Yesterday an old Ford E450 RV and toad rumbled by looking for a campsite. Nothing new there except for the body damage to the RV. Stuff was scraped off on both sides, low and high, and there was bumper damage to the Jeep. After a couple of laps she parked next to us. A nice feature of Airstreams is their windows function like a motorcycle cop’s sunglasses: all you see in them is your reflection.
We watched her set up. Nora doesn’t get around so well and travels alone. But she’s learned to cope. Kat went over to help her, was welcomed, and persuaded Nora that the electric outlet she wanted was hers, not ours. Along the way Kat learned the story of the damaged RV.
Three years ago Nora bought the rig despite her son’s objections. She lived in his home with his family. Apparently he feared her driving skills were inadequate, and promised to teach her to drive it. But he kept putting it off. The family went out for a restaurant meal. Nora wasn’t feeling well and begged off. They left. Nora hitched the toad, and hit the road.
All of the damage occurred in her first three weeks in her RV. There we two incidents in Death Valley. Her brakes failed on a long decline. She turned off the key to make the engine stop, then realized the power steering’s gone! She managed to rub the rig to a stop on the side of the road at a cost of “cosmetic” body damage and two tires. Lesson learned, she boogied on, days later rolling into a campsite after dark. She got hung up between two boulders. Just as if stuck in the mud, Nora rocked the RV back and forth until it worked free, suffering more cosmetic damage.
That was three years ago. She visits her son’s family in Michigan in warm weather and sees the daughter in Reno in the fall. Winters are in California and points south. Nora is an absolute inspiration, doing what she does by herself, with limited mobility. She’s a role model for self-reliance.
That said, when Nora pulls out I hope to have Kat’s Cradle and the Red Sled in another county.