I had about decided my RV days were over. Our well-used fifth wheel trailer was showing its age, creaking here, falling apart there, evoking epithets from Mike whenever we pulled it out of storage (which was seldom). Additionally, while its thirty-foot length was adequate space in years past for two people and one cat, our family has grown. An extra three cats made it a bit cramped -- at least temperamentally.
Our last big trip had been in 2010, with two cats; since then we'd only taken the trailer up to our Pollock Pines acreage a couple of times, and were quickly bored there. Like sands through the hourglass, the days of my life were trickling, or more like gushing, away. I knew that if we were ever to hit the long road again, we'd need to move up to a Class A motor coach. In 2012 we did some semi-serious shopping and even tentatively decided on a brand we might buy; but we weren't quite ready to commit. And of course, Mike always wants to wait for some feature in NEXT year's model. So we waited. The cascading sand picked up its pace.
Then in February of 2014, we went to a small week-end RV show sponsored by a local dealer, and it so happened that they had the exact model we had been considering. We sniffed it thoroughly, found all the things we DIDN'T like about it, succumbed to commitment-phobia once again, and went back home. Whoosh, whoosh, went the sand.
We mulled about it some more, together and separately, for a few months, and finally, in June, we called the dealer. The coach was still available; it seemed like a sign. Get out the checkbook! We made a deal for what seemed a pretty good price, including a please-take-it-off-our-hands trade-in of the old fifth wheel. We'd worked hard to outfit and modify the ol' beast to our comfort level and we had some great trips in it; so it was a little heartbreaking to unpack everything and watch Mike drive it into the sunset. But -- things change, life moves on. Bye-bye, old friend.
We picked up the new coach on July 1. Now, this thing is BIG - forty-one feet long, thirteen feet high, over eight feet wide; so the new-owner excitement soon gave way to the pure terror of just driving it the forty miles home from Livermore to San Jose. Truckers, watch out! Of course, there had to be major highway construction right outside the dealership's door. If you need an adrenalin rush, try watching the tops of cement highway barriers flash past, three inches from your passenger window. I'm sure Mike enjoyed even more trying to KEEP them at least three inches away!
Thus began a great new adventure -- and I'm not even talking about leaving home yet! In addition to being very large, Behemoth -- yes, I call it that -- is also insanely complicated, with a huge diesel engine in the back and more buttons and switches and gauges and hoses and wiring than a 747. And of course, the storage is nothing like our old trailer, so each possession has to find its new place, and then we geriatrics must try and remember where that was. Lots of brainpower required just to sit still in the thing, much less drive it; and those gushing sands haven't left me very well-equipped. It's going to be like moving into a new house while simultaneously learning to fly the space shuttle. I'm leaving the flying part to Mike.