February 6, 2015, the day we have been looking forward to like children seeing presents under the tree having to wait for Christmas morning. The alarm is set for 5:30, but we're both up before 5:00. The Jeep is packed with all the things we have for the motorhome - every inch of the inside is stuffed and the chairs are strapped on the top. We head out around 6:30 for Montclair where we have a 9:00 appointment with the Giant RV sales department to do our walk through.
We have the new tow bar that they are going to run the wiring through so it's all set up the right way. We drop that off at the service department when they open at 8:00, and drive around the area to kill the hour. I lived there over 30 years ago so we go see if we can find the old house. Naturally it looks so much smaller, and except for the shape of the front, is completely different. Hour killed, back to the dealer for 90 minutes, and then on the road with motorhome and toad!
The sales department has no clue who we are (we bought the rig from the dealer's RV show, not from their lot). After being asked three times if I was Mrs Hill, I finally asked what the Hills bought - maybe I AM Mrs Hill, at least you're expecting her! About 9:40 I am finally greeted as Mrs. Gravel. Progress.
Slow progress. Our rig is in the bay having scratches buffed off the side, they'll have it ready for us in the afternoon. "Like hell you will buddy, we expect to be driving out of here in a couple hours and you'd better light a fire under everybody's ass now"....I say in my head. Knowing this guy is in a position to make or break our day, I instead calmly explain that the afternoon is not acceptable, that we have reservations at a park in the desert, that we live 90 miles away, and we really need to be on the road at noon. Oh, and there's that walk-through I scheduled three weeks ago that no one is even acknowledging.
|Still in the service bay|
|Not where we pictured spending our first day|
So while he is adding a team of body buffers and interior cleaning ladies to get the rig ready, I head over to double check that the Invisibrake wiring I sent by FedEx last week has been installed. "My" service guy says he'll check for me. It's now after 10:00. When I come out of the restroom Bill tells me the wiring will be done by noon. You can likely guess what I say in my head.
Bill is the master of "water off a duck's back", and I'm very even-tempered most of the time. But we're feeling a bit "testy" at almost 11:00, still sitting in the lobby. I knew who I scheduled the appointment with, and about this time she comes out of the finance office and introduces herself. And owns the mistake. A genuine apology makes a huge difference to me. I always hope that mine will be accepted. We accept hers. Tessa is wagging her tail. We can't stay mad now.
The walk-through tech is good. He immediately "gets" how to work with us, and we have fun with him while confirming that "buttons you push, and knobs you turn". Even though we have passed noon, while we're in the rig we don't care how long it's taking. The ten minutes back in the lobby while no one knows what we're waiting for puts us back into OMG-can-we-just-get-the-rig-and-go mode. Next Bill sees our rig pull out of the lot and disappear down the road. We surmise that filling up the propane happens off site. It finally returns and we are finally able to pull up the Jeep and attach the tow bar.
|Check the water in the batteries regularly|
|Accommodating much longer legs than mine|
|Now that I'm all dirty from the RV lot, can we go already?|
So close. But nope, not yet. Although we knew the procedure for putting the Jeep's transfer case in neutral for towing, it won't do it. After a few unsuccessful attempts Bill goes to find our service rep who worked for Jeep for ten years. We have now spent enough time here to know such things. The decade of experience does us no good. It's not going to work. Unhooking the tow bar brings out a few curses......long overdue at 2:00 in the afternoon.
Without hesitation we unload the boxes and assorted stuff, wrap up the tow bar cables on the rig, park the Jeep in the shade, and finally drive the rig off the lot! Three hours later than planned, still have to get groceries, over two hours of driving ahead of us - we are so not getting to the park before dark.
Both acceleration and stopping taking longer than in a car or truck. Getting the speedometer to 75 mph takes much less time (I attempt to keep it at 65) on a nice flat freeway. It's a dream to drive. I'm in love. All is right with the world.
|Center lane, 65 mph, smooth as silk|
Damn, groceries. Double damn, Walmart is the most convenient place to stop. I bite the bullet and do my first ever shopping in the den of the enemy. I knew I would have to do it when we got on the road, so I suppose adding it to this already crazy day is fitting. Groceries are purchased. It's not a terrible experience. I'm not struck by lightning.
We pull the grade on I10 out of Indio at 55 and when we pass the exit at Chiraco Summit the sky is completely dark. Desert dark. Although we've never been to the RV park we have known this area for 50+ years so we have no anxiety about finding where we need to be. We will take our time and get in to the site just fine. We're in site #48.
Most of the lots are permanent residences. Nice. Very clean. Only about half of them have numbers. There's no street lights on the narrow streets. We finally find #48 (we figure it's the one between 47 and 49). Wait for it.......
There's a fifth wheel parked there with awning out and chairs set up.
I leave a message on the rv park's phone number and Bill calls our friend from high school who lives here at Lake Tamarisk. Coy knows way too much about each of us, and loves us anyway. Come on over, there's hookups, stay as long as you like. Sweet!
The location of the hookups requires backing the rig through brush, past a large eucalyptus, beside the patio cover and house (in the dark). Bring it on! With Bill under the backup camera and Coy at the driver's window I get it in place in one shot.
Slides out, power hooked up, we're set up in five minutes. Several cold beers on the patio, lots of stories shared, Cheetos for dinner. The stars are incredible - bright and nearly close enough to touch. The night is soundless (when we finally shut up about 11:30).
This morning the sunrise over the little lake made yesterday's trials seem like a long time ago....
|Watching the sun rise from the dining table|
|Prime spot at Chez Hamby - thanks Coy!|
|Living the dream|