We were taking our vacation trailer for two reasons. One shorter driving days as when we were settled for the night, we had what amounted to a small cottage, and whether the park had wireless, we have a Verizon hotspot (I highly recommend hot spots).
I am not fond of hotels/motels for travel. Every night, with the trailer, we were in our own bed, we could cook a meal, watch a movie, and generally relax. We also wanted the trailer to make the travel as easy on our cats as possible. They hate traveling but being in a familiar spot every night helps.
Finding parks to stay was a little different as there are less towns and sites. We stayed in one funky, kind of hippy park, but it was quiet at night. When we were younger, we stayed in rest areas, and very offbeat parks, but whether the world has gotten more dangerous; or we look more like targets, we take less risks these days.
The road had its days where danger was coming straight at us. Anybody who has done long road trips (this was 1400 miles), usually has a few times their heart jumps up into their throat with someone passing into them or weaving into their lane. I would say the scariest this time was coming over a ridge in Arizona and on the center-line of a two lane road, sitting lotus position, was a woman arguing with a man who was standing on the shoulder. A big rig was beyond them, parked on the shoulder.
With no traffic in the northbound lane, Farm Boss swerved into it to avoid driving between these two. That situation was wrought with the potential for tragedy. The man's face looked aware of it while the woman appeared only interested in berating him.
About the time we got over the shock of what we had seen and I was saying should we call 911 (Farm Boss said that the big rigs right behind us already would have), a police car with lights flashing came zooming north. Since we saw no more emergency rigs, we assume the woman was not hit by any of the heavy traffic. I guarantee you that anyone other than a police officer stopping could have made the whole thing potentially much more dangerous. These are 70 mph highways with little opportunity to fix a mistake.
Someone has been going to renovate the Goldfield Hotel ever since we have been making this drive. It never goes far. There is talk that it's haunted. I could believe it as Goldfield has a very interesting history with all the mining disasters. Virgil Earp was marshal here for a few years after the OK Corral.
Through our many years of making this drive, we know to expect the unexpected. Weird times are never something you can see coming. It's just an odd window where there you are, and the unpredictable happens. Once it happened to us about a mile south of Goldfield, Nevada. We had the kids then and were pulling a much smaller trailer. A motorcycle gang, with Harleys beside them, were stopped alongside the highway. One man walked into the center of our lane trying to wave us down. I won't say we have never stopped for those who look like they are in trouble but a motorcycle gang, all with leather jackets, all men and just outside of town and they want us to stop? No thanks. What we always did back then was look for the first phone booth. In the case of that gang, we did call. Who knows what it had been about. Always you wonder what it had been about.
In the recent incident, were the woman and man both in the big rig and she got mad at him? She was mad for sure but why suicidal? Why a lotus position? It was rather incongruent considering what she was doing. Another possible scenario is he saw her on the highway and stopped his big truck, walked back to try and talk her into some sense; and the vehicle she had been in had driven off without her. Anything was possible, but we will never know. There have been a lot of partial stories in our many years of making such drives.
With no disasters on the way, we got to our Tucson home at the right time and had good weather all the way with very little wind and no rain. We chose the right route and the right window.
Every time we had been forced to delay leaving Oregon due to a farm problem (there were several of those), I felt that it was going to be for the best.
Be patient. Wait for the window.
I think about that a lot in my life with many things. Being patient and waiting for that window and then jumping on it, that can sometimes be hard. It is always though better. The question is getting it.
Once we got mostly unpacked in the Tucson house, we expected a problem. We didn't expect it to be a huge one. We have had an ice maker with this refrigerator/freezer. It leaked two years ago, and we had damage as well as mold to deal with. This time we had someone watching the place, neighbors, who kept an eye on it and regularly went inside. We had been told there had been another leak; but we had no idea it would prove so extensive.
What we found required moving the refrigerator and stove away from the wall. Once the mold problem was revealed it meant tearing out cabinets, wallboard, using a protective mask and plastic sheeting for protection of Farm Boss and the house in case it was the toxic kind of black mold (only a microscope can tell for sure). This was a case of better safe than sorry. Then scraping and painting the area with mold killing paint before beginning the process to put the kitchen back together. Once the mold was gone, there was no rush on getting the kitchen restored. For cooking, there is always the microwave, and I am used to having things torn up when we get here. It is the price you pay for having a second home.
We also didn't have to rush to get the wireless working-- although it was supposed to be up when we got here. Something was catastrophically wrong and once again-- hurray for the hotspot, which allowed some online activity (3GB a month without extra fees) until three days later when Century Link could get a repairman out to discover the outside wires had been damaged. Who knows how, but javelina root out things. The repair guy said he now uses plastic gloves to set down the wires as if they smell human scent they dig it up.
Our two beautiful black cats are still adjusting. I am still reading. The kitchen is more or less functional again. We have had some beautiful sunsets and are adjusting to this as our home for the next month and a half with two great guys keeping an eye on the livestock in Oregon. Hopefully nothing will happen there that they cannot resolve. If it does, our trip might get cut short-- as when you ranch, the animals come first.
I haven't forgotten my new book idea for the Arizona archaeology based romance but ran into a glitch when I got to the Tucson house (well besides all the physical glitches) the research book I expected to be here was not. I am hoping I took it back to Oregon and didn't look deeply for it there because I assumed I had it here...
There is another possibility. In this rental house, we provide quite a library of different kinds of books for our vacation renters; so it seems like a home when they spend their week or month here. Maybe one took it not realizing how important that book was to me. I know that a comforter was taken this year probably by someone who also didn't know it was one Farm Boss's mother had owned, and it was special to us. We take that risk with leaving art work here too but so far nothing had been taken because we've had honorable renters. There is always a first time though.
For future projects, we plan to get a fence around the patio connecting it to the fenced pool area which will enable the cats to safely be outside. As it stands with coyotes, javelina and bobcats in the area, there is no way they can be out until we know the predators can't get at them. As to scorpions, black widow spiders and rattlesnakes, we'll have to watch out... and there will be no pet doors to let them straight into the house whenever they want...