Wham-Bam: No Thank You, Ma’am!

Long-time readers of our blog know that occasionally we “go dark.” Often it’s because we’re someplace where wifi isn’t reliable, but during 2020 it was hard to stay motivated to write — not just this blog, but anything else.

And for a lot of reasons, none of them good.

Like many full-time RVers, our adventure turned into what I call a “bad adventure,” rather than the good ones we had hoped for when we headed out on the road nearly a dozen years ago.

Everyone I know has had the worst year they can remember. Ours was, too. And COVID-19 was just a part of it.

Just as we started to acclimate to the stormy weather the pandemic has brought into all of our lives — eating out less often, shopping only for necessities, figuring out how to stay in shape when hiking or biking wasn’t possible —

Slam! Bam! Our world was flipped around.


It was a rainy afternoon in early October. We were sitting in our Jeep at a traffic light in Caldwell, Idaho, looking forward to heading away from the city in a few days. Then BAM! We got rear-ended by a driver in a huge flatbed truck with a big chrome cattle guard on the grille.

Thankfully, things could have been worse. Ellen’s back still gives her some problems, but the Jeep suffered the worst damage: $14,000 worth!

I was too shaken up to take a photo when the accident happened; this was taken the day after. Not a good look for the Jeep, eh?!?

You don’t think about some things until something bad happens. In our case, we had great insurance and, even better, the man who hit us had good insurance as well. We managed to get the Jeep into service, rented a car (I felt as though I was dragging my butt on the road, it was so low to the ground!), extended our stay at the RV park, and tried to go back to normal.

I’ll condense a very long story by saying the Jeep was in the shop for a more than a month and by then it was snowing. Our RV was starting to show signs of cold-weather stress, so we arranged to have the new roof sent to Yuma, got the old one put on (with a used, replacement back window for the time being), and headed south.

Sadly, the worst wasn’t over.

Whump! Whump! Whump!

We were about fifteen miles north of Las Vegas, on our way to Pahrump, Nevada, when we heard something and knew we had to pull off the road.

One of our rear tires had lost its tread! As my character Betty Rollin would say, “Poop-dammit!”

About four hours later we finally had roadside help and three new tires (we wanted to replace all of them but the roadside service crew only had three).

Not the first time we’ve sat on the side of a lonely stretch of road, waiting for assistance. Sadly, it probably won’t be the last!

After a twenty-two hour day, we rolled into the RV park in Pahrump at about four a.m.

We’ve since gotten the other four tires replaced (including the spare). Bob had planned to get them all replaced but when the pandemic hit we put it off.

Since then we’ve been dealing with air conditioner issues, generator problems, a broken refrigerator door, not to mention the exhaust pipe and bracket we’re hiring someone to replace for us.

Ah! The years we’ve been on the road are taking their toll on our vehicles. Despite that, we can’t imagine hanging up the keys. Not yet. The lure of the road, the reward of meeting people all over the country are still too strong for us to give up.

While everyone is hoping 2021 brings us relief from the pandemic — and you can include us in that bunch — we’re also hoping 2021 brings us a better travel year.

Here’s hoping you and yours are happy and healthy, and if you’re on the road — please travel safely!

About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
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2 Responses to Wham-Bam: No Thank You, Ma’am!

  1. Mark Gurley says:

    Yes it can always be worse but that doesn’t make difficult times better. Glad you are safe and with your chin held high. I gave up my blog this year out of lack of desire. Hope you keep at it. Fair weather and level camp sites to you both.

    • Ellen says:

      I’ve since heard that peoples’ driving skills, in general, have taken a dive due to the pandemic. I guess people got accustomed to driving with less traffic and as more people hit the road again they started hitting each other. It’s never fun being on the bad side of a statistic! Good to hear you’re doing well — I totally understand about the blog. I wrote about non-writing (ironic, huh?) over at ellenbooks.com… Maybe having two blogs is too many! Take care!

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