My son had decided the family was lacking what his high school friends’ families were enjoying this summer. His friends were traveling to distant states to preview colleges for the education dreams, and hopes, for the next several years of a student’s life just after high school. Our dreams include an opportunity to attend a California University (California State, University of California or California Community College) because of the Veterans Administration (VA) benefits offered to my family for my years of military service.
Although it helps that the VA will pay for a large chunk (tuition, basically), I still feel empty after already sending one of my kids through the system. Yes it still costs a lot of money for books, gas, parking permits, administrative fees and the ol’ room and board. Even if they live at home, they still find ways to drain the funds . . . and then some.
We head for the San Francisco Bay area, but along the eastern portion, beginning with a brief stop in Gustine, CA. Gustine is out in the middle of nowhere; the mechanic that was to hopefully help me, said . . . “yeah, we can fix it . . . but nothing happens fast out here in Gustine”. I can understand because parts for repairs have to come from afar . . . how ever far that might be. But the owner of Parrieira’s Auto Repair was an honest guy and even allowed us to stay in his driveway until “the right tow truck” showed up. If you look in the picture, the driver’s side rear wheel on the trailer is black.
My first attempt at an AAA reliable tow call produced a unit (truck) half the size I needed. They did follow us into Gustine to make sure we didn’t get stranded as I pulled the wheel-bearing-blown 31ft trailer down the road a couple of miles.
My whole time stranded without much movement lasted about 5 hours that day. Luckily our AAA “serious truck” tow-truck driver showed up (this guy had a very badd-ass truck) and got us dropped off on spot before too much daylight was lost ($40 cash tip . . . we begin the journey of lost money). We ended up sleeping in the trailer that night waiting for the word on damages for repairs the next morning. We had pre-arranged a drop off of our busted travel trailer while stranded in Gustine. The morning after we got dropped off in Tracy, CA so we could head off on our journey to begin seeing these Universities.
Now let’s talk a bit about Travln Toys in Tracy, CA. These guys had me back on the road, way cheaper than I had initially thought, as if nothing had happened. They spoke of potentials the day before (phone), but performed flawlessly the next day, while we had left the trailer behind, of our journey north to UC Davis. BTW, UC Davis was a bitchen (So Cal talk) school.
Anyways I got out pretty cheap for road repairs to 4 wheels (re-packed or replaced) that day . . . and they promised me the trailer would not interrupt any more of our travels. I felt the repairs in Tracy to be to my advantage because of the central location amongst our college tours and our road travels again south.
Luckily we picked up the RV as planned and headed back to Walnut Creek, CA for a night stay at the Elks . . .
. . . To be continued.