A Travel Storytn_Valee_Verde_AZ_006

Copyright © DonBobbitt® 2011 – All Rights Reserved

What a start for a 6-month trip!

We had been planning our RV trip across the US for over a year. You know, where to go, where to stop, what did we want to see and do. Then we took this information and we carefully planned our stops along with a loose schedule on our calendar.

Once we had that, we could search for Campgrounds that we would like to stay at during the trip. Some campgrounds were just overnight stays to eat and get a good night’s sleep, while others we planned to stay for anywhere from 2-3 days to 2-3 weeks.

Our decisions were all based on what was available for us to see and do at each location. We wanted the most for our traveling Buck!

And, of course, there were the prices of each campground, to consider, in addition to what deals we could work out with the owners/managers over the phone.

If you are into saving money when you plan a reasonably long stay, you might want to look into getting a temporary Campground Job, doing such things as; reduced rates (You never know until you ask), or part-time jobs they might have such as traffic control, site ranger, electrician, plumber, cleaning, or work in the office, etc.

Anyway, back to my story; finally, we had our grand trip planned. It would last over six months and take us slowly across the southern part of the US.

We could hardly wait until our Pull-Out date.

Finally though, the day arrived, and we went to bed with a loaded RV sitting outside our house, and went down for a good night’s sleep before our grand trip.

Well, as planned, we got up at 5:30 in the morning. Yes, I said, 5:30AM! You don’t really sleep the night before something like this anyway, so we finally quit pretending that we were sleeping, got up and turned on the Coffee pot.

We transferred our remaining perishable and frozen food from the house fridge to our RV Fridge.

And Helen had to sanitize the house before we left because my sister was coming down for a few weekends and using our house. So, of course, it had to be immaculate.

Finally, we loaded ourselves into our Rig and drove in the dark of night down to the interstate, and looked for a familiar Fuel Stop that we could pull a long Rig into that was also towing a car.

As you Motorhome owners know, your Rig, especially when towing a car just doesn’t fit into a lot of the standard “Gas Stations” along the roads of America.

Of course, we had to have Diesel, but when you get near or onto interstate highways, there are not only large Truck Stops and such, but there are a lot of “Travel Center” type of stops that have pumps for Diesel fuel as well as regular gas.

But, there is one thing that you want to look out for if you are going to stop at one of these places. You need to ask yourself; can you get your Rig up to the pump, fill up, and then get it and your towed vehicle out of there, without ending up in a position where you have to back your Rig up.

Just a note here: You do not back up a Rig with a tow vehicle attached.

You can’t do it, i can’t do it! It is not done.

If you get stuck miscalculating your path and not making a turn that you thought you could, you will have to unhitch your tow car, move it somewhere, and then navigate your RV to a place where you can re–hitch your tow-vehicle. This little process can take a half an hour or more, by the way.

And, if you end up doing this, you are not making friends with all of those other people who stopped for gas, and are now being blocked by you and your big Motorhome.

But, I had made this trip with my Rig before, and I knew of a nice station, that always had a good price on Diesel fuel, and that also had a pump that I could get up to and away from without any major navigation problems.

Once we got there, we pulled off of the interstate, down the ramp and up to my favorite little Gas Station.

Guess What?

It turns out that 6:30 in the morning is the time when all of the Beer and Cola distributors deliver their goods for the day to this particular roadside establishment.

And ………… Just guess where they park? Right at the end of the long line of fuel pumps, which by the way is where the station put their only Diesel fuel pump.

I now had a problem.

I had committed. In my arrogance, I had pulled too close, and I couldn’t pull around or back up. I had trapped myself.

So, after a moment of panice, I calmed myself down. i thought, Well, they’ll finish in a minute, and then I can pull on up to the pump and everything will be OK. Right?

I got a Cola from the fridge, sat back down and I waited for things to clear out for me.

And I waited!

And I waited.

These Cola and Snack people were going back and forth with their hand trucks. Occasionally they would glance over at me and my Rig, but they would just turn back and continue with their jobs.

Now, I understood that they were working guys. I understood that they were just doing their jobs, and all of that. But at the same time, my tow car was sticking out and blocking one lane of what was becoming a very busy street.

So after sitting there for over ten minutes.

And yes real minutes, as seen on my watch, not the imaginary minutes of someone who is frustrated and mad.

I reluctantly went inside and asked; “Which one of you is the Miller guy, and which one is the Bud guy?

Well, out of 5 different guys working in there, two of them lifted their heads with very impressive scowls on their mugs, and both of them said brusquely; ME, WHY?

I involuntarily stepped back a bit at their tone but I froze a smile on my face and said.

“Hey Guys, I have an RV outside and I need to get to the Diesel pumps, and you guys are blocking them.”

Well, Their scowls deepened and one said; “Sorry Buddy, but I got about twenty more minutes before I’m finished”.

And the other looked at me as if he wanted to remove some of my organs, and said,

“And I need more time than that”.

That did it! My attitude went from “Nice Guy” to what my wife calls my “Bully” mode. ! I can usually get along with pretty much anyone, but I do have a bit of a temper, so I just broadened my smile and responded;

“Well, boys, here’s the way it is:

At the moment I’m blocking the main road, going back down to the Interstate, and there are already two cars out there stuck sitting behind my tow car with pissed off people in them.”

“I think I’ll just go out there and tell them that you two guys are blocking me in, and that I can’t back up.

I’ll also tell them that you guys told me that you didn’t really care about their problem and that you needed more time to get these critical loads of Beer and Chips unloaded.

And I’ll just throw in a suggestion that they should come in here and talk to you guys, personally.”

“Who Knows?” I continued; ” While we’re all sitting here being stupid, maybe a Cop will drive up and I can explain to him why I can’t move my Rig, because you two are blocking the pumps and are too busy to move your trucks.”

As I turned to go out the door, I heard several strings of profanities thrown at me but kept on walking and as I got to the door of my Rig, I looked back and I saw the two guys had actually come out and gotten into their trucks, before I could get any further.

As they moved, to where they should have been anyway, by the way, I smiled and waved to them, mouthing the words “Thank You!” over and over, with my phony smile still in place.

I finally filled up ($236 poorer) and hit the road “South Bound and Down”, as the song goes.

We put in a good 7-1/2 hours that day in the RV, with only a couple of “Stretch, Pee and Eat” stops.

I often think of those two guys when I pull in to a Fuel Stop and see a Beer or Snack vendor’s truck ……. anywhere nearby.


Copyright © DonBobbitt® 2011 – All Rights Reserved

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