Warning: this will not be a very upbeat blog post tonight.
Ron worked from 12:30 yesterday afternoon till 5:00 this morning with a half hour break which was used to get me a strawberry frozen juice and change his clothes for the tear down shift. He came in the door of the motor home about 5:10 a.m. He was very frustrated and told me he had lost his cool with some of the guys a few hours before. Guess the help was wasting a lot of time doing nothing and there was a bad accident during the tear down of the Tornado. One of the regulars told a spot help to hold some part and the guy dropped what he was holding causing one of the chairs to fall rapidly causing a piece of equipment to crash into the spot helps arm. This caused a huge cut. The guy was taken to the ER and got 25 stitches in his arm. Another issue was people just standing around when there was so much work to be done. Tear down should have only taken about 8 hours and instead took 13 1/2 hours. Ron tried to give the van key to the ride supervisor and he wouldn’t take it. Said I needed it as I was driving the show van to Sequim. First time we had been told that, especially since Rick told me on Friday I was not driving. After working a rough night Ron took a quick nap of two hours before we had to get up to pull wires and leave for Sequim.
I got up at 7:30 and Ron got up at 8:00…Tommy, one of the ride people, was sounding the call to pull wires. and woke up Ron. I had been trying to let him sleep because I knew he was super tired.
While we were getting the motor home ready to leave from the bone yard, I saw Rick getting his truck ready to leave. Ron went over and talked to him about the ride supervisor not accepting the show van key and asked if it was true that I needed to drive the show van. Rick said yes. Ron then talked to him about taking the show van on the ferry as we wanted to drive through Leavenworth and over Stevens Pass, catching the Edmonds/Kingston ferry and then driving to Sequim. Rick said no problem going that route as long as the people in the van knew that was how we were going and that they had the money to pay to cross the ferry. We checked with the seven people riding in the show van and all said they had the $7 it would cost to ride the ferry. We finished what needed to be done to be able to leave. We left the bone yard about 9:30 and got on the road at about 10:45 after stopping at Safeway to get gas.
While pulling into Safeway we had our first glitch of the day. As Ron pulled into the Safeway parking lot the cap on the holding tanks popped off and the gray water tank rapidly began spilling water on the roadway. All I can say is that I am so glad it was not the black water tank!
We then drove from Wenatchee through Cashmere and then through Leavenworth and then headed up to Stevens Pass. About five miles out of Leavenworth the snow began to fall. It quickly went from a light dusting and little snowflakes to huge snowflakes covering and sticking to the road. It took us about an hour and a half to get up and over the pass. At times it was very slow going as we hit some areas of white out with barely able to see the tail lights of the car in front of me. A few times the car in front of me started to spin out. I stayed a fair distance behind that car. We saw one car that had spun out and was in the ditch. A few semi’s had even pulled off the road. Needless to say by the time I got up, over and down the pass I was white knuckling it and my shoulders and arms were pretty tensed up. I had Kollin, one of the ride people riding in the van, call Ron who was in front of us to tell him to stop at the McDonalds in Sultan. I needed a break from driving. Three of us rendevoused at the McDonalds for lunch and a much needed break.
We got back on the road and headed for Edmonds to catch the ferry. While driving on I5, I got a call from Theresa saying the ferries weren’t running. We stopped at the rest area so Ron could empty the black water holding tank. While stopped there Ron called 511 to find out what was going on with the ferries. We found out that the Kingston ferry was not running at 12:45 but the Edmonds ferry was running on time. We pulled into the ferry line at 2:15 for the 2:20 ferry crossing. Before boarding the ferry, we heard from Richard, one of the ride guys, that while he was driving over the pass his trailer hit the guardrail and tore up the awning and side of his trailer. As we boarded the ferry, Richard called again to say he was in Monroe having just had a tire blow on his Blazer. He didn’t know if he would be able to find a tire that would fit his car.
