Kind of a hard pull into Amarillo Texas, wind was blowing fiercely, over in Santa Rosa, New Mexico it almost took us off the road, trucker wandered over to the shoulder, pinged the windshield, there will be $200 to cough up around December when the air turns chilly.
An all White Eagle and a Prevo sitting in the parking lot, the usual assortment of cookie cutter fiberglass crap motorhomes each and every one equipped the same, the Hawaiian Skirt Splash Guard on the back bumper and two-wheel dolly car carriers on the rear. Each one with their bright orange, green or yellow ladder strapped to the back of the unit, another convoy of “Dust Bowl Okies” on the road to who knows where.
But for the best part, the place is empty, picking and choosing a spot is not a problem tonight. Locating 42 feet of level ground, I quietly and efficiently stake my claim for the next eight to ten hours. I quickly locate a place for our “trailer trash” and we set up to spend the night. That done and put away, my attention returns to the two buses parked nearby. The Prevo has the usual assortment of flashy paint and what I call “whoopee do’s” running up and down the sides of the coach, all around the entire length of the coach. After careful scrutiny of my untrained eye, I come to a conclusion.
Looks like a Country Coach, maybe a Marathon, age and vintage unknown. It really doesn’t matter, both companies now defunct and shut down, casualties of the current economy. The government giveaway of the century just hastened the death of the American Dream it seems.Now the Eagle, the big bird next to her, she looks great.
Kind of majestic in the dim lite of the China–World parking lot. I saunter over and take a peek at both, the mural on the back of the Eagle is a “Dream Catcher” (American Indian Artifact) looks well done, and the bus lines are all straight and true. Someone has put a lot of hours into this sweetheart and the TLC is quite apparent.
Feeling the rigors and stress of the day taking their respective tolls, I now determine it is time to shut it down for the night and retire. Firing up the old generator, checking the connections, I go inside and Mama has the bed all made up and I am ready. I briefly listen to the almost hypnotically soothing rhythms of the generator, it surges when the power is required and then throttles back. Soon I find myself lulled into the quietness of the night, I drift off.
The very next morning, I awake and the eastern sky is alive with color, the beginnings of a new day. I dress, heat up a cup of brew on the three burner stove, and grab a jacket for a trip outside. I then see the owner of the Prevo, he is an old man, I am guessing maybe 70-74 years old.
We visit a little and we talk, about buses and things, all this spending in Washington and the trouble it always brings. At some point I offer up, “I have wanted one of these suckers since 1976, I will bet you I have looked at 200-300 in my lifetime. I am going to get me one, one of these days.”
I thought to myself, “one of these days, one of these days, one of these days.”
How many times late at night, had I sat there pouring over the materials, the ad’s, the internet, conning my mind into buying into it “one more time?” Paying for a home, putting two boys thru college, and tucking a little back for “The Bus Fund” has proven to be a formidable goal over the years.
So much for the American Dream eh?
My newfound friend says there is a lot to be said in that. He smiled the smile of a guy who had possibly been there, walked a mile in someone’s else’s shoes, and he asked, “How old are you son?” Without hesitation I quickly added, “Sixty years old on my last birthday.” He paused a little and then he said, “I am Seventy-four and this is my FIRST ONE hang in there, you will see your dream realized.”
We shook hands, he turned and walked back to the coach, Grand Canyon, north rim, was his destination for the day. By my reckoning about 650-700 miles for the day, that is a hard pull in itself. My bones creak in the cool chill of the morning, and I am glad that it is the middle of the week, and I am standing in the short rows in Amarillo, Texas.
We have 252 miles to put down, then we unload it all, stick it back in the storage yard until the next adventure or journey of unknown days. I walk over to the generator and shut it down, open the door and inquire, “You have your funny face on? (makeup) We need to get crackin.”
Life is short … Enjoy the Ride.