And Now For the Rest of the Story
Jul 31, 2018
|I’ll never forget hearing that distinctive voice on the radio while growing up. Paul Harvey. He would come on the radio and tell stories...about life. But his stories always had a story behind the headlines (the REST of the story). And, it usually tugged at your heart. His ending was classic. This is Paul Harvey...good DAY!
I bring this up because this is the story behind the story. If you read the blog about the first half of this trip, then you know me and the pups took off in Gypsy with no plan and the intention to stay the entire trip in Gypsy (a first!). You also know that leaving anywhere without a plan makes me VERY uncomfortable. And, indeed, this trip certainly proved that.
Yes, we saw some amazing sights. Yes, it was fuel packed with adventures everyday. And yes, we survived (with Presley in tact) staying in Gypsy. But, it was not without its complications, challenges and oh so many...opportunities! :)) This is the story behind the story.
It started back in Santa Fe when I ran out of dog food. Yes, you would have thought I would have been better prepared, but four days into the journey, I’m looking for a PetSmart. And, I find one in Santa Fe. I buy the dog food I typically purchase and we take off.
A couple of days later, in our first stay in a hotel in Santa Fe, it begins. We just checked in and are walking to the room (mind you, holding two dogs and several bags) when I look down in time to notice that Ossy has pooped along the outside corridor to our room. Never stopped walking...just let it go in the process. I’m horrified. I throw the pups in the room, drop the bags and run back out to pick up the droppings (yes, there were several). That evening as we are preparing for bed, Ossy has his first episode of regurgitation...all over the rug.
I had noticed Presley was not eating her food, but this is not unusual behavior for her when we are traveling. So, I really hadn’t thought much about it. But, after several days of this same behavior...not eating much from Presley and nauseous outburst from Os, I knew something was wrong with the food. We are in Durango by now, so I look for a pet store. No PetSmart here, but I find a pet store that offers a premium brand we have used and I purchase some more food.
Durango was a town I was anxious to visit and it was really hot the day of our arrival. I walked the pups down the historic section of downtown, but it was just too hot for them. So, we headed back to Gypsy, where I turned on the generator to provide air conditioning for them while I explored some more. Generator comes on as it should, but no air. What?? It worked every evening, but no luck no matter what I tried. Too hot to leave the dogs and too hot outside for them. So what’s a girl to do? She leaves Durango and heads to a campground for the night. I had tried to make some online reservations the night before near Durango, but never got a confirmation from the place (even after calling several times), so we headed 30 miles west of Durango and found an awesome campground on a ranch near Mesa Verde National Park. Perfect!
With the change in dog food, Ossy seemed better and Presley was eating. All was good. Right?? Spent a fantastic day driving through Mesa Verde and the generator and air worked so I got to get out and explore the cliff dwellings some while the pups stayed in the cool air. The plan was to head to Telluride the next day, but I texted my buddy Jules that lives in Golden and mentioned it would be a tragedy not to see her while I was in her home state. She concurred and we made a plan to meet in Colorado Springs on Sunday. I checked my Bring Fido app to find a hotel (not enough room in Gypsy) for us all to stay and by golly, it mentioned The Broadmoor. Oh, we must! With a room secured, I reevaluated my travel plans knowing I had to be in Colorado Springs on Sunday morning.
I was still determined to see Telluride, which a friend had told me about and sent me some suggestions for places to visit while there. It was a 2 hour drive north from where we were outside of Durango. That night, the hurling began again for Os. We were out in the middle of nowhere so my options for feeding were limited. I also noticed that evening that the RV Park in which I had made an online reservation (but never confirmed or returned my calls) had charged my credit card. I call, and of course, there is no answer. I leave another message.
The next morning, we are packing up to head to Telluride when I see a notification from my credit card on my iphone. The same RV Park charged my card again! Two charges. I call immediately and leave another message, but by now, I’m very frustrated. I thought of my options. Head to Telluride and hope they call me back sometime, or drive back through Durango and go see them in person (a drive that would take us 1 hour out of our way). I knew if I did this, I would have to forego Telluride because it was too far west when I had to go east towards Colorado Springs.
If you know me, you know what I did. I drove to the RV Park. I must admit, the views on the drive were amazing. The RV Park was packed and the setting was lovely. But, the lady working the desk was clueless (I’m actually being kind here). I left having zero confidence my issue would be resolved (I was right). And, I missed Telluride. But, we ventured on and came across Ouray, Colorado. WOW! Just driving through the town and seeing the sights was worth the detour as it was one of the most beautiful towns I have ever seen.
We journeyed on and decided to stop at the Royal Gorge bridge outside of Canon City. Once again, I could not get the air to come on with the generator so I had no choice but to take the dogs with me. Fortunately, the place was very dog friendly. We were having a great time looking at the views, taking pics, and walking on the bridge when it decided to rain. And, I mean a downpour. We are in the middle of the bridge. There is no place to get under cover, so I start running. Presley is right with me. But, not so much with Os. His arthritic legs would not allow him to run.
By the time we reach Gypsy, we are all three drenched! We just get in when Os’ stomach can take no more and he lets it rip...inside Gypsy. Now, put yourself in a very small space with two very wet dogs and some regurgitation, and you can only imagine the smell. No, I’m not sure you really could. I couldn’t open the windows because of the rain so I had to bear it.
