Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2009: 14

  Monday, November 2, was a bit lower key. Katie and Tom were very well organized in their new home. It was a cloudy, chilly morning when Bill drove to Duke Forest to run 8 miles on the Al Bueller trail. He ran clockwise this time as opposed to running counter-clockwise on Wednesday. Bill found the hills worse in this direction and ran slower:

Meanwhile, Cathy, Katie, and the kids went to the pediatrician for H1N1 (Swine) flu shots. We all had lunch back at the house. After lunch, Katie had to wait for the Salvation Army truck to come to take away some surplus stuff, so Bill and Cathy took Rachel to the playground at the Chapel Hill Community Center Park. After a couple of hours of play and exploring the center building, they went to a grocery store for a few items. Tom spent the day at work and prepared a Shrimp Etoufee dinner in honor of Cathy's birthday (the next day). The four adults had a nice evening together.

  Tuesday was the first "normal" day for the Leitch family in North Carolina. They headed off to daycare and work shortly after 7 AM. Bill had Windexed all of the windows of their Mini Cooper, but they were too preoccupied to even notice. Bill and Cathy quickly got themselves organized and headed into Durham to pick up the RV at Hedrick Chevy. Back at the RV, they started the refrigerator and were on the road at about 9 AM. They had an uneventful drive, mostly on I40. They stopped at a Food Lion to buy lunch and ate in the RV about an hour from Asheville. They arrived at Wilson's RV Park on the French Broad River at about 2 PM. There were only a few other RVs in the park due to the season of the year. After getting the campsite set up and Bill taking a shower, we headed into downtown Asheville and parked on the perimeter of an area of restaurants and shops. After touring the area on foot and getting a cappuccino for Bill, we ate a great meal at the Thai Basil restaurant. Back at the RV, Cathy took a shower while Bill worked on the computer catching up with this journal. The temperature was forecast to dip to the low 30s, so we used our auxiliary heat.

  Wednesday was Cathy's _th birthday. Bill showed Cathy the Parade Magazine ad for the laptop that he had bought with Computing Doc funds for her birthday. The laptop awaited her at Son Bill's house in Georgia. After breakfast, Bill did a short taper run of 3 miles along the river. Then we drove to the Biltmore Estate. We brought Bridget's Flat Stephanie along for the ride and on the house tour. The tour cost $55 per person plus $10 more for the optional audio tour we opted for. Bill does not like to tour houses, but we both thought that this tour was very special and well worth the money. It was a beautiful day to enjoy the scenic estate, but we wished it were a bit warmer. We ate a mediocre lunch at the estate to break up our tour. After several hours at the Biltmore Estate, we drove for an hour on a twisty mountain road to reach Chimney Rock, NC. We paid $9 each to enter and climb the many stairs to the overlook atop the rock. After a couple of photos, we climbed down and headed back to the campground. After cleaning up a bit, we drove into downtown Asheville. We ate a very good meal at the Marketplace Restaurant and a couple of wicked desserts afterward. Our GPS struggled to understand how to move about a city with 3 interstate highways and 2 rivers.

  Thursday we left early and drove west on I40 to a Cracker Barrel, where we enjoyed our usual oatmeal breakfasts. We took an interesting route over the mountains on US 23 and Old Route 441. It was a gorgeous day for a drive. We stopped at the BP gas station close to Son Bill and Stacey's house and bought lunch at the Subway there. We ate our subs in the RV in their driveway. Son Bill arrived around 2 PM. We went with him to a couple of stores and Starbucks. We also went with Son Bill to pick up Billy and Sarah at daycare. Son Bill and Stacey put on a very nice birthday dinner for Cathy with an awesome salmon recipe and accompaniments. Cathy got a look at her new laptop as Bill worked to set it up for her.

  Friday started with a heavy frost. Bill scraped ice off of both of Son Bill and Stacey's vehicles and did some Windexing. We went with Stacey to drop the kids at daycare and then dropped Stacey at Scientific Games. We returned to the house using Route 400. After working on laundry and replacing the house's air filters, we drove the Xterra to RaceTrac for a lube and oil change. Bill got a cappuccino at Starbucks, we bought gloves for Sunday at Lowes, and ate lunch at Atlanta Bread. Stacey called and we arranged to return to pick up the minivan and head to daycare to pickup Billy after his nap. We picked him up after another trip to Starbucks and drove to fields 6 and 7 of the North Alpharetta Park. Billy had a good time with a kickball and 3 tennis balls that he found. We also walked him to 2 very nice playgrounds in the vicinity. Son Bill and Stacey stayed overnight in Atlanta as an anniversary celebration. They were headed for an expensive dinner and show. We picked up Sarah at daycare around 5 PM and drove to Macaroni Grille for dinner. The kids were on their very best behavior and we all enjoyed our meals. We drove home the back way without a hitch and the kids chose Scooby Doo for a video before bedtime. Bill read to Sarah and Cathy read to Billy before they were off to bed. We caught up on 2 episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" before going to bed later than usual.

  Saturday started at about 1:30 AM with Billy wandering around the downstairs near our bedroom. Cathy talked him into returning to bed, but for the rest of the night we were listening too carefully for sounds in the house. We all got up around 6 AM. The morning began chilly, but the bright sun had warmed things by 9 AM. We went outside with the kids to kick Billy's soccer ball around the cul-de-sac. Then the kids played with their wheeled vehicles. Then we all walked to the neighborhood playground and the kids enjoyed swinging, climbing, and sliding. We walked back before noon and waited on the driveway for Son Bill and Stacey to return from their mini-vacation. They brought lunch with them, so we all ate together in the kitchen. Everyone except Son Bill and Billy went to Barnes and Noble to buy books. Bill bought a Trail Runner magazine after buying a cappuccino at the Starbucks in the bookstore. We got takeout from Rice.

  Sunday started around 5 AM for Bill and Son Bill as they prepared themselves for the XTerra trail race in Roswell. They left at around 6 AM and stopped at a Starbucks on the way to the race location in a mountain bike park. The run was for two loops of approximately 4.5 miles each. Bill and Son Bill stayed together for a good bit of the run. Bill fell 4 times and the third fall was the worst fall he has ever had in any sport (including the broken collarbone he suffered in a bike fall in 1993). Something, possibly a root, caused Bill to fall over like a tree on the right front side of his body. His right knee and elbow were very bloody, his hip was bruised, some ribs on the right side were cracked or bruised, his upper arm muscles were sprained, and he hit his right forehead. Also, his GPS watch was wrenched from his wrist, leaving blood and bruises in its wake. Bill scrambled up and started running again. After a while, he noticed that the GPS watch was gone and turned back to find it. Someone picked it up and gave it to Bill, but he lost 10 minutes or so in backtracking. Bill had told Son Bill to go on. Bill finished strongly with a lot of blood on his body. Bill won a medal by default because the next oldest runner in the 9 mile race was 64. Bill cleaned up with wet paper towels and then both Bills went to Starbucks on the way home. Cathy, Stacey, and the kids went to a birthday party. The two Bills ate lunch at the house. Later in the afternoon, Everyone but Bill went to Target. Bill worked on the Sunday Times puzzle. Stacey and Son Bill served a grilled shrimp dinner. Bill skipped his shower to allow his injuries to heal a bit.

        Bill and Cathy