Montana or Bust: Day One
We went to bed early last night, so we could get a decent start on an already delayed (no thanks to an uncooperative leasing office) first real A Roaming Life adventure.
We got up, did our respective hitting the road morning rituals: Courtney downs a 5 hour energy and freshens up, I have a cup or 2 of coffee and a shower.
Then we started on our check list.
Wait. You do have a checklist, too, right?
You know. The one where you have everything listed that needs to be done before you leave, in and around your RV — items secured, or put away, the black and grey -tank preparations for road travel, tire chocks removed, pets in vehicles BEFORE slides go in…things like that. Because if you forget one thing that must be done, it could be the end of your trip or any more trips. Fast.
Anyway, we pushed our sleepy way through our checklist and go to the last item — the trailer lights check.
Left turn signal. Good. Right turn signal… Hmm. Brake check… Dagnabit! Right signal light is out.
Okay, we’re not going on the highway like that, so we decide to take the back roads to the local Love’s Travel Stop to pick up a replacement.
As we approach a traffic light and apply the brakes… HOLY 14,000lb Steamroller, Batman! No trailer brakes! The lights and console messages. They speak the truth!
We crawled in to Love’s parking lot and on a whim, re-checked the power cable from the trailer to the receptacle in the truck bed.
“The warnings are gone!”
“Check the brakes and turn signals!”
Success! Whew. Well, at least it couldn’t get any worse than that, right?
Oh, silly, silly travelers, how WRONG you are!
Those kayaks are secured darn tight by Yakima JayLows and we’re overall impressed by them.
An hour in to our trip — post brake light fiasco — my kayak (the blue/green one), starts wobbling on the rack.
Sunnuvab— we make as quick an exit as possible off the highway, to a Walmart parking lot so we can re-secure the kayak.
Though it was a bit nerve-wracking and tension filled while we watched it bounce and wobble, in the end the straps just needed to be re-tightened.
There is something about the right side kayak rack — be it the shape of the kayak hull and the way it sits in the JayLow or maybe the way the strap is strung — the strap vibrates faster than a rabbit doing, well… that and it more lose over time as it was vibrated in and out of this dimension.
We decided to make “check the kayak straps” part of our refueling stops.
Speaking of refueling…
On one of our fuel stops in/just outside Flagstaff, we made a slight miscalculation and took the trailer over a curb as we entered the gas station. We didn’t think anything of it at first, as it happens and without too much to worry about.
But this post isn’t about a worry free trip is it? NO, of course it isn’t!
Oh. Crap. Is this gonna cost us a fortune in time and money to fix? How bad is it? PANIC! No. Don’t panic. Not yet.
We slowly hustled (slustled?) to the Flagstaff Discount Tire store, where we had to park in the back behind another RV.
Courtney took this picture in and showed it to one of the guys working in a very busy store.
Now, keep in mind that this is the 4th of July weekend and everybody and their trailer is in town and needs something from Discount Tire.
The young gentlemen that spoke with Courtney took the time to come back with her to the trailer and checked the damage on the tire. Not a quick glance but actually inspected it. He determined that the damage is only cosmetic, it doesn’t go down to the tread or to the plies or belts. Yes, not only will it get us out of town without any repairs, but it will get us to Montana.
As busy as it was at Discount Tire on this holiday weekend, he could have made us wait. A LONG TIME. With everyone else there. He could have NOT come out to look at the tire, because busy.
But he didn’t. He’s a great example of young people that have a work ethic, care about their customers (or potential customers).
One unexpected and impressive moment in a day of craptasticness.
We drove for a couple more hours, in to early dusk, to try and make up for the lost time, tired and weary.
You know when you’ve just had one of those days and you’re out of oomph and ready to give in?
George has days like that any time we travel and today we agreed with him.
We found a side road on some BLM land, parked, leveled and we’re calling it the end of Day One of Montana or Bust.