The Celebrate Life Tour – Day 2 – The Adventure Begins
There was no doubt this was going to be a crazy day. We had to get to our rig, load up the ten tons worth of stuff that we had shipped or brought with us, travel to the RV Park, and then try to get us, and the animals, set up with at least the basics. This of course, was after we had completely worn ourselves out the last couple of weeks getting ready to go, and flying in on the red-eye. But hey, that’s why there’s a Starbuck’s on every corner, right, lots of liquid energy.
Don and I had talked through this day over and over, trying to plan the fastest way to get everything done with the least impact to the animals. We knew that by the time we reached Portland, they would have been in their carriers over 8 hours, and though it wasn’t as big a deal for our dog Tobi, since we would be able to get him to a nice grassy spot fairly quickly, it was definitely more difficult for the cats. Because they had dropped out of their leash training class, and we couldn’t open the kennels and say, “ OK everybody, go do your business and meet back here in ten minutes”, they were going to have to cross their paws a little while longer. We did have potty pads in all the carriers though, just in case.
Our RV has three main sections, each with a door that can be secured; the master bedroom, the main living area, and the garage. Originally, we were going to put the cats in the bedroom while we got things loaded and organized. The last minute decision to bring the kittens changed everything. They had not yet been incorporated into the family, so needless to say, throwing them together with the adults in a small, closed, unfamiliar room after flying all night, would definitely keep us out of the “caring pet owners” club. The revised plan was to put the kittens in the bedroom, put the adult cats in the living area, and then load the garage. There was just one little kink though. Already waiting for us in the garage was the large custom pantry and kitchen cabinet that we had ordered. Until we moved them out, we couldn’t get anything else in, and because there was no floor space in the main living area during travel, they would have to be installed before we left, and especially before we let the cats out. Bet you can guess what was at the top of our “ to do” list.
You know how sometimes someone comes into your life, and you think “Wow, how’d I get that lucky ?”. Well, for Don and I, that was Joe Pedron. He and his wife own and operate Pedron’s Auto, Boat and RV Storage, and 2 nicer people you’d be hard pressed to find. They good-naturedly received and stored our ridiculous number of shipments, took our truck in for service before we got there, and picked us up at the airport in a vehicle big enough to handle our entire load. On arriving at their facility, we found our truck and trailer all snug and protected in an enclosed building, with our boxes and crates close at hand. Joe had a good idea what was ahead of us, so he set things up to make it as easy as possible, but he didn’t stop there. When he found out about the cabinets, he grabbed his tools and jumped right in, and like us, was completely unaware that he would actually be wrestling an 8’ tall monster.
The pantry was triangular, designed to fit snugly in the same shaped space, but the walls in an RV, like a house, are very rarely square or level. Unlike a house though, there’s very little swinging room, and the walls that you’re mounting to, are made of foam. Needless to say, he and Don had their hands full. So while they struggled with the cabinets, I started getting things sorted and loaded. By late afternoon, they had finished the installation, and my arms were reduced to spaghetti from getting those 10 tons of boxes into the trailer. We then quickly said our extremely heartfelt thank you’s, and headed out to the RV Park.
Getting the rig set up in the park provided great entertainment for our neighbors. Our experience was limited to a five day trip, 9 months earlier, and at least then, we had gotten a little bit of instruction. Now we were trying to remember what we were supposed to do, and in what order, and it was laughingly obvious we were serious rookies. Nearly an hour later, when we finally finished up, we took our bows, and the crowd of giggling onlookers went on to other things.
Moving inside, we set up the nearly four foot long custom litter box that was perfectly made by Facecrafters, and then the cats were finally able to start adjusting to their new home. The kittens though were still confined to the bedroom, and because it was important to integrate them slowly, we needed a way to confine them. We also needed food, both in our bellies and in the frig, so it was time to head to the store.
At around midnight, the kittens were safely housed in their new kennel, the cats were checking out every nook and cranny of the trailer, there was cereal and milk in the frig, and Don, Tobi, & I were finally in bed, and just minutes away from a very needed sleep.
The Celebrate Life Tour
Mission Positive Films