The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I go on vacation and things break...

My wife and daughter convinced me to go camping for my birthday this past weekend.

I just turned 50...
Of course things did not go as planned.
A blowout on the trailer on 99W, unexpected fuel usage combined with our arrival at the gas station in Mapleton ten minutes after closing time, failure of the trailer lights, and today it rained at the coast.

So what went wrong:
1. The timing of the whole event- I thought I could spare a few days in September. I even planned in advance. Then there was a combine fire and then my employee got sick and it is supposed to rain in two days and now it is time to chop silage. But the campsite was reserved and wheels were set in motion and we went.

2. Thursday things went wrong. We were to leave at 3:30 p.m. I was to fill the truck with gas and hook up the trailer. But things went wrong... Insurance fellow showed up, Major parts supplier representative brought lunch, Uncles old hunting partner showed up, Dad decided he needed to subtract 1919 from 2014 to find his age. No little helper. He didn't show up because it rained, I was incredulous and somewhat short tempered.
 I didn't get the truck full of gas.

The events as the transpired: On the road at 4:30 p.m.
A blowout on the trailer on 99W, it was on the passenger side so it was not too bad.
We passed the last gas station and realized that the gas gauge was dropping really fast.
The low gas light comes on, we stop and drain gas out of the generator and use a safety cone as a funnel.
7:10 p.m. We get to Mapleton to discover that the gas station is closed. Wife checks the bar to see if the other gas station owner is in the bar drinking but he is not. We call AAA.

8:50 p.m. I am really tired of waiting for the AAA guy to hitch hike from Eugene with two gallons of gas and start checking things on the trailer. Discover we have no lights.
9:10 AAA guy arrives in a van label RV service. I ask him if he has any test equipment for checking lights. He says "no." I mean that is actually all he said. "no" Then he got in his van and left. I thought about making another call to AAA.
Instead I crawled under the trailer with a pocket knife and my iPhone as a flashlight.
9:20 I twisted some wire together and got lights. We were on the road...

Had a nice time in Florence. I slept in. My wife's sister and her husband were in the adjacent camping spot. My brother in law is an excellent breakfast cook. We had a nice time.

Plus I got this cool old Calrad volt meter at a yard sale, and a soldering iron, and an axe.


  1. congrats on reaching 50. I have been there and done that. Not much different to turning 60 except that time passes quicker and I move slower. :-)

  2. Sorry things didn't go a little smoother for you, Budd. Still, it sounds like some enjoyment was to be had. Happy birthday, you young whipper-snapper!

  3. happy birthday! and i love this: Wife checks the bar to see if the other gas station owner is in the bar drinking but he is not.

    your wife is terrific. :-)

  4. Mapleton, that's Stamper country, right? Happy birthday and never give an inch!


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