Sunday, September 4, 2011

-- From Whining to Wheezing...

Before leaving the KOA, my dad said we only had a half-tank of propane, so we stopped by the general store at KOA and asked them to fill our propane tank in the Supervan--and then we were back on the road.

Today, we are heading to an area called Prewitt Ridge near Big Sur, California.  Since it was the weekend, we splurged and ate pizza for lunch.  Mmm, besides bagels, pizza is definitely one of my favorite foods!

As we drove toward Highway 1, we entered Fort Hunter Liggett, a U.S. Army training facility.

There was a huge tank at the entrance and my mom wanted to take a photo of me-- She called it Tank and Tank -- Hah! 

Then, as we drove through the facility, I saw this sign:

I wish there were troops there so we could watch them train.  I miss my older bro so badly.  He is still in Iraq. 

We took a wrong turn and ended up at Mission San Antonio.  It was pretty cool.  I didn’t get to go in, but my mom did. 

The lady in the gift shop headed us in the right direction and we drove through more twisty and turning mountain roads.  When we hit the dirt road toward Prewitt Ridge, my mom gripped the arm rests.  The road was steep and only passable for one vehicle at times.  On a couple of occasions, we had to back up the hill to let someone pass us from the other direction. 

Each time my dad found a potential campsite, my mom said, Okay, this is good.  But my dad said, Let’s keep going and see if there’s something better.  I could hear my mom doing a Muttley grumble each time.  Then more steep and narrow roads.  A couple of times, my dad had to do an Austin Powers turn.  For those of you who are not familiar with this term, Austin Powers tries to turn a utility cart around in a narrow hallway and inches forward, backward, forward, backward--well, you get the idea.  Here's the scene from the movie if you don't know what I'm talking about.  It's a YouTube clip.  Just hit the back button afterwards to return to my blog...

When we came to a dicey turn-off, my mom wanted to scope out the steep downhill first on foot.  She walked down the hill while my dad chatted with another dude driving around the area at the top of the hill.  When my mom got to the bottom, she saw that it was a dead end and didn’t want my dad to drive down the dicey hill unnecessarily.  So she ran up the hill, kicking up dust as she ran.  She was out of breath when she got to the top and could hardly breathe.  Something in the dust affected her and she had a coughing and wheezing fit.  Besides the constant coughing, this pretty much shut my mom up for the rest of the drive.  This has happened to her before and she ended up having to go to urgent care, so she tried to breathe evenly and relax it until it passed.  There is no urgent care around this place--that’s for sure.

We finally reached the end of the trail.  There was no view from these campsites and we were surrounded by trees--not satellite-friendly.  My dad got out of the Supervan to disconnect the front sway bar so that the Supervan could handle the angular parts of the trail better.  Then he said he smelled propane.  He checked the propane tank on the Supervan and noticed that it was filled to capacity--over the red line.  Not good.  He asked my mom if she smelled propane, but my mom wasn’t talking at this point--just wheezing--so he shrugged and got back into the Supervan.   We started heading back. 

We returned to one of the earlier campsites my dad pointed out and we climbed to the top of the hill and parked.  My dad asked my mom if the spot was okay, and she nodded enthusiastically--she was prolly just happy to stop driving.  When my dad turned off the ignition, we heard a loud HISSSSS and there was dust pluming outside all of the windows.  I felt like we were in the space shuttle and we were about to lift off.  The hissing sound was hurting my ears and my dad said to get out of the Supervan and stand clear of it.    

After about a minute, the noise stopped and my dad went over to the side of the Supervan where the propane tank was located.  Turns out, the relief valve opened up from the overfill and a gush of propane had sprayed out--and now we are back to a half tank of propane.  Good thing we didn’t have a campfire going 

Our campsite is pretty cool--360 degree views of the mountains and the ocean.  Here are a couple of photos:

By the way, my mom is feeling better now.  I’m sure she will be 100% when we are ready to leave, so I must prepare myself for more whining on the way out of here.

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