This is the monster referenced in the previous post "gps". I don't know why I bother, cause mike and heidi won't see it. Matter of fact, I think it was there until mike read it, he musta made it vanish....
Just a heads up to those of you who travel and patronize walmarts in different states.
JUST BECAUSE THE WOMENS RESTROOM IS ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE IN ONE STATE, DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN IT WILL BE ON THAT SIDE IN ANOTHER STATE.
And yes, i'm shouting. I want to remember this.
I really REALLY glared at the man in the ladies room here at the walmart in yuma. Until he turned around and I saw the employee name badge. It only took me about 3 1/2 seconds then to realize that the male employee probably knew better than I the location of the ladies room (since he worked there) and this wasn't it.
I started out in a walmart parking lot in yuma, where we were rousted about 3 a.m. We ended up going to the border crossing at algodones, hoping to scope it out and maybe make the dash across on what is to be the coolest day of the week.
Just before 5, 3 stray, skinny dogs came by, and I fed them some cookies out the window. When the border patrol drove by, I rolled the window up, and stuck the box of cookies under my seat, which of course was the wrong thing to do. After he ran my plates he approached the van and had me pull out the cookies. I had a pic of one of the dogs on my phone to back up my story, but I felt kinda bad, because he was just a kid, and what a thankless, dangerous job they do.
I drove into CA. to a gas station where the realities of gas prices hit home. Came back to AZ for gas and to plan my next step. It may be too late in the year to leave mutt in the car and to cross the border for glasses. I need to price mexican auto insurance for the day, maybe drive across, or rent a motel or find a kennel where the dog will be safe. Original plans had me doing this when other vandwellers were around to dogsit...... I'll keep you posted.
What I neglected to mention in part I was that when we were in san antonio, it snowed there for the first time in 12 years. I missed it. Most likely, I was in the bathroom. It never stuck to the ground where we were, news reports indicated some snowman activity in the hill country, though.
A significant portion of our trip was spent in verizon corporate stores trying to fix the pixi. It had multiple issues, like turning itself off repeatedly, frequent screen freezing and error messages, and even dialing *611 spontaneously.
We had been to the SA store 3 times, and they were unable to fix it. They gave me a new one, which had it's own set of horrors. I couldn't believe it. I set across west texas with a phone more gremlin than pixi. The guys in las cruces wanted to replace it again. I said no. I didn't want to lose my bookmarks snd music all over again, like I had in SA. There was a new update scheduled that weekend, and I decided to continue on to arizona and hope that the update would fix it.....
To some degree it did. Most of the error messages were gone, but the annoying habit of shutting down spontaneously continued. In a phone that can take 5 minutes to turn itself on, that was unacceptable. What if I had to dial 911? I just wanted a phone that worked.
By then I was in safford, az. Verizon customer service informed me that there was a VZW store within 25 miles of safford. Turns out, it was more like 25 feet, across the street in thatcher! There, the manager listened to my story, read the lengthy documentation from tech support, and offered me a new solution...a different phone. I was reluctant at first....i wanted the phone I had to work, no more switching and losing apps and music and bookmarks. But after 3 more days of it turning off in the middle of an email or the middle of the night, I decided to go for it.
I switched to a pre. And am I ever glad I did! It just works. It does what it is supposed to do, when I want it to do it. And nothing I don't want it to do, like dial itself. How simple and perfect is that?
I am so grateful to the folks at the vzw store in thatcher, for making this possible, and for renewing my faith in my phone. It's been almost a week, and not one error message or shut down has happened.
Thank-you Braden and Wendy for all of your kindness and assistance, you went that extra mile. I am so happy with my phone and my service!
During all the phone madness was a bright spot, though. I got to spend a little time with astrobrian at roper lake state park. With Mt. Graham on one side, and roper lake on the other, it was a peaceful place to regroup. Mutt and dina dog had some nice off-leash romps in the desert, too. A storm rolled through, of course, but it was much welcomed rain to ease the drought. An old guy in the walmart parking lot thought I should stay, and offered me the key to the city, if I attracted that much stormy weather :-)
I've been asked to move by the border patrol. I'll finish later.
We left PA on feb 4th, couldn't stand the weather. Got caught in the 1st blizzard without making it out of PA, but got to hang out at my sister annie's! Thank-you sarah and david for shoveling me out!
I scurried south just ahead of the 2nd blizzard, feeling pretty safe when I got to knoxville, until ron called and informed me of the storm dumping on dallas texas and heading my way. So we scurried some more, only to experience snowfall just north of new orleans.
So, we scurried some more..... living in the moment was becoming a thing of legend. I so longed for warmth, and finally found a dose of that in east texas where I tracked down phoenix (a fellow vandweller) ....had a great dinner with him, and as usual, alot of laughs.
Set our sights on san antonio the next day. Had a really nice interlude at a closed weigh station on I-10, where mutt got to do some off-leash running and playing. A not-so-nice interlude came a few miles later when we were stuck in standstill traffic for several hours while a tanker burned and authorities evacuated a mile radius of homes around it. We were about a half mile away, where I was feeling pretty pleased at having all the conveniences of home right there on that overpass, when streams of people started heading past us on foot, back east, evacuated from their vehicles in front of us. We weren't asked to leave the rondyvan, and after a couple hours, were allowed around the crash site and made the last 13 miles to ron's without incident. Except for getting lost. I hate it when the GPS lady shrieks.
it was so good to see ron, and to have left all the drama behind! Heh. Poor Ron. Mutt and I promptly came down with giardia picked up heaven knows where. There was a visit to the vet, nasty medication for both of us, and countless bathroom visits. Our vandweller friends came through with lots of suggestions on living with this illness in close quarters, while Ron fielded most of the whining. The good news is that I recovered enough appetite for a visit to coopers BBQ before we left. Ron had to cancel his plans to caravan out to the vandweller gatherings, which had pretty well dispersed by the time we were able to get on the road again.....but we found plenty to do....see part 2 tomorrow!
I keep putting off blogging because i'm so far behind, and am overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that has happened. So, just for today :-) here is a highlight....on my way north from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument I stopped in Ajo to see the plaza. Discovered the very best hot dogs ever. I think it is the avocado that does it!