Tuesday, December 9, 2003 I’m back now. I’m okay. I think.
We miss him. Yesterday, I took the leftover syringe/needles and insulin to the vet’s office. They’ll have more use for it that we will. The insulin was a bottle we just bought the Sunday before we left. Costco pharmacy was closed and we paid ten dollars more for it at Rite-Aid. It only had a few doses taken from it. I still find myself looking for dog poops when I walk in the backyard, although they’ve all been long picked up and disposed of by now. And I miss having him come in when the doors are open during the day. When we get back from our morning walks, we miss seeing him come running up to us. *sigh*
We talked about new dogs, maybe next spring. Two, puppies, we don’t want any larger than thirty pounds. We’ll get them from the Humane Society, not from a breeder. Mutts are just fine with us. And I’m sure they’ll have a better chance at a longer life, now that we know what not to do. Don’t overfeed and don’t freefeed. The vet is very sure that Junior has had pancreatitis for a long time, most likely what brought on his diabetes. We have just been lucky, I guess. Well, their diets did change radically when Buddy was treated for pancreatitis so many years ago. That most likely kept Junior’s under control all this time. Thinking back on it, Junior’s immune system had been sluggish this year. The cancerous tumors removed from him earlier this year, then the nasal infection he had last month. The vet says we gave him two good years. The vet actually sent us a condolance card, something he hasn’t done in quite a while.
Junior’s ashes will be sent directly to the house, so I won’t have to go to the vet’s office and pick them up.
We had a really nice time on our vacation. It got off to a really sucky, start, though. REALLY sucky. So bad, that I just wanted to come home.
We drove to Kingman Arizona on our first day out. Got gas in Needles, California. The tank was getting low and we didn’t know how far to the next station. First mistake. It was considerably less a gallon in the next state, Arizona. Not even ten miles later. :cussing
We had dinner at a Burger King in Topock, AZ. I had some sort of chicken sandwich and horrible, nasty fries. I really don’t like the fries with that funky coating so many fast food places have on them, maybe it’s because I’m not a big fan of salty seasoning; whatever it is, it sure has cut down on my consumption of them. No way would I even try to finish these. Then we got on our merry way. The little Broncomobile was running smoothly and we were on a hill on highway 40 east. Around the five thousand feet elevation sign, Brian looked more concerned than he should have, in my estimation and he ended up stopping the Bronco. He let it roll back onto the shoulder, next to the guardrail. Semi trucks were speeding by at 75 and 80 miles an hour. This was around seven/seven thirty Monday night. It was cold. Brian kept the Bronco running (remember, we had a full tank of gas) and the flashers on. There was absolutely no cell service. Not on either phone (big duh). I had some nasty words for the “can you hear me now?” guy.
It was an adventure for the first hour. The second hour, I started to get worried. I started to get nervous. I started to think of all the awful things that could happen. I started to cry. :cry
Brian held my hand. I told him everything that was going through my mind (you know how I’ve said my mom thinks too much? Well, I do the same thing when I’ve got nothing better to do). We were so close to the guardrail that I couldn’t open my door all the way and two feet on the other side of that guardrail, was a very, very steep dropoff. We were on the other side of a bend and some of those trucks came mighty close to the little Bronco with the two nervous humans inside. One a lot more nervous than the other. I told Brian he should start flashing people (with the brights, not his weenie, *lol* although I don’t doubt we’d have seen a cop a lot more quickly; as it was, we never saw even one) driving by, I mean, it’s dark outside, right? There are no lights on inside the Bronco (I did bring some pencil/word activity books along, but got bored with those quickly). You can’t see our two heads. It got later and later. Around eleven, Brian decided to try to nap. I couldn’t. I sat there and watched the reflection of the lights as they came around the bend in the passenger’s rearview mirror. He probably napped around a total of an hour. About midnight, two vehicles pulled up in front of us and Brian hurriedly put on a jacket (it was COLD outside) and he went up to them. When he was about a hundred feet away, they drove off!
Brian finally decided to get pro-active and he started flagging folks down. Only three stopped. The first was a sedan with one man in it and he didn’t have a cell. Brian asked if he would please call 911 when he got to a place that had a phone. The next was an old VW bus and they did have a cell. They offered us a ride and Brian passed, just asked if they would call 911 when they got into an area where they got service. Then a semi stopped and this was really strange. He offered Brian a ride. Brian turned him down, said he didn’t want to leave the Bronco with his wife in it. “Bring your wife.” Brian still didn’t want to leave the Bronco with all our stuff in it. “No one is going to stop for you up here” the truck driver told Brian (hey, you stopped didn’t you, you big weirdo!). Brian asked if he could make a call. Nope, the driver couldn’t stop to make a call. But he could let us pack stuff in his truck and he would take us to a hotel? And don’t these trucks have radios? Of course, I understand that he might jeopardize his job by calling, but he can give us a ride somewhere? It just made no sense. Brian thanked him for his offer, but passed on it. Thank God.
About two Tuesday morning, a tow truck pulled up in front of us. We’re saved! Yay!
It took a little over an hour to get the Bronco loaded up on the trailer and back to Kingman. The driver asked Brian if he could pay for this before he loaded us up. If not, they would haul the Bronco for us, but keep it hostage until we could. Brian told him there was no problem, we could pay. It seems that the call about a stranded motorist came from police dispatch. As I understood it, if the police had actually stopped for us, it would have cost quite a bit more in tow charges. It was $168.00. Brian just gave the guy $200 and called it even. We had some pretty interesting conversations on the way back to town. One of the men, when coming over the hill and seeing the town of Kingman spread before us, lights twinkling, said “Welcome to Kingman Arizona. The world’s largest trailer park”. :laugh Anyway, we took the Bronco to the local Ford dealership in Kingman, then we were taken to a pretty nice motel. It was about 4:30 Arizona time (an hour later than California) when we finally got to sleep.
