Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Wandering Artist - Day 1

It's that time again. Where I bring you lovely people with me as I end up wandering across the states. So every few years, my boyfriend's family attempts to have a family reunion. This year seemed that we would be treating it as an extra special type of road trip because it marked the end of some behind the scene stresses and issues that we were finally able to end and what better way to celebrate by a road trip? Of course, what adventure with me would be complete without some form of comedy of errors that occur at some point? Well, get a drink, grab a snack because honey, you're in for a ride.

And this is why we have Plan B
So like any experienced adventurer (or just someone who is somewhat experienced with long trips on the road), you want to make sure your vehicle of choice is primed and ready ahead of time. about 2 weeks in advance just in case there needs to be some work done on it. Normally for our trips, we use my father's truck and were planning on using it again this time around as well. That was until Ford sent a notice. What some of you might not know is that there is a recall in place for airbags in certain vehicles that were created by the Takata company. On the plus side, the auto companies affected will replace the air bags at no charge of the customer. However, there is a large issue with how the whole situation is being handled. Problem is, with the notice, they let drivers know that they can't drive the vehicle until the parts come in, then the vehicle is needed to be brought in so that it can be taken care of. Ford, in its letter to us, makes the comment that it offers rental vehicles but the customer is responsible for insurance on the rental. Consumer Reports has an article on the issue which explains the situation a bit more thoroughly then I can so I recommend it: Takata Airbag Recall.

Well, there went Plan A out of the window. Our back up plan? Using my car which I inherited from my mother after her passing. That is where we went into a whole new set of problems. I knew that she hadn't really taken good care of the vehicle due to being busy and then it became an after thought as her health declined. So what was I preparing for? I knew that the car had new tires on back in 2011 but were never rotated and the breaks had never been replaced since she bought it in 2004. With time running out, I knew that we had a lot of things to check on the car to make it ready. And then it happened. The drop of water that made things spill over. A nail in one of the tires causing it to go flat. So here it is, the Monday before we start our trip and we're limping the car to the nearest center we could to get it fixed up. By Thursday, everything was taken care of but the list was interesting: Tires fixed and air pressure checked then rotated, front breaks completely replaced due to being thin and 1 having a break through it, stabilizer replaced, ball joints replaced, fluid levels topped off, windshield wipers replaced and vehicle completely cleaned.

Start your engines - Starting point: Elk Grove, CA
7:30am PCT - The morning of the trip has arrived and the car has been packed with bags and the large forms of my traveling companions - my dad and my boyfriend. Considering that my vehicle is a bit smaller then what either of them are used to being in for any length of time, watching them get in was like witnessing a pair of large Vikings attempt to fold themselves into a mini tank. I'm pretty sure at some point I'm going to need to help pull them out. Or watch them just tip and slowly tumble out onto the ground. Either scenario is possible. So on the road we go!

South Lake Tahoe, CA
9(ish)am PCT - After a bit of trudging up the mountain, we reached our first stop. There is a little restaurant that we enjoy stopping at when we're in the area called the Bear Beach Cafe. So we made this our destination for breakfast in order to have something in our systems. The meals were delicious, as always, and we had a chance to lay out a loose plan as to what our goals for the day were.

Nevada, the land of shrub brush forests
10am-6pm PCT - Ladies and Gentlemen, I've come to the conclusion that Nevada is where all of the tumbleweeds in the country are born. Oh. My. GOD. I wish I was kidding. Okay so for those who are not in the United States or have had the chance to drive through Nevada, let me explain. The environment of Nevada is rather dry and arrod. It's not the type of desert environment where you invision sand, rock and cacti everywhere. It does have rock and plenty of it. It also has the most acres of nothing but dry grass and shrub brush as far as the eye can see. If you're traveling from California, the pine trees that add dimension to the Sierras stop just before Carson City. After that, be prepared for some of the most barren landscape ever. Oh there's patches of trees here and there but they're usually dotted around people's houses or had been used at some point as territory markers. At some point during
our journey through Nevada, I found myself trying to convince my father that all of the scrub brush were actually tiny trees and we were actually going through an expansive forest. Needless to say, he glanced over at me with the look of 'You have lost your mind'. Yup.

End of Day: Twin Falls, Idaho
8:47pm MT - First off, I would like to say a huge Thank You to the state of Idaho for simply having COLOR! I never thought I would be so excited as I was at just seeing corn growing. And cattails! Ahem.. ANYWAYS, moving on. We finally arrived to where we were going to stay the night. Of course there was a bit of a hiccup in trying to find a hotel. After deciding it was best to pass up several motels that were basically being used as apartments, we finally find a hotel. Or so we thought. Turns out that since there's so much construction happening in the area, many of the crews were staying at the various hotels in town and the one we stopped at didn't have any rooms
left over. Our option was a room with a King sized bed and jacuzzi which meant that one of us would be sleeping in the bathtub and in on the floor while 1 had the bed, all three of us on the same bed, or 1 on the bed and the rest on the floor. Any combination was bad and we decided to continue looking. Luckily they gave us directions to another hotel that had the possibility of a room that had two beds. Hotel located and room secure, we declared the rest of the night was for resting and getting some sleep before the next leg of the trip.

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