Back to February, 2016: The Big Bang!

February 4, 2016 (Note date)

 

Ah!  Civilization!  Wickenburg, AZ

 

Today I start recounting my earlier adventures on the road since I left off with my last post from Quartzsite, AZ at the end of January, 2016.  Yes, I really dropped off the planet after my reports of boondocking in Quartzsite for the big annual RV show there in the desert.  (To read my earlier posts, please click on the January and/or February 2016 archives on the right side of this page.)

 

I had spent two weeks in the desert outside Quartszite, AZ, which is on the very western edge of Arizona.  When the RV show and the boondocking gathering with my friends in the Boomers group was over at the end of January, I traveled north to the beautiful little town of Wickenburg.  Wickenburg is a quaint little community about an hour and a half northwest of Phoenix.  After several weeks of boondocking on dusty back roads, I treated myself to several days at a campground.  I went there specifically because I needed to get my motorhome weighed—each axle and each wheel.  The campground was run by the Escapees, an RV organization to which I belong.  Fitting name isn’t it?!  They had special equipment to weigh RV’s.  It’s very important to have the weight of your RV balanced right to left and front to back, and to do this, you must weigh each wheel separately.  That is so that you know how much air pressure to put in your tires.  If you don’t have the right amount of air pressure, you are courting a blow-out.  Nope, not going to invite that scenario.  Although my driver’s side was almost 1000 pounds heavier than the passenger side, I was still within limits.  The driver’s side of my vehicle has the refrigerator, stove and dining area, not to mention my four heavy batteries in an outside compartment.  So it is typical for that side to weigh more, and there wasn’t much I could do about it.  You just fill the tires to the pressure required for the heaviest-weighted side.

 

The weather was beautiful, and the park had a number of bird feeders.  I am not a birder, but I’m guessing these are goldfinches…  Anyone know for sure?

 

“For Heaven’s sake, Charlie, turn right side up and smile!”
Click to enlarge

 

Unfortunately, while I was there, my motorhome sprang a leak in the water inlet outlet (the orifice to which you attach your hose to fill the fresh water tank!).  This was not a major problem, since it only resulted in a dribble escaping from the point where the water hose connected to the motorhome, but I did not want to let it go.  Amazingly there was a guy camped in the same park who worked on RVs.  He came over and looked at it and said he’d be glad to work on it the day after next (for $75/hour), but he was fixing something on his truck at the moment.  He said that tomorrow he would go into town to get a replacement.  Hmmm, there is an RV parts store in town!  After he left, I looked at the inlet outlet (I kind of like that contradictory phrase—I made it up because I don’t know the real name!).  It was a round plastic receptacle about 4” across.  I noticed that it was attached with just two screws.  I unscrewed those two screws, and removed the part and thought, “Hey, woman—you could at least go get the dang part!”

 

 

Oh no!

 

Because there is so much tourist traffic during the winter months and because it was on a major trucking route, Wickenburg had installed several round-abouts to slow down traffic.  As I approached the town, I was casually rounding about, when I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw a HUGE 18-wheel flatbed truck bearing down on me.  I was in the inside lane; he was going faster than I, and gaining on me in the outside lane.  As he rounded the curve, his hulking truck bed didn’t quite swing wide enough.  I slammed on the gas trying to avoid him, but, sadly, he was on top of me before I could really act.

 

Poor impaled George 🙁
Click to enlarge

 

Terrible things happen in slow motion

 

Well, it’s true!  There was no real impact because we were both going the same direction.  We both applied our brakes and continued dreamily around the curve.  At that point, the passenger side of George (my new-used CR-V) was impaled by the protrusions on his truck bed.  Slowly we both came to a stop, as did all the rest of the traffic in the round-about.  We both sat in our vehicles for what seemed like an eternity.  For some reason, I decided it was not good for me to get out and run up to his monstrous truck cab.  So I sat there, not panicked, but wondering when the RV store closed.  Finally he got out and then so did I.  He was upset but luckily he was not the raving jerk he might have been  However, if I may devolve into suggesting a stereotype, he did look kind of rough around his portly edges.  We both took pictures of the event with our phones.  Things didn’t look too bad, if we could just manage to get him un-hooked from my car.  His semi had several jutted-out metal things along the sides that were probably used to wrap lashes around to tie a load to the truck bed. They were imbedded in my wounded car.  Within minutes the police had arrived.  VERY nice policemen!  They took me off to the side of the road while they assessed the situation, then they asked me to get in my car and try to drive it forward, turning away from the truck.  No way, José, was that little car going to dis-attach from that behemoth.  It wouldn’t move an inch.

 

Before the dis-engagement process…
Click to enlarge

 

Disengagement…!@#%*!@#

 

On to Plan B.  So the truck was going to have to back away from my vehicle.  When he began to back up, I was almost sickened to hear the screeching and bending of metal and the breaking of glass as he took parts of my car with him as he backed up.  I felt actual pain for my car, and I winced and held back tears as it suffered such a traumatic disengagement.  Once that was over, my car was in MUCH worse shape than it originally had been, but I supposed there was no other way.  They wouldn’t consider having a big wrecker come out and lift his truck bed off my vehicle in order to keep it more intact.  The officer started to take my statement, but realizing how badly traffic was backing up, he told me to meet him at (the name escapes me) and they would get both of our statements.  Obviously I was lucky that my car was still drivable.

