Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Friday, December 12, 2014


Monday morning:   Spent another 3 hours loading the truck - I was unable to find my spare glasses, my camera or the big inverter.

We finally left at 11 a.m. only to find the repair shop closed til 1:00.   So, we got some lunch and went back to the shop to pick up Miss Daisy.  I very hurridly pull stuff out of the truck and threw it into Daisy - enough so we could see through the truck to hitch up.

I asked many questions - but forgot the most important of all -   "How do I hook up the black water tank for dumping?"    Luckily I know that Kit and Ken in AZ can help me there.

We left Great Falls at 1:30 and headed to Helena - our first stop  - only 100 miles away.   It was a good drive.  When I pulled in behind my friend Barb's home, I managed to pull Daisy into the only pile of snow on the street.   I backed up and pulled forward a couple times and figured I wouldn't have any problem getting back on the road in the morning.  Not!   The temperature dropped to 21 degrees, and all that snow turned to ice.  My wheels just spun on the slippery surface.

We had a great visit with Barb - a friend from childhood.  Tucker enjoyed visiting with Della.

We slept in Daisy - it was, as I say, 21 degrees and really cold because of the snow on the ground.  Not to worry - I had the two denim quilts, and two double fleece blankets in Daisy - and later found 2 more brand new quilts that I had forgotten were in the cabinet.  I had an electric blanket which didn't seem as warm as I thought it should be - reason being?   It wasn't heating.  The lights came on - but no heat, be we slept warm enough anyway.

In the morning I called AAA and was told, after explaining what happened, that  "we'll send out one truck with one man and that is covered.  If necessary, we'll send out a second truck and 2 men, and that will be covered for 2 hours.  After that you are responsible for the charge."  I tried to tell her it wouldn't take that much, but she was not impressed.

Two hours later, the truck showed up, when my feet were nearly frozen - having chosen sandals with socks over closed shoes - since there was no snow in Belt when we left.   The towman looked the situation over and shook his head.  "you've got yourself in a mess, he said"   He looked under the trailer and said he was afraid he'd damage the underside pulling it over the ice.  I told him - there was no snow under the trailer, only half the width of two tires was on the snow.   In any event, he hooked us up, and in about 10 seconds had us out on the road.   HE was very impressed!!!

So, we headed out - stopped at the tire store to have Daisy's tires checked out - and the situation was pronounced well under control.  Even though the tires were about 10 years old - the tread was excellent and just the slightest sign of weather checking - so we were good to go.

Once again, we got on the road at 1:30 and we had a little over 300 miles to go to get to Pocatello.

Daisy pulls like a dream -no problems there.  I felt totally relaxed

I chose this route to New Mexico because it had the fewest mountains to overcome.  We had to go over Monida pass - but its a very gentle rise with no winding roads with steep drop offs - we were over it by dark.

It was a bit warmer in Pocatello - but we had the problem of total disorganization.  We were hooked up to electricity and had the hot water steaming - but no knives, forks or spoons.  Well, I can be resourceful when needed - so all worked out. 

I had to get fuel in Dillon - but it was easy for my first time towing Daisy in a gas station - pull off line up and pull out.   What a relief.  Not so in Pocatello.   The station had several pumps and only one car there.  I discovered they only had a single diesel pump - on the same stand as a gas pump and of course that is where the only other vehicle decided they had to pump gas.   I slowly and carefully drove around the pumps to discover that indeed the only diesel was at the first pump.  So, we waited.
As I was finally at the pump, a gentleman came out and told me that as I came into the station, the door on  Miss Daisy came open.  I checked it and the door was shut tight and locked.

To leave the station, I had to once again circle slowly and carefully to the left to get to the entry and then make an immediate hard right turn -  we accomplished that with not a little concern and hit the road again.  Approaching the on ramp, a driver mouthed out "Your door is open!"   I pulled over and check the door.  Yep, shut tight and locked!  On the ground, I found a bungee cord and looped it around the handle and door knob and headed out once more.

Approaching Salt Lake City - which I really was not looking forward to, a car pulled up beside us and the driver held up a sign that said  "Door is Open"  and right behind him another driver who told us the same thing - We were moving into heavy traffic and had to cross 2 lanes including an "exit only" lane with traffic whizzing all around us.   I got out and checked the door - shut tight and locked!  But, the bungee cord was broken.  So apparently bumps or curves caused the door to come open.  I fixed it good, though - I grabbed a wire coat hanger, and wrapped it round and round and we didn't have any more problems with it.  For the rest of my life, whenever I miss something, I'll probably tell myself it must have fallen out that time in SLC.

We managed to make our way through SLC traffic with no problems for which I am very grateful.  I don't like driving in traffic at the best times, and pulling a trailer through it was no fun at all.  It was such a relief to reach Provo and know that we were out of it.  

The journey down the central corridor of Utah is such a wonderful experience - the mountains on each side are incredible.   There was a mist that day and the sky was overcast causing the distance mountains to look like a very delicate water color.   The very tip of the mountains had the barest blue outline which drifted down into the mist.  Awesome!

We spent the night in Cedar city with a little over 400 miles to go.  If you look at a map of Utah and Nevada, you will see a very small corner of Nevada belongs to Arizona.  It's only 27 miles wide and about 15 miles of it is the most awesome canyon.  It's like driving over a cliff - you drop over 500 ft, twisting and turning down to the bottom - not unlike driving to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  Then, after about 15 miles, you just pop out - onto a level landscape - no climbing back up again - a very interesting outcome!

Shortly before arriving in Las Vegas, my GPS quit.  When we started out in the morning, it gave a message that the battery was getting low.  How can this be, I had it plugged in.  It did this once before and then mysteriously restarted, seemingly with no assistance.   It finally occurred to me that it might be the cord - and you guessed it - the cord was bad.   When we stopped for gas, I switched cords and we were back in business.   (I like to keep track of how many miles left to go)

While searching through the gadget bag for a different cord, I found my spare glasses and my camera.  Now if only the inverter would turn up.

We arrived at my friend, Kit's house in Sun City, AZ just in time for dinner.  Tucker was so happy to be reunited with his friends Sammy and Christi.

We will spend today visiting and tomorrow organizing Daisy, installing the mirrors so I don't have to keep moving them from bed to closet and putting up the remaining cabinet doors - and...... getting the door catches to actually hold.  

On Sunday morning (no rush hour traffic to worry about) we will leave here for the last leg of our trip to Deming, New Mexico to the LoW's campground.

Until next time, Bear Hugs
Boots and Tucker
"She believed she could and so she did!"

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