On a chilly, gray day, towering “palm trees” bordered a gas station in Colby, Kansas. Parrots perched on the branches.
The sight of palm trees stirred hopes for warmth, sunshine, and easy living.
We needed that emotional boost when, after filling the tank, the engine wouldn’t start! And the Spirit of Sunrise needed a boost too!
The station attendant called a towing service. A cable was loose! (How did the guys miss that yesterday?) And the battery was dead, dead, DEAD!
Gary, the service guy’s tip: Check your cables and other connections first.
Minutes (and several dollars) later, we were on the road again, with advice to get the alternator checked in the next big town. A few miles down the highway, the sun broke through the clouds.
Since our plan to spend a couple of nights camping in Denver didn’t work out, we decided to start our voyage a day early. Mid-afternoon on Saturday, September 19, 2009, we launched our maiden voyage in the Spirit of Sunrise. For peace of mind – and heeding Lesson 1 — we made reservations for two nights at Mid-America Camp Inn, a quarter mile off I-70, in Goodland, Kansas.
The sun was shining. The road was clear. And the Spirit of Sunrise purred down the highway. “We’re about to pass a vehicle for the first time,” David said, and with David at the wheel, our trusty RV did it with ease. A major “right of passage” achieved!
Less than a hour into our journey, the transmission made odd sounds, the cruise control stopped working, and the “Service Engine Soon” warning light came on. What? We had everything checked out, right? Something was amiss. I distinctly remember writing a couple of hefty checks to get everything road ready.
We decided to keep heading for our destination and hope for the best. Fortunately, we made it to Mid-America Camp Inn just after dark. After hooking up by flashlight, we jotted down another lesson for RV happiness: Always arrive at your site in the daylight.