 

 

Wherefore Art Thou?

 

Let’s pause to remember how directionally impaired I am…and how distracted I was by the trauma that just happened.  (Directionally impaired is too mild a description—“totally disabled” is more accurate.)  “OK,” I said, “I’ll follow you.”  No sooner had I said that than they got in their vehicles and they and the truck disappeared down the curving road.  I wasn’t even seated in my car yet!  I hurried to catch up, but, Holy Moly—they were out of sight.  He had said that this place was on the right side of the road almost out of town.  OK….”right side of the road, right side of the road.”  Surely I’d see them…..  Nope.  A half hour passed as I drove back and forth from out of town back into town and back out of town.  “Oh look!  There’s the RV parts store!”  “Forget it, Rhonda.”

 

Finally I pulled into a Burger King and Googled the Wickenburg police station on my phone.  I called and explained the situation to the woman on the other end.  “OH!” she exclaimed, “They’ve been looking for you!  They thought you drove away!”  “No, Ma’am, I’m just lost.”  “OK” she replied, “Officer John will come and meet you there.  Don’t leave!”  “OK, I’m not going anywhere!”

 

Who Knew?

 

Officer John drove up within a few minutes, and was very polite about my inability to find them.  He got my side of the story, and was surprisingly sympathetic.  He told me that they had had many more accidents since the round-abouts had been installed; however there had been fewer fatalities.  He even allowed that he thought they should have made the lanes wider because there were so many trucks coming through on that route.  I told him about my travels and he was very intrigued by my tooling around the country in a motorhome.  I don’t know if it helped my case or not!  In fifteen minutes, I was free to go.

 

Bonus!

 

Before I drove away, I glanced at my watch.  The RV parts store would still be open!  And guess what?  They had the part!  The next day I was able to replace it myself in about fifteen minutes!  So other than poor George being an embarrassment to the vehicular world and needing to make a plan to have him repaired, all is well that ends well!  I’m trying to learn to put things in perspective and be grateful because things could have been so much worse.

 

 *  *  *  *  *  *

 

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See you soon!

16 Comments

  1. Chuck Hale
    Jul 26, 2017

    Rhonda,

    I really enjoy reading about your exploits! Sorry about George though. Hope your ankle/leg breaks are much better now.

    • Rhonda
      Jul 26, 2017

      First one to comment! Yea! I appreciate your support, Chuck!

  2. Helen M Johnson
    Jul 26, 2017

    Love your blog!

  3. Barbara McGuire
    Jul 26, 2017

    Rhonda,
    So sorry that your car suffered that injury and added hassle to your trip. Wickenburg is such a delightful place and they have an outstanding Western Women’s Art Show in April. Sedona has lots more rotaries as well, so be careful there, too!

    • Rhonda
      Jul 26, 2017

      Yes, I’m hyper-vigilant in round-abouts now! So true about Sedona!

  4. Rozanne Hakala
    Jul 27, 2017

    I always enjoy reading about your adventures, Rhonda! Keep them coming.

    • Rhonda
      Jul 27, 2017

      Roxanne, Thank you so much for reading! I appreciate your comment (after I groveled to my audience about how much I love comments!) 🙂

  5. Mandy
    Jul 27, 2017

    I would have never thought it possible, but reading your blog and RV exploits makes me love you even more than I already did!! Sorry about George. I hope he is fixed up now. I hope the insurance co. found the truck driver at fault for squeezing you and George on the roundabout. Stay safe my dear!!

    • Rhonda
      Jul 27, 2017

      Mandy, how very sweet of you to say! I’m touched! I think we’ve known all along what kindred spirits we are! For that I’m very grateful! Love you!

  6. Paige
    Jul 28, 2017

    Wow Rhonda. I had forgotten how man “adventures” you have been having.

    • Rhonda
      Jul 29, 2017

      Yes indeed! Don’t we love all these “advemtures!”

  7. Joel Stegall
    Jul 29, 2017

    Great story, with as many twists and turns as a Bach fugue. And like a fugue all the subjects all came out in more or less the same key! Reminds me of music from another era, Gloria Gaynor’s I will survive! And you did too!

    • Rhonda
      Jul 29, 2017

      Hey, Joel! So great to hear from you! Fugue maybe, but the counterpoint got tangled up!

  8. Roland
    Aug 4, 2017

    Let us know the details of what happens when you bring George to the body shop. I’m particularly interested in whether the estimator laughs when he hears your story. You don’t mention it, but is the trucking company going to pay 100% for the repairs?

  9. Roland
    Aug 4, 2017

    Did you know that when you “click to enlarge,” the image doesn’t “enlarge?” It just gets a black background. Could that be because you are uploading a pixel-by-pixel dimension that is small enough that your blog can handle it without shrinking? Then, it allows an enlargement only if the blog can’t display it inside the blog. I’m curious.

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