The morning after ‘the problem’ was quiet with some discussion of the events of the previous day on highway I-10. Lynda and I and maybe even Buddy were still experiencing some after shock. Neither of us had slept much, for myself, after replaying the previous day many times in my mind while trying to sleep I got out of bed to clear my mind.
In the wee hours, after replaying the events I realized I had forgotten the kindnesses shown by various people. The highway worker who picked up my wheel and returned it to me, the highway patrolman who stopped by to check, and suggested I sit in my truck with my seat belt on while waiting for the tow truck, for safety I guess.
While sitting in my truck waiting for the tow truck I had been watching him stop cars on the other side of the freeway, I presumed he was issuing tickets to speeders until he saw my rig on the shoulder and came by to check.
The man from Good Sam who was sympathetic and very thorough expediting the initial report and contacting the tow truck company.
Good Sam Roadside Assistance has a December sale click the link to check it out. Good Sam Roadside Assistance with $15 in Store Cash!
Then the two tow truck drivers who risked their lives stepping out into the freeway traffic many times while hooking up my trailer and loading my truck onto the flat deck of the tow truck. A very dangerous job.
Last but not least thank you to the rest of our group who took my family with them and did so much by offering their support and a friendly ear.
Many thanks to these considerate friends and strangers for their help. It is very comforting to know we are never alone during our time of need.
No matter how I tried to interpret what had taken place I kept returning to the fact that I should have stopped my truck and checked the wheel, although if the hub cap had been still intact, I may not have noticed anything wrong.
‘H’, ‘R’ and I had gone over the events several times and although we did agreed that I should have stopped, we were not sure a quick inspection would have revealed any problems with my wheels.
One conclusion did arise from my breakdown, a pre-trip check before heading down the road or continuing on a journey should be the top of every travelers list. We were all aware of checking our towable’s wheel lugs, tires, brakes, and hitches, but when checking our tow vehicle fluid levels, and maybe tire pressure were the only items considered.
That has changed, we all look at our wheels and tires with a greater respect.
The service person from Jessop (the Chev dealer) was already on the case and called me about my truck just as the tow truck was dropping my travel trailer at our camping spot. He took my information and said he would be in touch the next morning as soon as he had a quote on the damages.
It was mid-morning when my cell phone rang, it was the serviceman from Jessop. He said that there was a lot of damage and they would need to order parts, my truck should be ready by Thursday or Friday (3 to 4 days).
Then the cost………….. $2500……… Lucky he stated the needed repairs and the estimated time the repairs would be completed before he dropped the $2500 bomb,………… I didn’t here a word after that.
After I ended the call and picked myself off the floor I remembered what everyone had been saying, “no one had been hurt or worse”, this is what I focused on, money & vehicles are replaceable and repairable, but family, not so much. Besides I was not in a position to negotiate, I was in a strange town with not many options.
From this time forward I tried to focus on the positive and our adventure that laid ahead and put the accident out of my mind.
We were fortunate that Cahuilla Lake was an extended stop. When planning the trip my thought was by the time we reached the warmth of the Palm Springs area and had traveled some 2000 miles we would be in need of some down time. This thought was dead on the money.
Cahuilla Lake is a picturesque reservoir with a desert mountain backdrop and well placed trees, picnic tables, and fire pits. Washrooms and pay showers ($1 for 3 minutes) near by make dry camping very tolerable.
Located in La Quinta California just east of Palm Springs, to get there take exit 137 or 139 and travel south for about 10 miles on Jefferson or Washington Street. Check the map, the lake is located between the streets on a dead end road.
Dry camping is $75 per week, add $100 for water and electrical hook ups, a central sani-dump and fresh potable water tap is close by.
Cahuilla Lake is an good place to stop for the night or a week or two, although it is not close to amenities is is quiet at night and not bad during the day except for the sherrif dept. shooting range at the west end.
The man made reservoir is large, about 1 mile across although swimming or water sports is not permitted.Many species of water fowl make the lake their home, as well as Big Horn Sheep can be seen drinking from the lake.
Fishing from the shores seems to be popular, although one angler I spoke with mentioned that the lake is stocked periodically, The word quickly gets out, people flock the lake and it quickly is fished out, he did not seem impressed.
Hiking around the lake is scenic and popular. An equestrian campground is located at the west end, from this spot riders can enjoy the mountain trails.
We were not able to do ATV excursions during this stop, my ATVs were still on my pickup in the shop. I however, spotted an area just east of our camp that had ATV tire tracks. Maybe we will try it next time we stay here.
One afternoon another traveling couple from Canada pulled in next to us, we watched as they settled in. I couldn’t help but notice their TV satellite dish on the roof, It seemed to be automatic although lost as it circled around searching the sky the right satellite.
I wandered over and struck up a conversation with the lady, she looked in her late 60’s. She was friendly but her partner not so much he didn’t have time even for a nod, I thought……….hmmm rude.
The lady explained how they were stopping for a night or two and then heading to San Felipe, Mexico to camp on the beach for the winter, $300 a month I think was her quote for dry camping. I made a mental note of this for future reference. I invited them to join us for happy hour, they didn’t take us up on my invitation………I was not surprised.
Our week was spent reading, hiking, and relaxing when we were not taking the 30 mile trek to check on my truck. I took this time to do some maintenance on our trailer, more correctly to keep my mind off the accident and the repairs to my pickup. I lubricated the slide out rubbers, the stabilizer mechanisms, checked the tires and what ever else I could think of to keep my mind occupied.
We all enjoyed some amazing meals the women prepared for us, Chinese food was a hit as well as a new and unusual taco idea. They made tacos with hard shells and then wrapped them in a soft tortilla. It was excellent, it had the crunch of the hard taco, but the soft tortilla kept the toppings from dropping on your lap, as was always my previous experience. Thanks to ‘L’ & ‘R’ for the suggestion.
The week wore on and once the repairs were completed on my truck my emotions subsided and the nightmare of the accident began to fade.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and it helps with traveling ideas, Watch for my next article on our trip.
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