I’m writing this now from a small RV Park outside of California City, California. It’s been some time now since the last time I’ve written anything. There’s been so much that has happened in the month since we left Cascade Lodge at the end of October. It’s hard to believe we’ve been traveling constantly since the day we left. We’ve road hours after hours down the Mississippi and through the desert.
Right away off the bat we drove down to Rock Island, Illinois to see one of my favorite Artists play, Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers. We immediately had problems with the RV. At no warning at all, the breaks were riding down to the roaders. We had to replace bother front break and roader. The mechanic noticed a gas leak from the bottom of our rig. “Oh joy, another damn problem.” we thought out loud. We drove another hour to spot outside a very small town in Iowa. I don’t recall the name, but after a small wait and the mechanics talking and looking below, it turned out to only be an “o-ring”, completely torn up. From old age. He replaced it for a measly $25. About an hour and we were back on the road again, heading towards Illinois. We found another problem… I would park the rig and we would get out, eat, go to Walmart or what have you and the RV just wouldn’t start back up… We panicked and thought of great, all of our money is going to be gone before we can even leave this state!! We bee lined to a local auto parts store where we met a couple of nice folks who helped us to take a look under the hood. After some examinations he came to the conclusion that it was the engines kill switch above the battery. An anti-theft device that hadn’t been installed properly, it was looser than hell and was causing our battery to disconnect from the power, making it impossible to start the RV. A screw and a few turns and we haven’t had a problem since.
Luckily we haven’t had any major issues besides small leaks of our power steering and engine oil. Problems down the road I’m guessing but nothing major at this point.
After having a wonderful time drinking beers and eating way too salty portobello fries at the Rock Island brewing company, we finally began heading down the Mississippi, rarely stopping unless for gas and puppy bathroom breaks. We spent a day and night in Jackson, Mississippi visiting my long time internet friend, Cody. He showered us with southern hospitality. Giving us movies and conversations from his one bedroom apartment. He gave the dogs some “much-needed” quality attention too, as if they don’t already have the best life. After a night of light drinking and talking we left the following morning bright and early at eight o’clock. After we started the car we drove a few feet and it began pouring rain, harder than I’ve seen in a long while. It seems the rain had followed us from Minnesota, I don’t think it stopped the entirety of the way down excluding around three days. Headed to New Orleans we got onto the highway. A small red car had pulled out in front of me and put on their breaks, naturally I pressed mine with a little less than needed time. At that very second, the breaks stuck and the wheels kept spinning, We were hydroplaning at 55+ mph and thousands of pounds pushing forward. I looked to my left and saw there was a small opening in front of all four lanes of morning traffic. I quickly turned the wheel to avoid completely destroying this tiny car and pulled aggressively in front of the semi trucks and cars. Horns blaring and hopes I didn’t hit any other cars. I slammed into the side of the highway luckily only smashing some of our hubcaps on the driver side. In complete shock I pulled over hyperventilating over this near miss with destruction. The only damage was to see was that the steering wheel was completely knocked upside down, which was worrying. We drove a few miles outside of the city to an auto body shop that worked on Semi’s. After waiting from 9 a.m. to around 3 p.m they finally got to take a look at our rig. We spent most of the day in the waiting room with the dogs, sitting on top of old crusty chairs and couches watching black and white TV shows. The head mechanic told us it would be the next day before they were able to work on it, but they gave us the option to stay overnight on their lot. So a free place to stay with electricity and wifi?! Of course we accepted. We spent the night eating Mexican food and watching King of the Hill on our TV. After the morning came and the parts came they worked on our rig for a few hours before deciding that there wasn’t actually anything really wrong with it. The piece they had thought was bent wasn’t actually bent and they sent us on their way, only charging us a hundred dollars.
After a few hours of driving we made it to the RV park a few miles outside of New Orleans. Where we would stay for the next few days…