Raleigh for a birthday trip

After Kats family left, so did Kat. She was to be gone a week for work and I was parked outside of San Diego at Potrero regional park which was only 5 miles from the border of Mexico and the town of Tecate.  It was hot! I spent a couple of days taking Fat Henry to the shop and to get his tires rotated, but other than that it was uneventful for me. I always have big plans for my time alone and then it just doesn’t happen. Kat got home and we were both sort of in a funky questioning state of mind about our lives. When Kat asked me if I still wanted to be doing this traveling and I honestly could say that maybe I’m done with it. I questioned why I felt that way and why Kat was asking. I think in general we are just going here and there and not getting much out of it. We haven’t been volunteering, we hadn’t been really exploring, it’s just become comfortable and going here and there just because. Kat is tired of worrying about Fat Henry and thinking of all the little things we need to do on the camper. Hey, it’s like a house, you are always going to have things to fix and you can’t just sell and walk away-except we can.  We definitely need to evaluate our lives and what we want out of them. Honestly, we are able to do whatever we want because we have that freedom right now. But what is it we want? We talk about traveling in Europe, going back home to Raleigh, learning to teach English as a second language in Spain and a few other crazy things. But, our temporary decision is that we get to Vegas, go to Raleigh for a visit (work for Kat) visit Utah National parks, go to England for a couple of weeks to try out camper life there, enjoy Thanksgiving in Phoenix and all the while keep these thoughts brewing on the back burner and try to come up with a plan for our future.  That wasn’t meant to come off as depressing because I have always been like that with my life. Sometimes you need to set new goals, create new adventures and just shake things up. Some people have a lot of drama in their lives or a lot of problems, so they are pretty satisfied to just get by day to day. We are lucky with really no worries to speak of, so really we should just make the most of what we have and we are usually pretty good at that.

Potrero campground….doesn’t look hot, but it was.

Off to Vegas we headed after a day’s rest for Kat. We stopped back in Chino at the same park we stayed at with Kats family- Prado regional park. While we were there we went to the coolest RV junkyard to see if we could find a part that stabilizes the cables underneath when moving the slides in and out which had finally broken. That place was incredible. It was filled with salvaged RV parts and we got to just poke around all over looking for what we needed. We couldn’t find it, but did finally learn the correct name for it which was flex guard cable. We ended up ordering it online. We stayed a couple of nights and then off we went to Vegas.  Unfortunately we also took thousands of little passengers with us! Yep, we got invaded by little black ants. They were coming up the tires and when I sprayed around the tires to stop that entry, they moved to the stabilizers. Ugh, but at least they weren’t biting ones.  Of course we have no ant spay, so we used a bleach cleaner and that worked really well except for us having watery eyes and having to inhale it all.

As we pulled into Vegas our check engine light came on. Good! Now the mechanics have something to actually see instead of us just describing a weird sporadic problem. We got set up in our RV park and went out to see if someone could take a look at Fat Henry.  We found a guy who said come back in tomorrow, so we planned on a 7:30 am arrival. It was just down the street, so no big deal. We went and had a drink and dinner, then back to the ant guest house. The next morning we sat in the office of the truck garage for about two hours before the mechanic came out and told us we needed a new turbo system and EGR. That would cost about 5K.  We had been doing a lot of online research and although we had read about this a a possible cause, but we weren’t going for it in such a big way. We went to the Ford dealer and within an hour and a half we had the solution to the engine light fixed for under $300.  It was a cracked vacuum hose on the turbo. Ha! And maybe this is the whole problem? Time will tell.

We had a lot of fun in Vegas With ex-work colleagues who were n town for a trade show and it was great hanging out together. They really lifted my mood and outlook on things. Mostly it reminded me that I still don’t miss work- except the free travel and expense account.

On Saturday we moved the camper and truck into storage and went to our airport hotel. We had an early morning flight to Raleigh the next day. Kat was headed to work and I was going to hang out and visit friends, etc. But, the most important part of the trip was to be Saturday when we would go back to the old neighborhood and celebrate birthdays. I was happy to get to see the neighbors again and other friends, but I was not excited with the thought of being 50. I’m not sure why it would bug me, I mean really, I feel 29! Anyway, I pulled up my old lady pants and went to party.

It was a fantastic celebration. I appreciated all of the unexpected presents! It really was Katie’s birthday and she let me share her day. My birthday was still 4 days away and I would be in Utah celebrating quietly with Kat at Zion National park.  The party was not quiet especially when my sisters showed up unexpectedly. Kat and those two did an awesome job of sneaking this one past me. It was a great surprise. I appreciate so much all the people that came to the party, it took my mind off the age thing and just made me happy to be there.  It also made me want to go home to Raleigh. We spent Sunday with my sisters and Tracey having brunch, getting pedicures and hanging out at our hotel pool before dinner. Another early flight for us back to Vegas where we would hookup the camper and leave. We don’t usually do that, but we wanted to get settled in near Zion so we would be ready for my birthday.

Best part of getting back to Vegas was finding inside the camper… there were NO ants. Whew!

Off to Zion we go. Ready for some hiking and exploring with a new attitude and sense of adventure.








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5 Responses to Raleigh for a birthday trip

  1. Debbie says:

    Happy Birthday, Bert. You’ve been on the road for a while. I thinks it’s a normal thing to be thinking about putting down some roots at some point. Anxious to hear your decision.

    • bertski3@msn.com says:

      Thanks Debbie. Great to have options and I am sure we will find something fulfilling to do with our time after this fun adventure comes to close-whenever that may be.

  2. Melanie Knisely says:

    Belated happy birthday. My feelings are hurt that I was not invited nor contacted.

  3. Good for you throwing it out there. Nothing wrong with constantly reevaluating your life and I certainly get the feeling that just traveling in and of itself isn’t fun. I feel the same way. I’ll also so it’s pretty common to hit rough patches. Sometimes they pass and sometimes they don’t so it’s great you are talking it through. Love you guys and so glad you were surrounded with love on your almost 50th birthday!

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