This post is third in a series I am writing as our vacation unfolds. To catch up, read the first post: Murphy’s Law: On Vacation.
We enjoyed the stop at the Dee Wright Observatory, but then we had to make the trek back down the mountain. It was a harrowing experience. While we were at the Observatory I remembered that my camera has a video function, so I shot a couple of videos up there, and a couple on the last leg of scary Hwy242.
About halfway down the mountain, I started smelling the brakes, and it wasn’t good. Then they started to grind. But we made it. We crossed through the second gate and stopped at a ‘wide spot’ in the road just outside the gated area. Lo and behold, there too was a sign warning drivers about the vehicle length restriction. My only regret is that I didn’t get a picture of that first sign we saw.
We got out and walked around to give the brakes a chance to cool a bit. Dad had been driving in first gear to take some of the pressure off the brakes, because the pedal was “soft”. (As in, let’s not die today, please?) But driving that way can burn out the transmission. Everything needed a chance to cool off.
Since it was just after 6pm, I made hamburgers for dinner, and we debated whether or not to keep driving. We had the hope of a nice RV park in Eugene, so we continued on.
Remember Murphy’s Law?
We sure remembered when we attempted to go to an RV park that I had found in the Good Sam guide. We missed the freeway interchange and got off in Eugene while we figured out which way we were supposed to be going. We got the GPS set back up for the correct address, but as we were sitting at a stop light, just about to enter the freeway on-ramp, a guy in a car next to us pulled up honking and yelling, “You’ve got a flat on your car!!”
Oh Murphy, really? Can’t you just let us go now? You’ve had your fun!
We pulled into a Subway parking lot to check it out. By this time it was 8:00pm. Dad can’t bend over and breathe at the same time, so he couldn’t change a tire. I can do it (and have) but his spare is mounted so far under the car I’d need a creeper board to reach it. Thanks to a Good Sam membership, roadside assistance came and changed the tire and had us back on the road by 9:30. We arrived at the RV park just before 10pm and naturally, there was no one around. The manager’s trailer was dark, and it looked like a residence park rather than a travel RVer’s park. We opted to move on and find another one.
As we were leaving there, Dad noticed he had a headlight out. Murphy strikes twice in 15 minutes.
We spent Tuesday night in a roadside rest area.
Day 3, Wednesday Morning
Humbled. Broken. My son brought tears to my eyes.
As the boys came out of the bathroom at the roadside rest area Wednesday morning, they saw a homeless man with a dog sitting next to the building.
D1 came back into the motorhome and asked what we were making for breakfast. My Dad said he was planning on going into Eugene to get the brakes fixed, so we would eat at a restaurant there. D1 said, “There is a homeless man over there and he has a dog. I wanted to make him some breakfast.”
Grampa suggested he make him a ham sandwich, and he set to work. As he fixed a sandwich and some grapes on a plate for the man, Dad handed D1 a styrofoam cup full of dog food too. D1 went out (I followed) and handed the plate to the man and said, “Here, I made you a sandwich,” and set the cup dog food down in front of his dog. The man thanked him, and I was so proud of my son I can’t even describe.
Oh Lord, let me be Jesus to others like my son is.
Read Part 4 of this series: Kickin’ Murphy OFF of This Vacation Train!