Monday, September 18, 2023

Off The Road Recovery

I'm spending time recovering from four months on the road. I'm not doing a long trip any time soon, but here are things that need addressing. I imagine you could get into a recovery routine, if you do this enough. Or maybe include them in your trip. Some of them could take some time:

  • Healthcare. This includes a much delayed trip to the dentist and a trip to my new doctor for a checkup. I'm getting older and with that comes some issues that need adressing.
  • Truck Maintenance. Ford called me on our way out of town to tell me a windshield part was ready. I had informed them they needed to get it before I left. They've been holding the part for four months. I also need maintenance like fluid changes. Since I did a lot of towing in the heat, I'm putting the truck on the severe duty maintenance schedule, which means some expensive maintenance like differential fluid changes.
  • Trailer Repairs. I had the trailer washed last week and before that the underbelly repairs were finally done properly. There are about 10 repair items for the professionals, and they might keep the trailer a day or six weeks. The worst problem is my refrigerator really isn't attached to anything. I'm taking the trailer to a reputable service center in Lodi, even paying for some items out of pocket that are under warranty. I want repairs done right. I want them done timely. The next trip is mid December. They may keep it until then. Who knows.
  • Trailer Storage. After repairs, I'll be looking for a new home for the trailer, hopefully close by. Most places are full. The ones that aren't full are expensive. I'm on some wait lists. I may store it far away while I wait for my name to be called. 
  • Reset Finances. I spent more money than expected on the road and at home. I need a full reset. I went from project mode, spending way too much money, to travel mode, spending way too much money. That must stop. I'm saving for a Spanish intensive trip using frequent flyer miles, but mostly money is going to the truck and trailer reset.
  • Re-engage with Friends. I missed my friends terribly and realized they are the glue that keeps my life in place. I'm visiting with friends, starting a new D&D campaign, and trying to get my social life re-started. I'm looking to see if any friends might want to join me for the next adventure, since Rocco will likely be in school. Besides a trip to SoCal in December, I fantasize about a slow drive down the 395.
  • What About the Store? I stopped by and had two pieces of mail to pick up and a short meeting. As I've mentioned, working from the road isn't much different than working from home.
I have some culture shock, especially things like the cost of gas and eating out. Gas was actually more expensive in Mexico, but between liters and pesos, I didn't think much about it. I've noticed a lot of empty restaurants, as others are probably in the same boat. We had lunch at our old haunt in Concord today, Spaghetti Factory, where my old waitress told me they had only one waitress during the week days, down from three before COVID. People are still working from home. 

I was building a trailer for a year before I left, so I'm back without a project. That might be for the best while I reset. 

Our next Mexico trip is distant, probably 18 months away. We want to start where we left off, include the Yucatan and maybe Belize. Perhaps Guatemala, although there are no RV parks there. We also want to do it during the winter. Summer is brutal.

I'm taking my son to visit relatives and spend a couple days at Disneyland over Christmas. We'll take the RV and make it an RV centric vacation. The plan was to do five RV trips to Mexico over five years, but I think we'll do two big trips to Mexico and as many smaller trips as I can manage. After the five year mark, I'll decide whether to sell the trailer and truck or continue on this path in some fashion. I have other travel ideas as well, including dreams of driving the Trans America Trail

8,640 miles driven on the last trip

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