Day 8: Home

It was a rough morning.

We woke up to the coldest temperatures we had experienced the whole week. It felt like we dropped into the 30’s over night. Of course it was the earliest we had gotten up all week, so maybe we just usually slept through this cold part. In any case, it was hard to get out of bed today. 

I had spent the night before thoroughly cleaning the motor home, and I didn’t want to get the sink and coffee maker dirty, so I skipped my coffee and just got dressed, shook the dog hair out of the bed sheets, took River for a walk, refilled the fresh water tank, unhooked the rig, packed everything up and, as soon as the engine was warm and the windshield frost free, we took off. 

The dump station was a central station for the whole campground, so I had to drive a bit before dumping. While at the station, River got really anxious when I left the cab. Even though I never went further away than the rear of the vehicle to get the tube, he was heavily shivering and whimpering--looking more panicked than I have seen him look in a long time. I had a feeling it was because he saw me packing my suitcase last night. When we’re at home, and he sees me packing, he starts to pout because he doesn’t usually get to come with me, and I take off for a week or so. That, combined with the experience of being left in the cab while I shopped at Safeway a couple days earlier, I think, inspired his anxiety this morning. He even barked at one point; he had it bad, poor guy. 

For a moment, I was  afraid the waste tanks had frozen overnight, because the cap was really hard to get off. But I finally jarred it loose and dumped for the last time.  I was glad not to be having to do that part again!

As we were pulling out of the campsite, I felt a small stream of water splashing onto my leg. There seemed to be a small leak in the sun roof of the cab. It hadn’t leaked at all until today. It wasn’t a big deal. I only mentioned it because it was the first issue of any kind that I had with the vehicle. 

In fact, everything about the week had gone very smoothly.  Today was the first day that anything challenging at all happened. I wondered if maybe everything went a little bit TOO well. If maybe I wasn’t being filled with a false sense of security about what kinds of things to expect when RVing. My luckiness may be a double edged sword, serving also to improperly educate or prepare me for RVing.  In any case, I had definitely enjoyed it, and was getting used to maneuvering the giant vehicle like I knew what I was doing. 

Once in Fife, I put another $75 in the tank to top it off and made my way back to the rental yard. (I put a total of $175 of gas in the tank, which was about 41 gallons. Since I drove 370 miles total, I averaged about 9 MPG.) The walk-through at the end went brilliantly and there were no extra cleaning charges so I got all of my deposit back except for the $6 charge for using the generator for two hours.

I was amazed that River was able to pick out our rental car from the cars parked in the lot. We had been in the car for no more than half an hour, a week ago! I know he didn’t see me when I loaded the luggage into the trunk, because he was still seat belted in the RV passenger seat. So he either smelled the luggage in the trunk or some how just recognized or smelled the car itself. I guess it was probably the former.  But still, I thought that was pretty impressive.

It was nice to get home. River was excited but certainly tired. And as soon as I set up his crate, he crawled right in for a long nap. 

As the day went on, I thought I felt a poison oak rash starting. I felt a slight, unexplainable burning and tingling along the right side of my body. (The side River was on when we spooned at night.) I thoroughly washed River, all of our clothes and his leash and harness, and then of course myself. And as a precautionary measure, I went to the drug store and got some Ivarest and applied it to every place I thought I felt the tingling. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I’m being extra diligent and doing anything I can to prevent or minimize the occurrence of that painful, annoying rash that I remembered from my childhood. 

I had a fantastic time and I will definitely be doing it again. I want to try a class A motor home next time. I was driving a class C, which means the home section extends over the cab, providing that creepy attic space that I didn’t like sleeping in. It also blocked my view from some of the scenery stretching above as I drove. I couldn’t always see the tops of the mountains or trees because of the camper extending out above the cab. The class A looks like it’s all window up front, so I might enjoy that view better while driving, and won’t have to concern myself with trying to sleep in that cramped space.

So, it was a camping vacation done in style. But it isn’t the solution I was hoping it would be. I was hoping it would serve as a way to bring River with me on working trips since he can’t fly. But I don’t see it as a viable way to travel to jobs. I’m still stuck at the campsite or wherever I park the vehicle. So I’d either need to tow another vehicle, or use a vehicle to pull a trailer, or get picked up and dropped off from the campsite whenever I need to be somewhere, or rent another vehicle at my destination. Or maybe there’s still another solution that I haven’t thought of yet. 

In any case, I’m back to the idea board. 

In the meantime, I’m at the airport; getting ready for my trip to Houston and to Soma Ranch for the Nia Soma Summit hosted by the amazing Helen Terry. 

Thanks for going on this adventure with me. 


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