Saturday, May 03, 2014
Our Arrival to Scarborough Almost Didn’t Happen…
We got so busy with working, traveling and going into a deep depression because of the terrible circumstances that we encountered that we have not kept up on our blogging. We will begin where we last left off…
The Mustang 50th Auto Show was not as busy and we had a rainy day but it was fun working with Sandi, David, and Tim and as usual working with Scootaround. This show was a bit disorganized than the Auto Fairs we usually do at the Charlotte Motor Speedway but we did what we could to keep our sanity.
Once that show ended we had laundry, shopping, and had to travel 500 miles to Carlisle so we split it in two days which works for us. The drive was very scenic even though it was all Interstates. We headed north on I-77 to I-81N. A few areas were rough but for the most part they were smooth.
We made it to Carlisle on Tuesday afternoon, just in time for a good wind, rain, thunder and lightning storm. The wind was ferocious our entire time there and we have layers of dirt everywhere in our home and every morning our eyes woke with sand in them. We also had another rain storm come in on Friday about 4:30pm, we close at 5pm. If only that rain would have held off until then we would have been fine but instead we got wet, the scooters got wet and the customers were wet too.
Why do so many people think that during a heavy rain storm as Jerry and I are struggling to get the scooters under cover and to get their id’s back that they feel is the best time to hang out under our tent and try to converse with us? We had to tell several of them that we would love to chit chat with them but we have work to do and if they would kindly step out of the way and out of our tent we would appreciate it.
With only 500 miles left until we arrived in Scarborough, Maine we hoped all the bad stuff that had been following us since February was over but we were so wrong, the worst was yet to happen.
They say, “Life never gives you more than you can handle.” We disagree. With everything that had been going on for us since we decided to make this trek across country back in February we were already at the end of our rope and had tied a knot at the end of it several times already but life had much more for us to contend with and life finally broke our spirits.
We left Carlisle on Monday and planned to stay ahead of the rains that were coming so we would take 300 miles the first day to get to the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut for a play night before heading into Scarborough on Tuesday.
The roads were so filled with potholes and were the roughest we had ever been on and we have been on plenty of bad roads. Then, about 55 miles from our destination while driving on I-95N and about to hit a construction zone where there were no shoulders, Maggie began to shake uncontrollably and we heard a loud noise from under her and then Jerry did all he could to get her pulled off to the little bit of shoulder that was left. She finally stopped a few feet from the barricades but we were not out of danger yet. She was barely off the lane and even though it was feet from the construction zone where speed limit was supposed to be 45, the cars, trucks and semis were zipping by us so hard and making us rock so violently that it felt we were going to tip over. It was so frightening!
Jerry got out to assess the damage and seen our drive shaft about a hundred feet behind us on the shoulder and went to retrieve it. In the meantime I was on the line with Good Sam Road Service to get someone out there to get us off the highway. They suggested we dial 911 to get assistance since we did not feel safe at all and Jerry called while I stayed on the line with Good Sam. The initial call to Good Sam was at 1:30pm and 1:34pm to 911. The State Trooper was there within minutes with lights blaring which slowed down the traffic tremendously. I had been on the line with Good Sam several times trying to get some sort of ETA and they claimed they were having a hard time finding anyone in the area to assist us. After about 45 minutes they said they found a repair shop finally and would then now start looking for a tow truck to get us off the highway. Seriously? I thought they were kidding. I was shocked that they had not even begun to find a tow truck to get us off the highway by this time. After 30 more minutes they advised us they finally found a tow truck and that they would be there in about 90 minutes. Again, we were amazed in the incompetence and unwillingness of them to understand the tremendous danger we were in and for them not to step it up to get us out of it. The State Trooper had been there for over an hour at this time and advised us that they would have to leave shortly. I then started calling tow trucks in the area and on the 2nd call they said they were on their way, something we had wanted Good Sam to do a long time before. Moments later a regular tow truck stopped and said he would at least get us off the highway by tugging Maggie. We were not thrilled with this idea but we had no other choice since the Trooper was getting ready to leave and we would not be safe at all.
