pla prik, a very common Thai condiment made with fish sauce, garlic, lime juice and bird peppers. They also didn't have any chili garlic sauce, a staple in most Thai restaurants. I was able to add enough heat via some hot chili oil, but it just wasn't the same. The yum nuea (grilled beef salad) was a little sweet for my taste.

Here are some other places we tried, along with my comments:

Lupi's Pizza Pies - Better than the chains, in my view, with a crispy outer crust that is unusually good.

Sweet Basil Thai - Pretty good, but I would not recommend anything with chicken, which was rubbery and tasteless. The mango sticky rice also didn't impress.

Ankar's Hoagies - Don't bother.

Portofino (Italian/Greek restaurant in East Ridge) - Lots of cars in the parking lot fool you into thinking it's a good place to eat. It's not. Even Olive Garden is better.

Well, that's it for Chattanooga; Red Bay, here we come.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chattanooga - A Historical Gem

At Best Holiday Trav-L-Park, Chattanooga, Tennessee...

Add Chattanooga to our list of first-time visits during this trip (and another favorite). It seems odd that I have lived for more than six decades and traveled fairly extensively in the U. S. and abroad, yet not seen  places like Knoxville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Asheville and now, Chattanooga. It was the captivity of the workplace, I suppose, and it is never far from my mind how grateful I am now to be free to enjoy our current lifestyle, exploring those places that have eluded us in the past. I mean, really--what's not to like about meandering around the country in a motorhome with all of Phannie's creature comforts, stopping where we like for as long as we like until we feel we have seen all we want to see?

Chattanooga has much to like in terms of its picturesque location on the Tennessee River, its rich history and its friendly and well-educated populace. (The University of Tennessee has a campus here, along with three other colleges.) And for foodies like us--some really good places to eat!

The city gets its name from a Creek Indian word meaning "rock that comes to a point," a reference, of course, to Lookout Mountain, looming over the city to the west.

It was a major railroad hub in the mid 1800s, causing it to be a strategic goal for capture by the union army during the civil war. It was from Chattanooga that General Sherman pushed out his supplies by rail to Atlanta, where he began his nefarious march to the sea, breaking the back of the confederacy. At least four significant battles were fought in and around the city, most notably those of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.

One cannot visit Point Lookout and, looking over the rocky ledge alongside a confederate cannon, not get an eerie sense that the hellish artillery fire had merely paused, soon to resume from its perfect vantage point above the city. I felt an inexplicable but oppressing sorrow, thinking about those men who died here in their attempts to defend or capture this promontory with its strategic importance. It was the same sense of gloom I felt when visiting the Dachau concentration camp near Munich.

On the positive side, the view from Lookout Point was magnificent, the weather was perfect for our visit, and Sandy's outfit coordinated nicely with the patina of the cannon barrel:

Another interesting visit was to the Chattanooga Choo Choo, a 400-room hotel at the old railroad passenger terminal in the heart of the city. They had the good sense to preserve the beautiful architecture of the main terminal building by using it as the hotel lobby. If desired, overnight guests can stay in one of the 48 railroad passenger cars that line the tracks along the old passenger loading and unloading platforms.

This is probably enough to absorb for one post. (To all of you out there who are new to blogging: Studies have shown that lengthy posts with dozens of photos will cause readers to lose interest very quickly. As a society, we tend to have a very short attention span these days, thanks to the TV remote and 30-second soundbites.) In keeping with that advice, I'll have more for you in a day or two.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


At the KOA in Asheville, NC...

We extended our trip from Gatlinburg to Asheville specifically to see Biltmore, the largest private home in America. I had read about it all my life, and it was definitely a bucket list item. I wasn't disappointed. Seeing this house provides a fascinating look into a bygone era of opulence and the creation of a masterpiece of planning and execution that cannot be duplicated today because of the enormous cost.

Its 250 rooms, 43 bathrooms and 135,000 square feet defy the imagination, and its splendid location overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains is unequaled in its stunning views.

We took the self-paced audio tour that had 40 stops where you can listen to a recording giving details about the items of interest in your view. There are several other behind-the-scenes tours that we could have taken, but we were too tired after spending most of the day here. We vow to return next fall, but just a bit later in October when the leaves are at their peak of color. If you have a chance to see this, don't miss it!

Sandy looks out over Biltmore's vast acreage from the loggia of the mansion.
Here are my restaurant reviews for Asheville:

The White Duck Taco Shop: Excellent and inexpensive, considering the exotic ingredients available; the fish taco and the Bangkok shrimp taco were my favorites.

The Lobster Trap: Great fresh seafood. We shared a lobster/clam/mussel and shrimp boil entrée that was more than both of us could eat. Highly recommend.

Baan Thai: Marvelously fresh and tasty Thai dishes cooked right before you in an open kitchen. So good!

It would be a good idea to eat before going to Biltmore; the restaurants on the estate are very expensive. Our lunch hamburgers were $14 apiece; we nearly choked.

Heading back west tomorrow: Next stop, Chattanooga!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Moving On - It Was Just Stuff, After All

At Pine Mountain RV Park, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee...

First, let me thank all of you who responded with such kind remarks about our experience with the burglary. I sincerely hope this kind of thing remains a rarity for everyone, and it is encouraging to have heard from so many of you.

