Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Stuff all over the State, Some Downtime for Repairs

 Leaving Parker and heading for the Mojave Desert, our stretch goal was Bakersfield for the night. The plan was to visit a Sound Bath along the way; we thought it might be a silly, quirky and kitchy little stop, apparently people take it seriously though...  it’s booked solid until late February. Oh well, we’ll catch one the next time around.

Oranges trying to get in the drivers side window

Just West of Needles I noticed the driver’s side trailer tire looked wonky. All the tire gauges read well, albeit running a little warmer than usual but all the same I decided to have it checked out. We found a truck repair in Barstow called In and Out Truck Repair, they said they would look at it but then continued to work right around us without so much as a nod hello. After about 20 minutes of that I gave up and found Koch Mobile Repair, we met at the Barstow Loves truck stop and John repacked the trailer bearings which were rather dry and loose enough to allow some slop but otherwise undamaged. A few minutes later we were rolling again. The trailer tire wobble was much improved but still there. I didn’t want to alarm Mom so I simply dialed down the speed a little bit and tried to be subtle about obsessively checking on it at every opportunity. We made it uneventfully over the Tehachapi Pass to Bakersfield and found the most adorable little RV park hidden among the orange groves at the foot of the mountains. At checkin they handed us a bag and invited us to pick all the oranges we wanted.

Mom picking oranges for breakfast

Oddly enough, at the exact moment we were settling in with our orange bounty Lance was many miles away with nomadic friends in Napa discussing their favorite RV parks and the same park came up: Orange Grove RV Park. Apparently in the Spring the scent of orange blossoms is intoxicating.

The next day we rolled on to the parking spot I’d prepaid in Loomis close to my folks. The whole time Mom and I have been on this rescue-Loretta-from-Albuquerque mission, Lance has been meeting with surgeons and planning the strategy for the 13th and hopefully last surgery. We knew this was going to be a long pause and we have been accumulating a lengthy project list, and it wasn’t a mistake that Loretta and the trailer will be close to Dad’s toolbox and helpful family; so Loretta, the trailer, and Lance can all get in some healing together.

As usual we broke our list down and prioritized it.
Loretta project #1: fix the cracked kitchen vent to prevent leaks. We first noticed the vent leak way back in August's Syracuse squall, caught up with the the replacement vent delivery in Denver and have been driving around with it ever since waiting for the right repair window. We expected the simple remove and replace project to take an hour but it took 3 hours (that rooftop sealant takes persistence and patience to remove properly), now she can safely shuffle around the shop yard without taking on rainwater damage. Loretta Project 2: find a repair shop that will coordinate with the insurance company and get the bumper repairs rolling.

Trailer project #1: fix the tire situation. The wobbly tire is wearing weirdly. Newly greased bearings are healthy and happy, axle and springs appear undamaged... final diagnosis: the rim is bent. Time for new rims and tires. Of course nobody sells them both together, so it took some running around to get it all sorted but now the trailer is good to roll again.

Lance putting the new wheels on the trailer

We got a good repair shop recommendation in Sacramento, and they were willing to take on both Loretta and the trailer jacknife-repair project, so we left them both at Dr. George's RV Repair. They had hardly rolled in the shop door before our Allstate rep showed up and started writing checks. Huzzah.

We've been considering some modifications to the boat rack, so we'll be tackling that project while we wait.

I feel a bit like George Carlin in that skit about Stuff. Stuff over here, stuff over there, little bags to transport the stuff I really need, stuff being stored elsewhere. Our stuff is spread all across the state of California right now.


  1. Glad we had the adventure together. Never a dull moment when we are in the same area. Lots of laughs, lots of sharing. Thanks for the trip.

  2. You're a great copilot, Mom. You can ride shotgun any time.

  3. Internet Speed Comparison @ Orange Grove RV Park, Bakersfield CA
    Sampled 12/7/18 at 6:05pm
    AT&T – 5.18 down, 1.50 up
    Calyx (Sprint) – 1.44 down, 5.81 up
    Jetpack (Verizon) – 4.07 down, 18.9 up
    Park wifi – 6.64 down, 2.52 up