Wednesday, March 18, 2015
The Jello is jiggling
When last we left off I entitled yesterday's post "No Jello Here.....so far".......well, that's what I get for even jesting just a tad.....
I mentioned at least twice before that I noticed a couple of weeks ago that one of the lugs on the right rear dually was missing. I did my due diligence to find a 'good' tire store to remove the broken lug, and then to replace all 20 of them.....Interstate Tires and Auto in Camp Verde was recommended to me by several local folks.
Our appointment was for Tuesday morning at 8 am, and so, being the mostly punctual person that I am, was up by 5:30 to type the blog, and then disconnect the water, sewer and electric and roll. We were at Interstate by 7:50 am.......I had previously dealt with Jocelyn, the front desk person, both in person and on the phone to be sure they had everything they needed when I arrived so we could be in and out by 9.....I wanted to make the climb up to Flagstaff (3,500' elevation gain) in the cool of the morning. When I walked in the door Jocelyn was not there.....instead I saw Mr. Jello behind the counter (his name tag says Mike, but I know better).
Mr. Jello wasn't expecting me, and even better yet, he had no new lugs to install.....hmmm. TLE is standing there beside me, and I feel her touch my arm.....that's her non-verbal signal to be calm. Mr. Jello tells me he'll look into it and if the lugs really aren't there he'll get them in quickly. In a few minutes he emerges from the office and walks over to where the coach is parked, and where I am standing.....mostly calm.....he says he'll get to work on removing the broken stud while we wait for the new studs to arrive.....they have another shop up in Cottonwood where they have a full set on the shelf.......'supposedly'.
I've seen truck tire guys remove broken lugs before, and with the right tools it take less than 5 minutes. Well, Mr. Jello didn't have the right tools, as it turns out, and it took him over an hour. I'm not sure how many foot pounds of torque they put on those lugs when they tighten them down, but I'm sure it is well over 100 pounds, if not closer to 200, and there is Mr. Jello trying to take off what is left of the broken lug with a regular sized pair of channelocks......even I know that has no chance on God's green earth of working, and I suddenly hear those exact words escape the confines of my mouth......then I start repeating silently to myself......"serenity now....serenity NOW!"
I decide it is better if I go inside and try to occupy my mind with something else......about 30 minutes later I cannot resist going outside to see if any progress is being made, and arrive just in time to see Mr. Jello just finish unscrewing the broken lug......once again I find myself saying outloud what I was thinking......."I have to say, Mike (I used the name on his tag), I am impressed....I really didn't think you were going to get it off before Noon"......Mr. Jello looked up and smiled that kind of smile that you know means way more than it should. He then says.....yep, got 'er off....I just wish we had the new lugs so I could finish the job....of course, I'm thinking the same thing......."please, just finish the job", but I manage to keep that thought inside my head..
We are advised it will be another 30 minutes before the lugs arrive from Cottonwood, which is only 15 miles way.....I'm thinking I could have driven there and back 3 times by now (it is now 9:30 am), but I don't say that.....instead I say, "well 'Mike', my wife and I are going to walk up to Starbucks for breakfast, and, hopefully, they will arrive while we are gone, and we will return to find you all done"......well, not so much.
We returned about 10:30 to find nothing more had been done since we left....NOTHING. I walk into the office to ask Mr. Jello what is going on, and he says something odd, at least to me....."I am not 100% sure why they are not here yet", and then turns away and walks into the shop leaving me just standing there.
I walk slowly back to the coach and am almost there when I hear a truck drive up, and see one of the shop guys get out, so I walk back over to see if he has the lugs....you know, the plural of 'lug'. As I walk up I see the guy holding 'one' lug and explaining something to 'Magic Mike'....he hands him the 'lug' and walks away. 'Mike' turns to me and says....."they really didn't have a full set of lugs up at the Cottonwood store.....they only had one".....he extends his arm fully to show me the one lug.
By this time I am happy it is only one lug......I tell him to just get that installed and put back on the other lugs because we need to get going (it is fast closing in on 11 am, and we still need to top off our diesel tank......my plan to make the climb up to Flagstaff in the cool of the morning has crumbled into a thousand pieces).
At any rate, 'Mike' re-installed the wheels and the lugs, and even though it took him three hours to do a 40 minute job, only charged me for 1/2 hour of labor plus $10 for the lug, or $56, if you will.
We headed over to the local Chevron station where diesel could be had for $2.59 per gallon and topped off our tank with 36 gallons.....wow, we have only used 36 gallons of diesel since January 20th.......finally some good news!
We were northbound on I-17 by 11:20 am with 200 miles to Lone Rock National Park on the shores of Lake Powell. Once we had the 'lug' fiasco behind us our drive to Lone Rock was completely uneventful......I took a break just shy of Cameron, AZ, and then finished the drive up to Lone Rock (just barely over the border into Utah), which is about 7 miles north of Glen Canyon Dam. We were parked in our spot by 3:30, and set up by 5.
On the shores of Lake Powell
Just after we finished setting up I walked back up to the kiosk to pay for our stay. Since this is a National Park we pay 1/2 the normal fee ($10), so our stay here for two weeks will cost us exactly $70, or $5/day. I paid for one week, because you never know what the Jello will do to your plans. They have a computerized kiosk, which is very easy to use.....you just select 'Camping' and then it asks if you are a senior, and when answered 'yes' prompts you to enter your Golden Age card number. With 3 minutes I was walking back to the coach and snapped the picture above.
Right now there is one other RV near us on the upper level.....we prefer it there because it is easy to get stuck in the sand down near the shoreline, which we did in the VW when we were here last year about the same time.
Life is good even if you get an unexpected dose of Jello on the menu....thanks for stopping by!