September 28, 2012
Today is my wonderful daughter Kailin’s, 25thBirthday. It is the first birthday that I have missed spending with her. Damn. I will make it up to her by picking up alien artifacts in Roswell, NM – we already agreed on that. I wish her a wonderful day. Dear daughter of mine, you are in my thoughts this day. (and always!)
I think we are beginning to get a morning routine. After a pancake breakfast and the morning lattes, we were able to leave by about 9:00. It seemed like things went pretty well, but I guess it is still too late of a start for the boys. I just don’t know how I can get everything done any earlier. Maybe I just need to stay up all night and sleep during the day? My dear friend, Carla, says, “You can either have things fast, cheap, or easy. You only get to choose one.” They choose “fast,” but also seem to want the other two. Out of fairness to Craig, he would be happy with pretty much anything for breakfast, but Dad, being a diabetic, really needs to get some protein for his first meal. And…..the easy things just aren’t appealing. So, either Craig or I fix eggs, (or “fake” eggs) in some version, for Dad. I guess in this instance, we get none of the above.
Yesterday’s drive on the gravel roads seemed to “fix” the sensor on the leveling jacks. We didn’t have the annoying beeping this morning. Hurray! Unfortunately, when I flushed the toilet, the water pedal just dropped to the floor. As the day progressed, the flush mechanism stopped opening all the way. A little panic ensued. The next order of business being the need for an rv repair shop. On our drive through Kansas, we found none. Actually, the one we did find, was up a one-way street, and we were going the wrong way to get to it. Folks were not happy. We returned to the highway and drove on. Craig called Mark at Northwest RV in Salem. He told us it would be cheaper to get a new toilet than to have someone spend several hours at $90 per hour on a repair. They tried to find us a dealer near us, but there was no such luck. We were/are in the middle of nowhere.
We rely on the Woodall’s Campground Directory to find a place to stay at night. We decided to stay in Liberal, Kansas. (I can’t tell you how VERY much I wanted to get my picture taken next to a “Liberal” sign – me with thumbs up and a smile on my face!) With our new “toilet crisis, and the lack of a desire to stop, that wasn’t to be.
I digress, I looked in Woodalls for a place to stay in Liberal. The place I found had taken out an ad in the directory which billed it as, ”The Premier RV Park of Southwest Kansas,” with breakfast, clean restrooms, and satellite tv. The ad convinced us to stay. As is the norm for this trip, we had another one of those situations of trying to find where we were going, not knowing, and a refusal to ask for directions. It became obvious that the rv park wasn’t going to materialize, so, we eventually stopped at a John Deere dealership. Dad said to me, “We need to have my John Deere cap, so they give us better service.” As I was the one to be leaving the motorhome to ask directions, I told him that my hair was already so terrible looking that I wasn’t going to do further damage by wearing a ball cap. Dad said that HE wanted to wear the cap. I fled the rig, without the hat or Dad, we got directions, got back on the road, and found the park.
Earlier in the day, I noticed that the dog was, once again, with his paws in the praying position. I asked Dad to make sure I wasn’t just imagining it. He agreed, and I hoped that dear Wiley was just being thoughtful. As we pulled into the rv park, I knew Wiley was right. We took one of 2 empty spaces. The remaining 36 sites were occupied by folks who had been living there for some time. The site was configured backwards, rigs parked head to toe so to speak, so Craig had to turn the Hag around. Hooking up, he dodged dog poop, and this didn’t add much to his already not-so-happy mood. These incredibly long days of driving aren’t helping. For all of this, I will say, both boys reported that the bathrooms were very clean, and I had the best Internet of the entire trip. The Internet connection for the park was located directly across from the rig. It was my lucky day. I stayed up until 11:00 posting blogs, sending emails, and reading Facebook. Internet is important on a road trip.
Tonight’s dinner was hamburgers, oven roasted “french fries,” baked beans, and the rest of the apple pie. I am really liking the microwave/convection oven. The potatoes were perfect – crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Today’s drive: 380 miles