Scene One: The salesperson at the running store has an uniquely perplexed and skeptical look on her face. “I mean,” she sighs, “it’s super easy to just ship you these shoes in the size you need. It’s really not a problem for us!” JJ and I look at each other with silent communication skills forged over a decade of companionship. Do we really want to get into this with this lady…..? “Well,” I start, “we don’t exactly have an address.” “Do you live out of state or something?”, she quizzes. “No, we’re traveling.” “Oh, well, we can ship it to your house!” “And we don’t exactly know where our house will be for the next six weeks!” I smile and hope she’ll leave it at that. Grasping at a sale slipping through her fingers, she says, “Well, where will you be next?” “Um, on the side of a dirt road in a National Forest outside Sedona. Or Flagstaff.”
Scene Two: I plop down in the salon chair and say “Just a trim, please. I’d like about 3 inches taken off.” The stylist fashions the drape around my shoulders and says “Sure, now let’s get you shampooed.” “Could you just wet down my hair?” With a perplexed look she says, “It’s a free shampoo, honey.” “Oh, I know, it’s just that I don’t use shampoo, see.” At this point, she gave me a look like I just said that I like to swim in toxic waste, or bait hives of Africanized honey bees for sport. “Well, what the hell do you use?!” “Baking soda and apple cider vinegar.” “And why,” she moaned, “in God’s name do you do that?!” “I live in an RV, and we have to make 55 gallons of water last about a week. I switched to a haircare method that requires less frequent washing, and less water for each wash, so I don’t use too much.” She just stared at me, and finally shook her head saying “Better you than me, sister.”
In honor of a week that is absolutely not going as planned, I thought I’d share the sorts of humorous little vignettes that take place all the time for us, to put me in a better mood about a glitch in our plans. Whenever we can, we like to laugh about “RV People’s Problems”, situations that most “sticks and bricks” folks would love to have to worry about. Can’t get your shoes shipped because you’ll be in the wilderness? Cry me a river, you say, right? So, with that sort of attitude in place, I’m trying to be more optimistic about a 36 hour stopover in Phoenix turning into a week here instead.
As we left Tucson Mountain Park, we heard a loud whooshing noise that sounded like air escaping. As soon as we could find a safe place, we pulled over to look at what we were sure was a flat tire. We couldn’t find a thing wrong, so we continued on to our campsite in Scottsdale, a suburb of Phoenix. We planned to only be in town long enough to get into a routine medical checkup, until we discovered the source of the noise: our propane system had a leak. While many other RV systems can limp along at less than 100%, propane is combustible, and something we don’t want to chance. So, we added a couple days onto our stay, and scheduled a visit from a mobile RV doctor.
Jeff the RV guy was knowledgeable and friendly, and diagnosed the issue right away. He needed to order some parts, and he would be back on Thursday to install everything and get us on our way. Thursday morning, we got up early and packed up the RV, ready to hit the trail right after our appointment. Jeff got the part put in place, and I started dreaming of Sedona, cooler temperatures, and getting back to the quiet countryside. However, when he tested the new piece, it immediately failed, defective from the get-go. The only person who looked more dejected than me was Jeff, who was obviously upset at the incomplete job. Today, he told us that yes, he can get another version of that part, but it will take 7-10 days. After he can order it on Monday.
The one redeeming point about our location is that Scottsdale has an extensive urban hiking system. We can head out our door, get onto a bike path, and then link to trails that head up into the mountains that surround us. We’ve also visited the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, and the McDowell Mountain Regional Park.
Our new plan is to continue on to Sedona and then the Grand Canyon with a work-around solution on our propane system. After that, we will make another pass through Phoenix to get that doo-dad installed. It means more driving, but we get to do interesting things in the meantime. You know, RV People’s Problems!