Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What A Trip Across Town...


I have to share this with you! It was just too nerve racking not to...

Many folks not familiar with cities the size of Houston just can't imagine what going across town means. From my house to where I needed to go to pick up my trailer is about 24 miles. Getting there involves taking the toll road, then highway 288, and finally loop 610. A lot of freeway driving indeed.

Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but this time two things sort of complicated the situation.

First, it was a holiday weekend and the police were out in full force checking for drunk drivers and such. Secondly, the tags on the trailer expired in July 2008! I just knew that if I hooked up that trailer with the expired tags, started across town on three freeways during a holiday weekend with the police out in all their glory...I was going to get my very first ticket!

Oh, and the best part was that I have never, ever pulled any type of trailer with my truck and I have never pulled this particular camper before, so I had no idea what to expect, ya know?

But trying to stay positive about the whole thing, I went down to the auto parts store, bought the wiring harness and trailer ball and spent the day hooking everything up. Then I loaded myself and the nephew in the truck (Yes, he sorta volunteered to go after I twisted his arm ) and off we went on this adventure!

We managed to get across town without incident, backed up to where the trailer was, and hooked her up! The lights all worked, except for one burned out bulb. I had no spares. The trailer hitch, after sitting for a year, was rusty and didn't want to co-operate...some WD-40 was in order, but I had no WD-40! Naturally, after I talked to the hitch in my calm and persuasive manner (and the nephew gave it a good kick!) the hitch went right on!

The only concern I had was if the tires would hold up. I had a spare on the trailer, but again I forgot the plugs and the air compressor in case we did have a flat! Just another case of poor planning on my part!

So, hooked up and tested we set out onto the network of Houston Freeways, on a holiday weekend with police crawling all around, towing a trailer with expired tags, driving my truck never tested with pulling a load of any kind, while trying to remain positive about the whole thing!

Guess what? The trailer towed like a dream, the truck pulled like a champ, the tires held up fine as did the hitch! We were passed by at least two police cars that paid us no attention at all! The traffic was extremely light, not at all like a holiday weekend. The nephew didn't even say anything about the hundred or so times that I told him how easy the camper pulled!

All in all, I'd say it was another very good day! The sun shone on us and that was a good sign. In short, the muses that watch out for ill prepared folks like me decided to smile on me this time!

"Just a warning this time" I could hear them say! I believe them! I learned another important lesson today. Double checking isn't enough, triple checking isn't enough...there is no such thing as checking enough! As for me...POINT TAKEN!

Camper is home, loading starts tomorrow, the tags will be updated as well...and the truck goes in the shop for the final road check. I'm pleased, I'm tired, and I'm a nervous wreck!

Now, my friend, let's get a cup of fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a while, OK? I could use a break and a bit of a rest!

36 comments:

Sue said...

Funny how sometimes our minds are the biggest problems...they imagine ALL the problems, most of which never turn up.
Glad all went well.

Rae said...

Indeed the god of the trailer hitch and the angel of protection must have blessed your little rubber tires and guided you to safety. Of which I am most appreciative. Otherwise, I would have had to hear on CNN about the crazed Houston driver freewheeling with four flats and a broken hitch. Glad your safe. If you get rested from this adventure-read my post for today about my driving adventure.
myweathervane.blogspot.com

Dafthermit said...

Hi Jim

Cracking post and i loved the technical swift boot reapair

glad you got through safely and made it home

lots of love your highland hermit friend

Spokes... said...

Congratulations on the trailer Mr. Hermit, it should serve you well. I met a fellow in west Texas a couple of years ago that traveled in one like that on a full time basis.

As to you relating of picking it up…my advice is to get out of that city and into some solitude as soon as possible. Sounds as though you’re being put upon to feel as a victim.

Whether it’s the advertising trying to convince us of some malady, for which they claim to have the cure, the news media reporting each and every fearsome circumstance that can be located or the government offering up tales and statistics on terror, disasters, etc. to convince us that mores laws need to be made and departments and commissions formed to protect us all from the “boogeyman”…we are all targeted to become victims. Victims at the mercy of a system that intends to use our collective victimization as the solution to their quest for gain. Thank goodness our forefathers were not so disposed or the western border of the United States would presently be Philadelphia.

So, though unsolicited, my advice…from one old hermit to another…put on a fresh pot of that coffee, plan your departure deliberately, execute it well and be mindful of the comment of Thoreau…”if a man is alive, there is always danger that he may die, though the danger must be allowed to be less in proportion as he is dead-and-alive to begin with.

Ginger said...

Lovely front yard view, Jim! Gosh, your account of your cross-town trip makes my stomach churn with memories of the old days in Houston. Be safe, carry extra water and don't forget that rest areas have wi-fi if you need to reach out for help during your journey. If you're planning to come down 90, there is a travel center in Langtry where you can get lots of free info and take a break. If you need a place to stay when you reach the Beautiful Big Bend, remember, we are right on the way.

Baby Sis said...

