The Best Laid Plans or … A Study in Murphy’s Law – Final Chapter

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As we carefully peeked into the garage, we were able to breath a huge sigh of relief. Thankfully, all was well.  A few things had shifted a bit, but everything that was supposed to be connected to the walls, was still connected, woohoo ! We went about packing, and trying to get as much done as we could in preparation for tomorrow’s winterizing and storing, including running a load of clothes in our little Washer/ Dryer combo. Yes, you heard right, the RV has a little Splendide combo unit, which was part of our negotiations when we bought the unit.

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These are designed for RV use, and are great for small light loads. It’s not the best for sheets and towels , but really good for keeping up with your day to day stuff. After all, closet space in an RV isn’t conducive to having a huge wardrobe, so this way you don’t have to wear yesterday’s undies, if you know what I mean. Anyway, it worked great, and because it washes and dries as one program, you set it once, and then can head off to bed without staying up to transfer clothes, sweet.

We actually even got in a little TV time. It seems that a lot of the RV parks now provide cable TV hookups, so all you need is the coaxial cable, which we picked up at Walmart ( more about that shortly ) during one of our many midnight trips to the store. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get it to work and then another few minutes to realize I had all of about 4 stations, but hey, at least it was little downtime for the brain.

We had an 11am appointment that next morning with a mobile winterizing guy that was meeting us at the storage facility in Prineville, Oregon. It was about a 30 minute drive from the RV park, and we knew we needed to get there early enough to get checked in, all the paperwork filled out, and to find our space, so we set the alarm for yet another predawn start. After loading a ” to go ” cup of joe, we headed to Walmart to return a few things we hadn’t needed, and pick up a few things that we still did. Don headed for the return line and I made my way through the store hoping to find everything on the list.

I’ve gotta take a few moments to give kudos to Walmart,  as they were a lifesaver more than once on this trip. Number 1, they’re open when you need them; number 2, they are basically everywhere; number 3, they carry tons of stuff and even have an RV section; and number 4, they’re well priced. We also have heard that many of the stores are OK with RV’s spending the night in their lots at no charge. Though we didn’t need to do that this trip, I can see where it would come in real handy if you ran into problems with full RV parks, or not being able to make your destination. So after visiting more Walmart stores in this one trip than I’ve done in my entire life, I am now a fan.

The downfall though can be long lines in the return lane, and that day was no exception, so by the time we made it back to the RV, we were running late. We quickly went through the batten down the hatches thing, hooked up, called the winterizing folks to let them know we were running late and hit the road.

We were lucky in that the Dodge Ram came with a great GPS system that had worked beautifully through the trip, and as we had done each morning, I entered our destination address into the system, and we followed it with total trust. Lesson number 96, never follow anything with total trust. There we were sitting on a dead end residential street in an enormous rig with the GPS telling us we had reached our destination. Needless to say we didn’t have a clue where the place really was, or how we were going to get out of this area without ripping off the top of the trailer. One of the many things that’s different about driving these large trailers is you have to pay close attention to what’s above you. Our rig for instance is  13′ – 3″ tall, which means that you not only have to worry about overpasses and tunnels, you have to worry about power lines and overhanging trees. So many of older residential neighborhoods have utility lines that cross the street, or large tree limbs that create a low hanging canopy. If you’re not paying attention, or get stuck in an area without a clear passage, you’re gonna get slammed with thousands of dollars in damages. Fortunately, before the panic started to settle in, a car parked behind us and a woman got out and came over to the truck. She lived in the neighborhood, and had seen a few other folks run into the same problem, so she said she’d get us there and just to follow her. She led us through the winding narrow streets that thankfully had enough height clearance, and took us right to the storage companies front door. We were completely overwhelmed at her generosity, and though she wouldn’t accept any compensation, she finally let us give her the box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts we had brought from Hawaii.

The winterizing guy was there waiting for us, and the manager of the facility told us to go ahead and deal with getting set up, that we could do the paperwork later. Tell you what, they grow ’em nice in Prineville.

Winterizing primarily consists of making sure all the water lines and water storage tanks get a good taste of Pepto Bismol. Not really, that’s just what it looks like. It’s a pink antifreeze that’s supposed to be non toxic ( well one can hope ), that’s run through all the lines to make sure they don’t freeze and crack. That included of course our in line coffee system, ice maker, washer dryer, toilets and faucets. We’re talkin’ lots of pink. There were some other odds and ends, but I’m going to wait until we de-winterize it next summer, to see what we did or didn’t do right. I’ll give you an update then with the definite do’s and don’ts.

Now it was time to back the sucker in to it’s winter home. I’ll give Don high marks, he got it in there well within the lines in a reasonably short period of time. That’ not to say it was perfect, or that he doesn’t need a little more practice in backing, and that I don’t need a little more practice in spotting, but it’s there and we didn’t kill each other. Mission accomplished.

Our good friends Gil and Cheryl Loomis, along with our now new good friend Cynthia Quinn, showed up during the final backing sequence, which put a little more pressure on us to look like we knew what we were doing, but it was so fun to see them there, and we got to do our first ” open house “. After closing everything up, and getting our storage paperwork finished, we gave the beastie a big kiss, and headed to Bend to share the evening with them.

We had a night filled with lots of laughter, wonderful stories, great food, and furry companionship with their adorable dog Buddy. It was hard to say goodnight as this was the first time the entire trip we actually had a chance to relax. In the morning we had a delicious breakfast in town, spent money in the downtown craft fair that happened to be going on while we were there, and then said our goodbye’s. It was time to head to Portland, store the truck, and then get back to Hawaii to get on with the planning. Lots to do.

In closing, I’ve gotta say, I love our rig. Despite all the surprises and hiccups we’ve run into, it’s a blast, and I can’t wait to get our 4 legged critters in there with us. I know one thing for sure, there’s nothing about this summer’s trip that’s going to be boring or normal. It’ll be Mr. Toads Wild Ride, and I can’t wait to experience it, and share it with you.

Heather Spencer

Mission Positive Films

PS. Though this is the last post about this trip, it’s not at all the last post about the adventure, so if this has been fun to read, you’ll have something related at least once a week. If you’re interested in following the blog, please sign up as a subscriber. I promise, the only Emails you get, are notifications of new posts.

 

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