It’s never boring being on the road, I can tell you that. Last week was and still is one big crazy adventure.
It all started with The Beast who decided to quit on us while driving on a gorgeous windy road through the Rockies. Our faith in the old beast was so big, that we didn’t expect it to hate high altitudes and big elevations. We’ve already done some dangerous wobbly roads together and even tho once in a while the beast had some little problems, it was always strong enough to keep going and bring us everywhere. Team spirit!
After a loud BANG on Thursday afternoon, we stopped on the side of the road to identify the problem. It seemed like the beast was in pain, as he had a big hole in the exhaust header. We called some welders and garages to ask for advise and also to check if one of them would take the beast in to heal him. Luckily after some phone calls ,we found ‘ muffler masters’ in Colorado Springs, about 50 miles away from where we got stranded. Most of the mechanics we had on the phone, agreed that the beast definitely needed to be repaired, but that we still could drive a little with it. So we did… to the Walmart in Canon City, where we wanted to spend the night before heading to Colorado Springs.
While paying for our super gross crappy junk food at the Walmart, the cashier was talking about her sister, the crazy cat lady, who has about twenty cats at home. She wanted to help her sister to get rid of some kittens and asked us if we were interested in one. Politely we let her know that two cats in a RV is enough for us….
While eating our delicious junk food dinner, Dirk heard a weird sounds outside, assuming it was a kitten. I on the other hand thought is was just a bird, until the sounds was very loud and consistent. We jumped outside to check around the RV, and indeed found a teeny tiny ginger kitten on top of our water tank just behind the wheels. He was calling for his mom and was very scared. Dirk and I tried to grab him without success. He took off to some bushes across the street and after some more failed attempts, we let him be and hoped that a car wouldn’t hit him.
The next morning we heard the little kitten again, and yup there he was, sitting underneath the RV on the same spot as the other night. With the daylight and some better strategy we finally got him.
So what to do next? Ask the Walmart for assistance? Call the animal shelter? Or take him with us? We were about to hit the road to Colorado Springs with a broken RV, so taking him with us may not be the best idea. Plus what if someone is looking for his lost kitten and we just take him to another city? But he wasn’t wearing a collar and looked very skinny and hungry. Mmmmmm maybe the animal shelter is a better idea….but you know, lots of shelters are totally packed with animals, might not want him or maybe take his life when nobody wants to adopt him ( which unfortunately really happens in some states of the USA). No no no, we don’t want that to happen, he is so cute and needs a loving family. Also he came back to us, thus chose us as his new family. Right?
For one second we thought about the cashiers kitten story and were debating to ask her about the kitten we’d found. What if she had a box full of kittens in her truck and let one escape?? Hahhaha no that probably did not happen, but we found the situations a bit strange tho…. her talking about kittens that she needed to get rid of, us finding one that same night. What do you think?
Anyway, we decided to take him with us at least to Colorado Springs and take it from there. Not knowing that the beast would only drive for another 4 miles before another BANG. Our guts told us this was really unsafe, so towing was the only solution. Luckily we are BCAA members, and can be towed 3x 200 miles for free. Yay! We only waited for about an hour for the tow truck to arrive. It’s very weird and exciting to watch your 36ft home getting transported for 50 miles. With our cats inside the RV and the new kitten on my lap in the truck, we made it safely to Colorado Springs. And were also very happy we didn’t drive that part ourselves, with the big elevation changes.
We end up arriving at the garage 1,5 hours before closing on a Friday. Not the greatest time to arrive. Some dudes checked quickly the beast and determined that the whole exhaust header needed to be replaced because the hole was to big to weld. They had to order the parts in and because they don’t work in the weekends, it would arrive on Monday. Luckily muffler masters were very kind and let us stay on their parking lot with electricity and water. Whoohoo free camping hahaha.
In that weekend we decided to keep the kitten and named him FINN. There is only one BUT : if the three of them don’t get along, he has to go. Of course we will then find a lovely new family for him where he feels safe and welcomed. So far Finn has still his own room “ the bathroom” and Loki & Moena the rest of the RV. We take it very slow as our cats are not to most social and easiest and we really want this to work. We let Finn everyday for a couple of hours in our bedroom and let the cats smell each other’s cuddle blankets, toys etc. They even had a glimpse of each other, and that went pretty ok. Yay!
On Monday the beast was up in the air for repair as the parts arrived. The cats could stay inside while we were away for the whole day, driving through the city feeling pretty homeless. Soon after we left, the garage called with bad news, they discovered more problems……shit! It would cost us lots and lots of money that we simply didn’t have. Fortunately they came with a back up solution, but they couldn’t guarantee it would work. I will spare you all the boring technical details, but if you really want to know more about it, just send us an email. Anyway, we went for the cheap back up solution and told them to do some other small repairs. Tuesday night the beast was fixed and healthy, ready to hit the road again. So we thought….
Wednesday, four miles away from the garage, the engine lost a couple of time power while driving and died at one point. Parked on the side of the road, we tried to figure out what the problem was, as the engine wouldn’t start anymore. We called the garages dudes, one came over, couldn’t start the beast either, so we had to call the BCAA again. Luckily the boss of muffler masters came over half an hour after the BCAA call, and found a way to start the beast! Yay. Back at the garage, they did some rewiring, cleaned some cable connections, and we were good to go!
Until 15 miles further, a loud noise, a sounds that we recognize as exhaust trouble. Apparently three bolts popped out of the new exhaust header while driving. How could that happen while everything was just replaced. We called the garage again and they apologized for not tighten the bolts enough. As it was already passed opening hours, we had to wait until the other day to get three new bolts. Finally everything was fixed and we could hit the road. This time fo real!
After a week of repairs, waiting and some stress we are very happy to be moving again. But the adventure is not over yet. We didn’t tell you that this all happened ten days before we have to be back in Canada ( a 1000 miles away from the border). We are travelling through the USA on a 3 months tourist visa, which will expire on the 1th of august. If we will not cross the border on time, there is a chance we are not allowed to visit the USA ever again. Of course we don’t want this to happen as there is so much more to explore in the US.
At the moment we are driving through Wyoming and still have to go another 500 Miles. It’s definitely possible to get to Canada before August, but our faith in the beast is not completely restored. Our 5 senses are all the time on sharp. I think we will trust our beast again as soon as we arrive in Canada and all the stress is over!
While writing this last section, we discovered a bubble in one of our front tires, which easily can burst, so totally not safe to drive with. BCAA will rescue us again and change the tire for our spare one! What would we do without them! We are constantly contemplating why all of this is happening in our last week? America, do you want us to stay?
We started a fundraising campaign, for all of this unforeseen trouble. If you want to support us getting back to Canada, check out this link.
Crazy road life adventures to be continued..