Bad News, Good News — Chapter 2

First the Bad News.

We were looking at three days of peace, no driving, and perfect weather.  Bliss … but not to be.

On Day 2, Elaine heard a hissing noise in the bathroom, and made her own ominous, and not unfamiliar noise: “We have a problem, John.”

I sighed, and contemplated a thin jet of water emerging from the back of the toilet bowl.  Fortunately the input end, and not the output.  As an eternal optimist, I like to see if I can fix such problems, but this one was not in my skill set. We turned off the water, mopped up the flood and contemplated the future. No wi-fi, but our trusty “Trailer Life Directory” had a listing for an RV repair place in Tupelo.  The cell phone worked if you stood on the picnic table.

Hide your gun in Mississippi washrooms

Hide your gun in Mississippi washrooms

This meant hitching up, and driving 10 miles for a professional examination.  “Oh dear,” said the friendly repair guy, “this is not on the connector, so it cannot be fixed.   You will need a whole new toilet.”

Trace State Park is just beautiful.

Trace State Park is just beautiful.

A couple of hours, another $250 or so, and we trundled it all back to our park.  There is a strange synchronicity about this event.  Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis Presley, who, you may recall, died at a relatively young age on a toilet.    Our toilet died in Tupelo.

After a quiet and restful day we drove the truck to the hiking trail terminus, and had a nice walk in the woods.   Looking forward to a fine dinner and glass of wine we climbed in the truck and turned the key.  Dead as a dodo.

Is this truck dead?

Is this truck dead?

Maybe a flat battery?   Our jumper cables were a mile away in the trailer.   But a friendly guy nearby had cables and a truck and we tried the age-old remedy.   Zero.   Back to the trailer courtesy of our new-found friend, and a call to our wonderful “Good Sam” emergency road service in Colorado.  “What time is it where you are?” he asked.     Of course it was just after 5.p.m. and a Friday evening, but just after dark the tow machinery arrived with huge lights and two tough-looking characters.   One maneuvered the tow truck and the other tried to start our truck … just in case.  For him, it started perfectly, and then several times, for me.

Lakes and Woods - an unbeatable combination.

Lakes and Woods – an unbeatable combination.

We could have followed through on the 10-mile tow, but I could imagine the hassle, and the dialog with the repair mechanic the next day.  “Nothing wrong, but we could change the starter, relays, cables and a few other pieces.  That could fix it.”   Indeed it is always hard to find a problem you cannot see.   So the tow truck guy was paid for a non-tow, and no charge to me since it was on the road service tab. It did nothing to help the day’s enjoyment.

Good News.


View from our camp site at Trace Park

View from our camp site at Trace Park

With the plumbing intact we settled down to enjoy the remaining time by the lake, always aware we could be spending many more days there if the truck did not want to start on a Sunday.   Picture perfect with warm sun and stunning scenery, and after the weekend the old truck rumbled to life and took us trouble free through Mobile, Alabama and down to the edge of the Gulf of Mexico as planned.

Almost in Florida, and now really warm and pleasant.  Our campground there was fascinating, though not without yet another problem.  But that’s for the next chapter in this eventful (and expensive) journey.  Stay tuned.

John – with input from Elaine

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