When we last left you, it was Sunday and we'd had a wonderful day playing with Jason, Lindsay & Reagan. And with just a couple more days in PA, we wanted to be sure to get as much time together as we could.
A sleepover was planned for Monday, with Reagan spending the night at the campground. Unfortunately, that didn't turn out so well as Reagan wasn't feeling quite herself and decided to go home after dinner. That was okay. It happens.
Tuesday, Randy & I went to Lindsay's in the afternoon to do laundry, have dinner together, and just be with each other since it was our last day in PA. When it was time for us to leave, it was a little harder than usual. It's always tough to say good-bye for several months, but this time we'd only been there for a couple of months, plus Reagan has gotten to the age where she realizes that we're going to be gone for a long time and she was rather upset. That wasn't easy, I'll tell you. Thankfully, we did get out without tears, but it was still hard.
Wednesday morning we were at the campground office at 8:30 to pay our final electric bill and say our good-byes. We were on our way a few minutes before 9am; with a six hour drive ahead of us, that wasn't too bad. Except for a bad headache on my part, we were moving right along.
Until . .
We crossed into Ohio about 3pm when IT happened. Randy & I heard a “whooosh” and the truck lost acceleration. Randy had the pedal to the floor and all he could get was 30 to 35 MPH going uphill. We were able to get off the highway, into a small parking lot where I started making phone calls.
The first call, obviously, was to CoachNet, our road service. And when you are a fifth wheel rig, the problem is you don't just need one tow truck, you need TWO. And then you have to find a place to have the fiver towed. And not every repair shop can handle an F550 pick up truck
Finally, after many phone calls and about an hour and a half, I had it solved. The truck was going to a dealership 10 meals east of our location and the fiver was going to a state park 17 miles west of our location. Unfortunately, the shop said it couldn't even look at the truck until next Wednesday!! So, I made the maximum reservation at the state park – two weeks for $300. UGH. Of course we also needed a rental car.
Okay. Now it was about 5:30pm and everything was in place. The guy from Enterprise arrived while we were waiting for the tow trucks, so I went with him to get the rental car while Randy stayed with the rig. We had only been gone about 10 minutes when Randy called me to come back. The driver of one of the tow trucks decided to check the engine just to see if he could tell what the problem was.
HE FOUND IT!! Apparently, a clamp on a tube that fed the turbo blew. He said he could go get the clamp and have us fixed and back on the road! And that's what he did.
By 7pm, we were back on the road, heading west to our original overnight site.
I was able to cancel our reservation at the state park, with a fee of one night and the reservation fee. Plus, the tow company, Stonebraker's, only charged us $150 plus tax for two tow trucks, the clamp and the labor.
So, we went from thinking we'd be spending thousands of dollars to fix the truck, stay two weeks in a state park (with electric ONLY), and rental car fees, to just $200!!
I'll take that difference any day of the week.But, let me tell you, it was a rough couple of hours there for awhile.
But, I am grateful for several things. God provided a not-so-humid day so we were not sweltering while we waited for the tow trucks. We are able to get off the highway without incident. The folks at CoachNet were wonderful to work with and allowed me time to figure out how to coordinate the truck and the fiver. Finally, He provided an absolutely fabulous tow company in Stonebraker's Garage.
Randy, the young man, who fixed the truck, is the fourth generation of mechanics at Stonebraker's. Obviously, this family is an ethical, moral one because they taught this young man well. He could have just hooked the truck and towed us to the dealership and been done with us. But, he didn't. He took the time to see if he could help. He saved us who knows how much money, time and aggravation.
If you are ever in Belmont County, Ohio and need vehicle service or towing, please give Stonebraker's a call. They are one of the good guys.
We are now settled at Wolfie's Campground in Zanesville, OH. We arrived about 8:30pm to a great, level pull-thru. We fully expected to be on our way today, but there's a storm coming this way, so we decided to stay put. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay in this same site as there is a group coming in. So, we rivaled Darrell & Judy in the shortest move contest – having to move five sites for tonight. This is a very nice campground; we'll stay here again.
Once again, I am so very grateful for God's provision. The only downside of the whole day yesterday was that we were supposed to meet some of Randy's cousins for dinner last night and couldn't. But, we'll be through here again and will reschedule.
Until the next time . . .