Sunday, March 30, 2014

Watch This Space

So, I'm trying a new offline blogging tool since I prematurely ended my tumultuous relationship with Beavercreek Cooperatve Telephone and now we're stuck here a few more days. I am reduced to hanging out in Starbucks.

Therefore, this is a test. However, starting in  few days, there should be blog.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mud Again

What is it with us and mud? Last week, we brought the RV (aka Calamity Jane) home from the RV hospital. Naturally, they DID NOT fix everything so we'll have to have yet another talk with them. But this time Jane cannot stay in the shop for weeks or months. Both things that are wrong can be fixed quickly, even if I have to spend the night there and bug them. And I've become quite adept at getting what I want from these people who took six months to fix some minor things.

Anyway, back to the mud. We were trying to get the RV into the driveway, which has inappropriately placed trees, and got stuck in the damn mud. Since we live in a riparian environment (read "marsh") we have lots of mud around here. The trailer got stuck on Saturday. Around 3 pm.

We called our insurance company, who sent us the fool who dropped the RV on the tailgate a few months ago, and they declined to help us. Then we called a tow truck and the guy came, looked, and said we'd need a small, 4x4 with a winch as those same trees (and the fact that the RV was parked across the access road in a most inaccessible way) were preventing anything larger from getting by. Oh, and I'm pretty sure he said we'd need a red one. And we were blocking the emergency access for the rest of the houses.

We called other tow companies, rejoined AAA (which has a program for RVs) and still no luck. We even called the fire department. Some neighbors came and got it out of the mud, but there was so much mud it went right back into some new mud. Around dark, we gave up.

Jenny went out at 8 am the next morning to start over. The neighbors came over again. Some other neighbors came by, mad at us, and they also called the fire department with no luck. And the guy works for the fire department.

By now, the truck (with trailer attached) had been pulled out of the mud about six times, each time finding some new mud to play in. Our neighbors were covered in mud. The truck and RV were covered in mud. I even stepped in some mud.

FINALLY, we had four wheels on terra firma and spent the next hour or so with four folks trying to guide us into position so we could back out up the access road to the main road. Did I mention the creek?

To get to the main road, you have to cross a culvert over a creek. This is not a great culvert. To have a great culvert would have cost the four homes on the road $40k and we all voted no. So one side of the culvert is reinforced concrete ("the good side") and the other is an undercut dirt bank ("the bad side").

By now our neighbor is driving, I'm riding shotgun, everybody else is directing us, and Jenny is out in the middle of the road ready to stop traffic. A 38' trailer does not back easily, and for some reason it kept pulling to "the bad side" where the serious mud, undercut bank, and swimming hole are.  I know the RV was filthy, but it really doesn't need to bathe in Beavercreek.

After much insanity, including my searching for my mask and snorkel, we got it out of the access road and onto the main road. We went looking for some place to park it for a few hours. We ended up at that megachurch on the corner where our neighbor promptly cut the turn too close and took out someone's tail light. We left a note, some guy came to talk to us, and we got permission to leave the RV for a bit while we went to get some lunch.

After lunch, the Baptists just up the street from us told us we could park there until the weekend. Nice Baptists.

So the RV is now probably being converted and undergoing some kind of baptism by aspersion which will at least clean off some of the mud.

But our friends Paula and Rosemary helped us take some stuff to the RV and we're that much closer to leaving.

More to come....

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

We Are Now Preppers

No. We are not hoarding food or worrying about zombies appearing on our doorstep. But we are in the final stages of preparation for our Great Adventure. So far, I've planned the entire trip. It goes through 27 states and the District of Columbia. The plans are not cast in concrete, and change almost daily, but at least they are evolving.

I'm using this great tool called to plan. If you are doing any road trips, you need this tool. It's also available for your android or iphone, and works on my Nook HD as well. It lets you select destinations, tells you how many miles between destinations, how long it should take you to drive it, and how much your gas will cost.

The first leg looks like this:

PDX-Palm Desert via 101 | My new trip on!

However, a friend who knows such things says that the northern stretch of 101 in California is covered in land and mud slides. So I may have to reroute us down I-5. We have reservations in Palm Desert for TWO WEEKS starting April 15. I know. It's getting hot down there by then, but I don't care. I need hot. My body is rapidly becoming frozen tundra, a difficult thing considering how much of it is fat.


Jenny retired. Last Friday. It has now been three days and we have yet to kill each other. In fact, we've been having fun. I never really believed she'd do it, being all Type A and all. (Her, not me. I'm Type B- or C most of the time) But she did. And now we're both getting excited for the trip to begin and also panicking about how much we still have to do.


Our trip will wend its way east from Palm Desert, following the border and the Gulf of Mexico, until we get to Jacksonville, FL where our nephew is currently moving to. From there, we head north with stops in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, D.C., Pennsylvania, New York, and Maine (and probably some other places) to visit friends and family and see things we've never seen before.

We then plan to come back via the northern route, again seeing people on the way back.

BUT, there is a monkey wrench. Twenty years ago, we scandalized Jenny's 30th high school reunion by being there. This year is the 50th reunion, in Idaho, in September. As far as we know, there was no 40th reunion (or we weren't invited). So we intend to do a reprise of the scandal by showing up. Which means we may have to reroute a bunch of things, or drive fast.


The RV place PROMISES that they will have everything they need for final repairs by this Friday. So that part of planning will be done and we can possibly move back into the RV next week.

More on the planning later. And I'll take pictures of the moving mess. And maybe the mud.