We had planned to stay home for a change and start remodeling the house, but then our son asked if we’d help with their move back to Northern Calif, Surprise Valley. That sounded easy enough: pick up a cargo trailer (none near him) and go to Hollister on Tues, load up the trailer then drive up to Surprise Valley. Turn around on Wed, spend the night in Reno and get home on Thurs. All well and great plans.
We were so confident of our plans that we did not bring many snacks as we’d be on the road. Didn’t bring food for meals because we’d be eating out. Well…..
By the time we got to Hollister, it was mid-afternoon. Nate needed tires and off we went to see about getting tires switched out. We all realized that we’d be spending the night in Hollister so had to buy groceries for dinner.
Wed morning, we got up and finished loading the trailer and stuffed the pickup as full as possible, leaving 1 seat up for our 2-year-old grandson, Jasper. We had our 9-year-old granddaughter sit in the middle front with all kinds of stuff on the floor at my feet.
I’d checked the roads and there didn’t seem to be anything amiss over I-80, the shorter route. This route goes thru Lake Tahoe and the Sierras. The weather didn’t show that storms would hit right away so off we went.
We were driving along I-80 when it started snowing. Traffic started slowing down, then way down, then it stopped. Snow was falling harder by then. Soon we came to a chain control stop. We assumed that we’d be fine as we have nearly new snow tires, but alas, that was not to be.
The CHP stopped us and said that because we were towing a trailer that we had to have chains on both the truck and the trailer. We had chains for our truck but not the trailer so were told to get off at the next exit and buy chains for the trailer at the station, after which we could continue down the highway.
Dale was driving, it was snowing hard and we did not see the station until we were passing by. Oops! We got off on the next exit, one where nothing was and Dale put the chains on the truck. We figured that those were better than nothing. Dale was just getting them tightened when someone came by and said that the chain requirement had been lifted. Off came the chains. Now that Dale was wet and hands frozen we started back where we’d left off.
About 5 miles down the road, there was another slowdown. Another chain checkpoint. Here we were stopped again, This time the CHP told us that the truck must have chains on but the trailer tires did not need them. This time we got off at the next exit, stopped at the gas station, put on the truck chains and drove to the on-ramp.
At the on-ramp, Cal Trans was inspecting vehicles getting onto the I-80. The inspector took one look at us and stopped us. He said we had to have chains on the trailer in addition to the truck and that we could make a u-turn then go back and buy chains or cables for the trailer tires. Back we went to the station, bought cables and put them on the tires.
As Dale was putting the cables on I noticed something on the back tire of the trailer. With a closer look, it appeared that a link of a chain had been picked up by the tire and appeared to be embedded.
We were approved finally continue our journey and while Dale drove I called U-Haul, where we’d picked up the trailer. After a 2nd call to them, I was told to call their roadside service. Roadside asked if we felt air leaking out. I said no, we didn’t notice so we were told to keep driving and just check the tire. If there were problems then we were to call back.
We stopped outside of Reno to check the tire, no problems. Then we decided to also get fuel. Dale got out and was getting the fuel going, I got out with Zaya to make a pitstop. I left Jasper in his seat as Dale was by the truck. When I closed the door I head the sound of the doors locking. My first thought was NO!!!! This can’t be. We tried all of the doors and they were locked. Dale’s key in the ignition, mine in my purse. Fortunately, we got Jasper to push the lock button and he unlocked the doors. We didn’t have to call AAA. We finally got back on the road and off to Nate and Bekki’s arriving 5 hours late, starving and tired.
We wanted to get an early start on Thurs for home as we now had a very long day of driving. We thought that we’d start unloading what we could. Dale and I unloaded the bikes off the bed of the truck then Dale went to reposition the trailer so we could have it closer to their ranch house.
As Dale was backing up I was pointing for him to move it more to the left. Then it caught my eye, the tire was white. At first, I thought that it was white mud but I knew that it couldn’t be mud. I walked over to the trailer and the tire was completely gone from the rim. I thought we were done with all of this!
I called U-Haul and explained that the tire was now completely gone. Now we had another delay, waiting for someone to come and replace the tire in the middle of nowhere. Finally, by 3pm we were able to start for home.
Now if all of there were not enough, Nate had packed and was carrying most of the food. I’d packed up a few yogurts, rice rollers, cookies, granola bars for each Bekki and our vehicles. We assumed that we would arrive in time to make dinner. I’d also put some gluten free pasta and sauce in Bekki’s car because we knew she’d arrive before the rest of us as we were towing the trailer and Nate would be behind us. Well, that was all the food we had with us. So when Nate did not arrive until noon we’d eaten about everything there was. We didn’t starve but there were slim pickings.
Then our granddaughter was eating a piece of beef jerky when she said, “my tooth broke”. Sure enough, a piece of her tooth came out along with blood. She thought she’d bitten into a piece of bone. Bekki took her to the closest dentist, an hour away, only to find that her permanent tooth was pushing the baby tooth out, weakening it so when she bit into the jerky the tooth fell apart. Fortunately, we met Bekki on the road traded Zaya and kept driving for home.
Enough adventures for 1 trip.