We think we discovered how the thief or thieves gained access to Phannie. The entry door has two keyed locks--a deadbolt and a door handle lock. Because our experience with RV-related crime was nonexistent, we typically locked only the deadbolt and not the handle lock when leaving our rig. While I don't want to get into the details, we discovered that such an omission leaves the security of the door quite vulnerable to tampering because of the design of the deadbolt. This is almost certainly how they got in. You can bet that we will engage both locks from now on.

It has been an intense couple of days acquiring a new computer (a Dell All-In-One this time) and frantically changing access to sensitive information that might be compromised. It has not been easy emotionally either, especially for Sandy, who lost some pieces of jewelry that were not of great value but about which she was terribly sentimental.

We've worked our way pretty well through the shock, anger, sorrow and helplessness that comes with this sort of thing and have strengthened our resolve just to let it go. They didn't take our memories, and we can get new stuff; besides, if we let it ruin our trip, then the bad guys win. We can't have that!

Our friend Ed (The Happy Wanderers) wrote a post a few days ago about our experience. He reminded his readers that the vast majority of folks in the RV community are honest and caring and look out for each other. Sometimes, however, we do need to be reminded not to get too complacent. For nine years now, almost every RVer we've encountered would do anything they could for their fellow travelers. Perhaps though, considering the ever-increasing coarsening of our society (which I think began a rapid increase in 1963 when God was banned from school), we should be a bit more vigilant. In our case, we were in a very upscale park with RVs all around us, and our outside lights were on. Yet no one seems to have noticed anything, even though it happened fairly early in the evening. 

The only things left yet to do are to file an insurance claim and get the broken window fixed. We will be stopping in Red Bay on our way back to Texas to see if Tiffin can take care of that for us.

There; that's the last I'm going to post about the burglary. I am, however, considering a security system of sorts for Phannie, and I may post about that if I make a purchase that I'm considering.

We had a great time at the National Quartet Convention here in Pigeon Forge. We were among a crowd of 12,000 folks who really seemed to enjoy it, too. If you like southern gospel quartet singing, this was the place to be. We didn't know how much it would mean to us to be among those thousands of other Christians here who received comfort and blessings from the most joyful message that can be delivered in song. It sure helped deliver us from our funk.

Sandy did a lot of shopping for our grandsons while we were here. There were plenty of opportunities, of course; there are outlet stores galore, along with the biggest Christmas store in the south. We drove out to nearby Chestnut Hill one afternoon to the Bush's Bean canning complex. (Isn't it precious what retirees will find to do to pass the time?) This was actually quite enjoyable, a feelgood experience that definitely made us want to buy Bush's beans, which, of course, was their aim, I guess. I had some better photos than this, but they were in the computer that was stolen and--naturally--not backed up; (that's another thing that's about to change.)

Our trip to the Smoky Mountains has been a totally pleasant surprise for us; we had no idea how much we would like this area, but we can tell you that we will be back next fall. We were here a bit too early to enjoy the changing leaf colors this time, but the woods are getting prettier every day, and we can just imagine what it will be like in a few weeks.

Here are a few photos to give you an idea of the essence of the Smoky Mountain scenery we've been enjoying:

Because we've been offline for a few days, I'm going to give you only a thumbnail review of the restaurants we've patronized and the shows we've seen (Pigeon Forge has several Branson-like theaters):

Old Mill Restaurant. This huge place is swamped all the time, and we're not sure why. Quaint old building with lots of history; home cooking that is pretty good but not worth writing home about.

J. T. Hanna's Kitchen. Sort of a hillbilly Cheddars. Place is always packed, but like the Old Mill above, I'm not sure why; maybe it's the bar.

Old Mill Pottery House Café and Grill. Worth a trip; good food, reasonable prices and a pretty setting.

Log Cabin Pancake House. Good ratings in Yelp, but we weren't impressed. Southern cooking and pancakes that are serviceable. There are no fewer than 15 pancake houses in Pigeon Forge; there must be better ones that this, but we just couldn't indulge that much sweetness at all 15 locations. Besides, I don't think any can match Sandy's multi-generation pancake recipe; it's just not possible. Good luck with your own research.

Captain Jim's Seafood Buffet. We went inside with the intention of eating there, but after noticing the strong fishy smell inside, we decided against it.

Tony Gore's BBQ. This place in Sevierville was pretty good, but we've had better; this isn't Texas, of course. Can't expect too much.

Bones BBQ in Gatlinburg.  Awful. Stay away...far away.

Alamo Steak House in Gatlinburg. Pretty decent steak, but there was a bit of an odd flavor that may have been from whatever wood source that was firing the grill. Texas Roadhouse is better, if you can put up with the noise.

The Thai Palace in Sevierville. Not bad Thai food, but the next one below is much better.

Thai Basil. This place, also in Sevierville, was excellent. Our favorite restaurant in the area. Highly recommended.

Now, that's just the restaurants we tried; there are many, many more to choose from, and we're sure we missed some good ones.

We also saw the following shows:

Smoky Mountain Opry. A very entertaining variety show with all kinds of music and acts. Worth the price of the ticket.

Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Theater. Food was just okay, and the show was just a bit too corny for me. Thumbs down on this one.

Blackwood Singers. If you like southern gospel music, you'll like this. It was a (gasp) early show, but I'm glad we went.

Comedy Barn. This was hyped as the funniest show in Pigeon Forge, and it was! They exploited a number of audience members with the intention of making fools of them, and they didn't disappoint. Hilarious.

On to Asheville; ta-ta for now.