Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stuck in Lake Park - The Move Odyssey: Day 2

It's at least 10:30 by the time we get breakfast, gas up, check the fluid levels and all and get on the road this morning. This is another factor that will continue the same way throughout the trip, and completely tick me off, since I'm counting days till our tags run out and wanting to get to Colorado already. Plus we're supposed to be having the yaks delivered to us this Saturday. My theory is we should be driving by 8am at latest.

The drive is relatively peaceful this morning and Zen spends most of his time being a good boy and sleeping with his nose as close to my lap as I'll let him. Our biggest problem is that Quantum keeps getting way ahead of us on the road, and anything that slows me down, such as Zen trying to climb into my lap (which happens on occasion) and me having to yank him back into the seat means we can't see him or signal if we need to stop.

Just before we left, I had heard Quantum and CK talking about something and I mistakenly thought that they were saying they'd found the radios. At one point I get stuck way behind and I call CK and tell him to radio Quantum and tell him to slow down and let me catch up. Idiot says, "okay."  When I finally do catch up and give Quantum what for, I find that NO they didn't find the radio.  "So why did that mutant tell me that okay, he'd radio you?"  Also I find out that Quantum can't even see us in his mirrors, so he has no concept that he's leaving us in the dust.

I also note that the trailer Quantum is pulling is bouncing all over the road. It looks scary, like it's going to tip at any moment. I file this away to tell Quantum about, and when I finally remember to (most stops are so full of, "lets go here, we need to do this, etc" that it's about five stops before I can mention it) he shrugs and says there's nothing he can do about it. Umm slow down, maybe? This will become important on tomorrow's journey.

On one of our gas/soda/puppy piddle breaks Quantum finds out about a nearby Dollar Store that sells cell phones. We hike up there to buy a cheap burn phone so we can all be in contact. Unfortunately it turns out that though he's bought the phone and minutes for it, the battery in the damn thing isn't charged. So they open up the trailer and hook it up to a spare battery (we bought them to use for our wind turbines) and the inverter. Nifty! In a few hours we might all have phone contact!

Back on the road, we cross the Georgia state line at about 3:30. Goodbye and good riddance Florida! I can't hear Quantum cheering, but I can feel it!

We stop in Lake Park GA, about 5 miles in, to gas up. I notice billboards for some Giant Book Warehouse, "all books under $3."  Ooh. I'm a book junkie. I wonder if we might have time to stop? Later I wonder if I jinxed us by thinking of it. Quantum says he thinks he cursed us by screaming a big FU to Florida as we crossed the line. I don't give him my theory.

CK comes over and says that something's way wrong with the pickup. "I'm afraid it's going to blow up. I think it's the tranny." Having spent oodles of money on this clunker that our rat-ass ex-neighbor ex-mechanic sold us, the tranny is the one thing that we didn't do over. Someone tells us where there's a mechanic, and we head over there. I'm cringing. Tranny work might cost us $1500-2000 and we're really close to the wire on money right now.

The mechanic is willing to look at the truck, but it's going to be a while. Quantum saw a hotel down the road and wants to stay there for the night while the mechanic fixes whatever needs fixing. I'm not pleased with this idea, since I'm counting the money likely to be draining out of our pockets. I'd be happy staying in back of the trailer again. "It's hot. The animals are getting overheated," he says. Finally I let him talk me into it.

We check into a motel which amazingly actually allows pets. Not a bad little place, though a bit run down. The AC works at least. The internet doesn't. They're waiting for new routers. I suspect they've been telling guests that for months now.

CK returns with the news that the mechanic thinks it's the tranny but doesn't feel qualified to work on it, He recommends a place up in Valdosta that can look at it. It's now five and the place (about 16 miles away) closes at 6, so we decide to go there first thing in the morning, since the mechanic probably won't have time to look at it right away.

I run over to the Winn Dixie and grab some food for the critters and a rotisserie chicken for us. Somewhat guiltily I run into the bookstore, and buy a novel by an author I like. Hey it's only $3.99. I also find a really awesome book on green homebuilding, but it's $14.99 and I'm freaked out about money, so I don't buy it. What happened to every book under $3? Well they have 2 stores in the same strip mall, and one of them is priced that way, the other isn't. Still the book was inexpensive for what it was worth. (I end up buying it the next day after I make CK look at it and he says it seems to have a lot of good info.)

Then comes the best part of the evening. The dog and the cats are actually getting along. All this time we've been quarantining Zen from them, afraid the cats will get hurt, and he's laying down and basically ignoring them as they bounce around. Here and there he does still get a little over-excited and want to play, but nothing near what we were afraid of.  Squeaky pretty much ignores him - from only two feet away. Isis gets right in his face, he makes play motions at her, she swats him, but isn't intimidated. Jelly and Midget hide under the bed, but that's their usual modus operandi, so nothing unusual.  Had we only realized this months ago, our lives of separated critters would have been a lot easier.

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