It turns out very little can stand in the way of us going out camping. Take Friday. It was raining, I got home later than usual, and Richard had not had a chance to get anything ready because his work day was jam packed. We were both grouchy and getting off to a late start. We also noticed that some of the wiring conduit that runs under Dory, held onto the frame by adhesive backed plastic holders and zip ties, had come loose. Right at that moment, I was thinking of bailing. However, our daughter had an end of term celebration weekend planned, in the form of a reservation at an inn in Pt. Reyes Station. Our plan was to pick her up, drive over, and drop her at the inn before heading to the campground. So we were committed, but probably would have persevered anyway. Knowing we didn’t have time to do the wiring harness job properly, we just stuck new double sided sticky tape onto the plastic holders and smooshed them back onto the frame. As it turned out, that fix held up all weekend. Go figure.
We retrieved the college kid and proceeded through the rain, arriving in the vicinity of the inn around 7. It was dark and the approach looked iffy. We were all having misgivings about the place because it seemed much farther from town than expected. She’d be on foot, so a two mile walk to dinner did not sound very celebratory to any of us. Still, we turned up the private road and quickly hit a poorly maintained, pot holey and narrow approach up to a house that might have been an inn, but was not really signed very well. We also hit a dead end at the end of their driveway with no room to turn around. The only way out would have been to back all the way down the narrow drive, around a curve, and through a break in a fence. In the dark. And the rain. And there was no cell service.
I’d already decided there was no way in hell I was dropping our daughter at this place, reservations be damned, but the nail in the coffin came when a man, who may or may not have been the owner of the inn, came out and stared at us disapprovingly. Rather than say anything helpful or welcoming, or even conciliatory given our predicament, he simply stated we’d have to back the trailer down the hill and we’d better not hit anything.
ABORT. Without stopping to ponder much, I told Richard we were unhitching and using the Caravan Mover to spin Dory around so we could face the other way. Richard realized pretty quickly this was not open for debate and got out to go through the full unhitching process. The older man kind of just watched as we turned Dory 180 degrees and moved Bruce back into hitch up position. “Well, isn’t that something,” was about all he said. At that point, a younger guy had come out, and though he may have been more friendly, it was way too late. We let them know the place was more remote than we’d expected and that we were heading to town for dinner and would call to let them know what we were going to do. We had no intention of returning, but didn’t say so.
As soon as we headed back down the road, cell service came back and Richard started Googling and making phone calls. He was actually able to find two other good prospects, even with the late notice, that had vacancies. He booked a place called the Pt. Reyes Station Inn and this was a much, much better option, just a couple of blocks from the center of town. We dropped Dory in the campground, got set up, and I drove daughter back to get her checked in. The host was charming and welcoming and all was well again. I’d left Richard the task of calling the other place back to see what, if anything, could be salvaged from the reservation price. He can be an asshole when needed, and was able to get a 50% refund. I have to specify the conditions when he is allowed to use his powers, and I make sure to never be within earshot.
He had dinner waiting in Dory when I got back and the rest of the evening went like our normal Dory times. Pretty soon, we were both glad we’d hung in there. Saturday was slow and relaxing. It didn’t rain and we took a little hike through the park, down to the river. In the afternoon, I wrote a report and Richard went into town to get paper towels. Somehow those got left off the shopping list and you really can’t do without paper towels.
Sunday we picked up the daughter, who reported that the place was nice, the town was cute, and it was a good weekend. Score. All worth it. Plus we got our camping time in.
Back at home we ran into a problem in the form of low battery levels for the Caravan Mover to get up the driveway. We knew we were low after a weekend of redwoods and zero solar, plus running the heater, but we didn’t quite have enough juice to get up the ramp at the bottom of the driveway. I’m not sure why we thought it would work to just use the winch, but note to future selves: that does not work. What happens as soon as the Caravan Mover rollers are disengaged, even with the winch rope taught, is that Dory’s uphill wheel rolls backwards and she swings until the bumper hits the street. We had to do some fancy work there, using a combination of winch power and additional ramps under wheels to get her unstuck. Besides scraping on the bottom of the rear bumper, she doesn’t seem to be any the worse for wear, but we have learned never to do that again.
Next week we head out for winter break and my boat seat project should be ready. We got our custom cutting board delivered and it fits perfectly. All that remains is to drill some holes to attach the chair. I can try it with the swivel mount, and if that sits too high, it can just mount directly on its base. The seat sits higher than the cushion, so a footrest is definitely required for this project, unless you are very tall. I’m pretty excited to have comfortable seating with lumbar support.
For anyone interested, the measurements for the base are: 21 1/2″ wide, 36 3/16″ long. There is a notch in the back corner that runs 3 5/8″ on the long side, by 3″ on the short side. The seat is this one by Tempress. And the swivel mount is this one.
Hooray. Good weekend. Worth it, despite the glitches.