Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Time for Camp Taz

Ellie_ct 026 Once again, it is time for me to make my semi-annual trek to Mississippi to join my Weight Watchers friends for a week of exercise, eating right, and having a great time.  This time, we are based at Birmingham South Campground which is actually in Pelham, Alabama.  Jim will be able to get around while I’m gone, thank goodness he has his own Droid with the navigation feature!

We traveled yesterday from Shepherdsville, Kentucky to south of Birmingham, Alabama, a trip of about 360 miles.  We averaged around 9.0 mpg fuel for the 7-hour trip.  We did have one rather major mishap, just proving that mistakes can be made by anyone!  Our friends, the Wishnies, admitted to some recent “newbie” errors, but this one of ours is a pretty big one.  Part of our usual “getting ready to travel” procedure calls for us to double-check each other after the car is hooked up to ensure that the car’s steering wheel is loose, the emergency brake is off, and the transmission is in neutral.  For whatever reason, we didn’t do that double-check yesterday, and yes, you guessed it – one of those critical pieces was not right.  The transmission in our 2006 Saturn Ion is manual, and it is not always easy to immediately tell if it’s in neutral, and it wasn’t.   We towed the car less than 2 miles with the car in first gear, but that was enough to ruin a perfectly good engine!

Luckily, we have friends in the neighborhood of Pelham, Alabama where our campground is located.  We got a recommendation for a good, honest mechanic and had the car towed over there yesterday afternoon.  Our Good Sam Emergency Road Service paid for itself with their fantastic response to our call when we arrived at the Birmingham South Campground.  A tow truck arrived in less than 30 minutes after I placed the call.  The campground manager here was also very helpful, she let us park in a vacant site to drop the car so it would be convenient for the tow truck driver to pick up.

At first, we thought we might just buy a new car and let the Saturn go, but Jimbo at Barrett Automotive here in Pelham found us an engine with fewer miles on it than we  currently have on the Saturn, at a pretty good price.  We won’t know if the transmission was damaged until he gets the engine in, but at the price he quoted us, even if we have to replace the transmission, we’re still going to be OK.  We are feeling very blessed that we were able to get going on a resolution to the damage we caused without further, even more serious trouble.  Whether we’re sitting in a house or living our dream on the road, “stuff happens” and we know there will almost always be something we’ll have to fix.  No one was hurt, our home on wheels is fine, and our “newbie” error will be overcome, with a lesson learned!

So, we’re moving on, a little poorer in cash, a lot wiser in following established safety procedures, with a rental car to use while the Saturn gets it’s “heart transplant” and I go off to Camp Taz tomorrow.

While I’m gone, blog updating may be delayed, or not, depending on what’s going on!  Stay tuned for more of our adventures, Justravelin!


A couple of newer paintings 2019 said...

Amazing how the one time you don't check, something happens.

I remember it happening to us but I don't remember what it was LOL!

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Oh, Ellie, what a shame!
Darn it, I bet you won't forget to check that again.
I do hope it didn't ruin your transmission, too, and I am keeping fingers and eyes crossed for that. It is just machinery, and you two, and the doggies, are safe.

You never know what fate has in store for us. If you had not had that delay, maybe something more serious would have happened down the road.
Happy Trails, Penny, TX

JB said...

%&^($##@ that would make my day. I check and double-check and still find things that I forget.

Well nobody hurt and although cash is important it is not a REAL problem.

Tumbleweed Dee said...

In one of the classes at the Escapade, there were several people that mentioned that. I'm so glad you didn't have a fire, some people did. I hope the transmission is ok. I'm glad you're all ok.

Janna and Mike said...

Ouch! Glad you guys have such a great attitude about such things!

All Because Two People Fell In Love said...

God Is So Good and yes, Ellie it could have been worst. It is just a material thing. So thankful that you, Jim, Jasmine and Bo Jangles are safe. Hope you have a great time and fellowship with your Weight Watchers friends. Take care and can't wait to see y'all in our little piece of paradise this winter.

Love & Hugs,
Gina & Rollie

Mark and Dortha said...

Darn, those checklist.

Glad you guys are all okay. That car can be fixed!

Mark and Dortha said...

Darn, those checklist.

Glad you guys are all okay. That car can be fixed!

Rod Ivers said...

Even if you do decide to trade for a newer car, I'm sure you will get your money back from fixing it up over trading it in the damaged condition.

What I really admire is your openness in admitting what happened here on the blog. I'm not sure my ego could take it. That just shows I need to work on myself however. LOL

In the RV game, it is only a matter of time before something happens that is wrong and costs money. And as others have said, it didn't hurt anyone and only broke a machine that is repairable.

Good Travels

Unknown said...

Yes, cars can be replaced but you, Jim and the furbabies cannot. So glad yall are OK. Too bad about the Saturn, but glad you found someone honest and resonable to fix it. Have fun with the girls, I'm sure Jim and football will enjoy their alone time. Ha.

KarenInTheWoods said...

Glad it's only the car and not something worse. Yes, cars can be fixed and so you will roll on as soon as it's done, to more adventures.

We just started toad-ing last month, and Steveio wonders why I am so anal about double checking... We laminated a checklist and keep it in the toad. Each time I check his hookups and he checks my innard stuff like the key, brake and shifters... and last but not least, I stand in the back while he checks the lights and signals and brake lights with a handheld CB. Some might think that is overkill, but the alternative is worse.

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Allan and Jeanne said...

Are you still in Pelham? Allan and I are moving Wednesday to Alabaster which is close by. Would love to see you guys. Sorry you are having car problems.

Fred Wishnie said...

Boy, you guys are REALLY competitive. Couldn't let me be the neighborhood fool for long, eh? I replaced my electrical cable connector for $4.95 and an hours work on my part. Remind me not to play poker with you.

Seriously, so sorry for that mistake - ouch!!