Monday, August 27, 2007

The Trip - Too Much Excitement

We're in California now, hurrying to my house before my mail's vacation-hold deadline expires. It's quite a change in the weather from the Northwest coast, where we had to wear sweatshirts to keep warm. Today we headed inland, and it was 95 degrees, and sweat was an unfamiliar annoyance.

Last night I was going to make chili for dinner, because it was still cold enough outside that chili sounded like a good dinner and I knew we'd be coming into the heat any day. But we didn't have all the ingredients we needed, so we had to go with Plan B, which is really wonderful (you need access to Costco):

Grilled Salmon

Costco's frozen skinless boneless Atlantic Salmon (you get 7 filets, individually wrapped)
Costco's Herbed Seafood Rub, from the herb aisle in a round container, about 5" in diameter

Thaw 1 or 2 wrapped pieces by running cold water over it in a bowl for 20 minutes (my mom & I split one piece)
Heat George Foreman grill
Remove salmon from wrapper(s)
Get 1 tsp of the seafood rub for each salmon piece and sprinkle half on each side and rub in
Place on George Foreman and grill 4 minutes
Eat, while saying, "Oh! This is SO GOOD!!!'
(Serve with veggies, etc)

But that was last night. Today we left the coast for the boring inland route (I-5), which avoids the San Francisco Bay area. When we got to Williams, at the I-5, we stopped for gas and tried to find the rest of our chili ingredients (ignoring the fact that we were no longer in coastal weather for chili to sound good). A liquor store promised the sale of "Food" along with the liquor, so I ran in, didn't see what we needed, got back in the motorhome, and made my way out the parking lot and to the stop sign. That's when I heard a bad kind of thud behind the motorhome, followed by unusual bumping.

I asked my mom if we still had the car behind us, so she got out to check and saw that the car was still on the dolly. But then she saw that the dolly wasn't on the tow bar anymore. Further inspection revealed that the nut holding the tow ball on the trailer hitch had worked itself off and was gone, so when we went down the liquor store's driveway, the ball bounced itself right off the hitch, still attached to the tow dolly. Then somehow the dolly kept moving under the bumper, so the car hit the back of the motorhome and messed it up a bit.

And it broke the car's front bumper on the left side.

Williams is a pretty small town, and it's a friendly one. A man with a pickup asked if we needed help. After we all looked at the situation, he offered to hook up the dolly to his truck and pull it over to the gas station, and while he and I were trying to hook it up to his truck, several other men called out to us to see if we needed more help. We did. It took three of us to get the dolly (with the car still on it) onto the man's hitch. Then my mom drove the motorhome and parked it near the car.

We ended up getting a nut, locking washer, and a crescent wrench big enough for the nut, so we could put the ball back on the hitch. But the safety chains had broken at the hook on one side and the carabineer we had as an extension on the other side. So we got some more carabineers and got the chains hooked back up again, tested the trailer lights, and then hit the road again. Carefully.

I kept checking the side mirrors to be sure I could still see the tow dolly's fenders (we can't see the car itself in the mirrors, unless we're turning). And after several miles of seeing the fenders, we started to relax.

I think, if my house sells for a good price anytime soon, I might just buy a vehicle I can tow on all fours...


Robin said...

That really sucks! So sorry to hear about this :(.

CG said...

You are sure resourceful. And isn't it great that you took the boring inland route where the people are friendly!

Sandy said...

Ugh. Sorry to hear this. What is it with RV's that just seem to cause so much trouble?