In the RV world I’ve always heard that the question is not will you ever breakdown but it’s when will you breakdown? Needless to say, I got my answer! My ‘when’ was last Saturday on my first longer haul from Sequim to Spokane Valley.... and I didn’t get very far! I feel fortunate that I realized something was not right and happen to pull off I-5 right by the dealership where I bought it. While my beastly rig then proceeded to DIE at the light while blocking all traffic, I did get her started eventually, ran the red since nobody was coming, and limped into the dealership lot before they closed....so not too impactful to others and just a little stressful 😬. I unhooked the tow, grabbed all my work necessities, a few essentials and decided to head to Spokane.... However just 5 miles down the road I realized I left my wallet in the RV that was now locked inside the dealership’s lot along with my keys. In the words of my brother-in-law, I was “driving dirty” without a license or a penny in my pocket. Sudden change of plans...again! My sister had an empty bedroom, wine and I could whine if needed... so I crashed there for the night. She fed me and even bought me a latte in the morning and then it was back to the dealership to get back into my beast for my wallet and a few other items I decided to grab knowing that if it was the tranny I’d be without access to my belongings for awhile.
When I finally arrived at my daughter’s in Spokane this little goober put a smile on my face and I soon forgot about the inconvenience. Monday I had to arrange a tow to the transmission shop (why it took 3 tow trucks to get one big enough to do the job is another mystery). They were finally able to look at it Thursday and everything checked out okay with the tranny but they said she was blowing black smoke and suspected this was engine related and CATs were the one engine they didn’t work on.... So Thursday during my lunch I arranged another tow! Thank goodness for an extended service warranty with towing and my auto insurance! Each tow was less than 3 miles and each cost $500 and some change! Yikes! They are trying to fit me in Monday or Tuesday for the diagnosis... Meanwhile I’m just going to enjoy some extended grandma time! This was my shakedown period to learn the things I needed to and work through any bugs, and I am succeeding at that😉😳. More to come ...
They say making a right turn in a 40' RV is more difficult than a left. I think I made some pretty darn good "right turns" this past weekend in preparation for my journeys. My first "right turn" was finding RV Driving School through Escapees RV Club. Granted, I successfully maneuvered one of the most ridiculously curvy roads to get here, it could have been a lot more fun and I might not have gotten that trucker's tighty-whities in such a bunch! While I'm confident that if "some old dude can drive one of these things, I can too" that just doesn't create comfort behind the wheel. I like my comfort!! So I did some research and found an instructor here in Sequim which is one of many reasons I ventured here.
After 8-hours of instruction I can truly say I am so MUCH more comfortable driving my beast. This weekend there were lots of bright orange cones, right turns, left turns, backing around curves, dealing with swing out, roundabouts, blind spots, dead-end turnarounds, on/off ramps, gas stations, etc... you get the picture! All the stuff I wanted to avoid - I now know how to better handle these situations!
In the end, my instructor smiled and told me it makes his day to see a student back into a tight parking spot effortlessly, then to get out of the big rig and watch all the jaws drop when everyone realizes it's a girl driving! I even got a bouquet of lavender from my neighbors on Sunday after my lesson! I had just met them Saturday after my first lesson, they were curious and inquired. I shared that I had just moved in to my RV 6-weeks ago with the objective to travel the US and dive, while continuing to work a job I enjoy. The next day a bouquet of lavender - WOW! They said it was a little house warming gift and to wish me well on my adventures! I get the BEST neighbors!!!
As for diving.... finished off a tank of air just so I could check out the vibration my mom and Ron noticed when they took their boat out. Actually, it was a GREAT excuse to try and photograph some large feather duster worms in ambient light. I also wanted to see what the weird hive like clusters of slim worms looked like up close. Oh....and the boat vibration.... they have some major critter life happening! Time for critter relocation and cleaning.
Had a pleasant little morning dive at Sund Rock on the Hood Canal.... I knew I would be back soon. I wanted to say hi to some of my favorite lil' fish... I really should name them one of these day!
We made our way down the north wall where I saw 4 of the resident wolf eels in a small area. I peeked into the octopus den but didn't see him. My dive buddies were moving north so I followed not to get lost in the muck on this super low tide, low visibility day. Chris and Tyler stayed at the wall while Kelly and I ventured out a little deeper where we found a tire full of huge hermit crabs! Then we made our way over to the wreck and circled back. Tyler headed home after the first dive while Chris, Kelly and I did a second dive on the south wall. Chris spotted a Dog Fish (shark) hanging about, we found another resident wolfie and stumbled upon the white sea whips at 70'. We made our way back in at a -4' tide, standing dry where we generally do our safety stop! Sund Rock never disappoints.
Pamela Treischel is a SCUBA diving enthusiast, underwater photography hobbyist and Ambassador for the Inland Ocean Coalition.