5 Sep 2013

Adventures with Wilbur - pt 4 - "Hello Mr. D"

So one thing that happens traveling east is losing time.  I changed the clocks just after we left the scenic vista.  Dusk came a little too quickly so I don't have many pictures.

We stopped once probably just before Lyman Wyoming, though I'm not entirely sure.  The moon rise was really spectacular.  It was partly overcast so there were all kinds of spooky shadows over the clouds and ground.  DH said he had to stretch his legs so I gave him the camera and sang home on the range with Sid.  He had the tripod and the good camera so I don't exactly know what happened with this one. 

It really wasn't all that dark.

Anyways, I guess this is one you just had to be there for.  It does give you the idea how dark it got when the moon finally lost the war with the clouds and disappeared for the rest of the night.

We drove past Little America, yet again.  Little America started as an average truck stop and has now grown into a travelers mecca.  Some day, we're going to stay there so I can see the marble showers that are advertised for hundreds of miles before the place.  Not this time though, as always, it was a little to close. ( Going the other way it is a little too far.)

We drove on by the marble showers and on to Rock Springs.  As was getting to be the pattern, the approach of an urban area meant construction.  The highway wasn't too bad but, there did seem to be some awfully large digging vehicles parked not very far away.  We pulled off, as directed by our girl friend, and saw

no road!

Yep, no detours, no nothing, just a thump and a bump and welcome to off roading, in the dark, in an RV.  Things I'm glad about.  I'm glad that Wilbur is old so he has more ground clearance than some of the newer ones.  He has a large engine and it hadn't rained recently. 

Poor Wilbur!  This proved was a bit much for him.  As we dutifully followed the directions to the camp ground, we could hear him starting to bang and thump and omg grind (again).  Of course there is nothing to be done at this point but camp and deal with the damage in the morning.  So when we heard the happy sounds of 'You have reached your destination.' we were excited to look around and see ...


just a completely black empty field.  Now, some campgrounds might be like that but KOAs are usually well marked even if they can be a bit hidden.  We stopped, got out and saw a dirt path that might be called a road leading down a hill to a stand of trees.

Dustin announced,"we are not going down that."

I agreed and then began a conversation I'm sure many of you have had with your significant others at some point.  What address did you use?  Why did you use the GPS points of Interest, (POI), not the street address ...

I punched in the street address we had written down way back when we had booked the campsite and voilà a new set of directions materialized, beginning with 'turn around when possible.'   We found a place to turn around and continued our off roading adventure.  Blessedly, the pavement resumed about half a mile or so before the campsite so we could access the sounds.  It was a different grinding sound more like a rattling or shivering, the bumping and thumping seemed to be the stove, so maybe it wasn't all that bad.

We lurched into our very first campground to set up our very first camp, after dark.  So as Dustin was fumbling around in the dark and I wasn't doing much better, we elected to plug in the hydro and call it good for the night.   Our water was still plentiful and there was no sewage hook up on our site anyways.

"Good Night Dustin"
"Good Night Sid"
"Good Night Carolyn"
"Good Night John-boy"
"Good Night Good-boy, atta-boy, o-boy. . . "
"Will that never get old?"

The next morning bright and early, with sleeping beauty still sleeping, we got up to assess the damage.  There was what looked to be the corner of a sheet of metal hanging loose.  It didn't seem to be rubbing on anything.  The best way to describe it would be, 'not as expected.' There didn't seem to be anything else wrong.

I hooked up our water and Dustin phoned Coach-Net.   There were unhappy male sounds coming from inside while I turned the water on.  No bars!  A bit of fiddling around with the campground's WiFi got us internet calling.

They didn't actually say it, but this did become a running joke throughout the trip, 'Good Morning Mr. D, and what is the matter with your 2004 motorhome today.'  what they did say was that they hadn't recognised our cell number.

Not too many bits were hanging down and we were pretty sure that whatever was wrong was either really serious and we would require a shop that specialised in RVs or that we were worry-warts.  Coach-Net couldn't find us any place in Rock Springs and in fact the closest place that could see us was in Omaha on Tuesday. (that would be a week away.) 

He decided that he would call them back.  He screwed the stove back down and ate.  I can't say much good about that campground but the shower was excellent, clean, lots of water pressure, lots of hot water but...

Tuesday was a long ways away and stopping there for that long would eat our time to accomplish the task which we had to do, crossing back into the United States from Canada to talk to the immigration people.  It would pretty much shoot our vacation down in flames.   Never mind, that a week at Archiver's just didn't sound like a good idea.

What to do?

We talked about it over breakfast.  We talked about it while we figured out the dump station and we talked about it as we drove away, which was not the way we had come in. lol

We hit the highway and Wilbur was sounding better.  Just driving on pavement seemed to fix many of the bad sounds.  Some gravel spray out of the hub caps cleared up some extra rattles.  The shivering metal sound wasn't bad although it was there.  The bumping and thumping problem seemed solved so we drove on, deciding to call them back when we had bars and/or anything got worse.

I'm going to end the travelogue there but I'm going to share part of the story of our move out here.  We drove here in our Nissan Sentra, pulling a U-haul trailer with crap piled on the roof.  This layout shows the only picture I have of the car.

When we entered Wyoming, there was a sign stating 75 mph headwinds ahead.  They lasted through the whole state and into Utah.  I honestly don't think we would have made it if the car had not had a manual transmission.  The grades are loooonnngg.  There were stretches when maintaining 40 mph (6o km/hr) was impossible and then it started to rain.  In fact, every time we've driven through that state there has been something.  My whole perspective is tainted and though I'm sure there are some fine people there, I dread Wyoming.

So on that happy note I'm going to leave you for the day.

Have a great one
~  Carolyn


  1. I love your title's texture (and the background too), beautiful layout ! Not sure I understood everything but your journey sounded not so easy !

  2. Another great, great layout.
    I had to laugh at your GPS taking you nowhere. Our Lola did this as well, lol
    But at least ours was during the day and we only had to back track.
    I can't image the panic you felt, but it does make a great story :)


Hearing from you makes me smile, thank you!