Final day @ Cape Blanco and the unfortunate adventure on the way home. (Mon May 2nd)
When I got back to my campsite after dinner and hanging out with friends I decided that even though it was well after dark I should probably break camp in preparation for leaving today. The other motive in this was the prediction of rain starting in the overnight hours and continueing till mid morning. I figured better to break camp when it is dry and not as muddy. This was an excellent choice because we certainly did get some more rain that night. Monday morning was another great hike and play session for Jazzy and Logan and the rain managed to hold off until after I hit the road around 1pm.
I was in no hurry to leave the area. I left the campsite shortly after 1pm and then headed to paradise point which is just a nice beach overlook. We hung out there until the rain just was too much and then went food shopping to stock up on my favourite foods at the Golden Harvest Herban Market. Their Tuna Salad is amazing, dog biscuits for the kids, lasagna, tuna casserole, meatballs. Prepared dinners at a reasonable cost to last me a few weeks. Grateful for the Rv fridge to keep everything fresh for the ride home.
One of my priorities before leaving Oregon was to take advantage of the cheaper gas prices on this side of the border. I decided on the gas at Fred Myers. Here’s where it gets interesting and embarrassing. In Oregon you aren’t allowed to fuel your own vehicle except for after hours. Here I was at Fred Myers (a local dept type store with gas station) with my RV being filled up (this is about a 20 minute process with a tank like mine). I decided to buy some window washer fluid and and proceeded to start filling it up. I suddenly thought to turn over the cap of the reservoir I had chosen to fill. Unbelievable!! I was putting window wash fluid in my oil reservoir! In my RV, both the washer fluid and the oil filler are necks reaching out instead of in most engines you take the cap off your valve cover. This is not a good excuse for not having been more aware when I went to fill it. On the bright side, I caught myself before I emptied the whole gallon into my engine oil!
I was very upset with myself but no time to dwell on my stupidity. As I always do, I immediately questioned, what good can come from this? There must be something good to come out of this experience. Is there something I can be grateful for in the middle of a disaster like this?
There was an oil change shop right across the street but it was after 5 so they were closed. I realised there was also an Auto Zone on the other side of the street as well. I drove over to the Auto-Zone and bought 3 gallons of oil, 2 oil filtres and an oil filtre wrench and drain pan. I then went over to the deserted Valvoline station and pulled into a spot where people would generally vacuum out their vehicles. I hoped to disguise my oil change with a vacuum station. I was grateful I didn’t make this mistake somewhere in the middle of nowhere with no options to change my oil immediately!!!
It wasn’t raining but it was drizzling and the ground was wet. I donned one of the TyVex suits I had brought with me and proceeded to do 2 oil changes on the RV. The first oil change came out as expected, muddy chocolate looking oil satuarated with water/windoiw wash fluid. Heart-breaking to see this mud come out of my engine. I only put a gallon of oil in for my first oil change and then ran the engine for a couple of minutes and then repeated the whole oil and filtre change again this time filling it up to capacity with oil (and no washer fluid). I ran it and checked the oil and it looked clean so I figured I had averted the emergency.
The nice thing about having to do a task like this on an RV versus your car, in a situation like this is that after I completed the last oil change I had the luxury of taking a nice hot shower in my RV. I had had the foresight to put the water heater on before I started this job so at the conclusion I was able to change out of soaking clothes and feel refreshed enough to restart my journey.
We did continue on the way even though it was getting dark. We made it across the California Border and I decided to stop at the Lucky 7 casino and use them as an overnight parking place. I was going to try and get dinner but we arrived after 9pm and the dining was closed. No I didn’t play any games there, I am not a fan of casinos and especially not a fan of the smoking allowed in casinos policies.
I didn’t get much sleep. All I could think about was what have I done to my engine. I was still imagining the worst. The next morning I checked my oil again and it looked clean but I was worried that there was bad stuff on the bottom that my oil stick wasn’t picking up.
About 60 miles later in Arcata, Ca I passed an Oil change spot that appeared to be for big rigs. It was for everyone as it turned out and I paid them to do another oil change. I informed them of my unfortunate incident and asked that they examine the oil. To my relief there was not a drop of muck in the oil and the service guy was very reassuring complimenting me on getting those first 2 oil changes done so quickly after this mishap. It was a relief to see the clean oil and feel like I hadn’t ruined a great engine!!
This was the only excitement on the way home fortunately. It was a long long drive. I drove all the way to my work parking space at the Oakland Airport where I parked the RV and then transferred the dogs an myself into our pickup truck for another 3 hour drive home. I think we got home around 11pm that night. It was good to be home but even better to be home after having had such a peaceful and relaxing vacation. I love my home so much it was hard for me to leave at the beginning of my vacation but now that I have taken the trip I can see I need to keep taking thee RV trips at least a couple of times a year. great opportunity to decmpress and just relax. At home I am always working on one project or another so taking advantage of not being able to work on those projects is good for the soul!
Here’s a quick video summary of the trip
Of course my life revolves around my dogs. This trip primary purpose was to meet up with Logan and his asome family again. Everything about the trip was great for all of us. I kniow Jazzy and Zulu had a blast and Logan sure acted like he was excited for some play time buddies. Great memories hoping to get together again sometime this year or next!!