While it is sometimes hard to remember the names of all the People we have met since moving into our travel trailer on thanksgiving day of 2021, I do remember the smiles. And the offering of assistance and advice.
I remember living in downtown Seattle and visiting a friend in Bremerton. As we were walking up the ramp from the hour long ferry ride, he said from behind me, 'slow down. You're not in the city now, we move a little slower out here.' I think about that often on our travels. So many out here are retired or self-employed. We make our own schedules.
Sometimes the weather gets extreme and living inside of a 300 sq ft trailer does not offer a lot of protection. One of our
first stops was at Batzendorf Park near Coos Bay OR. We were visiting some old friends and spent New Year's eve with
them. The last night there we had 90 mph gusts coming off of the ocean.
And then there's the heat, I am used to the PNW and southcentral Alaska where it almost never gets above 85⁰. And the 'house' repairs, when it's 114⁰ out and the pedestal burns out your 30 to 50 amp dogbone AND the 50 amp receptacle on the side of your rig. On a saturday evening needing 2+ days to fix and a motel stay because all day at a 110⁰+ can make You a bit woozy. And slower.
The work. Always happening, just at a slower pace. Many of the folks we have met and become friends with have been out here for years. They have much experience and wisdom to share. After a year and a half out here ourselves we too have lessons learned and look to share when we can.
I think it was at Indian Lakes where a neighbor saw me getting on the roof to find the leak that had water flooding behind
the refrigerator and out onto the main room's floor. He told me that he had been laborer for a company that made travel trailers and offered to check it out. Turns out that the vent above the fridge was too small for the hole so the builder had angled a couple of screws and slathered some extra silicone around its base. The quick fix was to add a metal plate and actually secure the vent base to the wooden frame. I didn't ask him to do any of this, he just wanted to do the right thing.
Kind of like that time we stayed at a small RV park in Greenbriar, Arkansas. Nice place about 25 minutes from some friends in Conway. We ended up having to stay an extra week to find and fix an electrical problem between our Silverado and the trailer's taillights. Our friend we had been visiting recommended Luyet Automotive, they had fixed an electrical problem on her truck recently and seemed to know what they were doing.
I was heading back to the RV park super stoked as it had only been a short keeping the lights from working properly. Their guy had found it pretty quickly and it was less than we had expected to pay so I was happy and decided to pick up coffee drinks for the wife and I. The window at the coffee stand was on the far side from the driveway, across the lot from an old DQ. Circling around as short row of cars and the truck stopped. Of course I wasn't going very quickly but, in the middle of the first open parking space was lightpole on top of a concrete pedestal. I didn't see it. It was connected to the B pillar between the passenger doors. I looked up and saw three baristas watching. Ugh.
The barista that made our drinks said it happens regularly and that her mom worked in auto body repair and might be able to help. I was too stunned to think properly and didn't even look at it until after getting back to the RV park. Neither door
would even budge and the nerf bar was tucked up too tight to wedge a toe. I told Tracy I broke the truck and would see about the repair. When I got back to the coffee stand to ask the barista for more info they told me she had already left for the day but were able to get her on the phone and then her Mom who said to come right over.
The shop called Reverse Collision is in Pickle's Gap, the little town between
Greenbriar and Conway. When I went into the office I saw a longhair in the back of the room that I had connected with at Luyet earlier, he had been picking a customers car that needed body work. He told me to pull the truck under the awning, out of the rain, so he could see the damage. I stood there talking with the Mom about all the usual things(unshooling, the Corporation, healthy eating, Operation Mockingbird, etc...) for at least an hour while my friend and another worker banged and bent the pillar and doors into shape. About half way through the owner had walked up and asked what was going on. We told him what had happened and he jumped right into the conversation and to help with the banging and bending.
When they got the door panels back on and windows going up and down the boss told them to see if they could get the doors to seal against the rain and rust. I thanked him and as I pulled my wallet out asked how much to settle up? He offered a handshake and said, 'Just leave us a good review.'
The Mom gave me a bit of swag including a card for a coffee at Doc's Creamery around the block. I gave them all big hugs and left with a smile even bigger than my first drive back to the RV park that morning.
The extra week gave me the chance to join the Wife and daughter at twin creek mine on Mt Ida where I got to fill my my cargo shorts pocket with quartz points and chips, twice. The mocha at Doc's Creamery was just right and they had a lemon cake that my Mom said was the best ever. She had been riding with us since our stay
at the Texoma Thousand Trails park a couple weeks earlier and was already longing to be back in Anchorage where it rarely gets above 80⁰.
These things happen for a reason. The disappointment the previous Monday of not knowing how long we would be delayed turned into a beautiful example of what it is to be a community. To share common unity. It is one of my reasons for Being.
So many great folks we have met on this journey that this will need to become a regular here on our blog page.