August 20, 2015 My Blog

11th Day Of Trip, 1st Blog

Hi to everyone who has signed up for my blog. The evening before  I left Santa Cruz I took a walk in the neighborhood.  Past KSCO, the coolest radio station in the solar system.  I love that Beach RV is just down the road.

KSCO is where I was introduced to The Alex Jones Show.  I’m addicted!  it’s something you’d just have to listen to to get it.


That night I packed up Augie and started to write a song.  Beach RV has really become a part of my life.  It’s been since Jan 2006.  Pretty strange but perfect at the same time.  There is a mobile home park in Chesterfield and we used to pass it all the time on the way to the Farm.  One time it was just Mom and I, must have been about 1960.  We drove by the mobile home park and I was just fascinated!  It looked so cozy to me and I said to Mom that Id like to live there.  Well, I will never forget her look.  To this day it’s one of the most odd but funny interactions ever between us.  She said, “you would?”  ha ha but the tone of her voice was utter cluelessness. I never really thought it would happen.

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Next morning, one last check up at Hayes European and we were off on the first day of the trip.


All these years, John Hayes has helped me keep Augie up and running.  There are things I could have never figured out without John.  IMG_3547 IMG_3550

First stop was Carol and Bill Ueckert’s.  Carol and I went to  school together at Villa Duchesne  for 8 years, or until I was expelled!  That’s a long story, I still don’t know if it was better in the long run or not.  Here I am to admit it though and the one thing I am sure about is that it was unfair but I’m not so sure there was anything fair about grade school.  Carol invited about 30 of her neighbors and it was a really nice evening.

Augie’s breaks were feeling funny so the next day I took it in to Big O Tires.  3 hours later we had new break pads.Off we went towards Park City.  It was a scary drive through the mountains mainly because Augie does not have much pick-up and I am climbing the hills in the slow lane with the gigantic trucks.  Talk about focus, Jeez!

I stopped in Truckee close to the Nevada border to take a walk.  My legs were shaking and I noticed Augie had lost a hubcap.  It was hot and I was unnerved.  The thought of a hubcap flying off God knows where was upsetting to me but, onward we went.  I was rethinking this idea about taking an RV Trip to mark 10 years since I first drove it west on what was meant to be a summer adventure that turned into a huge, strange, all encompassing  part of my life that I am trying to accept, understand and figure out how to hold onto.

It was a hot, desolate drive through Nevada.  I don’t use the air conditioner because of what happened on the first leg of the trip in July 2005.  It was a heat wave but I went anyway, leaving St Louis on July 18th, a couple of days after Aunt Adelaide’s 90th birthday party.  I made it to Kansas City fine and stayed with my dear friends Patti and Danny Slosburg.  Patti and I were close in high school and this is a friendship that I will always cherish.  It was a great sendoff for the rest of the trip.  Highway 70 was hot hot hot heading towards  Colorado the next day.  I had the air conditioner on low  and kept turning it off until I couldn’t take it anymore, then on for a while, thinking that was the smart thing to do with a 1988 Chevy van.   I headed  up north on a small highway hoping to get into cooler weather but I was dripping in sweat and didn’t know where I was, only that I was in Colo going in basically the right direction.  It was getting to be about 5:00 pm and I was getting just slightly nervous because there was nothing around but strange looking little farm places and the temp was still really hot,  All of a sudden there was a little town.  It was a Sunday and it seemed all closed up.  That was not a comforting feeling.  I was tired and hot.  I kept driving and saw a really classic looking place, The Sunrise Motel,  thinking “I am staying here come Hell or High-water. This is the place for me!   So I turned right into the driveway and as I did, this sound straight out of a Stephen King movie howled from under the hood.  It sounded like someone was being murdered!  At that moment, I didn’t even care.  I parked and walked into this tiny,  dusty, also Stephen King  looking office/house place.  The Sun Rise Motel.  It seemed like an honest place but wow…extremely “lived in”.  A woman came out and I practically begged her for a room.  I said, “there are showers right?” She showed me three rooms before I saw one I thought I could remotely handle spending the night in.  The owner’s name was Fran and she was actually very sweet.  I took a shower and went right to sleep, in my clothes on top of the sheets.  I didn’t care.  The next morning I realized I was one of two guests that night and the other guy had left. Fran was sitting outside at a picnic table and offered me some coffee.  That was so sweet!  We sat there all morning and talked.  That’s something I never would have  normally done but traveling alone is a completely alternate universe, and I’m so grateful for these times.  Getting back to the reason I don’t use the air conditioner in Augie, Fran’s brother came over from somewhere and she asked him to look under Augie’s hood.  The part of me who lives in a fantasy world where everything is easy was  thinking, “oh great, he’ll fix it right up and I’ll be on my way”.  He did do something, I have no idea what it was and I don’t think he did either but I thanked him and off I went.  I called my cousin in Estes Park and said I’d be there sometime that afternoon.  It was a beautiful morning, I was on a flat road and there was no traffic.  Suddenly the steering wheel wasn’t catching and in that same second, the breaks weren’t catching either.  I had just enough time to pull over.  I’d call it my first Holy Guardian Angel moment. I called A.A.A.  I had switched my membership to RV PLUS which I thought was very cool.  The A.A.A. guy arrived pretty soon.  He was looking under the hood and started handing me pieces of belts saying “here’s your problem”. I was speechless.  “So, what are these?”  I asked, feeling totally freaked out.  He explained to me that the air conditioner belt had BROKEN and snapped he power steering/power breaks belt and BROKEN that belt as well. Stunned, I said “why is the power steering on the same belt as the power breaks?  Isn’t that kind of dangerous?”  No answer for that one, its just how they made it.  He was a really nice guy and replaced the belts for me.  That’s why I will never use the air conditioner in Augie again.

That’s a story from the first leg of my trip.  This morning I am in Cheyenne, Wy.. It was a beautiful drive here and I lucked out on the weather and the wind.  I am at a KOA.  I need to leave by 11:00 AM.  Tonight I’m playing a house-concert about an hour away at the home of Kacy Murray.  Kacy and I have known each other since we were young kids.  It’s so cool to catch up after all these years and I’m really looking forward to tonight.  Right now, it’s time to pack up the RV and check out of this campground.

Have a great day and thanks for following me, keeping me company on this 10 year trip.

Love, Sophie