PLANS

Plans … they were our “best laid” plans … but, were destined to keep changing. 

#1. We originally had a solid “road trip” itinerary in place for the Labor Day Weekend … RV park reservations were made for the entire trip… heading to SoCal for the re-scheduled wedding of one of Elise’s bridesmaids.  It was a wedding originally scheduled for May, that had been cancelled due to COVID.  Sadly, we received an email stating the wedding would need to be cancelled again.  Just hours later, we received a wedding invitation from my friend in Iowa … for the same week end.  Soooo …

#2. Barry quickly rerouted and rescheduled our reservations from our SoCal Wedding trip to a larger circle towards Iowa heading east on I80 and ending in the south through Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.  Several weeks before the start of that trip … we were evacuated from our home in Vacaville, CA due to the LNU Lightning Fires.  We decided to head out on our road trip 2 weeks early … highway 80 was both closed and at a standstill.  Soooo …

#3  Barry quickly rerouted and rescheduled our reservations from our Wedding Road Trip plans to head South where traffic and air quality were markedly better.  We spent a week-ish in central SoCal “gathering ourselves after the evacuation” and decided to take a route allowing us to share the beauty of Utah’s Arches & Zion Ntl Park with my mom.  After spending the week-ish in 100+ weather (that our little RV air conditioner couldn’t keep up with) … we decided to reroute to a path that didn’t take us through 110+ weather).  Soooo …

#4. Barry quickly rerouted and rescheduled our reservations to a route heading away from the scorching weather … our rescheduled plans included a quick stop to visit my prayer partner who had just moved to AZ … and then headed up to Flagstaff for a few extra days … where the higher elevation brought beautiful weather and a visit with one of my “Quilting Cousins”.  

We continued for a streak without any re-routing … taking us to Pawhuska OK where the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile is.  The lightening and thunder storms were SEVERE!  But, we managed to weather the storm to return to the Mercantile for truly one of the best lunches ever.  (Highly recommend the Ranchers Sandwich and the Grilled Cheese Sticks with tomato soup!!!!).  We made our way up to Waukee, Iowa to attend a precious friend’s wedding.  It was “socially distanced” and beautiful atop of a winery … with a 360 degree view of Iowa farmlands.  Magnificent ….

As we left the next morning to head toward home … I stated I had the hankerin’ to “be” home … soooo …

#5. Barry quickly rerouted us and reschedule our reservations to head west with “uncharacteristically” long travel days.  The long 10+ hour travel day took us to the center of the “uncharacteristic” summer snow storm in Wyoming.   Upon pulling in to our spot at the RV park in Rawlins … we learned that our car battery was dead and the black tank was both frozen and clogged.  Mom received rights to the RV toilet … but, Barry and I made treks in the severe wind and snow to the reception desk bathrooms.  

After a sleepless night of howling winds and snow that constantly jarred the RV to and fro … we learned that I-80 was closed and  realized we weren’t going anywhere.  We also realized we were out of propane to heat the RV.  We made Mom toasty warm under heaps of blankets that pretty much kept her from moving … and we started calling every propane dealer we could find online trying to secure a mobile delivery … with no luck. Barry and I made several treks back and forth to the reception area to both use the facilities and secure our spot for another night.  We learned the obvious … absolute obvious … the RV park sold propane!

So we unhooked the frozen hitch to the “dead” car and mozied ourselves to the propane tank.  I tried to convince our pups yellow snow was acceptable under the conditions … Harriet obliged … but, poor Franklyn just could not do anything but, shiver with his new white mustache in the snow.  

The thing about unhitching your battery dead car from your RV is … … now you have to back the RV up to the hitch instead of pulling the car forward.  I have become quite proficient at moving the car forward to the perfect spot to connect it to the hitch … but, guiding a motorhome backwards … toward me … in the icy snow … was quite un-nerving. I was successful with only 2 tries and some high blood pressure.  

The next morning, the highway re-open.  After having spent hours & hours on any given state’s DOT weather site … we considered ourselves internet diplomaed meteorologist’s and determined we should move west as far as we could … out of the eye of the storm while there was a break in it’s pattern.  It was a slushy, icy, slow move toward the west.  We saw 5 car’s and 3 semi’s in a ditch … all abandoned … along the highway … all accidents from the previous day.  One semi was in the ditch that separated east and west bound … with no truck head attached … obviously towed away … and the back was bashed in with some of it’s cargo also laying in the ditch … abandoned.  Reality set in as we drove slowly and carefully.  Not much conversation was happening in the RV.  

Barry had researched a “portable jump starter” for our car (something about consequences to the transmission if we don’t get the car running … I don’t know … if it doesn’t affect the cup holders … I have no idea) … and I tried to locate one along our path.  The first store that claimed one in stock ..ended up being CLOSED!  I located another one and made a call to verify this store both had it in stock and was open.  SUCCESS.  However, our first attempts to start our car (which required us to unhitch the car …. ) were unsuccessful.  Forward we moved out of the storm toward the west.  We almost always avoid Utah’s Salt Flats and head around the top of the flats toward Idaho and then back down into Nevada … but, … …

#6  Barry quickly rerouted and rescheduled our reservations taking us through the Salt Flats to Wendover, NV.  It was another 10+ hour driving day … and we all decided pizza was a perfect plan for dinner.  We picked up the pizza on our way to an RV park and relished in the smell of some warm, good, carbs + sauce + cheese.  I was ready to down my first piece when Barry again mumbled something about the transmission and needing my help to“try” and start the car.  I felt it was futile … but took my place in the driver’s seat, said a faithless prayer and at the appropriate time tried to start the car.  The first attempts were … in fact … futile … but, about try #5 … SUCCESS!!!!  Barry ran into the motorhome … grabbed our slices of pizza … and we took a good ride to charge up the car.

#7  We have no plan for our trek forward.  No reservations to cancel or reschedule for the 5th or 6th time.  Plans are good … plans must be open to change … plans sometimes are best not made. We are just moving forward … toward the west … to the Golden State … which is “literally” glowing gold from the wildfires … and is home.

Sunset view from Madison County Winery