Well, Bubba, it looks like things are falling into place for you, and good on ya! Although I'll hate to see you go for selfish reasons, I'm delighted that your dreams are coming to fruition. Besides, It's one more place for us to visit, right? Heading for California and Arizona in November, so maybe we'll take a detour????
Love you lots - and be sure and take that rocking chair along, too. I've been trying to talk B out of Grandma's for years, to no avail!

JoJo said...

Good Morning Mr. Hermit,
I soooooo understand your first journey. Mine wasn't that long ago. But at least you drove yourself, I on the other hand also brought someone with me, but I, made him, drive. Then I went on my maiden voyage and white nuckled all the way there and back. Then I had to take it in for some tweeking and brought along company because I, had to go into the city but I, did the driving. When it came time to pick it up I, went alone. It was getting easier. These little guys pull like a dream. Even w/my little Vitara.
Oh and by the way I always make a check list of things to check and things to take. Then I leave it on my desk. Oh Well
JoJo

American Prepper said...

Glad you made it home safe...I've always said that the best place to hide something is out in the open, cops must have been way too busy looking for drunk drivers and crazies on the the road to notice the tags. Love the pic of the Front yard. Don't forget to mention the Fresh air! Oh and the stars at night, there's nothing like it.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sue...
I think you're right! Sometimes we can be our own worse enemy! I just hate that I overlooked some of the most basic things, ya know?

Thanks for the visit today!


Hey Rae...
I told te nephew that if we looked out the side window and saw the camper passing us, we would know we were in trouble! Luckily, it didn't and we weren't!

Thanks for coming by, Sue!


Hey Andy...
Always a joy to get a visit from my friend from the Highlands! Over the years I've come to believe in two truths about necessary tools!.

First, if it is supposed to move and wont...use WD-40 and a hammer. Second, if it moves and isn't supposed to, use duct tape! Solves most problebs most of the time!

Thank you so much for the visit, my friend!


Hey Sokes...
Good to see you again! How is your little homestead doing? Haven't seen an update in a while.

As far as getting out of town, the plan is soon...but with a lot of preparations first! Thanks for the encouragement!

Stay in touch, my man!


Hey Ginger...
You can count on me giving you a call as soon as I get in the area! I appreciate all the info on the rest stops and all. Always helps to talk to someone that's already been down that road, for sure.

As always, I appreciate the offers of help and the visit ! Thanks...!


Hey Sis...Sure would be nice to have you drop by my place in the desert...plenty of room!

As to my leaving, I certainly won't miss Houston, although there are folks here that I'll miss without a doubt!

Hey, come see me in the big country!( or across town before I leave!)

Love ya, Sis!


Hey JoJo...I think on the outside, your little camper and mine are very close to the same size. Hey, we could start our own desert campground! Naw...that would be too many people!

Thanks for dropping in, my special friend!


Hey AP...
The fresh air, the stars, all of the things that make living in the country so great!

I think I can handle the view from my soon to be built patio!

Thanks for coming by today...!

Felinae said...

Hi,

I am beyond pleased that your dreams will finally be realized.

Have a great day!

Smiles~Felinae~

TEAM HALL said...

Morning to yah Jim!!! Your story made me giggle! Now take a rest and get ready for the BIG adventures to come.....
I'm soooooooo happy for you!!!!
Cath

Rod said...

Did you ever think that maybe it is a sign that this is the right thing to do? Sounds that way to me. Am very excited for you.

Rod

Maitreya said...

Anytime things go that smoothly with a trailer, the fates are smiling upon you.
I couldn't believe what a rat's nest of freeways Houston was - as bad as LA!
I'm so excited for you. Seems like things are really starting to come together for many of us in the blogosphere.
I can see you smiling up at the desert stars in your old rocker now....

HermitJim said...

Hey Felinae...
Yeah, it won't be long now. Out of the crazy city and into a slice of sanity!

Hey, I appreciate your time this morning, Girl!


Hey Cath...
Glad I could make ya giggle a bit today! Always makes me feel good when I do that...

Thanks for coming by for a read today!


Hey Rod...
I think you're right about this being a sign. Close enough for this old boy anyway!

Hey, buddy, thanks for coming by!


Hey Maitreya...
I do believe that many of us are seeing the fruits of our long efforts finally coming to bear! It's a good feeling indeed!

Take care, my friend, and thanks for coming by!

blondie said...

Wow Jim!
Glad to hear things are going so great with all your plans :)

And that trialer is as cute as a bug in a rug, haha!

Can't wait to see more pics of it when it reaches it's new Home.
Take care buddy!
blondie

Anonymous said...

My wife constantly proves me wrong when I point out how difficult some task will be to accomplish - sometimes, our seeking of troubles only exist in our immaginations.
Glad to hear you came out alive -

Houston traffic is Hell on earth during rush hour.

Lydia said...

Your first adventure with the camper and all went smoothly! Sounds like a good sign to me.

I know what you mean about city traffic. I can't imagine pulling a camper through Manhattan.....actually I can't imagine pulling a camper at all, I would have to take the nephew too.

