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Monday, 08 September, 2008

Virginia Trip, Day 1
(with comments)

The original plan for my daughter Carisa, her husband Jim, and the kids - Felicia and Chase:

  • Leave Valley Center, CA at 3:00 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 7th.
  • Put the 2 dogs in the front part of the horse trailer, the cat in one of the vehicles.
  • Arrive in Tucson by noon.
  • Toss the munchkins into the pool so they could burn through some of that spare energy all children seem to have that we adults lack.
  • Let the worn out parents take a long, desperately needed nap while Pamn-ma and John keep the kids entertained and occupied.
  • Have a family dinner before retiring early - since the plan is to leave at 3:00 a.m. Monday for the next leg of the trip.

What REALLY happened:

  • While loading the car onto the car carrier behind the 24' Budget rental truck at 10:30 a.m. (already a late start), a flat tire was noticed on the carrier. Budget was notified and sent out a repairman at 1:00 p.m. to change the blown out tire. Departure time from Valley Center: 2:00 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7th.
  • One dog went into the Ford F-350 and the other into the Budget truck as there was no room in the inn - er, the horse trailer. Lacy (dog #1) and Tequila (the cat) joined Carisa & Felicia in the Ford while Chase & Vega (dog #2) joined Jim in the Budget Truck.
  • Flat #2 occurred roughly 30 miles from start point. This on the Ford, left rear outside tire which blew out and destroyed the fender. Changed this flat on the side of the road and continued on their way. This blowout messed with the wires, which caused a fuse to blow... which they discovered in Blythe, CA when the rear lights of the truck and horse trailer failed to work. Only another 247 miles to go!

  • Dinner was just J-Walk & me, as usual.
  • Arrived Tucson at 3:30 a.m. Monday. Total miles: 486
  • Munchkins tossed into bed at 4:15 for more sleep - no pool time on Sunday.
  • After moving the horses to the stalls and putting the dogs into the horse trailer and feeding / watering them all, it was 5:00 a.m. before the parents finally made their way to the guest room bed.

More later.

- Posted by Pamn

  1. By Blayne. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @06:31pm:
    Boy! That tire issue is always happening lately with NascarĀ®!
  2. By Mean Jean. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @06:32pm:
    Is it too late to buy AAA?

    Those kids are going to survive all this much better than the grown-ups.
  3. By Blayne. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @06:40pm:
    Good thing they had duellies on the FordĀ®, huh? Glad everyone is OK.
  4. By Pamn. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @06:59pm:
    Mean Jean They do, in fact have AAA. But why wait when you're capable and want to keep moving along? With new tires, the plan/hope is AAA won't be needed.
  5. By Curtis. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @07:07pm:
    Pamn - your people have starch. Good for them.
  6. By Bobby. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @07:18pm:
    You have stalls? I didn't know you were "horse-people" with barns & such.

    Considering all the critters & munchkins, everybody was aware the schedule was just a suggestion, right? Gotta go with the flow. Have fun with the younguns.
  7. By Pamn. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @07:28pm:

    My daughter said if it meant she had to buy a new truck, they WERE going to complete their move to Virginia - just to prove a point.

    They've got starch all right! I'm a nervous wreck, but they're fine.
  8. By Pamn. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @07:29pm:
    Bobby - The stalls were at a nearby ranch. A horse hotel, if you will. Nice guy and a great property. My daughter was envious.
  9. By Spokane Mary. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @07:37pm:
    It's a Great Adventure - a fabulous adventure - and they will look back and laugh about it and tell the story over and over all the rest of their lives.

    And when they finally get to Roanoke and turn in the truck, they'll know one very important thing: They're stronger and more capable than they ever guessed. They won't forget that, either - it will influence the rest of their lives.

    I had five cats inside a small travel trailer hooked to the back of a 24' U-Haul I was driving from CO to MT. It had been snowing, but the road wasn't bad. My daughter was driving her car and following the truck. A tire blew on the travel trailer and the steel belts tore a hole in the bottom of the trailer at the base of the closet. The wood paneling in the closet then caught fire. I didn't know any of this - the trailer was too skinny for me to see behind the truck. Lisa honked me over and we jumped out and unlocked the door to the trailer and five furious cats flew out the door.
  10. By FFSteve. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @07:42pm:
    Boy that really sucks. It's bad enough that they have to replace the tire let alone eventually repair the truck. They might want to check that the tongue weight of the trailer isn't too much for the rating of the truck or something. (By balancing the trailer weight)

    I had a Ford Ranger, that coincidentaly I sold this past weekend, that had its fender behind the rear wheel damaged from tread separation from a defective tire. The bottom of the fender folded under and I never did fix it.
  11. By Spokane Mary. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @07:47pm:
    They were obviously freaked out and I thought sure we'd lose some of them, but Glory Be! there was snow - cold white snow - all over the ground and the cats froze in place. We grabbed all five and put them in the cab of the truck - Yee-hah! Fortunately, the fire had pretty much gone out and the fire extinguisher from the truck took care of the rest of it. We put on the spare and limped on into Butte, where we bought a new tire. We had lost a lot of time, and so started the next leg of the journey, Butte to Missoula, later than we wanted. Dark came quickly, and with a full-blown blizzard - one of those white-outs where the snow comes down at an angle and it's nothing but confusion when seen in your headlights. I had 5 wildcats and a poodle in the cab of the truck with me and she had her infant daughter and a Great Pyrenees in her car. No horses, though!

