“Isn’t the water tank on the trailer leaking?”
“Are the bench seats in the trailer loose?”
Becky asked these and other similarly annoying questions soon after we returned from Europe. She seems to have settled into a post retirement role as the official bearer of bad news. I believe she enjoys it. Unfortunately, Becky is quite good at her new role. Now, when we are home, all I seem to do is fix things.
“Don’t the tires on the truck need to be changed.”
This time she gently reminded me that the truck tires were showing signs of premature tread separation. We noticed the tire problem at the end of the last trip but, since we would be traveling abroad for two months, had left it for later. Now it was later. The last minute search to find tires delayed our optimistic BC departure day from Saturday to Sunday. (Who would think tires for a Ford F-150 would be that hard to find in stock?)
On Sunday afternoon, still ahead of our “official” schedule, we rolled out of the Bay Area. We’d go slow and overnight in the trailer at rest stops along the way. Rest areas are convenient stops when towing a trailer. And, along I-5, the stops are memorials to Nick, The Wonder Dog. The departed Big Dog marked his territory at many of these spots. This is the first year we’d be making the trip north without him. His memory was still traveling with us.
“Is the trailer tire OK,” Becky said at a rest area in Oregon, showing me a tire with the frayed strands of a steel belt showing through.
She knew the answer. Perhaps she was just checking to see whether my grasp of reality was as tenuous as it sometimes seems.
It was around noon on our second day. Last year, in Oregon again on the way to BC, I spent a sweaty couple hours swapping out a trailer tire that had blown in a similar manner. What is it about Oregon and tires? This time we had AAA swap in the spare wheel. The rest of the afternoon was spent finding a replacement. In Junction City, we located a store with two tires of the correct size for the trailer. We needed both. A closer look showed that the steel belts were shining through the tread on a second wheel of the four on the trailer. (I would have bought four tires total to replace all of the offending original tires if they were available, but two would have to do.)
Six tires replaced in a week. It is an unfortunate personal record.
After the tire fiasco, the rest of the trip north was uneventful, at least if you don’t count Canadian Customs thinking that the privilege of bringing our extra box of vino warranted significant monetary considerations. (Given the price of wine in Canada, we might still be ahead.)
There was one little problem, though.
“I found your reservation,” the Riverside RV park attendant told us with a tone that indicated there was something more. She paused with a manner worthy of a drama student.
“It seems that you are supposed to arrive tomorrow,” she continued, possibly suppressing a smile.
“Do you have any spaces open?” I asked.
I wasn’t optimistic. Riverside is usually booked to the gills.
“It seems we are fully booked up,” the attendant continued. “But I’ll check.”
While the attendant was looking into the space availability I turned to Becky.
“What day is it?”
“Tuesday,” she replied.
It figured. I thought it was Wednesday. Somehow, with our early departure, I’d lost track of the days. Even the Official Bearer of Bad News had neglected to mention this fundamental oversight. Perhaps looking at a calendar every now and then would be a good idea.
In the end, though, Riverside did have spots available. (There are more RV spots in Whistler this year with Riverside’s expansion and another RV park opening up.) We’d have to change spots the next day, but that was OK as the spot we were in was too small anyway. Besides, we were in Whistler. What could be wrong with that?