Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Vacation from Hell - Days 1 - 5.

"No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one" ~ Elbert Hubbard

The past three years we have taken a two week vacation to Lake Powell, UT, on Daydream, our C-Dory 25 Cruiser, and we were looking forward to another relaxing vacation of fun in the sun with our friends Jim and Laurie on Laurna Jo. This is the chronicle of how in 2011 darn near everything went wrong. Each day is written looking forward, just the way I chronicled it on the C-Brat website.

Day 1. Friday, September 2. We left Friday afternoon bound for Lake Powell, planning to make our first stop the Hermiston, OR, Wallyworld. We had plotted out the 1,100 mile trip from Walmart parking lot to Walmart parking lot! Unfortunately, the Titan broke down just west of Cle Elum. First the dash lights started acting weird, and the sucker just rolled to a stop, deader than a doornail, less than 60 miles from home. When we got out, we also saw the tailpipe had fallen off, pretty sure that was just a coincidence. Fortunately, there was a wide shoulder on I-90 where we broke down. So we called AAA, and upgraded our membership so the boat could get towed as well. Then we started looking for Nissan dealers. As it turned out, the closest one was Valley Nissan in Yakima. The service writer, Michelle, thought it sounded like an alternator. My guess is a computer control module. I hope Michelle is right and I am wrong!

After about an hour, a 1940s vintage tow truck from Cle Elum Towing showed up. The driver, Leo, was a fair match for the truck, but he was friendly enough. Leo towed the boat to their Cle Elum storage yard, and towed the Titan to Yakima to the Nissan dealer. Leo was all excited about the trip to Yakima, since it meant he could go to Walmart for some new shoes. Since it was now after 5:30 p.m. and Monday will be Labor Day, the dealer can't look at it until Tuesday. Jim and Laurie were waiting for us in Yakima with Laurna Jo, but Daydream is back in Cle Eum. So we start looking for an RV park near Cle Elum, and are pleased to find that Eagle Valley RV Park in South Cle Elum has lots of spaces available. So we ride with Jim and Laurie in their Tundra back to Cle Elum, where Jim drops Laurna Jo at Eagle Valley, and we go retrieve Daydream from the storage yard and get her into Eagle Valley as well.

In the morning we found out why there were so many spaces at Eagle Valley on Labor Day weekend - it is a campground supposedly just for members of the Eagles Club. The manager said not to worry, it was for Eagles and their guests, and we were their guests! In reality, they are open to the general public if they have space. We spent Friday night at Eagle Valley, and were glad to have any place at all.

Day 2. Saturday, September 3. Saturday morning after breakfast at Eagle Valley RV Park in Cle Elum, we had to figure out what we were doing next. Since we would be stuck in Yakima at least until Tuesday, we started looking for an RV park there, and once again, are pleasantly surprised to find that Yakama Nation RV Park in Toppenish has space available. A big thanks to Jim Martinson for playing musical boats! He towed Laurna Jo to the Yakama Nation RV Park, then went back to Cle Elum for Daydream. The Yakama Nation RV Park is really pretty nice,

Daydream on the Hard at Yakama Nation RV Park 9-6-11.jpg

Daydream on the Hard at Yakama Nation RV Park

Day 3. Sunday, September 4. What do you in Yakima? You do winery tours! Today we toured Massett, Windy Point, Piety Flats, Claar and Two Mountains wineries. We had a great lunch at a Mexican restaurant near Toppenish, and finished off the evening with a swim in the RV park swimming pool, dinner and then bed. The pool is supposed to be adults only at certain hours, but it is overrun with kids! OK, we got lemons so we are making lemonade! Powell is out, so we are thinking of diverting to Lake Roosevelt, it is close enough to reach in one day, and we have boated there before and really enjoyed it. Actually boaterhoming in Yakima is a LOT more pleasant than the long drive to Powell anyway! The $64K question is, how long it will take the dealer to get us back on the road?

Day 4. Monday, September 5. Today we went into Wapato for the Harvest Festival, where we saw the Filipino Youth Activities Drill Team from Seattle. It was just hotter than blazes! Back at the RV Park we took two dips in the pool, really refreshing. And the dang kids are finally gone! Tomorrow we will find out about the Titan.

Baxter Barrett Anderson Dog of the Desert - er, RV Park 9-7-11.jpg

Baxter Barrett Anderson, Dog of the Desert - er, RV Park

Day 5. Tuesday, September 6. In the morning, we head off to Yakima to Valley Nissan, where we get the bad news from Michelle - I was right, she was wrong, the main computer is fried. Not only that, the main wiring harness had either been sliced and diced by the prior owner, or had perhaps been mouse eaten, and had simply been taped up and covered with goo. The wiring harness finally shorted out, and that is what took the computer down. So now, we need the computer and the main wiring harness, estimate of $1,900. The parts have to come out of Sacramento, so they won't arrive until Friday and the truck won't be ready until Monday. Michelle suggests we go to Rimrock Lake on the White Pass Highway while we are waiting. We decide to spend one more night at the RV Park and head for Rimrock Lake in the morning. So now it looks like even Lake Roosevelt is out. This is definitely not going well.

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