It’s a good thing despite initial impression

As you know, we spent a couple of weeks in New Mexico at the beginning of May on our final shake down trip after picking up The Gump from La Mesa.  We needed fuel and food and so we stopped at a Petro truck stop just over the border in New Mexico.  Dave pumped diesel and I went in search of snacks.  Fuel and food obtained we continued on blissfully unaware that we, well I, had picked up an unwanted passenger for the trip.

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We arrived at Percha Dam State Park mid-afternoon on Saturday and settled in comfortably.  Come Monday morning I was starting to feel a wee bit off but then Tuesday arrived and I spent the day in bed wondering if I’d survive.  Whatever cold/flu virus I picked up was nasty awful and hit me hard.  That first week is a blur, I was miserable and felt like I was drowning.  I finally start to feel better and wham Dave gets hit with it that Monday of the second week. 

We changed campgrounds, for a variety of reasons, on Thursday and go to the KOA in Las Cruces.  We hunker in the bunker so to speak, not doing much of anything.  Sunday morning arrives and we leisurely pack up and head back to the house for the final time.  About four hours into the trip back, I tell Dave he is weaving.  He denies it and I say, hey hon seriously you’re weaving.  He’s congested and coughing up a storm too.  I quickly make reservations at KOA Tucson/Lazy Days and here we are until Memorial Day.

MOM, stop rambling and get to the point!  No one wants to hear about you and Dad’s snotty adventures in New Mexico!!

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Pickles has a small point, but the background information sets the stage.  What driving back to the house on Sunday proved was that we are both capable and ready to adapt to life on the fly without it becoming a huge bone of contention.  We needed to pull off and recover and we quickly found a spot where that could happen.  Sure, it was a mere two hours or so back to the house but it wasn’t worth the risk.  It isn’t just some random life belongings we two behind us but the items we’ve deemed most personal and essential to us.  That ability to adapt and react in a timely manner isn’t surprising to me but it does prove that we are capable of doing so to any remaining family members who doubt our sanity.

Dave is feeling better every day.  We are both enjoying the nightly trips to the hot tub after Pickles goes to bed for the evening.  Wally is getting a haircut Friday morning thanks to a local mobile groomer that could work him in on short notice.  Sangria and Leo happily lay out on the deck during the day while Pickles hangs out in the sun.  Overall, the six of us are quite pleased and content with ourselves. 

We are dreading going back to the house come Monday.  It no longer is home and it is going to be hot with a lot of hard work in front of us.  That being said, we are both motivated to get it accomplished as quickly as possible so we can be free and clear of the house and it’s expenses. 

It’s a good thing despite initial impression

As you know, we spent a couple of weeks in New Mexico at the beginning of May on our final shake down trip after picking up The Gump from La Mesa.  We needed fuel and food and so we stopped at a Petro truck stop just over the border in New Mexico.  Dave pumped diesel and I went in search of snacks.  Fuel and food obtained we continued on blissfully unaware that we, well I, had picked up an unwanted passenger for the trip.

20160509_074015_001

We arrived at Percha Dam State Park mid-afternoon on Saturday and settled in comfortably.  Come Monday morning I was starting to feel a wee bit off but then Tuesday arrived and I spent the day in bed wondering if I’d survive.  Whatever cold/flu virus I picked up was nasty awful and hit me hard.  That first week is a blur, I was miserable and felt like I was drowning.  I finally start to feel better and wham Dave gets hit with it that Monday of the second week. 

We changed campgrounds, for a variety of reasons, on Thursday and go to the KOA in Las Cruces.  We hunker in the bunker so to speak, not doing much of anything.  Sunday morning arrives and we leisurely pack up and head back to the house for the final time.  About four hours into the trip back, I tell Dave he is weaving.  He denies it and I say, hey hon seriously you’re weaving.  He’s congested and coughing up a storm too.  I quickly make reservations at KOA Tucson/Lazy Days and here we are until Memorial Day.

MOM, stop rambling and get to the point!  No one wants to hear about you and Dad’s snotty adventures in New Mexico!!

20160525_101216

Pickles has a small point, but the background information sets the stage.  What driving back to the house on Sunday proved was that we are both capable and ready to adapt to life on the fly without it becoming a huge bone of contention.  We needed to pull off and recover and we quickly found a spot where that could happen.  Sure, it was a mere two hours or so back to the house but it wasn’t worth the risk.  It isn’t just some random life belongings we two behind us but the items we’ve deemed most personal and essential to us.  That ability to adapt and react in a timely manner isn’t surprising to me but it does prove that we are capable of doing so to any remaining family members who doubt our sanity.

Dave is feeling better every day.  We are both enjoying the nightly trips to the hot tub after Pickles goes to bed for the evening.  Wally is getting a haircut Friday morning thanks to a local mobile groomer that could work him in on short notice.  Sangria and Leo happily lay out on the deck during the day while Pickles hangs out in the sun.  Overall, the six of us are quite pleased and content with ourselves. 

We are dreading going back to the house come Monday.  It no longer is home and it is going to be hot with a lot of hard work in front of us.  That being said, we are both motivated to get it accomplished as quickly as possible so we can be free and clear of the house and it’s expenses. 

The car snack conundrum

What do you do when you are on that long drive between point A and point B and stopping to pick-up a sandwich (or pop into the fifth wheel and make them) just isn’t feasible?  This is a common problem for us, between Pickles needing to eat at roughly the same time everyday and just plain hunger on those long drives.

