As I go through my weekends, I generally start to write my posts in my head as we do things. Not whole paragraphs or anything but lines about different things I see. I try to then take a picture to help me remember or sometimes I will jot a note in my phone. Somewhere along the line the name for the post comes into play and I usually get pretty excited. I like the “First” time doing anything and the best weekends are the ones where I have so many firsts I need to pick one. This weekend was a little different though. The post was going to be “First Time in Tahoe”, but that didn’t happen, then it was going to be First Time Riding the Biz Johnson Trail”, but that didn’t happen either. I’ll tell you why in a bit.
First the week. Things went well. I had some work things going on and Lee spent a ton of time working on the second video for Howard and Linda. We were happy to find out that the first one, an intro to their website, was well received at their most recent rally and as soon as he makes a few tweaks for Howard that one will be done. The second one is on their Utility Body Werks Hauler bed and is more video than pictures which is actually less edit intensive. Since he is doing this editing in our rig, I am seeing first hand how much goes into these videos and it can be fun to watch. I did tell Linda though this week that at one point I had him put on headphones because I simply couldn’t listen to the same audio clip for the 50th time lol. I am not sure how he has the patience for it, but I do believe it is not unlike composing music where every single note counts. I also found time to work on both my new resume and my consulting website. I would like to have both of these done by the end of next week, although that may be too aggressive a timeline, and Cori has been very helpful for both processes in giving me an objective “hiring manager” opinion. It’s nice to have friends! I also had a really long talk with my friend Dr. Jo about how things were going with the transition and she was also very helpful. I didn’t really want to talk to her in a professional capacity because I didn’t want to impose on our friendship, but after talking to Kyrston my oldest one morning I realized I was being an idiot. I am lucky enough to have a friend who is also a psychologist a little over an hour away from me during what is arguably the biggest transition I have been through since becoming a mother and I am not talking to her…just dumb. And of course she was happy to help, I think her attitude was a bit “What took you so long?,” but she understood I needed time to come to it on my own. She was great about validating the importance of what I was going through and let me know the warning signs I should keep an eye out for if things were getting too overwhelming. She also approved the tactic I have been taking of making sure every day I do something that is for my new life. I am making sure I don’t overdo it, but every day I work on something for the consulting business, this website, or work kamping. So despite the short paragraph above, it was a very full week for the both of us and we were really looking forward to the weekend.
A couple of things happened near the end of the week that I should talk about though. Fair warning, the first one is about poop, so if you have a delicate stomach you may want to skip this paragraph. Part of living in a camper is becoming well acquainted with your poop. You deal with it when you dump your tanks, you deal with it in the toilet bowl (water pressure doesn’t flush like a home toilet), and if you are work kamping you probably deal with it when cleaning the restrooms. And after a month, we finally ran into a messy bathroom situation. Lee was down cleaning the restrooms and one of them had poop all over the toilet seat, on the floor and even on the wall some. He thought it looked like someone had not quite made it to the toilet and as he stared at the mess several things went through his mind. He thought there should be limits to what volunteers were asked to do; he wondered if he should call the BLM maintenance person to handle it; and of course he was aggravated because someone left this mess in the first place. Then he thought about how nice this job has been, what a great deal overall it has been for us, and the fact that we knew this might happen eventually. What decided him was the fact that you can’t say you are willing to do the unpleasant job and then not do it, so armed with bleach, gloves, and a long handled scrubber brush he dealt with it. I was proud of him, and hoped that when my time came I would handle it as graciously. I didn’t think it would be the very next day, but there it was. I made the rounds and one of the close bathrooms and one of the farther away bathrooms had poop all over the toilet seats. And of course I didn’t like it, but I did what needed to be done. I don’t think in either case it was deliberate maliciousness, but let’s see how common this will be. Three times in one weekend is a bit concerning. I am talking about this because I want to give a well-rounded account of our experiences and that would be a deal breaker for some people. I will say though if you are unwilling to clean bathrooms it will severely limit your work kamping choices.
