Misery Loves Company

Actually, I’ve never cared for that saying – misery loves company. It sounds ill-wishing at best and sadist at worst.

Likely it’s a bit of both since it comes from the play Doctor Faustus in which the not-so-good Doctor sells his soul to the devil in exchange for twenty-four years of immense power.

Anyway, I think the appropriate phrase  here would be: There is consolation in commiseration.

Since I’ve begun to recount a few of my recent mishaps, I’ve found true consolation in your commiseration!

So many of you have shared here at Fork, and in emails, your own interesting RV, boat, trailer, truck, hitching up, setting sail misfortunes.

Bless you! How very generous of you!

Encouraged by your empathy, I’m prepared to share a little more, going back to Peculiar.

After the experience there of getting in the wrong diesel line, waiting for 20 minutes, then sheepishly slipping over to the plainly marked RV fill station, I set off, clear of all trucks and trees, with an eye on the gas gauge.

My least favorite part of traveling with an RV is getting gas. That may even surpass my very un-favorite part of paying for the gas! In the class A, the gas tank was in the center of the back of the 32 footer, in front of the blue ox tow and the Jeep. It ran on regular.

Can you see the problem? We couldn’t pull through at a truck stop diesel pump where there was lots of room. No, usually we were angling into a Casey’s or a Valero where the RV prevented all those who were inside  buying rolling hot dogs from exiting until the tank was full.

Nine months of gate guarding in the same county meant zero trips to the pumps and driving back to Iowa this time was much easier without the tow.

Now, with the 5th Wheel and the big truck, we could go to the big truck stops and just pull right through.

I’ve never driven anything with a diesel so I was completely unaware of the fact that, should you route yourself, as I did, off the interstate in states like Oklahoma and  Texas, there aren’t any big truck stops.

Although there are fajita plates at Exxon.

There are really hardly any gas stations at all.

There are hardly any towns.

Just  under 1/2 a tank, I considered filling up – but it was a toll road, and after already paying $13.75 in tolls, I feared exiting and returning would add another $3.50, so on I went.

I’m not a button pusher. I try not to push people’s buttons, and I’m loath to push buttons on moving vehicles.

Possibly it comes from seeing Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang 3 times, I don’t know, but I’m afraid to push any untried button while driving 70 miles an hour on unfamiliar roads, towing a giant rolling home, although taking flight was beginning to sound appealing.

Had I pushed the buttons, I would have seen the one that told me just how many miles were left at my current rate, until there would be no more gas to go.

As I drove on (while Heidi talked on the phone and Henry slept) I watch the needle fall to a quarter and I began to do that squinty thing you do when you’re trying to see better, as if anyone can see better with their eyes half-shut, in hopes of seeing some sign, any sign of gas or villages or lean-tos on the horizon.

I finally pushed the magic button.

22 miles until empty. We get about 12 mpg towing. It didn’t look good for the home team. There was no help in sight and no towns on the GPS (which is usually wrong anyway, but hey – desperate measures for desperate times).

This saga has gotten too long and I’m desperately tired, so it’s time for the changing of the guard here in Wharton. I’m off to try to reset my day/night clock. More soon. The suspense is palpable, I know…

It Was Quite a Ride!

Our wonderful Gate Guard boss, Jamie, true to his word, found us a replacement, on 2 days (instead of 2 weeks) notice and Paul was there right at 8 a.m. as was George, our FS.

We left Smiley Sunday morning and drove to our friends ranch (2 gates ago) to drop off the Jeep. We bumped along out of Nixon, Texas at 9 a.m. I drove until around12:30. Traffic was pretty heavy in Austin and Ft Worth, but the real issue was the wind which was fierce – according to Accu-Weather, 20 mph sustained and 40 mph gusts.

As most of you know, that’s no big deal in a regular vehicle, but when you’re driving something high-profile like a class A – you feel it! It reminded me of catching a huge fish where you fight for hours and hours to land it. I’ve never done that (although I did catch a 6 pound bass once), but it reminded me of that it way. It was a fight – especially in the cities when it was kind of important to stay in your lane. 😀

Late afternoon, when I’d been up for 24 hours, I’d thought: Hey, I still have a motorhome, I’ll just go back to the bedroom and take a nap.

In the 3 years that we’ve had the Mirada, I’ve never tried to sleep while it was rolling – apart from accidental dozing in the front seat (when I wasn’t driving).

  I bargained on bumpy and noisy. I didn’t even think about the heat. You can’t run the air conditioning units on the highway, of course. It was 96 outside when I stretched out for a nap at 3:30 and the temperature, as it does in Texas, was still climbing.

It must have been 106 in the bedroom (at least). I gave it about 15 minutes until the sweat was running in my eyes and even my feet were sweating. I got up and gave up.

However – we were set on driving straight through, so a little later, I tried the sofa and did sleep for a few hours.

We didn’t make any stops except for gas (at about $200 every 5 hours) and were making OK, if not impressive time… until…

Heidi, who is not a night person, decided to try to sleep around 9:00 p.m. I felt awake, in that sleep deprived, wired way and happily tooled down, the road following the prompts of Richard – the guy who gives direction on the Tom Tom. We used to have Susan, but we couldn’t hear her. Anyway, Richard kept telling me to turn left, which didn’t seem right, but I did.

Heidi got up to see why I was bumping down a country road at 11:30 p.m. Yep, left was not right. After a quick assessment of the situation, Heidi declared me unfit to drive and took the wheel. It just took 30 minutes to find a WalMart in Topeka where we crashed (physically, not literally) for few  hours, bought an atlas and hit the road again at 5 a.m.

Somewhere in Kansas we had the best fortune ever! If you live in Texas you’ll get this. If you’re a gate guard who hasn’t has a day off in 8 months, you’ll really get this. We found a truck/RV wash that was open on Labor Day! Our cream-colored Mirada became white once again.

Now, if they’d only wanted to clean the inside, too!

We arrived in to Cedar Raids around 1:30 yesterday afternoon, so even with the wind, a detour and a nap, we made the 1250 mile trip in 28 hours. Not bad for 2 old birds. George, our Field Supervisor even called us yesterday to see if we got here safely. Such a nice guy!

We got set up in a lovely county park; paid our $19 dollars; everyone –  including Henry –  had showers; and then we headed to our favorite pizza spot (8 months without pizza just isn’t right) and had dinner with friends.

I didn’t see my wonderful grand daughters yesterday because I was so zombish I was afraid I might scare them. That will be my treat for this evening. They were 1 and 3 the last time I saw them, and I was still highlighting my hair.They’re  3 and 5 now and I’m 54 and entirely grey. They probably won’t recognize me but I can’t wait to get reacquainted!

In an hour, we head to the RV dealership to sign the paper work and write the check. We should be able to get the truck tomorrow. The RV won’t be prepped and ready until next week. You’ve been asking what we bought so here’s a picture of a  truck. I’ll take more today and post those later.

Thanks for continuing to follow Fork and for all your kind words of encouragement. I need to take a moment now and see if I still remember how to curl my hair and try to decide if there’s even any point in attempting make up.

More thrilling updates like this one to come soon! No time to proof read and pluck my eyebrows so my apologies for all the extra typos!