Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What A Nice Water Feature You Have There

It had to happen. I just knew that our string of good luck was bound to end sometime. Maybe it was fate or maybe it was my comments on the psychic hoo-doo in Sedona, but I can tell you when it rains…well you know. After purchasing one of everything in Sedona, eating great Mexican food and enjoying Cottonwoods sweltering desert temperatures, we decided that enough was enough and we were heading home a day early. By leaving early, we hoped to do the handful of things that we failed to do on our way out west, primarily visiting Petroglyph National Monument, the Cadillac Ranch and of course the Big Texan.

We got going around 10:00am local time and began our journey to Albuquerque. The interesting thing about this area of the country is that almost without question, in whatever direction you travel, you seem to be going up…straight up. Now let me preface this by saying that the Turd should never be confused with a Ferrari. It does however, have very deceptive speed in the sense that it is much slower than it looks. This was never more evident than in our trek back up to Albuquerque. My God, there is nothing more maddening for me than being stuck behind a truck doing 35 in a 75 zone and being helpless to pass said truck. Mind you that when we left on this little journey we weighed about 24,000 pounds, not withstanding the souvenirs from Sedona or the previous nights Mexican food in Cottonwood, we were probably right around that same number as we began our trip back east. After what can only be described as a torturous hour and a half, we finally leveled out in Flagstaff, passed that damn truck, and merged onto eastbound I-40. After a couple of stops we reached New Mexico in the early afternoon, right on schedule. Did you hear that? It was the other shoe falling.

Now keep in mind that we had not experienced anymore problems with the Turd since that whole ABS thing outside of Memphis. We were cruising along I-40 at around 70mph when we reached the outskirts of a town called Gallup, New Mexico. In Gallup, the interstate narrows from four lanes to two due to road construction and we easily merged into our lane with the other vehicles. When we passed the construction site and the interstate went back to four lanes, I hit the accelerator to speed up and nothing happened. I punched it again…nothing. I cursed, punched it harder and still nothing happened. Fortunately, we were approaching an off ramp and I slowly coasted to the top of the bridge right as the engine died. So here we are, the turd, pulling the jeep, stalled smack dab in the middle of the first major off ramp in Arizona…perfect. I turned off the key, turned it back on and low and behold she fired right back up. It was as if nothing had ever happened. We got back on the interstate and experienced no more problems; that is until we got to Albuquerque. Exiting at our destination, we drove into this really nice RV Park. My wife got out to sign us in and returned a few minutes later with our registration and park information. This place had all the bells and whistles, big new community center with a pool, spa and a convenience store. Sitting out front in separate golf carts were two guys in uniform. I gather that their primary responsibility is to talk to each other during down time and to escort you to your site once you register. I should have known I was in trouble, when in an effort to get in front of our RV these two guys crashed head first into each other. Finally, one of the guys pulled out and we began to follow him. No sooner had we turned onto the parks main street, did the Turd stall again! So, I recycled the key from on to off to on again and she started right up. We drove to our site and began to set up. Now I am truly concerned at this point. Clearly something is wrong with the Turd and I am in the middle of nowhere. We have every bit of coverage you can get; premium gold-level extended warrantees, a tire guard warrantee, AAA RV coverage, unlimited roadside assistance, etc, but unless you have phone coverage to call these people, you are S.O.L. One of the two things I noticed as we headed west through New Mexico was how beautiful the landscape was and how non-existent cell phone coverage was from Texas to Albuquerque. I was not about to head east into this part of New Mexico without getting it looked at. The RV Center recommended Rout 66 RV and Truck Repair, conveniently located less than a mile from the Park. That eased my mind a bit. This was clearly a first class RV preserve, very busy with a lot of expensive rigs. If they recommended this garage, you could only think they would be OK.
I tried to put this out of my mind as I began to set up the RV, but the accumulated stress of the jeep ordeal, the RV dealership ordeal, the ABS ordeal, the VIN number ordeal and now the Turd stalling in the middle of nowhere ordeal, was just too much. If that were not enough, my wife was running low on wine and that could potentially be very problematic! So I am in the back of the RV, minding my own business, when the guy next to me strikes up a conversation. Not wanting to be rude, I tried to be marginally conversant as my wife came around to inform me that she was going to find out where the nearest grocery store was located. Not really paying attention, I grunted my acknowledgment and finished hooking up the electric, water and sewer. Knowing it was going to be a short day, there was no grey water and no refuse in the black tank, except for a miniscule amount of water you keep in the event you have to go number 1 or god forbid number 2. That made the set up easier, just hook everything up and we were good to go. I went inside to make dinner and casually looked out the window at my wife talking up the folks across the street. A few minutes later the door to the RV opened up and my wife said, “honey, can you come here…we have a problem”. Thinking to myself, “damn she probably scored a bottle from the lady across the way and they were coming over to drink it”, I said “OK” and walked over to the door. At which time I look out and there were 4 or five people lined up outside the RV staring at our RV. I looked at them, looked at my wife and then back at them. The clearly were interested in our RV, for what reason I could not imagine. Ours was the Honda parked amongst the Cadillac’s. I turned to my wife and said “what’s the problem?” at which point she directed my gaze to the top of the RV from which a torrent of water was now shooting up and spilling over both sides. I froze, not knowing what in the hell was causing water to rush over the side of the RV. So, I looked at my wife, looked at the growing crowd and shut the door. Members of the crowd asked my wife “where did he go”. “Hiding” she replied. Actually I went and turned off the AC, foolishly thinking that they were the only pieces of equipment on the roof that could produce moisture. Of course they could never produce that much water…only Niagara Falls could produce that much water, but it was worth a shot. Stepping outside one of the guys asked, “what do you think is causing that?” like it happens all the time and I just haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet. “Too much water I guess” I said. In the mean time my wife did the smart thing and turned off the water supply to the Turd, immediately stopping the developing geyser. Another guy, who sort of reminded me a bit of Cliff on Cheers, came around back to help me diagnose the problem. As Cliff and I examined the control panel, searching for some clue as to what might be causing the problem; news of my RV’s new “water feature” was rapidly circulating around the campground. This was embarrassing. Then as if on cue, both of us followed the hose that supplies the RV with fresh water. Instead of running the hose to the fresh water supply, I connected it to the black tank flush out, apparently filling the entire tank and the connecting air supply vent with fresh water that subsequently came shooting out the top of the Turd. Cliff immediately went to inform the restless crowd as to the nature of the problem and my obvious stupidity. Realizing that I could not hide behind the RV forever, and that my wife would not let the crowd disperse before she was certain I would face the music, I put a smile on my face, walked around to the gathering of concerned neighbors, and said “boy, good thing that happened; I could have gone 3 or 4 more years without ever knowing where that roof vent led”. Tears in my eyes and in dire need of a scotch, I reminded the crowd that the next show was at 11:00 and excused myself for the evening. All this and our time in Albuquerque had only just begun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice dispatch and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.