The second thing that happened was I started to get some fuzzy vision in my right eye. Over 5 years ago I had an eye surgery called PRK (like Lasik but more intense) that completely changed my life. I went from “coke bottle” thick glasses to no corrective lenses at all and although I have always known it wouldn’t last forever it was worth every dollar spent. I do get nervous about my vision though and really felt after several days I needed to get it checked out. Susanville is a very small town and there is only one optometrist here and he doesn’t take Aetna insurance. But I have a bunch of money in an HSA account and although he doesn’t normally take new patients they made me an appointment at the end of Thursday. He did a very thorough examination and determined I was getting a sty (pimple on the inner eyelid) and then gave me suggestions on over the counter drops to us. He also recommended the 20/20/20 rule since I work on the computer so much which is every 20 minutes take a break and blink 20 times and then stare at least 20 yards away for a few minutes. According to him you normally blink 20 times minute normally, only 10 times when watching TV, and only 5 times when working on the computer. This leads to dry eyes which is exacerbated by the arid conditions here in Susanville. I felt much better after talking to him and felt the $94 dollars was reasonable for the time he spent with me. I do need to get a prescription eye exam and he couldn’t fit me in for 1-1/2 months and we will be gone then. So I will make a trip to Reno for that visit and get my glasses there. One thing I have noticed about small town doctors is they are not lacking in work. I couldn’t get one dentist in town to accept a new patient and even the MD’s seemed overbooked. Luckily we are close enough to Reno that there are tons of doctors there and more have openings.
So, we were really looking forward to the weekend and our long awaited trip to Tahoe. I have wanted to go there every since Lee came home from a work trip about 20 years ago and said I would love it. But when we were getting ready in the morning it started to sprinkle. No big deal I thought, it never rains here and even if it’s here it won’t be there. Well, Lee checked the weather and it was going to rain all day and there were even flash flood warnings. So we decided that we would wait until another day. We could even go during the week when my job ends. Instead we decided to ride the Bizz Johnson trail on Sunday. On occasion Lee takes bikes up the trail for groups (using the BLM truck and trailer), and he was scheduled to make the trip on Sunday with a group from Reno. We thought we would take our bikes along as well and bike the 26 miles back, then take our truck up and retrieve the BLM truck. I was a bit nervous about a 26 mile bike ride since I have never done one but wanted to experience the fall colors and get some shots of the trail. So Saturday we were at loose ends and I went back to my initial list of things to do. Luckily I had one rainy day activity and we drove down to Reno to see Harrah’s automobile collection. Lee loves car collections and since it was only $10 I thought “Why not give it a shot?”. Well I am really glad we did. We had some initial trouble finding it, despite its name it is not in the Harrah’s casino, but a few streets down. It was really great. According to the signs it is considered one of the top 5 museums in the country and I really enjoyed it. The collection focused less on cars of famous people, although they had some of those, and more on the history of the automobile. Plus along the way they had some beautiful displays of clothing from the different eras. Smart really, giving the women something to look at, but to my surprise I also really enjoyed the cars. Each sign had some really interesting information on the cars from the progression of how it impacted the automotive industry. We spent over two hours there and I completely recommend it for a rainy day. I learned a lot and definitely was not bored.
Afterwards we decided to go to In and Out burger. I have heard about them but never been to one and since Lee loves them wanted to try it. I love award shows and I always hear actresses talking about how they go in their expensive dresses to In and Out burger and the lengths they go to to protect those dresses. I understand why now. The burger is a good greasy and actually comes in a paper envelope to help you eat it. Unfortunately I really hated the fact that the bread was crunchy all around the edge. Other than that it was good but the bread ruined it for me. Lee was happy though and I at least I know what all the fuss is about.
Because it was so packed we had parked in the 7/11 next door. We both felt a little guilty about that since signs were posted but its hard to get the truck into just any parking space. Lee decided to buy gas there since we needed it anyways and that made us a customer, but immediately after fueling up the engine started acting funny. Aside from a poor initial alignment, we have thankfully had zero issues with the truck, but the engine started hesitating when Lee was giving it gas. We made it back to Susanville, but were concerned and when he had trouble starting the truck that night, we decided to take it into the Ford dealership on Monday. Thankfully for the first time in my life, I had loaded up on warranties on this vehicle. We bought both the Premium Maintenance Plan – 72 month 125,000 miles for $3150 (which covers all of our routine maintenance including oil changes) and the Premium Care extended warranty 72 month 125,000 miles $3396 (which covers over 500 items, including brake pads and loaner cars). Yes, I know that’s a high price tag but I don’t regret it at all. The peace of mind for 6 years is more than worth it and I had my eye down the road when our income might be much less. But unfortunately we had to cancel the Biz Johnson trail ride because we didn’t want to drive the truck away from town 26 miles, just in case. So Sunday was a football day…loved the Patriots/Colts game, and on the plus side now we have some activities to do after I leave my full time job. This whole thing might be the universe’s way of looking out for me, since a couple of nice activities might just be what I need to help with the transition. And I’ll let you know what happens with the truck repairs.
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