We take off from the Royal Gorge and look for a place to stop for the night. We are close enough to Colorado Springs that the timing would be perfect to meet Jules the next day. But, every place we stop or call is booked. We keep driving. Next thing you know, we are in Colorado Springs. It is after 6:00 p.m. so I look for a Walmart.
We find a Walmart near a Starbucks and MOD Pizza (I was starving). Perfect. But, as we get set up at the Walmart, I start to look more closely at our surroundings. Trash everywhere. Several RV’s, but I’ll just say they were not the type we were used to being close to at campgrounds. And, lots of semi’s with their generators running (loud). We move over to the Sam’s Club next door. I don’t feel any better. I look on my freecampsites website and see a Bass Pro Shop...30 minutes north. We take off.
What a difference! Parking places specifically for RV’s to overnight and some very nice RV’s. No semi’s. We set up and find another Class B next to us. I visit with them for about an hour about our “homes”. I walk the dogs and Os has his usually barf (albeit not much) and we go to bed. At 2:00 a.m. I hear loud beeping. Oh no, the dogs will freak! I jump out of bed to find the low voltage meter beeping. I check my voltage battery and yep, it is extremely low. I start the engine to recharge it. The beeping stops, the dogs are ok, so I lay down while the engine runs. I fall asleep and an hour later (with the engine still running), the beeping starts again. What the &$@@!
I decide the only way to quiet the beeping is to turn off the house battery (which means all electricity, fridge, air, etc.). The beeping stops and I go back to bed. The next day, I realize why the beeping. When I stopped driving, I left the fridge on battery instead of switching it to propane. Yes, I’m an idiot!
We check into the Broadmoor and I can’t remember the last time I was in such luxury. I immediately get the dogs settled and jump in the shower (not going to admit how long it had been) before I meet Jules for lunch. I settle the dogs into Gypsy, and meet Jules for a great lunch at the Golden Bee. We then have a luxurious pedicure at the Spa and head back to our room. We decided to leave the dogs in the room later that evening while we went to grab some dinner. I was a nervous wreck (what would Presley chew up? Would Os get sick?) and we walk into our room to numerous (6 to be exact) piles of vomit. Massive amounts...on the carpet...in the Broadmoor!! I’m more than horrified.
After clean up (Jules was a trooper and helped me as if they were her own pups), we decided to stroll the grounds with the pups. We ended up on a lovely patio where the waitress said we could sit with the dogs and she would bring us drinks. We were next to the patio dining, which was full. We no more sat down when Ossy walked over to the walkway and let ‘er rip again. Yes, you could have killed me right at that moment. But, being the Broadmoor, they were amazing. We had it cleaned up within minutes and the dogs became popular guests of all that journeyed next to our table. I just knew we were going to get thrown out.
But now, it was time to get Os home. Something clearly was not right even though I had purchased new food. I researched and bought some yogurt (as well as his daily pumpkin) to put in his food. That helped...some.
After a great visit with Jules and a few days in Colorado Springs, we started the process of heading south back towards OKC. I researched things to see on the way, and have to admit, some of the stops were my favorite of the trip. We stopped in Pueblo and toured the Riverwalk. We stayed in Raton, NM and visited the Robocop Miner Statue. I decided to take the backroads to Amarillo, and as we were leaving Raton, I saw a sign for the Capulin Volcano National Monument. What a find! It was glorious! But, as I was hiking to the top of the monument (the dogs had to stay in Gypsy), Ossy was desperately trying to get out of Gypsy. Don’t look Ethel! Too late...
The smell was the first thing I noticed upon my return to Gypsy...then the dogs blanket. Oui! We made it to Amarillo and stayed next to the Big Texas restaurant. I had seen it a million times, but never eaten there. So, why not? Wow, the business this place does is amazing, but the food did not knock my socks off. But, the dogs loved my steak!
17 days on the road, 3 nights in a hotel, 2000+ miles, and 18 different stops. One sick pup; one idiotic mistake at Bass Pro; one week to resolve the two charges with the RV Park; a couple of generator/air issues; a water leak and a day at the RV service repair; a chip in Gypsy’s front windshield; and I would do it again in a heart beat. Ok, all except the sick pup.
Yes, I hate I missed Telluride, but oh the things I saw and we did...the Route 66 National Museum, Groom’s Cross, Cadillac Ranch, Santa Fe, ebikes, the Santa Fe trail, dinner with cousins David and Rita, the Great Sand Dunes, Durango, Mesa Verde National Park, Ouray, Royal Gorge, The Broadmoor, time with Jules, Garden of the Gods, hiking at Stratton Open Space, Pueblo, Raton, Capulin Volcano National Monument, and even the Big Texan. And oh yeah, Ossy is fine. He is now on a special diet with some meds (of course!), but the vet thinks we just got hold of some bad dog food. Presley was just smart enough not to eat it!
The story behind the story is that even when you’re living the dream, you experience moments that will test you, challenge you, and stretch you...and bring you to your knees to thank God for EVERY SINGLE MOMENT!
This is Liz Gunn. Good DAY!