Saturday, June 30, 2012

Adventures of the road

Freshly chipped road that chipped our toad
Life on the road is indeed an adventure. We seldom know where we'll sleep or what our front yard will look like from one day to the next, but whether it is a breakdown or a stunning experience of nature, we embrace it all and hope YHVH allows us to continue this roving odyssey for as long as we live.

The map says it is 243 miles from Denver to Grand Junction, CO. We left the Denver area on Richard's birthday, June 26th and arrived here in Grand Junction at almost midnight last night... four days later. And this is not where we planned to come at all! Here's how it happened:

Karval Public Schools (PreK-12)
Our first stop was to be in Karval, CO where I used to teach and Richard was Supt. of Schools. The county was chipping the road, so we slowed way down. Our coach has a full width mud flap in the back so our car should not receive any damage from anything thrown out by the coach tires, but when we arrived at the school, we saw that shards of freshly crushed gravel had cut clear through our beautiful paint and the lower front of the car had hundreds of deep pock marks. BOO!!

Wyatt and Julia
We toured the school then headed for the Calf-A for lunch with old friends who help the community by keeping the little cafe and store open. Thanks Michelle and Carlos.

Next, we stopped in LaJunta to see daughter-in-law Julia and grandson Wyatt. We kept them up late visiting at the Village Inn then parked at Wal-Mart to spend the night and share breakfast with them in the morning. We will see them again in Delta the first week of July.

It was afternoon and 106 degrees by the time we got back on the road on day two. Heat is an enemy, especially when we are sitting still. Our animals cannot take heat, so we end up running the propane generator a lot.

Our front yard for a while
Road construction and a thunder shower didn't slow us down too much, but we were ready to stop and relax for the night long before the sun went down. We found this beautiful spot along highway 114. Much more than just a pull-out. It was probably intended as a truck rest or chain up area. We spent a lazy evening and cozy night here.

Some folks watch TV, but we were spotting eagles and other wildlife and enjoying the sweet smells of the countryside after a rain. The temperatures dropped with the sun and we were actually chilly by the time we went inside at dusk. How warm and snug our Safari felt and we nestled down early for a much needed night's sleep. I always sleep better out in the country.

By noon of day three, we had arrived in Gunnison, CO and toured Western State College (now renamed) where Richard got both his BA and MA degrees and I worked on my MA. We ate lunch at the infamous Mario's Pizza. I am almost 73 years old and have never had better pizza or garlic bread than Mario's serves, EVER!

Broken throttle cable
Our next nostalgic stop was Montrose, CO, where we planned to visit Richard's parents graves and homes and just drive around town talking of old memories... but on the way to get parked and unhook our car, we had a break down. Suddenly, the fuel pedal went limp and was unresponsive. We were at a major crossroads, so Richard idled the coach around the corner and into a large gravel lot where we stopped to try to figure things out. We decided to wait until morning to call anyone since it was already very late afternoon. We did go visit the graves and homes, and we enjoyed revisiting old memories. To add to the adventure, Jasper the cat got out and did not return until about four in the morning.

We really thought our throttle problem would be a simple fix, one that could be done right where we sat, so when we called our emergency road service carrier, CoachNet, we chose roadside service instead of a tow. You can only choose one or the other. They soon had a man out to help us, except this man didn't or couldn't deal with it nor could another man he sent out to us later in the day. The first man charged us, the second didn't. Neither of us is mechanically inclined, but we are blessed to belong to several RV email lists, including Safari owner lists. The folks on these lists are amazing and such a comfort, too. We are learning much from them.

Meanwhile, the temperature was rising and our propane supply was falling fast. We had to get propane and soon! Not far down US 50 was a small truck stop, so we idled our way to it driving 5 mph on the shoulder. Propane is expensive, but this heat allows us little choice. The Montrose Truck Stop does not allow RV parking, even if you did just pay a bundle for a load of propane, but Richard sweet talked them into letting us park off in a corner next to an empty, but unwashed cattle trailer which became our front yard for a day.

Our front yard at Trans West
Finally, it became clear, we needed a shop and there was none in Montrose, so that meant a tow to Grand Junction... over $500, and that is after they knocked off over a hundred!!! We arrived here at Trans West Trucks just before midnight last night, so this is our second night here, and we will be here Sunday night as well. At least they have a 50 amp hookup for us since the heat remains in the triple digits.

Sometimes our front yard is full of scenic beauty, and sometimes not. We compensated by going for an impromptu ride, no particular destination in mind. After poking around the outskirts of town we stumbled upon the entrance to the Colorado National Monument and even though it was very late in the afternoon, we decided to drive the 23 mile scenic Rim Rock drive. It was a lovely way to spend the Sabbath afternoon... but I must say, I still miss the folks at Beit Yisrael.

View from Rim Rock drive in Colorado Nat'l Monument


  1. Oh my goodness.. this could be a start to a real book! First the gravel damage, then the cat getting out, then the musical chairs of expert mechanics who don't have a clue....arggghhhhh

    Sure wish someone could have fixed it right there instead of the danged tow. OUCH!

    At least you have 50 amp service there and hopefully a smart mechanic can fix it toot sweet. We will be waiting with baited breath on the Safari list to see what happens next.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  2. Karen, I always love your quick wit and empathetic spirit. Enjoy your working vacation!

  3. Thanks for leaving a comment on Tumbleweed. We'll follow you too. The list on the right side of my blog are people we've met along the way in our full time lifestyle. Good to meet you. We'll be in Colo next week, we can't wait!

    1. Welcome and thanks for coming. I enjoyed my visit at your place, too. I'll sure be back! Colorado is hot, hot, hot right now... maybe better when you come next week. Hope so.


  4. If I live a gazillion lives, I still wouldn't be able to catch up with your adventures. Do you purr at night? You must, with all the contentment you posess. Prayers are going up for you and Richard. It was amazing that Jasper returned. He probably accessed the fact that you guys are more fun than the great outdoors, even if their litterbox IS bigger. Lotsa love and hugs!


    1. Thanks, my amazing friend. Our Father takes incredible care of us in every situation. We will eventually get fixed and back on the road. Surely we will not spend the balance of our lives here in front of these metal shop doors. Hehehe

      I can't wait to see what He does next... it will always work together for good.

      Blessings and shalom, sweet one!