Posts Tagged ‘Great Sand Dunes’

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely…” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gypsy Lee in a better place than a dinky RV park in Alamosa. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie*

My grandmother believed that trouble came in threes. I can’t tell you how many times in my life she was proved right, which is why I should have been more worried at the first setback of my perfect day.

My two previous overnight campgrounds were Colorado state parks with trails to walk, lakes to sit by, scenic landscapes out my window and birds to sing me awake in the morning. I expected tonight’s stay at San Luis State Park, just 20 miles down the road from the Great Sand Dunes, would offer much the same.

And well it might have if it hadn’t still been closed for the season – even though my Trailer Life Directory of RV campgrounds, my travel bible, said it opened for the season April 15.

The next closest campground I could locate was a KOA in Alamosa. It was another 25 miles to drive, but the directory’s ratings gave it a thumbs up, along with noting that it opened for the season on March 13.

Wrong again. It didn’t open until May 1.

A pair of mallards cheer up any day. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I then realized my RV was pulling to the right and discovered the front passenger tire was low. My nearly new tire, I saw, had a nail in it. Quickly, I retreated to a tire store I had passed about five miles back up the road, thinking it would be an easy fix. Wrong.

Before beginning this trip, Gypsy Lee, which has over 115,000 miles on her, underwent some major wear and tear repairs, including new wheels to replace the corroded and cracked old ones. They were shiny, spiffy and expensive – and required a special key to unscrew their lug nuts, which someone had forgotten to give me.

The small Alamosa tire store, which was also a service station, couldn’t solve my problem. And by now it was after 6 p.m. and every place else was closed for the evening, even the place in Texas where I had bought the wheels. As a last resort, I called them thinking they could FedEx the part to Alamosa overnight.

I had air put in my tire, hoping it was a very slow leak, and retreated to a dinky RV park a few miles away where campers were allowed to dump their gray (dish-washing and/shower) water on the ground. I was not a happy camper. I might have whined a bit, except Gypsy Lee has a rule against such self-pity.

The best thing I have going for me as a lone female traveling this great country of ours is the confidence that I can handle what the road throws at me. This wasn’t the first, or the worse mishap, I had overcome in seven years of traveling.

So while I didn’t get a peaceful night’s sleep because of worrying about my situation, I awoke ready to solve it.

Thankfully my tire still had air in it, and the local Firestone tire shop I called as soon as they were open, said they could solve my problem. If they broke the studs getting the locks off, the sensible woman on the other end of the line told me, then they would just replace them. It wouldn’t be all that expensive.

It turned out they actually had a key for my wheels in stock, which they sold me for future emergencies. I was back on the road, my pocketbook only $22 thinner, within about 15 minutes.

Now let’s see. If I count the two closed RV parks and the nail-in-the-tire, that makes three things that went wrong yesterday.

If my grandmother was right, I had another perfect day ahead of me.

Continuing Day 7, April 25, 2001

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