From New England to the West Coast… What Else Can Happen to Us in this Trip?

We encourage our readers to send stories of the way the find “fun around the corner.”  Two of our followers and camping friends have sent us a fantastic journal of the beginning of a 3 months journey through the Southern part of the U.S.A.   Their journey began in New England with a final destination in the Mid-West using the southern States route. They are cataloguing their trip and sending their most memorable moments for us follow.  We may recall that game “where is Carmen San Diego” and as our friends Teri, Mitzi and Mae Mae travel we can ask ourselves Where are Terri, Mitzi and Mae Mae now?  Terri has promised to keep us updated on their journey by sending a few lines of the most memorable moments.  And the story begins in the Winter of 2017……

Mae Mae

Mitzi and Mae Mae started out from Maine to join me in Connecticut on December 19th with a plan to depart for the warmth of an extended fall and return to spring on the 22nd. The itinerary was loose as not to be restricting and yet fixed enough to enjoy the company of friends and relatives over the holiday season. We hooked up, excited and ready to begin a wonderful adventure when after connecting the electric umbilical cord between Ms M and Elliot we tested our lights…Nothing! Our first oh crap moment! Try as we might we could not make it work. So we did what any happy camper would do … After cursing the technician who did the Installation and a solemn prayer..we left promising to get it fixed at the first possible opportunity.

We Left Connecticut with a great deal of traffic that creeped along. It took nearly four hours to reach the border to New York and after driving for two more, in the wrong direction, we stopped in a very nice rest area for the night. No matter how many times I suggested that we may be heading the wrong way as I read signs that welcomed us toward Albany, Mitzi insisted it all looked familiar. After another 60 miles there was a concession once we began seeing mile markers to Canada.

We were feeling very proud of ourselves because we were towing our car for the first time and since we had no troubles…so we thought, we went on with settling in the camper before checking on Elliott, (our 2007 Honda Element) It was around 27 degrees, cold and dark when we went out to run the car for a few minutes only to discover it wouldn’t start…ut-oh. We realized right away that the battery had been drained and we were in for an unwanted adventure. We decided there was not much we could do so waiting til morning and a call to AAA would be the end of our troubles. However, whether it was raw fear or determined self-protection, Mitzi who is a regular weather checker, decided not to divulge that she had learned that there was snow in the overnight forecast.

The morning was cold and clear and now around 23 degrees we made several calls to AAA. We were told Elliott would have to be towed on a flat-bed because they only had a small truck. No matter how we tried, the dispatcher could not hear that the issue was with our car and not the camper. Three calls later and after a conference with her supervisor she understood all we wanted was a jump-start for Elliott. Just as it started to snow and a mild panic set in, the nicest young fellow came to our rescue. It was a relief to find that  a quick jump was all we needed. He tested the battery and were assured it was sound. Being the conversationalist that Mitzi can be, she asked about the problem we were having with our electrical connection between Ms M and Elliot. He was nice enough to give a hard push into the socket on Ms M and our problem was gone. We simply hadn’t used enough force to make the connection. Red faced we thanked him and learned a few lessons on towing in regard to battery disconnect options and rechargeable battery power packs.

We drove all the next day wanting no more than to put as much distance as we could between us and the dropping New England temps. After two days of driving we arrived in South Carolina on Christmas Eve day to join my brother and sister-in-law for another series of lessons learned. We shared our experiences with the most recent being when we got nearer to them in a local gas station. Once stopping for gas I went to start Elliot as is required after a few hours of driving and he was Dead again. This time was especially scary for me because I had put the car in park so there was no moving from that spot.

Mitzi, again, being who she is, made a quick assessment of the patrons at the pump and called into action a young man with a big truck. She advised him that he needed to pull his truck up to our pump causing him to have to maneuver around several other vehicles to jump-start Elliott. He was incredible and kindly helped us. During the time it took to get this done, a man and his wife who were traveling in a separate vehicle with our new friend told us that our signals were crossed. We learned at that time that when we signaled left, our camper was correct but Elliot was indicating a right turn. The Blue Ox technician was likely suffering tinnitus right about then because we were not exactly singing his praises.

It had been a great holiday when we left my brother and his wife on the 27th, after lots of help from him and a wonderful friend of his, we got all of our problems resolved. We left there with our signal wires uncrossed, a new battery disconnect on Elliot and a brand spanking new portable rechargeable battery booster thing. Driving we felt wonderfully empowered which lasted about three minutes. Just as we began to merge onto a main boulevard Mitzi checked the back up camera and asked why is Elliott wavering from left to right? Having no idea what she was talking about we realized quickly that the tow arms hadn’t locked, so Elliott was swinging freely. Thankfully this was a small issue and another lesson learned. We stopped, reconnected, and had an uneventful drive to Clermont, Florida, having by now logged 1,325 miles though eight states.

To be continued……..

Stay tuned to find out if Elliot has behaved for the rest of the trip or if he continues to give trouble to his traveling companions.  No matter what Elliot does it is certain that Terri, Mitzi and Mae Mae will do her best to find fun around the corner.……

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2 Replies to “From New England to the West Coast… What Else Can Happen to Us in this Trip?”

  1. GREAT story and hope to read the next installment!! I am surprised that Mitzi is alive after having you drive so far out of the way toward Canada but then you are so well mannered!

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