We’d dreamed of hitting the road in an Airstream for years. Sometimes we’d put the dream on the shelf as impractical. Then we’d watch a few more Youtube videos or read more blog posts, and we’d find ourselves driving by the local Airstream dealer just to check what’s on the lot.
We reached a point in our lives where it looked like it was now or never. We decided to join the Airstream club.
And suddenly, it’s the last day before our first big road trip.
We’d spent weeks planning, checking, and changing plans until everything looked right.
Reservations each of four nights on the road? Check!
Routes mapped with three to four-hour drives each day? Check!
Tubs of provisions staged in the garage? Check!
Meals prepared and frozen? Check!
Based on everything we knew, the plan looked solid.
Now we’re hitting the road!
We left early for the storage facility to pick up Cara Mia.
When we got there, an empty parking lot greeted us instead of our Airstream.
We looked at each other.
This had never happened before.
I turned to Adriel, ‘You did hear me call them yesterday, right?’
‘Yep,’ he replied.
I called the office.
They apologized and promised that someone would tow Cara Mia out to us immediately.
A few minutes later, we stood in front of Cara Mia. Adriel lifted the switch to raise the jack.
We looked at each other.
Huh. This hadn’t happened before either.
We checked the main power switch and, sure enough…
The battery was dead!
This trip was not starting out at all as we’d planned.
Adriel searched through Cara Mia’s outside storage for the crank to manually lift the jack. He located it in the third place he looked and started cranking. It was hard work. He cranked it pretty much all the way up and hitched up to the truck.
Then he noticed that it was too low to connect the Anderson hitch. He cranked it back up, attached the hitch, and then cranked it back into the correct position.
Beads of sweat broke on his forehead, and a damp blotch spread across the back of his shirt. This was really hard work.
I was checking things inside and noticed that we now had power. The solar had been gathering juice since it had been moved outdoors, and we could now power things — including the electric hitch jack.
The original plan was to practice towing and backing the trailer in a nearby empty parking lot. When we felt comfortable, we’d drive home and load up.
Big Lesson – be flexible and creative
After the power snafu, we (Adriel!) had had enough. We skipped the practice session and just towed her home.
That’s the power of being flexible and creative. It’s been said that no plan survives the first contact with reality. Planning is essential. Flexible and creative response to the reality of your circumstance is the saving grace that will get you through life in the best possible way.
Once we were safely back home, we loaded everything that had been staged in the garage. The freezer was almost cold enough, so we filled it with all the meals that we’d saved up.
After a misstep or two, we installed the twin bed frames that we’d ordered from Matt Hughes. The extra support on the outside edges of the beds means our mattresses now stay in place!
The day for hitting the road in our Airstream had come!
The first day of our first road trip dawned sunny and cool. We both woke up at 4:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep.
After a quick breakfast and coffee, we loaded in the last few things. We double-checked our lists. We cleared and locked the house.
It was finally time to head down the road!