Monday, September 14, 2009

Land Of The Lost

It's just Day Two of our cross-country trek and already we have a losing record. Today, I lost the gas cap to the SS Bauer. I lost my credit card. I lost my brakes. I lost my sewer service. And I may be losing my sanity.

We began the day at the Bauer Clan’s ancestral home- a secluded cottage in rural Indiana. After a shower and a quick bite we headed for the next town and picked up some supplies at Wal*Mart. (Motto: we run all the competition out of town and sell you crapola from China.) Then we stopped for gas. That’s when I realized that I left the gas cap on the pump back at the Exit 3 Fuel Stop in Pennsylvania. So, we head back to Wal*Mart to buy a new cap. Sigh…

Back on the road, we head west on route 20, passing various corn and soybean fields. It turns out this is a familiar theme across the Midwest- corn and soybeans everywhere. I’m guessing there isn’t much to do in the Hosier state. Apparently, the locals pass the time by conjuring up interesting names for their towns. We pass through Mongo, Plato and Legrange. And don’t get me started on Shipshewanna and Mishawaka.

Some hours later, we pull in at South Bend for a peek at the Notre Dame campus. That’s when we lost the brakes. We ended up at a garage one block from the ND campus. The mechanic tells us he has to rebuild the front brakes- new rotors, new calipers, new pads, the works. So Trina and I took Mika and headed off to see the legendary home of Knute Rockney and the Gipper. It’s actually a very pleasant place with lots of history. We visited the Cathedral, the Grotto, and the football stadium- getting a good look at Touchdown Jesus.

Three hours later the garage invites us back to examine the bill. I won’t say it was sticker shock. And I won’t even tell you how much it cost. Let’s just say it rhymes with a mousand dollars. Undaunted, I pull out my wallet, and yes, the Visa card is gone. We spend 20 minutes searching my pockets, the RV and even the dog. No dice. I have to call up their emergency line and tell the Visa people that I’m an idiot. The best we can figure is that I somehow dropped the plastic while installing the new gas cap…

Back on the road, we motor into Illinois, Land of Lincoln. We stop at a KOA campground in LaSalle. When I tried to hook up to their sewer, I discovered the sewer hose had somehow fallen out of the storage tube on the back of the RV. So I bought a new one. Then I hooked up the water line and the hose ruptured. So I bought a new one. But when I turned on the water, it started shooting out of the faucet in the kitchen. So, we had to use the shower and sinks in the public washroom. Before turning out the lights Trina says “I love you” pausing to add, “you’ve got some bad mojo. Stay away from me!”

So, I slept with the dog.

Mission Mileage to date: 703

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