Our day started with the question “can we get our rig out of this tight space after four months of sitting?” Bragging on my hubby for a bit, he did a fine job! And we were off, heading north to a little out-of-the-way rec area that would afford us some down time and the ability to visit Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands. We left shortly after 10am and counted on a normal 200 mile day, getting us in at about 2pm. What started out as normal became anything but.
About 2 1/2 hours into our trip, as we were heading up a grade on an active California freeway, I noticed a little mist on my windshield and about that time Terry, who was driving our rig in front of me, started to slow down. I then heard those dreaded words ‘I have a problem’. That fine mist on my windshield was radiator coolant and yes, we did have a problem. Luckily we were able to pull off onto the shoulder and opening the hood, we found a fine mess! The hose had become detached from the radiator (perhaps occurring when we had some recent work done on the truck?) and we had some clean-up work ahead of us. Terry was able to reattach the hose and we started wiping down the engine, the grill, and the hood. And no Roger, it was not because we are driving a Ford instead of a Chevy!
Terry always plans for the inevitable so we had plenty of coolant and distilled water, or so we thought. Using everything we had on hand, the coolant didn’t even register in the reservoir so Terry left me with our home and took our “day use” vehicle to scout out more fluids. My phone rang while he was gone and thinking it was him, I said hello and immediately was connected with the fraud department of our credit card company, who wanted me to verify a couple of recent charges. The first was a small charge at an auto part store for today, so I knew that had to be Terry and the next, ~$1000, was for an online shopping experience, also for today. Terry did not seem to be in the mood to stop and do some quick online shopping so I passed on that charge. Luckily our credit card company did not authorize the charge either. So now we have a hold on our credit card and the day just keeps getting more interesting.
While waiting for my hubby to return, I tackled the problem of how to clean the slippery mess off the windshield and not have my butt hanging onto the freeway. My solution, poke my head through the sunroof and lean down over the windshield. Piece of cake and just where the heck is a camera when you need one! I had also been checking periodically to make sure no one had pulled up behind us, looking for an opportunity (if you know what I mean) and just as I was going to get out of the truck to look again, someone was looking in at me. He had a name tag on his uniform and wore a bright vest and his vehicle read “Metro Freeway Service Patrol”. Mr Velasquez was a pure joy to see (after my initial shock) and insisted on staying with me until Terry returned, and stayed until we added another two gallons of fluid and started the engine.
What should have ended with us pulling our rig into Lake Casitas Recreation Area at 2pm was pushed back to 6pm instead. Ironically some friends of ours recently had a horrendous 400 mile day in their RV, finally finding a site that would accommodate their rig. Their planned stop did not work out and although the park was rather empty, they were told there were no sites available for them.
After we knew they were safely at their final destination and had tossed back a stiff drink, we chuckled as we thought of Nina’s expression and comment when she heard the news “no room for you”. Being from Denmark, she has a delightful accent and is full of spunk and we couldn’t help but laugh at the image. So, Nina and Paul, if you are reading this, go ahead and have a chuckle. Better yet, laugh out loud. I insist. I think we got it comin’!
Life sure has a way of reminding us that there are going to be obstacles along the way so better to roll with them if you can, and it makes the good times so much sweeter, don’t you think? What started as a most unusual day is ending at Lake Casitas, with the light fading from the sky in a quiet campground, frogs and crickets all around us providing a melodious symphony.
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