After a few hours on the PCH, getting back to a reasonable altitude was a good thing, but then we hit San Francisco, which I later found out, had Deke a bit worried. We’ve both spent time in San Fran at various conferences and meetings, and in comparison to LA, which was the most terrifying drive through situation for me, San Fran was Deke’s. But we made it over the bridge!
We were meeting up with Chicago friends for dinner at Sol Food (go there!) in San Rafael, so Marin RV Park was the perfect location. Would I stay at this park again? Definitely not, unless it was an emergency. It was the pits, and it ties the record for worst park we’ve been in (Memphis East RV Park is the other). The woman at the desk was rude, the cost was high, and there’s exactly 5 feet between you and your neighbor. But I’m glad we stayed there because I learned a lesson, and I’m not proud of the story, but I’ll tell it anyway. As we tried to get into our impossibly small parking spot, in the dark, in the cold, a man with Uggs, sweatpants and a white tank top came out of his motorhome (where he was listening to incredibly loud classic rock) and he offered his assistance. Also, by the smell, I would guess he was also on his 2nd or 3rd drink of the night- I could smell it because he was also a close talker. I told him we were ok, and thanked him for the offer. Then his son came out. Let’s just say I totally profiled him based on the neck and face tattoos. I judged both of them on appearance.
Until that moment, I didn’t think I was a judgmental person, I mean my dad has sleeves and drives a Harley and I’ve lived in an RV park in Texas for a year – which in itself is a study in tolerance and patience. But there was something about two people we didn’t know coming up and sticking their head in our truck window and touching our Airstream that made me snap.
Long story short, I made a judgement about these people that I had no right to do, and I was embarrassed about it. Especially since they saved our butts later that night.
Due to an unfortunate perfect storm of events, when we were unhitching the trailer, again, in the dark and cold, the foot gave way and the trailer took a nose dive to the ground. Not all the way, but enough. It was nothing I would’ve ever expected (I was standing right next to it, giving Deke the signal to pull forward), and was essentially dumbstruck, most likely either saying out loud or to myself: Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap. Without hesitation, Dad and Son immediately stopped what they were doing, got their jack out of their truck and manually jacked up the front of the Airstream. All this happened in about 30 seconds, before Deke could even get out of the truck. Then they helped us stabilize it with some wood and allowed us to keep the jack there overnight for extra stability. They told us to go ahead and meet our friends and they’d be there to keep an eye out if anything happened while we were gone.
Looking back on it, which we’ve done several times since that night, we learned many, many things. Deke learned that he needs to have a manual jack. We both learned that we’ll never be able to anticipate all the things that might go wrong on the road, so stop trying to. And I learned that I’m not better than anyone else and to not judge a man in Uggs and a white tank top who listens to Steppenwolf.