Sunday, August 5, 2012

Things Change

Isn’t that the name of a song – “Things Change” – well yes they do.  I read a lot of blogs that start off with a statement that goes somewhat like this, “One of the wonderful aspects of this RV Lifestyle is….” And then some glowing statement about how wonderful it is to be able to be free and easy going down the road.  Well, another statement about this lifestyle is that it’s important to remain flexible with our plans. 

We’re flexible!  But the Castle isn’t so much.  So how did things change for us in the space of 20 minutes yesterday?

It all started off just fine.  We pulled out of Topsham Fairgrounds promptly at 9:38 a.m.  Remember, this is Saturday morning!  Off we go, saying good-bye to Maine and hello to New Hampshire.

Soon, we were in Massachusetts:

We’re really glad we’re not in that lane – those are people trying to get out of the city.  That line existed for miles and miles and miles… get the idea.

Oops, maybe I spoke too soon….

Was that New York?

We changed our minds at the last minute about our destination.  Darrell posted a comment about a casino in Connecticut, and Jim was enthusiastic about going to Foxwoods Casino near Norwich for an overnight stop, instead of the (Eastbound) Welcome Center at the opposite end of the state. 

We pulled into the parking lot at Foxwoods and picked out a nice spot to dry camp for the night, looking forward to some fun and relaxation in the casino, with a nice dinner we didn’t have to cook or clean up after.

Here’s where the story gets interesting.  We don’t know yet exactly what happened, but while we were trying to level the coach, the rear driver’s side jack had a major malfunction and extended that corner of the motor home way up in the air.  When it let go, the coach crashed down and the windshield cracked – big time.

The end result was a broken jack that would not retract, a jack control system with a constant beeping alarm, and a dangerously cracked windshield.  In a busy casino parking lot on a Saturday afternoon.

OK, well, this is an interesting development, to put it in a politically correct fashion.  What the heck do we do now.  A couple of other folks who were watching this entire happening came over to offer advice and help.  They’re familiar with the area and suggested we might not want to think about a repair facility anywhere in that area.  And, even if we did consider local repair, we most likely wouldn’t be able to get anything done until Monday anyway.  Plus, we already had plans to go to Red Bay after Labor Day, and a new windshield was already on our list of things to replace, due to a couple of cracks that happened recently.

We sat inside our little home for a family discussion, and after talking about our options, made the difficult and disappointing decision to postpone our reservations at Gettysburg, Bull Run Regional Park and Williamsburg.  Jim rigged the jack up with a rope, disabled the beeping alarm and made sure we could move without major problems and we set out.  We ended up last night staying at the aforementioned Connecticut Welcome Center on Eastbound I-84 at the New York State line.  If you’re not familiar with Connecticut, what this means is we traveled from north to south and from east to west across Connecticut yesterday!   

We were up and on the road at 5:07 this morning and after a total of 10 (I think it was 10) states in 2 days and 720 miles today, we’re at an RV Park somewhere in Tennessee tonight.  We have no jacks, so have not put our slides out, except for the bedroom so we can get some sleep, and the driver’s front slide just enough to uncover the air vents.

The day started in Connecticut, then we went through New York,

Bo Jangles sacked out on the step cover in front of my chair for a lot of the 13 1/2 hour travel day!

Of course rain just makes the orange cone zones more interesting:

Ah, a stopping point:

We plan to complete that last 400 or so miles to Red Bay tomorrow and get repairs completed as soon as possible.  Will we get back to the east soon?  Don’t know – after all, we’re flexible!

The good news in all of this is that we’re ok, no one is hurt, and our dear friends Mark and Dortha are also on their way to Red Bay, and so we’ll get to catch up with them!  See, there’s always a bright (and beautiful) side!


Travels with Emma said...

Uf-duh!! I can't believe 720 miles in one day.

Paul and Mary said...

Oh! We can so appreciate how a malfunction can mess up your plans. (We're supposed to be in Montana right now!) But, when your home needs service, that takes priority. So glad no one was hurt.

Safe travels as you make the final leg to Red Bay. Hope your repairs are swift and smooth. Have fun with Mark and Dortha! Take care!

Dan and Gail said...

What a long day!!! Just glad you're both OK. Wishing you well on getting everything fixed.

Jenny Johnson said...

Dont know where you are in TN but that Tennesee welcomes you is not to far from the house!! you should have called!!!!! Good luck with your repairs - hope to see you sometime soon!!

Shirley said...

Oh Ellie, what a calamity. You definitely have to go back east though. You've missed so many things. Looking forward to seeing you though.

I'm LOL at the Welcome to signs for all those states you passed through, but that is one peaceful end of the day picture.

Rod Ivers said...

We also made a quick and somewhat urgent trip to Red Bay to correct a jack electrical problem. And we also couldn't or didn't put out the big drivers side slide without the jacks down...

But the beauty in all of this was that the guys in the welding shop on the back side of the building had us squared away in about 2 hours... Correcting wiring that had come undone somehow....

We also have been in the windshield shop which is across the drive to the North from the main building... That time they reinstalled our windshield after it popped out somewhere in California.....

But like you said, have to remain flexible....

So best of luck with your repairs, and hope you will be on your way in no time.... Unless its because you want to spend some extra time with Mark and Dortha....


Mike and Peggy Evringham said...

And I thought we had a bad day yesterday! Good luck with the repairs, stay safe, and tell Mark and Dortha hi from us.

Chuck-Kathy said...

Oh, so sorry, but at least you are able to travel to have the repairs at a place you know. Say hi to Dortha and Mark for us, see you some where down the road. Hugs

squawmama said...

OMG ~ what a horrible experience but like most of us you guys calmly came to what needed to be done. Our lifestyle is the best but every once in a while we hit a bump... some are just bigger then others! You do what you have to do. Glad you are safe...
Travel safe

Renea Miller said...

Bless your hearts!!!! That would have scared me to death! I'm sorry that you had to change plans and head in a different direction.

I was thinking about you today when Monte and I were replacing several sprinkler heads. I thought how lucky you were that you didn't have to mess with ssomething like that; then I read your blog and realized that you have home repair problems, too, it is just that your home is on wheels!

Will you have to stay in a hotel while the repairs are being done? I hope things are fixed quickly and you are back "on the road again" as soon as possible!

We LOVE you both so much!!!

Randy and Terry said...

Such a marathon trip! So glad you both are okay, though. Hope all goes well at Red Bay.