    We made it. We always knew we would, because this wasn't our first U-Haul "adventure" - and it wasn't the last. Good times.
  12. By Pamn. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @07:50pm:
    Spokane Mary

    That must have been QUITE the adventure. One your five cats lived to tell about! What an adrenalin rush for you all. I remember my parents moving the three of us and our dog from Great Falls, MT in Nov. 1962 driving our 1950s Nash 4 door sedan (dubbed the "Green Latrine") pulling a U-Haul trailer. It, too, was an adventure. No serious mishaps, but a very different lifestyle awaited our arrival in North Hollywood, CA.
  13. By Toad. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @07:54pm:

    It's gotta get better!

  14. By Pamn. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @07:55pm:

    The owner of the ranch had a similar tire mishap, one for which the tire manufacturer picked up the tab. He suggested Jim contact the tire company as the tire was still inflated, but had no tread as it all peeled off, causing the subsequent damage. We'll see what happens.
  15. By decibelcat. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @08:04pm:
    By Spokane Mary:
    It's a Great Adventure - a fabulous adventure - and they will look back and laugh about it and tell the story over and over all the rest of their lives.

    Plus, they get to see the country firsthand from the ground. It is not as impressive when you look at it from several miles above in an airplane.
  16. By Blayne. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @08:05pm:
    Yeah, FFSteve, too much weight or improper loading can cause an imbalance in the load you are towing. I've moved plenty of times in U-Hauls and such, but fortunately, never had any harrowing experiences as you guys are relating too. Good luck!
  17. By Spokane Mary. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @08:12pm:
    It was, Pamn, but now, in my dotage, it's a warm memory that I can share in hopes of easing the fearsome stuff that's working on you all. I'm looking forward to each day's instalment of the story, and would only give two kernels of advice:

    1. Don't drive when you're crazy tired, even if you're way behind schedule and even if the horses are uncomfortable and everyone else is complaining and etc. Pull over and sleep. Forget the rest of it.

    2. If the tires on the truck were a set and the one came apart that way, I'd sure get the others checked because there have been a lot of tires-peeling-apart recalls and it's possible the manufacturer may have to replace them all. Another big delay, but if they are defective tires, it would sure be worth it.

    Hang in there, Grandma!
  18. By Ivan Peeler. Comment posted 08-Sep-2008 @09:37pm:
    Is that getting close to a mock-up revival of the Mohicans ?

  19. By Nick Hodge. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @01:13am:

    To some tune or another...

    Things....Can Only Get Better, Can Only Get Better.

    I'm sure better luck is about to come their way
  20. By Snag. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @05:31am:
    Wow ... what a tale ! You must be a very serene person to write about it so objectively, this close to the event.

    If any tyres were to give up, it should have been those on the trailer. Delaminating tyres are almost always a manufacturing fault, and that's the line you should stick to. Go get 'em.

    We got horses too, but we don't travel with them. How about some pics when you get time ?
  21. By wally the duck. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @05:52am:
    Nice post.
    You should atart a blog - get rid of that bacon-banjo-politics stuff.
  22. By wally the duck. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @06:04am:
    Use a spell-checker if you do.
  23. By Ice Giant 37. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @06:44am:
    I'm looking at the current weather map. Odd yellow spots in New Mexico & West Texas. Could be contagious.
  24. By Ice Giant 37. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @06:46am:
    Keep an eye on Hurrican Ike.
  25. By Ice Giant 37. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @07:00am:
    Did they go back and pick up the fender, or leave it lying by the side of the road?
  26. By Ramon. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @07:36am:
    Interesting about the tires. I just recently ran across an ABC news link about "date codes" on tires and the effect of actual 10-15 year old tires being sold as new. If any interest see this http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4826897 link
  27. By Pamn. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @07:36am:
    Ice Giant 37

    The fiberglass fender was demolished - nothing to pick up.
  28. By another larry. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @07:57am:
    Considering the current economic state of the Ford truck empire it may be less expensive to buy a new truck than replace tires. Tire de treading is common in overloaded or extreme conditions.
  29. By another larry. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @08:34am:
    Ramon, we've had a rash of that in the motorcycle tires around here. Riders are buying tires on special and finding they're old stock that are already showing the effects of ozone.

    I wonder if Pamn is going to show us a picture of Granny in her rocking chair strapped to the top of the Ford?
  30. By Damn Yankee. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @09:49am:
    The point of the whole trip is to make it from point A to point B. Everyone's healthy and they have some stories to tell 'round the campfire when they settle in at the new home. Best of luck on the remainder of the trip!
  31. By Eenie Meenie. Comment posted 09-Sep-2008 @03:17pm:
    What an adventure! And it's only just begun.
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