We were suppose to be in Death Valley tonight. We packed Benny up and headed out around 11am. But we didn’t get far.
Less than 30 miles outside Las Vegas, Benny broke down. A puff of smoke from the dash, a burnt smell and the engine and electrical controls turned off.
At first I really couldn’t be upset. I just kept thinking it could have been so much worse – an accident, the transmission, something requiring a fire extinguisher. We could have been in the middle of the desert without cell service. And that’s what this trip was about anyway; a test run. So instead of stressing out, we played games and kept Justin from getting frustrated as he tinkered. His dad drove out in hopes of helping. But in the end, and with the help of a friend’s phone book back home, we had to call a tow truck.
That’s about the time I started to get discouraged. I feel like this damn city has a stranglehold on me and refuses to let us leave. Following the tow truck back to the mechanic was disheartening enough but as we turned onto our street I felt even more depressed. It had that foreign but familiar feeling already – like you get when you’ve been away for a lot longer than 7 hours. I know it was only suppose to be a two day trip but it felt like the beginning of something brought to a rather abrupt end. And here we are: stuck and begrudged.
I’ve spent the last several hours going through the gamut of emotions – from amused over the story we’ll someday retell to disappointed. I’ve questioned whether this was a sign we are on the wrong path…or just a sign we bought the wrong RV.
And I’ve wondered what we’ll do without the support system we had in place today, without a parent to give us a lift or a friend to make a call. Will we be able to manage when it’s just the three of us in the middle of nowhere?
And for fuck’s sake, will this RV even make it to the middle of nowhere when it can’t even make it to the state line?
Update: We picked the RV up today (the 15th; less than 24 hours after dropping it off.) The mechanic said the electrical wiring under the dash was a mess, with lots of extraneous wiring and poorly connected. Apparently, one of the wires touched something metal which fried the whole thing. The kicker: Had we known or discovered the potential problem, it would have cost us $15 for a DIY repair. I don’t even want to think about what it cost us instead. ::sigh:: Oh, well. Such is life, shit happens and all that jazz. We’re hoping to reschedule our trip within a week and are crossing our fingers all will be well!