Saturday, January 7, 2012

THE LONG DRIVE TO QUARTZSITE - Adventures Good and Bad

On January 1st we were more than ready to head back out on the road.  An early start - 7 am.

January 1st - Doug and I were overwhelmed with excitement.  We were singing along with "On the Road Again" and bursting with energy.  The border crossing was easy.

South of Tacoma the highway is a mess.  Terribly torn up and bumpy.  The tires were just thumping along.  Suddenly a woman pulled up beside us and indicated that we had a flat tire.  A flat tire!  If only.   In the end what had happened was the bumpy Interstate had broken a lug nut off completely.  That tire tore off and flew (somewhere).  The weigh of the rig on the other tire caused it to exlode and then we were about to flip the trailer.  We pulled to the side of the road.  Doug jumped out and unbeknownst to me, crazy man rolled under the trailer and placed a jack.  Sheesh.  The ground was soft and muddy and the trailer was tilting.


As luck my have it (or not have it) our cellphone is out of commission and so I discovered the hard way that you cannot use Skype for 911.  I called two tow truck companies and neither would come.  Said they didn't have a rig big enough.  At last a wonderful woman highway patrol came along and eventually she called the company the cops use.  Two tow trucks arrived and placed a dolly under the trailer and led us, one in front, one behind, lights flashing to a parking lot that the cops had told us we could park in.

After a restless night in the parking lot in Dupont Station, near Olympia, Doug set out to buy the parts and tires necessary for us to get back on the road.  I am so grateful that Doug is so mechanically handy.  The parts and tires were expensive enough without labour.  Within a couple of hours, he wanted to get back on the road.

January 2 - With our confidence thoroughly shaken we set out.  We were listening for every little noise and cringing when the road got rough.  The day went fine with only one little incident when we heard a grinding in the wheel.  We pulled into a church parking lot.  A very nice man came from across the street who just happened to be a mechanic and helped Doug while I went into the church to power up the laptop.  The problem was minor, a tiny bit of metal in the hub had worked its way into the brake drum.  I spent an hour with the pastor, the nicest man.  Had a wonderful conversation and parted with exchange of cards.

That night we reached our intented destination, one day late.  We parked overnight in a truck stop, something we had never done but will definitely do again.  What fun, we felt like we were being protected by Big Brother.  Hundreds and hundreds of huge trucks.  They run there motors all night but the noise is humming and restful.

Truck stop near Aurora, OR
See how close we are parked

 January 3rd - We were on the road again heading for Redding, California.  No problems that day.  Stayed in another truck stop and were filling much more confident in the rig and tires.

January 4th - Redding to Bakersfield - Nothing amiss.  It was a long drive but by this point Doug just wanted to get to Quartzsite.  We parked overnight in a brand new Walmart

January 5th - On the road early, across the Mojave Desert, into Arizona.
See our reflection in the back of the truck
Palm trees and blue skies
 Through Lake Havasu and on to Parker, Arizona to stop at the Walmart to load up with groceries for our extended stay in the desert.  Yes, Quartzsite does have two grocery stores but the prices are outrageous.  By the time we got to Quartzsite it was pitch dark but our friends Jeri and Terry were waiting for us at the "gate" to the desert and led us in.  Friends Jim and Sandie were waiting up for us too.  

January 6th - All our friends meet for morning coffee (and tea) in front of the "clubhouse".  Needless to say, we are so HAPPY to be here.  Acquaintances renewed and new ones made.

Us, Jeri & Terry, Jim & Sandie, and Lee
Our Clubhouse

January 7th - Clean up day.  Run the generator and vacuam.  Wash the truck and rig without water (well only a little).  Today we are having a pot luck for the other group here.  I spent the morning baking desserts for the desert.

It is hot during the day and cold at night and we are LOVING every minute of it.



Wanderin' said...

Now that all the bad is behind you all the good can begin.

The potluck isn't for the other group. It's for us!! We invited them but don't know if they'll show. We'll see.

Linda Sand said...

Long drive indeed but the payoff will be worth it. Miss you all.

Sue said...

wow! we have a clubhouse??!!?
Just kidding- glad you made it there safe. hope we can get there too.

Katy and Gary said...

So glad you both came through it okay and without any more serious damage to your rig and truck. Needless to say, it could have been sooooooo much worse. Enjoy Q! We'll be at Boomerville around Jan 25th and then at the Geocaching Rally Jan 29-Feb2, then back to the Roost. See you soon with hugs!

where's weaver said...

Paul told me about your tire issue. Thank the Dear Lord that you two did not get hurt. Great driving Doug!
So glad you are all together. Of course I am a bit jealous!!! Hope you all have wonderful weather and makes tons of memories.

Jim and Sandie said...

Wow those pictures make it really look as bad as it was. Sure glad you're here with us now. Your apple dessert was to die for.

mskayndan said...

i know we're missin some fun! I'm so glad you're there to drink up the sun and fun! Don't know what days we're coming just yet....but will get a plan soon! Miss ya all!

Sue B said...

at least you made it safely!..enjoy the time in the desert!!! in the sun!..can't ask for much more than that!..raining here so be thankful you are there!!!

Peter + Beatrix said...

It was sure nice to meet you. And we hope to meet you again.Have a wonderful time!


Nice to meet you guys. Great potluck and fire again last night huh.

Rick and Kathy Rousseau said...

Glad you made it safely without any further problems.

Making us jealous you there, us in Ontario. Well next year for sure.

It's about time.

hobbea said...

The pot-luck was great. Lots of good food.
Loved your German Chocolate Cake!