Two more days in Indio, California

The last two days were spent cleaning the coach and running errands.

Yesterday was workout day and it was nice doing morning Pilates outside without freezing.  It was probably about the same temperature as a Florida morning but without the humidity.  At the end of the run our clothes were almost bone dry.  Maybe we should soak our t-shirts in water before running to keep cool.  What a difference 3,000 miles can make.

We were only somewhat aware of how dirty the motorhome was.  Although Jeanne regularly cleans the inside, opportunities to clean the outside and few and far between.  Our visit to the Monaco plant in Indiana was the last time the outside was washed and it was much dirtier than expected.  It seems the brown color does a good job hiding the grime.  Anyway, after running some errands yesterday morning, I got out the bucket and brush and got after it.  The day was warm, over 80 degrees and it was a hot, sweaty job.  At the end of it all, the coach looked brand new.

In the one-thing-leads-to-another department, during an oil change on the Jeep a technician discovered the serpentine belt had a major split running through almost a quarter of its length.  It was not a major repair, but we are glad to have caught it before getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.  If this one-and-only belt breaks, the Jeep stops running.  Period.

In the sometimes-things-work-as-promised department, the Alcoa-brand bottle of polish for aluminum wheels we bought at the FMCA rally worked perfectly.  Our aluminum wheels are so shiny, they will blind anyone foolish enough to look directly at them.

Jeanne took some time one afternoon to defrost the other side of the freezer.  We had defrosted the one side in Santa Paula but discovered the other side had also frosted up.  The back of the freezer had a glacier stuck to it.  This is something we’ll have to pay more attention to, especially if we return to humid weather.

Readers of this log might wonder what the big deal is about cleaning our equipment.  The deal is that the constant use of travel exacts a heavy toll.  Our vehicles are always outdoors, usually in a dirty environment and maintenance is a constant problem.  If either vehicle goes out of service, it can tie us up for days.  Now I know why the military spends so much time, money and effort maintaining equipment.  Even if it is something small, it needs to be addressed immediately.

All this maintenance was suppose to have been done our last week in Santa Paula, but the weather just didn’t cooperate.  At least the pause here in Indio was put to good use.  We now feel ready for another year of travel.  Hopefully, we’ll have a day or so to explore this area before moving on.  The weather here is nice this time of year, but this is the low desert and it turns into a furnace around the end of May.

To be sure, cleaning the equipment is moderate physical labor that doesn’t take a lot of thought.  Eventually your mind begins to wander and reflect.  The irony is both Jeanne and I were somewhat successful in our corporate careers.  We had the opportunity to work with very talented and motivated people.  It was rewarding, exciting and challenging.  Some people might say I was an executive of sorts.  It didn’t feel like it at the time, but maybe attending endless meetings and marginally helping guide an organization from a financial perspective may qualify.  At least Jeanne and I tried to give a good effort at work.  Now, here I am washing my motorhome on a sunny Wednesday afternoon in Indio, California.  My how things change!  I’m king of the bucket and brush and for the first time in many, many years, I can see a tangible result of my efforts.  How can you stand back and admire accounting records maintained by some corporate general ledger system?  Today, I can see the aluminum rims gleam in the January sunshine.  What a sense of accomplishment!

How long will this last?  Will this hold our attention for the next 20 years?  Will the day arrive when we will long for the challenge of the working world?  Who knows?  I can only conclude that what we are doing is o.k. for now and for the next 45 days that Jeanne has already scheduled.  It feels strange.  The fact is we achieved our lifetime goal of independence — but what now?

When we figure it out, dear readers, you’ll be the first to know.  For now, I’ll go back to cleaning the coach.