So today we learned a lot of things, like for one – leaving in an RV in -25c is not optimal! The day unfolded and things didn’t go so smoothly as we’d hoped. Packing the rest of our stuff in it took longer. Cleaning the fridge (which was a disaster) took forever since we had packed all our cleaning supplies. Hooking up the car to be towed took longer. Then our front tires were 20 lbs low on air but our little air pump wasn’t doing the job and after 20 minutes had only put in 5. It may have been frozen, or the directions that say only run it for 10 minutes, then rest for 10 would have been good to read first. Or better yet had we thought about it earlier gotten it started while packing/cleaning was going on. We were both freezing already, and hungry, Darlene was cranky and miserable.
Putting the cats into the RV, Pumpkin did NOT like the cold and peed on Rob on the way outside. One more thing to deal with and we were still in the driveway.
Next stop was to get weighed. It’s self-serve, you just drive over it – take your ticket in and they give you the info. Took us two tries to get it and then it said we were about 250 lbs overweight for the RV’s capabilities. Wes our RV expert said not to worry about it and just go, so we took his word and headed out.
Then we had to stop at a Fountain Tire to get our new tires torqued, the best one to stop was now Leduc as it was already 3pm and we weren’t even going to make it to Red Deer by 5pm when they closed. So 4-5pm was spent at the Leduc tire place, finding it, waiting to get it done – but at least we had some time to thaw out a bit. Darlene traveled most of the way in the -10c rated sleeping bag with it up over her head, and Pumpkin crawled in with her for a while too.
So off we left Leduc at about 5pm already (we were hoping to be long past Calgary by that point) stopped in Red Deer for a bathroom break at 6:30 and pushed on. It was after 9pm when we pulled into Calgary and as we couldn’t get our generator going and couldn’t find an open RV park in the city, we stopped at a Super 8 motel to defrost and get hot showers and dinner. A little side adventure was when Rob took the right fork instead of the left and ended up in the Walmart stock area out back. He had to get out and make sure we could get through and out the other side – Darlene had visions of having to unhook the car and back it all out of there, but Rob safely navigated through the maze with inches on either side.
The really nice man at the front desk of the Super 8 let us bring our cats in and he actually said, “I didn’t see any cats” with a wink. He even gave us a bigger King suite (such as it was) for the same price. So $120 later we were off for dinner at 10pm at Boston Pizza, the only place within walking distance, as we didn’t want to unhook the car. $50 there and it made for quite an expensive day.
Lessons or things learned for the day
Darlene’s: trust the universe – we should have left Nov 30th as planned, and trust that the renter would just show up. Then the snow and cold weather could have been missed altogether.
Rob’s: put a cat in a cat carrier and wrap her in a blanket BEFORE taking her outside into -25c weather
Vala Grenier says
Good to know we aren’t the only ones who get delayed by random stuff we should have seen coming. I’ll be watching esp for the “lessons learned” 🙂
Marie Thaler says
Angie Buckley sent us your site. I am looking forward to tracking your travels. We are hoping to begin our journeys next year. Angie is my daughter.
Hi Marie – that’s cool. How will you be traveling? In an RV? All I can say is, get it early and do some shorter trips first to work out the bugs. Hope you enjoy our travels.
Notice how bloody cold it looks there!
Christina Blanchard says
Question: Who is writing the blog? I notice a bit of switching within the first day. Ie, Rob and then Darlene was.. 🙂
Yeah, I was kind of wondering why anyone would want to leave and test out an RV in minus anything weather!
“That which does not kill us only makes us stronger”
That would be me Christina. Well, it depends. I write from Dar’s point of view sometimes and sometimes it’s Darlene. She wrote the first few and then I took up writing. Then she wrote a couple and then me again.
FYI for all Young Snowbirds readers: Road Trip calendars for 2011 are now available on my site. I had so many images and requests to have them that I have created a calendar of some of my favorites from the road. You can see all the images in the calendar and order one on my photography blog at: http://www.herviewphotography.com/2010/09/30/road-trip-2011-calendars.html
Sheryl at Apple Valley says
That does sound like a horrible start to your journey! We parked our RV in the driveway for a week before we left. Whenever we were packing up or working in the RV, we took our two cats with us and let them get used to it. They were comfortable in there when we drove away from Ontario, but it wasn’t cold yet.
Trips are often like that for us too. I can’t remember a time we actually left on a trip at the planned time and date.
Kathy Ashmun says
We want to leave Seattle and travel to the east coast. We are allowing about six months. We know about putting US mail ” on hold” but some mail ( such as doctors office bills after insurance ) need to reach us so we can pay. How do we handle this situation ?
Kathy and John Ashmun