She Said. . .
A couple of months ago Shannon and I joined Boondockers Welcome, https://www.boondockerswelcome.com/, a wonderful organization of RVers who open their property to fellow travelers who are passing through their area. Both host and guest opportunities are available. What a great idea! Meet other people who have the same interest and can share experiences without even leaving home!
We have been very excited to welcome our first guest, a solo traveler from Florida in a 37’ Class A. We cleaned the house (needed it anyway) and shopped for a welcome dinner and warned our friends that the RV in our drive was not OUR new home. I was worried that we would be “helicopter hosts” and asked Shannon to rein me in if I got out of control.
Our guest was off on a 7 month adventure involving two work camping commitments and lots of visits with family and friends. She had been staying in Colorado and got a little impatient for spring, so decided to head south and park with us for a couple of days of sightseeing in the Four Corners. After hearing her story Shannon looked at me and said “You know, this could happen to anyone.” While I know that, I also know that I’m glad she landed safely in our driveway where she and her dog can catch their breath and get their bearings.
Our guest is a seasoned traveler. She has owned her National Sea Breeze for eight years and had just put over $8,000 into it and her toad (towed vehicle) to get ready for this extended trip. On her first day out, 37 miles from home, her master brake cylinder went out causing a one week delay. On her second try, she lost two different engine sensors within the first 1,000 miles. In the middle of a snow storm, her passenger wiper quit working and her bedroom slide malfunctioned so she couldn’t get to any of her winter clothes. Undaunted, our intrepid traveler arranged for and paid for repairs and headed south from Colorado Springs to the warmer climes of New Mexico. Then things took a turn for the worst.
Going up over Wolf Creek Pass toward Pagosa Springs, her Brake Buddy got stuck in the “on” position and the tires on her toad caught on fire. She couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t get over 25 mph until she saw one of her brand new tires roll down the road in her mirror in flames. The car was a total loss. Then at the campground in Pagosa, there was some inconsistency with the electrical hookups and the microwave/convection oven shorted out. Half an hour later, her converter burst into flames.
So, battered and broken, she has landed in our safe haven. Last night we drove her into Farmington to get a rental car and we all went out to dinner. Today we babysat the dog (our dog, Maybe had a play day!) while she made arrangements for yet more repairs, took care of cancelling her commitments for the next seven months, and wrote the hard letters to her family and friends cancelling her visits. Her partner will fly out to Albuquerque next week to help her get the rig home, where she is ready to sell it and be done with travelling, at least in an RV.
I have often wondered, if anything happened to Shannon would I continue on with our plans? Or is this something I am only brave enough to do as a team? Would I be able to handle the kind of hardships that our new friend has been subject to, or would I crumble under the pressure? I have the greatest respect for her grace and aplomb under fire, of being alone in unfamiliar territory and having the world cave in on her. I’m not so sure I could do as well.