Motorhome trip from Transylvania


                                


I took a trip to Oegon recently.  My sister asked me to go up there and get her motorhome.  She wanted me to drive it to National City, below San Diego and put it on a boat for Hawaii.  This motorhome is the maximum size – just gigantic.  I flew to Portland and then Eugene.  A man was waiting for me.  He had his own plane, a small two seater.  He said, “I hope you know how to fly, you’ll be driving”.  Of course I thought he was joking, but no – he actually had me fly the plane for awhile.  It had dual controls.  The plane is one he works on himself.  The dashboard has been redone in his own fashion.  There was electric tape all over the steering wheel.  He was a fun guy.  At one point he says, “do you want to see what it’s like to land on a grass field?”  Ok, I said.  We did that and took off again.  Then we landed at a small airport near his ranch where he rents a hanger.  He’s an airplane hobbiest. One of his friends was there.  They work on their experimental airplanes.  They showed me several planes and talked showed me some of the features. Finally we went to his ranch – he has 100 acres.  We’re talking about his truck on the way, in which he changed the diesel engine himself. It’s running good but isn’t much cosmetically.  We get to his ranch where he’s living in a camp trailer because his house recently burnt down.  He tells me he’s building another one very soon.  Anyway I finally take off with the motorhome.  It’s filled to the gills with my sister’s junk.  Her and her husband are a little messy. There’s booze all over the place and half eaten food everywhere.  So I get on my way at 3:15 pm and head south on the 5.  I drive through the night sleeping twice for 2 hours each time.   My sister also asked me to stop in Milpitas, CA and pick up her horse trailer and take it with me to National City.  So, I get to Milpitas at 10:30 the next morning and get off the 680 where I’m supposed to at the Calaveras exit.  I make a left and start looking for this ranch where her horse trailer is stored, but the instructions I have don’t seem to match up with what I’m seeing.  I’m driving out into the woods for quite awhile and finally decide I’m in the wrong place.  I call my brother-in-law and he checks the map.  He finds there are two Calaveras exits off the freeway and I’m on the wrong one.  So I try to turn around in this driveway and there’s a dip on the way in.  The back bumper of of the motorhome gets stuck on the street, while the front is up on the driveway.  The rear wheels are nearly hanging in mid-air and there’s just dirt under the wheels. The wheels start spinning.  Now I’m really stuck.  I’m talking to my brother-in-law on the phone and I say I got to deal with this, I’ll call him back.  A park ranger comes by and I ask him, does he have a hydraulic jack.  I figure I can jack the back up and put wood under the back wheels and let it down to raise the whole thing up and get the back bumper free from being stuck on the street.  He says he’ll go get one, so he goes away and comes back in 15 minutes with jack and boards, etc.  The jack is barely adequate, but it’s kind of working (I don’t think it ever would have really worked), but we try it for awhile, then the ranger notices the motorhome has built-in leveling hydraulic jacks.  Wow, maybe the motorhome can lift itself!  I call my brother-in-law and he tells me how to work the jacks.  It did lift itself way up and we stuck the boards under the wheels and I drove out of there.  So I find the right Calaveras exit and got to the ranch where the horse trailer was.  The horse trailer had no license plate on it, but my brother-in-law says don’t worry, everyone pulls them without plates.  OK, I try to hook it up and the hitch doesn’t match up.  I buy another hitch at Walmart, then the trailer connection plug doesn’t match the one on the motorhome.  My brother-in-law says there’s an adapter in the storage compartment.  I try the adaper, it fits, but it doesn’t work.  He calls someone that know something about electronics, but the guy doesn’t have a car.  That guy calls another guy that comes out and looks at it.  By this time it’s 7 in the evening.  He finds out the motorhome connection is good and he starts checking out the adapter and it just falls apart.  So now we figure the problem is with the adaper.  I stay overnight in a motel because the motor home is just to funky and the bathroom doesn’t work.  The next day I try to buy another adapter.  There are a lot of adapters available, but none like the one I need.  Frustrated, I try to rewire the adaper.  Long story, but I make it work.  So I get on the road south at 11:30 am.  My brother-in-law calls and says, “Hey, I’ve been waiting for this luggage compartment door for the motorhome to come in and it finally came in.  It’s at this motorhome place in San Jose. Could you stop by there and let them install it? They’ll put it on in a couple of minutes”.  I say OK.  I go there.  They don’t have quite the right stuff and it takes them 3 hours to put it on. Luckily though, they check the tires.  It turns out they were very low and they inflated them.  I head south for LA at 3:15.  I get here to my house in LA at 11:30 pm.  Now I need to clean, pack and store all the stuff in the motorhome, empty the sewage and propane tanks and wash the motor home and horse trailer to prepare for putting it on the boat.  It’s Thursday night and I finished the cleaning, packing and emptying the tanks.  I was just about ready to go the bed when my girlfriend Eva calls me and says, as long as I’m going down past San Diego anyway, could she go with me?  She wanted to go to Tijuana and get some bumps taken off her nose because it’s cheaper to go to the doctor down there. I thought crap, I guess I have to take her.  So we left 5:00 Friday morning and drove down there.  It took a couple hours.  When we got there, the battery was shot, but at the place where you weigh the vehicle before you put it on the boat I was able to buy a new battery.  You have to weigh it.  So we dropped off the motorhome at the dock and walked 5 blocks to the San Diego trolley station and instead of going north to San Diego, we went south to the Mexico border.  She speaks spanish and was able to talk to some Mexicans on the trolley.  They told her the best doctor to go to and how to get there really easy.  We just did what they said.  Everything went really smooth.Then we went back across the border, took the trolley to San Diego and took an Amtrak bus to Irvine and then was able to get an Amtrak train to LA.  My friend picked us up downtown LA at 11:00 PM and took us to my place.  We got there at 11:30.  I went to sleep and slept very well.  The whole ordeal took almost a week from when I started.