We’ve tried the old standbys of crackers and cheese, fruit, and cookies but honestly those aren’t such a great solution.  We don’t have anywhere we can store a cooler to keep things cold.  Dave always suggests jerky but it is usually overly salty and not the best choice for the animals (despite their universal love for all forms of jerky). 

I made these awesome cookies last weekend and in the middle of this week.  They are oatmeal cookies so full of good fiber.  But they are not savory and trust me, Pickles hyped up on sugar in the backseat chattering his fool head off will make no one happy!

This week we ordered a meat bar from Epic.  I know sounds weird right?

Dave was the designated test subject.  Let’s just say they weren’t what we were expecting.  We were both surprised when he opened the package and there was moisture, ooey, gooey moisture.  Raised eyebrows and a skeptical bite later (well, ok I took a small nibble as opposed to his bite) and we were confused.

It wasn’t bad, but at the same time it wasn’t something I’d go out of the way to find again.  Yes it’s full of protein and is something we could all eat in Lana toddling down the road, but it is incredibly bland.  And by incredibly bland, it might have been raw bison because there was no other flavor note.  We couldn’t taste the bacon or the cranberries, although you could see the cranberries.  There needed to be a spicy, peppery note to balance out the sweetness.

It’s hard to wrap your mind around wet meat that is shelf stable.  Admittedly it checks all kinds of trendy boxes: gluten-free, paleo, environmental etc. but as nice as all that may be, if in the end the product is just weird on the palate what’s the point?

We have more of the bars sitting on the counter and I highly suspect they will become expensive dog and bird snacks while traveling.  I still need to come up with a savory cookie that travels well and tastes good.  I can’t see myself voluntarily consuming the meat bar. 

So, what do you eat driving down the road?

Our CarMax Experience

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CarMax had a beautiful 2012 Dodge Ram 3500HD Laramie Longhorn that on paper meet our towing needs and at a price we were comfortable paying.  Earlier that morning, Dave had applied for and was rejected for a car loan.  Turns out that most banks and lenders consider a 3500, or it’s equivalent, a commercial vehicle and will not issue consumer loans.  Thus we knew we would have to go through a dealership for financing.  Thus CarMax was more attractive because family members have had good luck with vehicles purchased via CarMax.

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Dave and I talked about it and looked at the pictures and eventually he called the local CarMax to get more information.  The information was good and of course we were approved for financing, so Dave paid to have the truck shipped from it’s location to our local CarMax.  So, now we have $280 invested in a car we’ve never physically seen but looks good in the pictures.   A risk but one we were reasonably comfortable taking.

Then, Dave started looking more closely at the pictures and discovered a potential problem with the tires.

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So, he placed another call to our CarMax contact and asked for the tire depth since the tread looked to be extremely low.  I freely admit I knew next to nothing about tire tread but I learned on Thursday evening last week.  Dave guessed the tread to be 2/32nd’s which is the bare minimum legal limit of tire tread.  Our concerns were realized when CarMax called back and confirmed the tread was low at 4/32nd’s.  Dave then requested that CarMax reduce the price of the vehicle because we would have to immediately replace the tires because we didn’t want to be driving around a 6,000 pound mobile missile.  CarMax refused on the grounds that the tires were within the legal limit and thus their pricing was firm.

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The seats were gorgeous and the red exterior was exquisite.  But seriously, even if everything else except the tires had been perfection, CarMax was, no make that is, asking full price for a used vehicle that a wise individual would immediately have to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,500-$2,000 on six new tires.  Add that expense on top of what CarMax was asking for a four year old vehicle and the numbers just didn’t add up.

 

So, if you end up looking at CarMax for a tow vehicle be sure and ask about tire tread depth prior to paying for the vehicle to be moved to a location near you.  Did CarMax try and sell us an “illegal” vehicle?  No, but they are willing to sell a mobile missile at new car prices.  And honestly, while our local contact was fair and reasonable to deal with, overall dealing with CarMax left a bad taste in both our mouths.

James Decides to Retire Early

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James, the faithful Range Rover of my youth, decided that his service to the family was over a week ago.  He just gave up the ghost, didn’t let me have one final swan song ride.  Instead, he gave up and caused Mum and Dad oodles of unnecessary stress just before Thanksgiving, the best food feeding frenzy of the year!  I’m officially going to go pout in my corner. 

 

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Pickles may be pouting but he is correct, James decided to retire while we were on the way to my parents house for dinner with the extended family last Tuesday.  The alternator light came on and we were lucky enough to be able to turn into a local neighborhood to call AAA.  James was towed home on a chilly Tuesday night and once disconnected from the tow truck he fired right up and pulled into the driveway with no issues.  So, you can imagine just how frustrated we both were!

 

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Dave immediately resumed the search for a truck that would tow the fifth wheels we have been looking at the last couple of months.  We knew we were going to have to replace James eventually but that was sometime next spring.  Apparently James figured it out and decided on early retirement without consulting us. 

 

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Wally and Sangria have enjoyed many hours in the backseat off-roading and hanging their heads out the windows.  They fit nicely in the back seat together and loved the big windows.  Pickles used to ride on the cover to the rear.  His cage snugly fit between the roof and the cover so he didn’t slide around.  He could see everything and loved the view freaking out little kids as we were driving down the road.

 

So, as you can imagine our last week was spent looking for new trucks and facing sticker shock.  But more on that in the next post.  James was a much loved, well used, and faithful vehicle for the seven years we had him.  I would never hesitate to own another Range Rover.

 

Rest In Vehicle Peace James