Glad it is all falling into place for you.

:)
lydia

HermitJim said...

Hey Blondie...
You know, I think even the roomies approve of it! It ain't big, but unless I get tangled up with a BIG woman, it should be big enough!

Thanks, my friend, for the visit...!


Hey Anon 12:28...
You got that right about the Houston traffic at rush hour!

Don't ya just hate it when the better half proves ya wrong? However, sometimes planning for anything is not a bad thing, either!

I sure do appreciate you dropping by!


Hey Lydia...
The most important thing about towing anything is safety. Just try and be prepared for all events, and hope for the best!

Thanks, darlin', for dropping by!

Ashley said...

It sounds like things went well, overall. Well, you know what they say... He who... er... No, wait... He that w.... No, that's not it... He who...

I don't remember. But you know what I'm saying, right?

Anyway....

Hugs,
Ashley

HermitJim said...

Hey Ashley...
Yes, all went pretty well considering.Certainly could have been worse!

Thanks for the visit!

Mayberry said...

My boat trailer doesn't even have a license plate, and the escape pod tage expired 2 years ago. Never get bothered about it...... Popups pull really good, just make sure to put the heavy stuff toward the front of the trailer. Too much weight in the rear, and it'll want to sway on ya....

HermitJim said...

Hey Mayberry...
Wow, now I don't feel so bad! Glad to have the tip on the loading.

getting tips from an experienced person is always a good thing. I appreciate it, buddy!

I appreciate the visit, also!

Sarah said...

First I wanted to thank you for adding me to your list for 'Excellence in Blogcasting Award' back in Feb. that I am very sorry I missed!

Well, your destination looks very peaceful. Since I was pretty young I have wanted a camper, and your 'pop-up' is just as appealing. I am going to keep a better 'follow' of your blog :)

JoJo said...

we don't need no stinkin rv park lol
we want piece and quiet. I will really need it when this is over. just to sit and stare into space will be nice and watch for shooting starts, hearing the call of the coyote.
JoJo

HermitJim said...

Hey Sara...
Glad you could drop by.I know what you mean about the camper...like a playhouse for grownups.

Glad to have you follow me and my ramblings. I enjoy having people drop by and getting the comments from them.

Peace and quiet is just what I want, believe me.

Thanks so much for the visit today!


Hey JoJo...
I'll be right there with ya, my special friend. All the dreams and hopes that we have will come to pass. I believe that with all my heart!

Kyddryn said...

Sometimes the fates are kind and Fortuna smiles...sometimes...

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

Rae said...

Hey Jim,
Thank you for stopping by my blog and following. I really appreciate the comments.
I look forward to your posts everyday. I enjoy the time on the patio and the opportunity to just relax a while.
I will keep the coffee freshly brewed. Stop by my place anytime. RAE

HermitJim said...

Hey Kyddryn...
Yeah, sometimes they are and when they are...I appreciate it!

Just don't want to press my luck, ya know?

Thanks so much for taking the time for visiting!


Hey Rae...
My pleasure! I enjoyed the read a lot. I'll be dropping by daily, count on it!

MsBelinda said...

Glad you got the trailer safely home. I have never towed anything before so if I had been in your shoes I too would have imagined all sorts of calamities.

I think it was a good omen and I hope it follows you into the wonderful Chihuahuan Desert which you have chosen to be your home.

HermitJim said...

Hey MsBelinda...So glad to see you today! I guess that our imagination creates plenty of opportunity for failure, but in a way that's a good thing. It forces us to plan for things that we hope never happen.

I think you're right about the good trip being a favorable omen! I certainly hope so!

Thanks for coming by for a visit!

Angela said...

Nice find on the trailer! And glad all went well for the trip home with it. Looks like lots of fun ahead for you! :) I'll have to put WD40 on my car list . . .

HermitJim said...

Hey Angela...
You can bet that all the things I forgot will be going on my list for sure! Experience is indeed a great teacher!

Gotta have that WD-40...don't leave home without it!

Thanks, Angela, for taking the time to visit!

Phelan said...

ha! We made it from Wichita, Kansas to Dripping Springs Tx without a tag or lights on a trailer. We had cops behind us many many times, no one pulled us over. We got the lights working while in Dripping Srings, and got pulled over outside of Austin. ugh! But the 1 lonely sheep staring up at the officer got him laughing so much he let us of with a warning.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phelan...
That's a long tow without a tag. Hell, that's a long tow period!

I used to live between Dripping Springs and Austin...spent 21 years in Austin itself.

Most of the country LEO's in Texas have a sense of humor...glad you got by with a warning!

Thanks so much for the visit today!

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Sounded like a pretty exciting day Jim. Story of my life, sneaking illegal contraptions around from point a to point b. It's always a good feeling when we finally get it parked at point b though.

HermitJim said...

Hey Hermit...
Adds a little excitement to our lives, doesn't it? When you get old and feeble like me, any excitement is a good thing!

hey, thanks for coming by, my friend!