Sunday, September 8, 2013

Catch-up Posting


Saturday morning

I’m continuing to have untrustworthy access to WiFi; here at The Cove Palisades SP you have to go to the resort store a couple of miles away and buy access at $2.50/60 minutes.  The camp host volunteered to buy some for me, as she can’t legally give me a ride in her car, and I’m lost without Petunia; she bought me 120 minutes.  I ‘used’ the whole first 60 minutes just trying to get online!  [I’m going to stop at the store on my way out and try to get my money back on that one.]

Okay, so the saga of Petunia.  I think I left off where she’d been towed (actually carried) to Burns to a repair shop that agreed to ‘take a look’.   He fixed the issue with the loose connection on the installed “on-off” switch for the battery, but she still wouldn’t start.  He spoke with Allied Trailer Supplies, the company who installed the tow bracket; the service manager there was very concerned and called him and me several times to see how things were progressing.  ‘Stuart,’ in the Burns repair shop, admitted he’d had no experience with a Smart Car but would then call my dealership in El Dorado Hills to speak with the service department.  The Service Manager offered some suggestions for diagnosing the issue that didn’t give any relief; he finally told Sturart they’d honor nothing if the work were not done at an authorized Smart Car service center.  Then we started calling dealers all over the place and found the closest ‘authorized’ center to be in Portland, some 280 miles from Burns.

Go forward about 30 phone calls and conversations:  AAA agreed to carry the car to Portland and left with little Petunia on Thursday morning; they covered the first 200 miles and I paid them $360 for the additional 80.  The AAA representative tower said they wouldn’t deliver Petunia to the service center until Friday at 10AM to avoid commute hassles of Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.  I gave that information to the service manager, ‘Sean,’ at Mercedes Benz of Portland, and he said they probably wouldn’t be able to even look at her until Monday morning.

So I drove out of Burns a little later that morning and headed northwest to Redmond, Oregon, where I made an appointment for Big Country RV service to diagnose a ‘problem’ with my one entry door on Floribunda.  It had started feeling very loose and often not completely closing all the time.  (Of course, Lincoln jumped right on that opportunity to push with his cute little nose and open the door, for escape purposes.  He’s becoming so like a dog that he eyed me for an instant before he did escape, I said a firm “No” and he backed away from the door!)

From the Big Country RV center, we drove here to The Cove Palisades State Park, which is one of the loveliest state parks I’ve visited.  It helps that the daytime temps are in the mid 70s and the nights the upper 40s; and, almost every single site has partial shade both morning and afternoon.  Oh, what I would have given in California for this shade and the lawns.  For those who haven’t visited here it’s a bird watching, flora and fauna and geology wonder.  Unfortunately for me right now it’s just too big to do much hiking with this bum knee, so I’m going to some of the nature programs the rangers give to learn about this incredible part of Oregon.  I’ll post photos as soon as I can.

I’ve decided to stay here until tomorrow, Sunday, and then head to Portland, or at least close by.
I’m very concerned that they may find a really major problem and that it would not be covered by either the 90-day warranty or the Allied Trailer warranty for work done.  [I haven’t even started making the monthly payments on Petunia yet!]   However, I continue to ‘counsel’ myself so I don’t spend lots of time second-guessing what may come.  I’m trying diligently to just ‘put one foot in front of the other’ and not ‘future trip.’  Am I succeeding?   Somewhat!

I’ll paste this post into my blog, if luck is with me and I still have some minutes on my ‘time’ purchase.   I’m learning lots about volcanoes and lava flows and basalt rock and vultures and cottonwood trees and…..