Tony, the owner of Tony’s Long Wharf Transport said he passed us earlier and noticed we were NOT in a very safe place but assumed we would be taken care of soon. On his way back out again he seen we were still there and decided to stop and assist and when we then told him where our Good Sam Road Service was sending us over 5 miles away he advised us that it was a Lube & Oil shop, nothing more. By this time we were fed up with Good Sam Roadside Service and were overwhelmed so we allowed Tony to tug Maggie to his shop/junk yard and have them work on her. Longest mile in our lives. Maggie was not strapped in just barely hanging on with all the turns to get us to his location. Tony was calm and had been doing this for years and was making conversation the entire trip and for the life of me I could not tell you anything he said or that we replied back to him. Jerry and I were both dazed, numb and terrified and felt as if we were in a nightmare and just wanted to wake up.
Once we arrived safely and while they assessed the damage, I called Good Sam to cancel. Now remind you, this is well over 2 hours from our initial call to them. Before I could get a word in they wanted to advise me of the name of the tow truck service that would be there within the next 90 minutes. I lost it…told them to cancel and hung up and then cried.
After they checked Maggie out, we were given the good and bad news. The good news was that we retrieved the drive shaft and it was in good shape and that the really expensive part was still intact but we would need to replace two of our U-Joints AGAIN and then the yoke. Bad news was that the yoke was no longer an item they could get from the dealer since it was obsolete and no longer made but they were searching but that we would have to spend the night in the yard.
We were not in the best of neighborhoods and were advised NOT to venture out past the Popeye’s or McDonald’s right next door. But at the same time they advised us that the yard was under 24 hour surveillance and somebody would always be on property.
On Tuesday we found out that the yoke was not available locally but would be overnighted by 10am on Wednesday and they would be able to assemble it when it arrives.
Now try to picture this…we are in a junk yard with our generator not cooperating but finally offered us us some 110 power…thank goodness. But now we are running low on food where we can just eat without cooking or BBQing which neither were options since we were packed in like a sardine in a can. Then we realized we had no toilet paper or wine…we thought we could survive using tissues but nothing to replace for wine. This was not going to be fun! Then the rain began and the frigid temps came in and we had no heat since our space heater would not work on the limited power source. We tried everything to keep strong but we were falling apart and no matter how hard we tried we could not find the good within this situation at all and it just kept getting worse.
Wednesday we woke with hope that was soon shattered when 10am rolled around and no delivery of our part. They called UPS for the status and were told that they would return their call…nothing until finally at 12:30 they were advised that the part had been delivered at 9am but to the wrong address. It was shipped to the local part place that was 26 miles away and it could be reshipped the next day…seriously? Jerry lost it…
After a short time, the girl in the office volunteered to drive and pick it up and the mechanic said as soon as it got there he would get right on assembling it. The final cost was $200 over the original verbal estimate so we had no recourse but to pay what they asked which drained us almost totally. At 4:30pm we drove out in the wind and rain but we were free.
Unable to find any campground in the area, we drove the 55 miles to the Mohegan Sun to boondock in the lot with no generator but we were safe. We wanted to check out the casino since we had heard so much about it and it was as big as we had heard it was. We decided we would take $20 and play, on our first $5 we hit 2 jackpots totaling $300…we took it and had a nice dinner at Johnny Rockets for $20 and then went back to our rig and slept as it rained hard all through night.
The rain finally stopped at about 7am and there was a clearing for our 200 mile drive. We stopped at the Walmart near our destination and picked up a few essentials we needed until we get our first paychecks. We then drove the last 11 miles to our summer destination in Scarborough, Maine and before we could get out and get registered we both looked at one another and cried.
It was a relief cry…we lost a lot of our hope, faith, belief and trust that good things will ever come to us and that we will eventually live our dream life and all those other clichés that have been driving us all of our lives. This 3 month journey was finally over and we believe that there will come a day that we look back at this it and smile and maybe even laugh but we know that day is not today…
NOTE: Letters will be going out to Good Sam Roadside Service as well as to Mead Automotive and RV Repair shop in Blythe, California who replaced our UJoints less than 90 days ago. Somebody will be held accountable for all that we have gone through with this very dangerous experience.