3,000 miles from NW Florida – strangers who become friends
On a Sunday afternoon, I left Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, on another mission – drive my heavily leaden truck to a small town just north of Tacoma, Washington, to pick up my new-to-me travel trailer. I pushed hard – something I seem to do, even when the energy level gets low – and arrived before dark on Tuesday with 1,500 miles more on the truck.
Arctic Fox is a brand of trailers manufactured in Oregon and not readily available in the East; it’s something like the Subaru of RV trailers – incredible quality without the flash in the pan found in many that offer less quality. I lived in a 30U Arctic Fox for three years, so when I found exactly what I was looking for, the fact that it was located in Washington didn’t seem a problem. I love the Northwest and I’d be in New Mexico anyway. So I finalized the purchase, after a pre-purchase inspection and a delightful “walk through” via FaceTime – without actually seeing the rig. I bought the rig from a couple, Barb and Gunther, about whom I can’t say enough good things. They stored the travel trailer on their property for me; when I drove in late on that Tuesday, I unloaded the truck to spend the night right there. The next morning, Gunther knocked on my screen door and handed me a travel mug of coffee, and explained Barb would have breakfast ready soon. Gunther is a retired engineer with Boeing; skills he would soon need.
On Wednesday, Gunther made minute adjustments so the fancy hitch would match the exact angle of my particular truck while I fluffed my nest. The RV is comfortable, pleasant, and easy to call Home. He drove me to several stores so I could buy a few needed items (water and sewer hoses, etc.); I took them to dinner and spent a second night on their property.
Thursday, I asked Gunther if he would stand by while I unloaded motorcycle using the new motorcycle lift, the one that came without any written instructions. An engineer at heart, he was intrigued. Turns out the day was not a good one. First the tire chock caught on the front fender of the bike when it came down on ever-so-slightly uneven ground; not a pretty sight. Without getting upset (I was the only one who cussed), Gunther analyzed the problem and figured out how to correct it (a fix the included taking his dremel to about two inches of broken fender). Then the winch cable wrapped itself around the housing, down deep in a hole – so deep that Gunther had to cut the cable to free it. So we went to another store, bought what he needed, and returned. But Gunther didn’t have the massive tool needed to swedge (sp?) the cable loop; and as we soon learned, repeatedly hammering it wasn’t enough. Using the electronic winch, I brought the bike up again into the truck. As it reached the cab, the cable broke and the bike was catapulted off the truck. My reaction was to freak and say more four-letter words; Gunther had positioned himself to deal with such possibilities and actually managed to catch the bike – safely – as it came by him. Another trip to the store, more parts, and finally the bike went up into the truck with no drama. I spent my third night on their property.
Friday, after yet another breakfast, I left my new friends – motorcycle safely in the truck with earlier issues resolved, detailed written instructions in hand and with my new travel trailer following behind. It had been three years since I pulled a trailer of this size, but it was not a problem, even in the crawling traffic, lining up for the U.S. Open that weekend. I pulled a short distance to the Olympic Peninsula to an RV park I knew from years past.
And I just sat down. I’ve been pushing hard for too long, and the problems with the motorcycle lift took the air out of my balloon. But two days later, I asked a neighbor at the RV park if he’d like to see how my motorcycle lift worked, and offered to show him – provided he promised to stand to the side and do NOTHING if the bike got squirrelly. I unloaded with NO problem and have ridden many a mile since.
I’ve begun a new FB page, gypsyjudge, and invite you to check that out. https://www.facebook.com/AGypsyjudge?ref=bookmarks I still haven’t figured out how to create a hyper-link!