The ferry ride was very enjoyable though a bit rocky due to the high winds. It was nice to have a break from driving. It cost Ron $54.60 for the motor home and driver. The van was $14.85. The passengers in the van had to pay $6.90 per person. By taking the ferry we saved driving about 70 miles and avoided the Tacoma traffic. Just as we got off the ferry and turned onto the main road, Ron heard this grinding sound and felt a jerk with the motor home. He quickly pulled over. I followed suit with the van, and Albert did the same with his jeep and trailer. We must have been quite a sight ~ as soon as each vehicle stopped the passengers jumped out. There were 12 people on the side of the road. Ron and Ruben looked under the motor home and saw the drive shaft on the road. It was supposed to be connected from one end of the motor home to the other. Ron quickly got on the phone to the Emergency Roadside Assistance that we have with our insurance. Thank goodness we have a great policy as we have used it numerous times as many of you know. It was decided that Ron would stay with the motor home, Albert would drive his jeep and trailer and I would take the show van and all the passengers into Sequim. We were about 50 miles from the bone yard in Sequim. I am happy to say that the rest of the trip to Sequim was event free!
After pulling into the bone yard and getting Albert’s trailer set up. I went and talked with Terry, one of the games managers told me that while they were driving from Wenatchee to Sequim one of his side windows was blown out. Guess it made a huge mess inside his fifth wheel trailer. Terry then asked me where our motor home was. I told him our saga. He responded with “oh no.” I then knocked on Rick & Theresa’s door. When Rick answered I asked him if he wanted the good news or the bad. He said it didn’t matter ~ just tell him what was going on. I said the good news was that the show van made it safely from Wenatchee to Sequim with no problems. The bad news was that Richard was stuck in Monroe with a blown out tire and Ron was on the side of the road in Kingston with a broken drive shaft. Rick’s response was “oh, no. Do you need a ride back to where Ron was?” I said I didn’t know yet. I was going to see if I could use Albert’s car once he got his trailer all settled. Rick said to let him know and he would give me a ride if I needed one. I thanked him and told him I would let him know.
After multiple phone calls from Ron I knew that I needed to find a ride back to Kingston because Ron and the motor home were being towed to a mechanic about 5 miles out of town. Ron had also talked to the mechanic, Del, and he would put out an electrical cord for us for the night and that he would be at the shop at 7:45 in the morning to begin working on the rig. I talked with Albert some more and he graciously loaned me his car for the night and tomorrow morning. I then called Ron and said I was getting back on the road. We talked about five times in the 45 minutes I drove back to Kingston. He was giving me directions to where to meet him and the tow truck driver. We met up in Kingston and I followed the tow truck and motor home to the mechanics. Another uneventful trip ~ yeah!
So now we are settled into the motor home for the night. We have electricity from the shop and fortunately water in our holding tank. We had chicken noodle soup for dinner (sounds better than Top Ramen). It is now 9:00 and I think we are going to bed soon. It has been a very long day for Ron with working through most of the night and then driving all day. I am doing much better than I was about 3 hours ago when I was in the midst of not knowing what was going to happen with the motor home or where we would be staying for the night.
As I am ending this post I do have many things to be thankful for:
~ that we made it safely over Stevens Pass
~ that the drive shaft did not drop when we were going 70 mph down I5 ~ it easily could have caused a major accident
~ that we have a great Emergency Road Service plan with our insurance coverage
~ that Ron feels confident about the mechanic after speaking to him both on the phone and in person about the drive shaft and what repairs need to be done
~ that Ron and I have a safe place to lay our heads tonight and we are not stuck on the road somewhere
~ for the repairs to be made quickly tomorrow so that we can get back to work. Ron is due to be on the carnival lot at 5:00 p.m. to set the lot for Wednesday’s set up
~ that we will both get a good night’s sleep
~ that the expenses are not more than the amount of money we have available
Thanks for reading about our day and keeping us in your prayers. We do appreciate all your prayers and words of encouragement. I will write another update tomorrow night, hopefully from the bone yard in Sequim.