At 7:30 am, I was wide awake. I got in the shower and Brian started making calls. We needed a vehicle, that was for sure. He called Enterprise (sorry, can’t take the vehicle out of the tri-state area, the tri-state area being Arizona, California, and Nevada), cost .25 a mile over 1400 miles. Way too much $$$. He tried Hertz (the only thing they had was an Expedition for $600.00 for a week…*koff). He tried Budget (no SUVs) and some other places that weren’t located in Kingman, but in Laughlin. By this time I was out of the shower and we discussed our option. Which was the $600.00 (unlimited miles) for the Expedition. No way I want to spend my first vacation in seventeen years in Kingman Arizona! Brian called them back and they said they’d deliver the vehicle around ten that morning. Brian and I got packed up, then went down to the lobby of the hotel, where we had a pretty nice continental breakfast (Brian checked it out before I did, said all they had was some cold cereal; he was wrong, they had pastries, oatmeal, muffins, hard boiled eggs, different kinds of juice, milk and coffee). The Hertz lady showed up (funny story; she told us that she used to jokingly tell folks that people lived in Kingman because they got stuck there—after this she did some research and found it wasn’t really all that funny, that fifteen percent of the residents of Kingman are there because they got stranded there), drove us to the Kingman airport, then once all the forms were filled out, we were on our way over to Ford.
Brian talked to the service department while I moved most of our stuff from the Bronco over to the Expedition. Now, this Expedition was top of the line, had most of the bells and whistles. One, being doors that automatically lock after the tires have gone so many revolutions. Brian couldn’t figure out how to get the back door open. I did. I unlocked the doors. *lol* (This automatic door locking turned out to be a form of entertainment as the trip progressed.) Brian got a tentative cost of $1200 to $1600 to fix the car. He’d call them after lunch to find out a better estimate, after they’d had a chance to look at it.
All packed up, we made one last trip to the hotel, took advantage of the clean restroom before what turned out to be a very long drive. We drove all the way to Durango, Colorado (on only three hours of sleep). But first, we made a stop.
The Grand Canyon!
We cruised around it for a couple of hours, stopping and taking pictures (which I’ve got tons of and when I get all my other pressing projects done, I’ll put up in a photo gallery; might take a while) and some video (which I haven’t seen yet). It was driving around the Grand Canyon when Brian got the final estimate for the Bronco. $2,660.00!!!!! Put him right in a funky mood, but that gorgeous canyon finally got the best of him and he gradually got out of the bad mood.
Well, the trip was pretty uneventful from there on out. We ran into a little snow on our way to Lake City.
But after that first day, there was no snow and the days became milder (our first morning at Lake City, it was ten below zero) and it was quite pleasant. This is the house where we stayed:
And we saw deer in the town and in one person’s front yard:
From what Joanne, my sister-in-law said, the neighbors at that yard aren’t any more happy with the deer, than our neighbors are of the ferals around here.
Lake San Cristobal, for which Lake City was named.
Joanne is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and we have so much in common. Stephen is really nice, too. Both were very gracious. I had a really nice time and if I was an orphan, I wouldn’t mind moving up there. It’s so nice and quiet and the people I met were really nice. And Brian had the best steak fajitas he’s ever had in Ca?on City. We had Mexican food on our trip. We had a lot of Mexican food. *grin*
As I said, I’ve got lots of pictures, I’ll put them up in a gallery soon.
We left Monday, December 2. Drove to Kingman, checked into the same hotel. The next morning, we went back to Ford and the transmission wasn’t done. Ford had sent the wrong one. Which was for the best. Brian said “cash me out, I’ll come back and pick it up and get it fixed in San Diego”. That was only $236.00. Then we went over to Hertz and made arrangements to keep the Expedition for an additional week. This dropped the previous rate and we got it for two weeks for $851.00. Something we hadn’t planned on, that’s for sure, but what was the alternative? We will save money by having the Bronco fixed here.
Brian and Mark left last Friday afternoon, Mark in Brian’s diesel pulling the trailer to haul the Bronco back and Brian in the Expedition (it was too big to put on the trailer). They got home Saturday night, around 9:30.
Some other sad news. Repete is gone. We haven’t seen him since we’ve been home. Becky said she didn’t see him, either. The Heartless Bastard’s cat has been over here for dinner and I saw a collar on him. My first thought was people are trapping again, but the next night, I noticed the collar is a reflective collar. I think Repete might have been hit by a car. KittyMeeze, Little Bit and SpotTee are around, though. And guess what? That tortie we trapped and got spayed earlier this year? The one who ended up in quarantine because she bit a tech? She’s back.
Our new cats are getting more settled in every day. Sagwa has taken over the catcam chair. Wally will follow me around when the mood strikes him. Potter loves to be outside. I’ve noticed he doesn’t run in a straight line, but in a curve. I think it has something to do with the missing back leg. Marco has gotten lots more verbal. And lots more affectionate. He likes to lay on the arm of the sofa, next to me. He’s got a huge purr.
All the cats were glad we were home and, I think, even more happy to be back outside. Well, who can blame them? Not me, that’s for sure.
Well, I’ve got three calendars to design by Friday. I’d best get to work if I intend to get them done.