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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 11: Montana to Washington car don't fail me now!

The day began with bright blue skies but soon became overcast as I made my way through Montana and Idaho's infamous passes. As it turned out they weren't that bad. My car had no problem going up or down. In fact, I found myself having to hold back from going too fast uphill. I spent most of the day driving 10 mph below the speed limit, following the truckers instead of the commuters.

This was the one of the three last legs of my journey. But, not nearly the end of my trip as I stayed on in Washington for awhile visiting family.

Upon my arrival in Spokane I backed the trailer up into a driveway, almost flawlessly. I did have help from my Mom and Auntie but even then I had anticipated it taking at least ten tries and a half hour. Imagine our shock that it took me two tries and less than five minutes! LOL

Kitai quickly made himself at home on the white couch where he didn't belong. He knew he wasn't supposed to get on it but snuck over when we were busy talking in the kitchen. As soon as I realized he was gone I just knew where he was. Lucky for him his Grandma is such a softie she didn't have the heart to kick him off even though I told her we should. But he did look kind of sad and forlorn when he woke up from his nap so I could kind of see why she caved.

Speaking of sad and forlorn. One morning I awoke to a thunderstorm at 5:00 AM. I listened to the thunder for a half hour until I thought I heard raindrops. I parted the curtains to see how hard it was raining and what did I see? A huge, white, Great Dane walking down the center of the street in the pouring rain. I grabbed Kitai's 10' tether and went and caught her before she got more lost or hit by a car.

I brought her home and sat with her on the porch for five hours. I could tell she was someone's pet. She was clean, friendly and would cry if you stopped petting her. LOL. She really had my number.

Kitai tried to befriend her but needed to use the porch as a stoop so they could sniff properly.

She had no tag with a phone number so instead of calling him immediately we had to wait. PLEASE PEOPLE: Always keep a tag with contact info on your pet's collar. Of the ten or so dogs I've found lost only a couple have had a tag.

I'd posted her picture on Facebook and my friend Kerri did some research on the rabies tag she was wearing and was able to locate the rescue she had been adopted from years earlier but still no owner contact info. Happily, he came walking down the street looking for her and was relieved to see her safe and sound laying in the sun on the front lawn as the weather had cleared up a bit by then.

Upon my arrival in Washington we noticed that my car was making a bit more noise than it should have been. My Mom thought it was my muffler but our neighbor across the street (who knows cars) came and gave a listen when he saw me laying on the ground peering beneath the car while the engine was running looking for a hole. He thought it could be the catalytic converter because the noise was more centered and not to the rear end where the muffler is located.

So, for the first time since Fred showed me how, I unhitched my trailer. To protect the grease on the ball I covered it with some plastic wrap, fastened it with a rubber band, then covered it with a ziploc bag. Later, Fred would tell me just the plastic wrap would have been sufficient. LOL

On our neighbor's recommendation I took the car to Old Doc's Muffler Clinic the next morning because he said they were trustworthy.

They put the car on the lift and 30 minutes later and $80 poorer my resonator had been replaced due to the rust spot that had blown a hole somewhere between Bozeman and Washington. I would definitely recommend Doc's if you need your muffler checked. They were fast, affordable, and most important to me, knowledgable and ethical. They didn't try to jack up the price or add on more work. They said 30 minutes and $80 and that's what they did.

As long as it was car day I also swung by a Jiffy lube to have my fluids topped off. Turned out I'd already gone over the 3000 mile maximum since my last oil change so they couldn't top me off for free. I'd already purchased a quart of oil in case I didn't make it to a Jiffylube in time so the mechanic there offered to pour it in for me. Which was really nice because he had a funnel and didn't make a mess at all the way I would have.

Back at my mom's house we sat in her living room watching a nest of baby sparrows being fed by their parents. They were so cute! It's the second clutch they've raised this year.

I nicknamed the one on the right Baby Bigmouth because it was the most aggressive of the bunch at feeding time.

So cute! The parents had built their nest through the gap created by a missing roof slat.

Just a couple of days later the babies looked bigger. . .

Later that same day they fledged, first hanging out in the vine near their house. later flying into a nearby tree.

