Every RV’er has a story to tell about an unfortunate event that shrouds a road trip.  No matter what the event you just hope it doesn’t involve the dump station.

Before we retired, Monty decided to build a street rod.   When he was a teenager growing up in Colorado, street rods were the order of the day.  Drive-ins, drag racing, and cruising the main streets of town were hot times; and cool street rods and hot rods abounded.  If you ever saw the movie ‘American Graffiti’ you know what those years were like in Grand Junction, Colorado.

In the Beginning!

In the Beginning!

In 2001 he found what he was looking for a 1937 Ford.The body was just a carcass but Monty had the vision to see this frog turned  into  a  prince.    He  did  turn  it  into  a beautiful street rod,     the transformation from this picture on the trailer to the showroom street rod he built,  was nothing short of amazing.  Building this car from the ground up was an incredible   amount of work.   It took three years of dedication to accomplish, but it was certainly rewarding.

Getting back to the trip, occasionally we needed to make a parts run to find a missing piece of the car.  On this trip, to Southern, California, we were looking for better doors for a 1937 Ford.  We contacted a guy that was willing to sell some at the right price and off we went.

Monty at the Welder

Monty at the Welder

In the truck with the newest camper, we were on the way to the Los Angeles area when we hit a piece of tire in the road.   Everything seemed fine until we turned off the freeway.  The people in the car next to us  started waving at us and pointing at the street.  We pulled over to the emergency lane to discover a leak in the fuel line and diesel fuel flowing from the fuel tank connection.

We started searching for a place to get out of the traffic and off the freeway.  We found a ‘park and ride’ lot just off the freeway. Good grief, we were spilling fuel all over the place in California, the notoriously environmentally extremist  State.  We needed to get this fixed quickly before the authorities found us and we ended up doing hard time. Monty was under the truck, covered with diesel fuel, hollering for anything that might stop the flow.  I’m in the camper hollering back that we have hangers, plastic bags, old t-shirts, rubber bands and the universal favorite, bread ties. This is a disaster.

After much cussing, Monty got the flow of fuel stopped temporarily and we headed for a Home Depot to get something that will work for a fix until we get home.  Monty is walking through Home Depot smelling like an oil field worker, and I’m afraid someone might light a match and he’ll go up in flames.   He gathered the supplies he needed for the repair and we pulled around back of the strip mall to make the fix.

We were parked with a group of folks hanging out behind the Home Depot. Monty was under the truck tending to the repairs and I  fixed lunch.  When he was through working his magic on the fuel line he needed a shower in the worst way.  We let the hot water heat up while we had a sandwich and he was ready to get cleaned up.

The shower out of the way, and feeling better, he decided to use the shower water to wash any diesel fuel residue down the nearby drain.  Did I mention this is the camper we have only used once or twice?  So he looks it over and pulls the handle for what, in the old camper, was the gray water.  Panic strikes as we realize it is the black water valve and we are dumping toilet paper and whatnots into the parking lot.  OMG this can’t be happening! Monty quickly closes the black water valve and pulls the gray water handle and releases the shower water. It was so awful, we were sure the potty police were on to us.   We were mortified and praying the gray water dump from the shower washed everything away. We didn’t stick around to find out!!

We found the doors we needed for the ‘37 and headed home only to have a  blowout on the truck near Indio. We were on a stretch of highway that had no shoulder,  there was the white line and a ditch.  We can’t get off the road at all. OK, what else could happen? Where can we get off the highway?  We remember seeing a rest stop sign about a mile back, no worries, it should be just ahead.  There it is, at last some good news, NOT! The rest stop is closed for remodeling and the entrance is chained off.  We pull off the highway as far as possible and try to regroup.

We can do this, it’s just a flat tire, until we realize with the new camper it is impossible to get the tire out from under the truck without jacking up the camper first.  Good grief will this nightmare never end?  We get the camper jacked up and the tire drops down to the ground and Monty wrestles it out from under the truck and rolls it to the side.  Did I mention it was about 110 degrees this summer day?  I grabbed a beach towel and tried to hold it to provide some shade while he changed the tire.  He did get the tire changed and we were back on the road and eager to get home. Home sweet home never sounded better.

The first thing Monty did when we got home was design a tool to reach under the truck to let down the spare tire without jacking up the camper. We laugh about it now, but this was just the worst trip ever.

Here She is, the License Plate Reads Cruisin ‘37

Here She is, the License Plate Reads Cruisin ‘37

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