Saturday, July 26, 2014

Goodbye Yuma! Hello Mile Post 147

The view leaving Yuma
To say that we were eager to leave Yuma, our home for the last 7-1/2 months would be an understatement. Fifty-three minutes after we walked out of the doctor’s office, we were pulling out of the RV park; that time, by the way, included the half-hour drive from the doctor’s office to the RV park.

We had already made up our minds that we would leave Yuma that day, even if I wasn’t released by the doctor (I wasn’t, which means we’ll be driving back to Yuma next week for what, hopefully, will be the final appointment). Everything was all packed, and all we had to do was take in the slides, turn off the electricity (we hadn’t unhooked that because we needed to have the air conditioning on for Chester), so some last minute site cleanup and leave. We were just starting the cleanup when the maintenance manager came by and told us not to worry about it. So we just hopped in the truck and took off.
Sonoran Desert
We had a grand trip until just about half-way to Tucson, when the truck broke down at Mile Post 147. Now the last thing you want to do is break down in the middle of the Sonoran Desert when there is an extreme heat emergency warning in place. We immediately got on the phone with Good Sam Roadside Assistance for a tow truck to come rescue us. We are sitting in the truck, sweating away, because the breakdown took out the air conditioning, when we learned Good Sam would only cover towing of the truck. I immediately got on the phone to our insurance agent in Kennewick to see if we had tow coverage on the trailer. We did, but it only paid if that company made the tow arrangements. I was brusquely told I should have called the insurance company first, and suggested I cancel the tow truck on the way and have the insurance company make new arrangements. However, they would only tow the trailer in.

Give me a break! We’d only been sitting in a hot truck (doors open and windows down) for two hours and weren’t about to sit there another two hours, especially since it was 120 degrees out. Actually, we wouldn’t have been allowed to. About that time, an Arizona Highway Patrol officer stopped and informed us he was taking us to a truck stop about four miles up the road. We said we were told we had to stay with the truck and trailer. He told us to call the tow company and have them pick us up there, and if they said they couldn’t do it, he’d talk to them.

So that is how Chester got to ride in a cop car and be a K-9 officer for four miles. Not that he knew or even cared what was happening.  He was so hot he was gasping for breath, and then he collapsed; we thought we’d lost him. We waited at the truck stop for about 15 minutes before the tow truck arrived. It took about 35 minutes in the air-conditioned cab before Chester stirred again.

While we were waiting, Jon had called an auto dealer in Casa Grande about getting the truck repaired. However, the tow truck driver suggested we use a repair shop next door as it was more reasonably priced and did good work. After dropping me, Chester and the trailer off at an RV park, he took Jon and the truck to this shop.

And now begins the most exciting part of our day. The repair shop was really great, quickly diagnosed the problem and called for parts. The only catch was that they didn’t accept credit or debit cards; it was cash only. They had one of their employees drive Jon to the RV park to get me, and then took us to the local branch of my bank to use the ATM. Why is this exciting? Because the guy drove like a maniac – talking on his cell phone, talking to us, waving both hands around all the while speeding down city streets, changing lanes with no particular rhyme or reason. Jon, who was in the front seat, was hanging onto the “oh shit” bar for dear life. When we got back to the repair shop, he left us in the car while he went to check on the truck. I whispered to Jon, “are we still alive?” He replied he thought so, and then said the driver never went under 60 mph, even though the speed limit was 35 mph. We later determined the driver had graduated summa cum laude from the Beijing Taxi Drivers Training Academy.

The repair shop was great, and stayed past closing time to get the truck done that night. We stayed in Casa Grande a couple of nights, and drove into Tucson this morning.



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