I should have known I'd be doomed. Every travel experience of mine has some sort of tragedy. But this time it would be different, I told myself.
Why not get a motor home, I thought, tired of driving into the wee hours of the morning in attempt to find a vacant hotel, during some unknown wine festival or military reunion or whatever else I always happened to magically find. With a motor home, we'd avoid this. We could have home cooked meals. We could use a restroom without graffiti and urine puddles.
I should have know you cannot avoid disaster and ill luck. I should have seen the signs.
We looked at motorhomes and trailers for over a month and settled on a used one with 100,000 miles but in decent shape. We test drove it probably a dozen times before making out decision.
We left for Chicago, a thee day tour, and not even a mile from home, I mentioned the diesel truck smell. From a gas engine. An hour into it, we pull over for lunch and my husband looks like death. He is pale and green and we pin it to the fact we were packing the RV at midnight. We are tired, I tell him. He says he feels faint. Like death. We have to turn back and go home to rest. So we do and he feels okay but it is late afternoon, an old RV in the Mojave Desert in scorching heat could be bad.
We end up taking the RV down to Los Angeles to get fixed, which takes a few days. We thus unpack and days later, re-pack.
So we leave the next morning, bound for Flagstaff. We pack the dogs, two large dogs,and the cat who gets stuck in the bathroom door. As we navigate the switchbacks, I carefully remove the cat, without injury. We end up boarding the animals though, it's much easier.
Things seem ok, even in the 112 degree heat at the Colorado River. We are Flagstaff bound.
We pull into a campground at 10pm and I am confused, the campground person is sleeping so I navigate things on my own- we accidentally end up in the expensive spot but realize that past midnight. But everything will be fine.
We leave at dawn but stop to see the meteor crater, petrified forest, and other attractions, so we spend the night in a hotel near Texas because the nearest campground is too far.
We drive through Texas and get pulled over. We do not have temporary plates because our state does not issue them and Texas mandates them. The patrolman says to get out of Texas quick, and that my husband has a warrant for his arrest. What? So this family of bandits is covertly rushing deep through the heart of Texas.
We call about the warrant and find out it is someone with a very similar name which makes way more sense being that my husband is all law abiding and stuff.
Then, the motorhomes overheats. It shifts weird. We are in the middle of nowheresville Texas on a Sunday. The few cattle ranchers are Bible thumping or whatever. We probably got pulled over in the first place cause we weren't at church. And lacked a gun rack. Although we'd totally have one if they were legal.
We do a detour down a country road o a little car dealership that is open but they are so Podunk they cannot help us. I admire their newspaper, full of junior league news and who got what in the mailbox. No joke, I found out Lila May got a letter from her grandson overseas.
The dealership tells us the next place we can go is Oklahoma City. We cross our fingers and pray we will make it.
We of course find rid construction delays and have to turn of the a/c in nearly 100 degree heat. The RV rattles and groans and threatens catching fire as we count the miles to OKC. It takes forever. I am quite sure we will be spending summer vacation alongside the interstate in Cow Patty, OK. I mean, it is actually a gorgeous state but not my dream vacation.
We make it, barely, and find some he in the wall repair place next to a burnt down motel. We are the talk of the town, out of staters bringing business so the entire shop comes out to inspect the RV like it is a UFO. One guy even calls his friend about it. They say they can just drop the motor right here in the motel parking lot and fix it. They've never fixed one , but they are self proclaimed grease monkeys. We worry about insurance since it doesn't quite look legit so we go elsewhere.
The new place cannot even look at the RV till midweek, being the only Chevy truck-van-RV place for like 300 miles. We decide to spend the night across the street and get a rental car and keep on trucking. Except, or course, there is some huge NBA basketball competition game thingy (I am sports-challenged) and all cars are taken. Except one in the whole city, a gas guzzling jeep Cherokee that they were about to retire. It is filthy dirty, expensive, rickety, and yet it's ours. Of course.
And so, we left. But our adventure was not over.
joining yeahwrite and nablopomo to write every day in this busy month. Sure, I just started a new job, am moving, have relatives visiting, doctor appts, anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays. So I am nuts to be blogging. Join me?