Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Our Maiden Voyage!

We awoke early feeling both excited to get underway on our maiden voyage and nervous because we were truly on our own. Our plan was to depart at 10:00 a.m. in hopes that we would miss the worst of the morning traffic as we made our way through Sacramento. We were fairly confident in our route through the city, but first we had to prepare Scoopy for departure.

The downside of being early risers on a day like this is that after we did everything we could think of to be ready, we mostly just sat around waiting. We took a walk around the campground hoping to rid ourselves of some nervous energy, but we finally couldn't stand it anymore and we decided to move our departure to 9:00 a.m., traffic be damned!

We each went through our respective checklists, Steven on the outside, me on the inside. All went well until I got to the part that said "when the pressure is up to 150 lbs., turn off the engine". By this time, Steven was inside, and we both waited and watched the gauges. Neither one was approaching 150 lbs. and both seemed unmoved by our encouragement for them to continue rising.

Google says we don't need 150lbs. Yay, let's roll!!

Steven placed a call to Odel. No answer. He called Laurie. No answer. We waited a few more minutes but it was pretty clear those gauges weren't moving, so I shut off the engine anyway, pulled in the slide, did a final check and at 9:42 a.m., we pulled out.

Nothing blew up. Nothing terrible happened. Scoopy wasn't dragging on the ground. So off we went, barreling down the road with about 130 lbs. of air.

Our maiden voyage motto: "You Only Live Once"

It was a beautiful day and we made good time through Sacramento and onto I-5. It took me about an hour to loosen my grip on the steering wheel, and not long after that I started to feel my heart rate slowing. We made scheduled rest stops and before long we were having conversations about making unscheduled stops. I am very leery of this, as I do not want to find myself in an awkward place making it necessary for us to reenact "Plan B".  

Running with the big dogs!

In spite of this, we couldn't pass up a huge Camping World. We were in need of a sharp knife and a 6' ladder, and this seemed to be as good a place as any. Plus, we thought it would be fun to poke around.

It wasn't. And we discovered that Camping World is home to the $200 ladder. We put it back and walked out of there with a knife and four rolls of toilet paper. We know we could have gotten both elsewhere for less money, but who knew when we might feel confident enough to make another unscheduled stop? Maybe never.

Adding yet another milestone to our trip, we stopped to refuel. This was an approved and scheduled stop and it went perfectly! We did poke around in the store to see if we needed anything, but we didn't. Back on the road, we came to the conclusion that we can't do all our shopping at truck stops, Camping World and the RV park store. That would get spendy real quick, but until we get a vehicle set up to tow, our options are somewhat limited. 

Giving Scoopy some diesel love...

We pulled into our campground in Redding around 2:25 p.m. It was a long and tiring day. We are used to marathon travel days when camping with Ace Yukon and Alfred Hitchpop, but I can tell you with certainty that those habits are dead. I was worn out. We got set up in record time, just 14 minutes. Of course it helps that we have nothing inside Scoopy that we have to deal with. We just run through our checklists, pour a glass of wine and sit down. That's about it!

I have to give kudos to my navigator. He is taking his responsibilities very seriously and he did a fantastic job both before our departure and during our trip. There is hope for us yet.


  1. Sounds like a fantastic first day - congratulations!

  2. You guys are doing awesome. Well done. You'll be pros in no time. Glad you are doing so well.

  3. As Jo said, you guys are awesome! Spontaneous stops - WOW!

    Change your checklist from 150 lbs to 120-130 lbs. Remember that you can travel at 100 lbs, which will operate your air brakes effectively.

    We thought about you all day on Monday. So glad the navigation through Sacramento went well. Yay, team Chouter!

  4. You are on your way! Woo hoo!!!

    Take your time. Enjoy yourselves.

    The rest will come in time.

    We're looking forward to meeting up with you somewhere on the road!


  5. the two of you make a fine team!
    good luck with day two of travelling!