Not to be outdone by a bunch of birds, my Auntie sent over photos of the baby fawn and mama deer that had moved into her residential neighborhood. Eeeeeek! So cute!

I also attended Hoopfest for the first time. What began as a very small, local basketball event decades ago has now become the largest event of its kind in the country. Basically downtown shuts down for a day as thousands of people come to shoot hoops in taped courts lining all of the arterial downtown streets for blocks.

"The numbers are in....7,070 teams, 27,896 players, 454 courts, 492 brackets, 3,000 volunteers on 42 city blocks. We are planning exciting things for our 25th Anniversary! We'll see you next year!"

The action shot of me taking pictures with my iPhone fisheye lens is courtesy of my Auntie.

One of the few excursions I made was to visit a Cabela's store. It's a huge outdoor boating, camping, and hunting company. What I didn't expect was there would be so many taxidermied animals on display. It was like being in a museum of natural history only the dioramas weren't behind glass and there was charge to come in and see the displays.

When my visit drew to a close I ran my safety check on my trailer then stopped at a gas station to check my tire pressure. Fred had stressed to me the importance of keeping my car and trailer tires properly inflated. He'd done all the calculations for the weight of the trailer, my car, and the load and simply told me what to fill to. My trailer, front, and rear car tires all had different amounts. I didn't have a tire pressure gauge so we went and bought one while I was in Michigan. It looks like a stop watch and works much better than the little stick kind that blows the reading out the top kind of like a giant thermometer.

I stopped for gas but things were't going to be quick or simple. First off the station I chose had placed their air in a small alcove that I had to parallel park into. Eeek gads. Seriously. I went slow and took my time. Done!

Thinking the worst was over I tested the air hose, felt and heard air coming out of it and proceeded to fill my tire. Instead, I only let air out. Confused I was trying to figure out what was wrong... Was it the pump? The tire pressure gauge? The valve on my tire? Finally I looked up in exasperation and noticed that I had to PAY FOR AIR. Doh! That little hiss I'd heard when I tested the line must have been the last burst of pressure escaping from the previous customer.

Finally on the road I drove all day. Here's the view from my rearview mirror. The trailer is more narrow than my car so it's pretty easy to see around it.

I drove by wheat farms, a tree farm, jaggedy rock cliffs. . .

Alongside the Columbia River. . .

And through the forests of Oregon.

A picturesque moment was seeing an Airstream with Mt. Hood in the distance. It made me smile which was easy to do because I hadn't run into any bad weather or traffic so it was an easy day of driving. Though, while in Spokane I did suffer through a 100º heatwave. So The Glampette had traveled through torrential rain, lightening, thunder, and hail storms, a 40º night in Montana, and a 100º heatwave in Washington. I couldn't have hoped for better weather testing during the second half of June.

My destination that night was the Hi-Way Haven RV Park. I arrived just before it got dark out and immediately met my neighbors who had a 19' Airstream. Hey! It just occurred to me that they could have been the Airstream I saw on the road that day.

This was a great RV park. My favorite so far. I'll show you why tomorrow. I think you'll get as big a kick out of it as I did.

It hadn't yet hit me that the next day would be the final day of my trip. Once I did realize it I felt like the way Kitai looked on the couch, kind of sad and forlorn. Even though I missed hubby and home I hated that my grand adventure was coming to an end.

To be continued.

To follow my Michigan or Bust road reports here they are:

Days 1-3: Picking up my tiny travel trailer: 2364 miles to happiness :)
Day 4: Be still my glamping heart: The cutest vintage grill ever!
Days 4-8: Meeting Fred and The Glampette for the first time
Welcome to The Glampette: A peek inside
Day 8 Part 2: Around the lake and on to Wisconsin Wine Country
Day 9: A suspenseful night at the Kennebec KOA
Day 10: It could have been worse
Day 10 continued:  Overnight at a Walmart, a traveler's rite of passage
Days 11: Montana to Washington car don't fail me now!
And my favorite RV Park was: Hi-Way Haven in Sutherlin, OR
4974 miles later our adventure comes to an end

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