Friday, June 21, 2013

On the Road Again

Hallelujah! We are on the road again. The above photo was taken of us by daughter Hayley just before we drove off down the street to begin our adventure on Friday, June 14th. If you read the last post, you'll know that we had mechanical problems on the first day but didn't realize it until the following morning. 

The Beast was towed from Omo Ranch back down to West Sacramento on Tuesday, June 18th. We thought it would take a week before repairs could be started and were meant to be towed directly to a KOA about a mile or so from the repair shop. The owner of PM Truck Repair told his tow driver to bring it directly to the shop so they could do the diagnostic test to determine what they'd be dealing with. It was determined to be a faulty high pressure oil injector sensor, which they couldn't replace until the next day. By the end of the workday, it was clear that they had no one to tow us to the KOA, so we spent the night at the end of an industrial cul-de-sac, with the I-80 overpass about 200 feet away. Rob set out the satellite dish so we'd have TV. Throughout the evening we also observed the comings and goings of hardworking men bringing in their tractors to park for the night, and those who were returning heavy equipment long after the gates were closed to the rental company situated right next to us. Some had such huge tractors and trailers to maneuver that I felt we were in their way. Their expertise prevailed and it was truly interesting, and fun, to watch. I bet they all wondered why a motorhome was parked there with slides open, generator running and lights on inside.

The tow truck driver putting on coveralls so he can prep the Beast for tow.

At this point I was wondering what the cats were thinking. Yes, they were in the Beast.

After the sharp turn onto Omo Ranch Road.
The employees at PM Truck Repair were very kind and helpful. Jaime, the mechanic they assigned to us, worked diligently to get us on the road as quickly as possible. I think we were hooking up the car and driving away at about noon on Wednesday. I called the RV park at which we originally planned to stay in Truckee to see if they had availability for the night, so there we stayed for one night instead of the intended five. We went out to dinner with our good friends, Sandy and Rhoda Smith, and were grateful for the one evening we had with them.

Our campsite at Coachland RV Park in Truckee, California

Yesterday, after 7 hours on the road (lots of roadwork), we arrived in Elko, Nevada. We have the Union Pacific railroad right behind the RV park. We heard several train whistles last evening. We love train whistles and the clacking sound of trains going by.

As for the whole trip, we are only one day behind schedule. We are losing one day at our next stop—staying 11 days instead of 12. Not bad thanks to the folks at PM Truck Repair.

Our campsite at Iron Horse RV Park in Elko, Nevada
A freight train lumbering by, as seen from our campsite.
Rob and I ran some errands today, one of which was a stop at WalMart. I know, I know. Some of you think people shouldn't shop at WalMart because they underpay their employees, etc, etc. But, they usually have what we are seeking and some things only they seem to carry that no one else does, and they are very good to RVers. Anyway, while we were at WalMart, an employee called Lena asked us if we needed help finding anything, so we took her up on it. She walked us to everything we were seeking. Lena had a delightful southern accent and Rob asked her from where in the south her accent came. She said, "Alabama, sir." Rob then asked her how she ended up in Elko, Nevada, and she gave a cryptic reply that it was an 'internet error.' If you know Rob, you know he has a way about him that makes people open up to him. Lena told us how she met someone online who had gone through a similar difficult divorce so she came here to meet him but he turned out to be a not-so-nice person. Somehow she has remained here for 13 years, we didn't find out why, but what we learned was heartbreaking. Lena had had a daughter who died at age 7. She and her then husband had taken their daughter to the hospital. After she was discharged, they took her home but she wasn't getting any better. The following day, as they tried to help her and were holding her, she passed away. Lena said it had to do with fluid surrounding her heart (Pam help here?), and I don't know if they learned this while they were at the hospital or through an autopsy, but they couldn't save her. Lena's husband shut down after that. He stopped talking to Lena and to all his family. He started drinking from the moment he got home from work until he passed out. Every day. The marriage disintegrated, which was inevitable if her husband couldn't or wouldn't allow himself to be helped through his grief and, maybe, his guilt at not being able to save or protect his little girl. 

I worked hard to keep tears from springing to my eyes. I felt so badly for Lena even though this happened so many years ago. We could tell it was really hard for her to tell us about her ordeal, and she could have told us nothing at all. She also told us that she met a wonderful man who is good and honorable and true and they are getting married in two weeks. I told her I was sorry for her loss, gave her a big hug, congratulated her on her upcoming marriage and wished her well.

Lena allowed herself to be vulnerable before utter strangers and, hopefully, found herself wrapped in blanket of compassion and goodwill. May she find strength and happiness all her life.

We all have our stories and you can never tell by looking at someone what that story is. 

Here are a few photos. I hope you enjoy them.

Rob in front of my aunt and uncle's house.
Bruce and Adrienne on the morning we were supposed to leave.
This was my grandparent's Silver Streak, which used to be kept where we've had the motorhome these last 11 months.
The plates from all the Silver Streak National Rallies that my grandparents attended during the 1970s.
This is Ollie enjoying the out-of-doors from high upon a platform in my uncle's front yard.
This is Pumpkin watching Ollie enjoy the out-of-doors from high on the platform.
Well, we know what was on Pumpkin's mind.
My cousin, Beth, with her 14 year old Australian Shepherd, Angel.
On I-80, as we were leaving California, yesterday.


  1. It is called pericardial effusion. Very sad.

  2. So glad you are on the move again and that you're not too far behind schedule. I'm curious to know if Lena was prone to be open with about her experience because 1) you are easy to talk too and 2) as she prepares for her wedding the thoughts of her daughter are at the surface; going over what could've been, and how she wishes she was there. Sending love and hugs!

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