Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trouble With A Capital "T"

Here is our Explorer being towed away this afternoon after a stop in Crescent City, California. How wonderful! But more on that later.....

We left Tumwater Monday morning while a fairly good snowstorm was happening. We hoped it would improve and it did for a while after we passed Chehalis. Then we hit sporadic bursts of moderate to heavy snow all the way through Portland, Oregon. As we ventured further south toward the Siskiyou Mountains on the border of Oregon and California, we knew we had to make a decision.

I called the Highway Road Conditions phone number to check on the Grants Pass, Medford and Ashland, OR areas. Big rig had overturned by Ashland blocking all but one southbound lane. Waiting period of 20 minutes to 2 hours reported. Heavy snow reported and chains are required. That did not sound promising. We made the quick decision, before we passed the opportunity, to cut over to the Oregon Coast via Hwy. 38 out of Cottage Grove. That took us past the town of Drain (wonderful town) and we saw a large herd of elk along the way. We connected with Hwy. 101 at Reedsport and drove down to Coos Bay and stayed overnight at the Old Mill Casino for only $17.00. Bargain! Especially with 50 amp electric service. After we parked the RV, Bruce drove the car to the Safeway to get milk.

Then the RV refrigerator began acting up again. It did that back in Tumwater but then the problem vanished. It had problems keeping cool enough about 2 weeks ago and before we could get to our service appointment, the problem vanished and it worked again. It started doing the same thing again yesterday. We made an appointment down at an RV dealer in central California.

We woke up this morning and it was cold, but only down to 39 degrees. No snow and no icy roads here. We got ready to leave and had gotten the motorhome all prepared and pulled it into the road to hook up our Explorer, which we tow behind the RV. The car wouldn't start. The battery wasn't dead but the engine wouldn't start. What to do??? We decided to back the RV up to the car and hook up the towing mechanism that way. We planned to tow it down to Eureka, California and find a Ford dealer. After much maneuvering we managed to get the car hooked up and engaged the Neutral Tow Device which allows us to tow with all 4 wheels on the road.

We continued along the beautiful and scenic byway on the Oregon Coast. We stopped in the town of Crescent City, California to eat our meat loaf sandwich and get a cup of coffee at McDonald's. We parked the motorhome and the towed Explorer in the large parking lot and went inside McDonald's. After we came back out we decided to see if the car would start. Big trouble now. Not only wouldn't the car engine start it wouldn't turn over and the battery was dead as a doornail. (why is a doornail said to be dead I wonder?) Now the car was in Park and the gearshift wouldn't let you move it back into Neutral so we could tow it behind the RV again. AAA to the rescue now. Thank goodness for cell phones. We called AAA and they sent out a tow truck to assist us. With our AAA-Plus service we could be towed, free of charge, up to 100 miles. Eureka, CA was only about 77 miles south of where we were stuck so we were good with that.

We got down to the Harper Motors lot in Eureka before the tow truck driver. The tow truck driver had a fuel leak in his truck and had to turn back and get another tow truck. (is this maybe Friday the 13th or something?). He finally arrived about an hour after we did. The service department did not have time to do more than begin to look it over before it was quitting time. So, here we sit and we will hope they get it fixed tomorrow and it won't cost thousands of dollars.

We decided to drive the motorhome over to the Samoa Cookhouse Restaurant here near Eureka for dinner. They will let you park free in their parking lot overnight. We've done it before and we'll do it again. The Cookhouse serves a wonderful family style dinner and we are getting ready to go in now and enjoy that meal after a stressful couple of days. Sheesh! We are only on our second day of this trip and it has been filled with trouble with a capital "T". I sure hope things improve.

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