Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sparky's Driving Lesson

Gee, I now understand how Eldy gets so tired after driving 400 some miles in one day. I was exhausted after driving today. Yep! I actually drove this honkin' big Tiffin 40 foot motorhome today! (C'mon, you drove 100 yards, give me a break! Eldo says.) Well, yeah, and here's how it went. I decided that in Utah's wide open spaces, that would be a good place for me to learn how to drive the Phaeton after all this time. A gal must be able to back her guy up in an emergency, take over when necessary, and relieve him of long, boring drives on occasion. So I stepped up to the plate, and much to Eldy's amazement, I thought I would give it a go today. I got in the driver's seat after we fueled up at a big open truck stop and after about ten minutes of messing with the seat controls so my short little legs could reach the gas pedal, I announce, "OK, I'm ready, how do we start?"

Eldy says with utmost patience, "OK, put your foot on the brake pedal." I say, "Where's the brake pedal? This one?" and I stepped on the steering wheel pedal that positions the steering wheel. "No, not that one, the OTHER one, the one to the right."  OK, got it. I stepped on the brake, and it didn't feel like it was doing anything, so I stepped on the brake harder, trying to push it down to the floor. I didn't like the feel of how hard it was to push! I started to worry.....Eldy says, "OK, now release the emergency brake or parking brake. Now push the "D" button for drive." I did that and the coach appeared to roll BACKWARDS a little.  "What's happening? Why are we rolling backwards?" Guess it was just a little momentum from nowhere. "OK, now give it a little gas...ok, we're rollin'." I rolled forward about  100 yards out of the gas pumps while Eldy is telling me "watch your mirrors, look in the lower mirror to see if the car has cleared the pumps, then watch your big mirrors for the turn, watch your gauges..." and he started telling me all about the gauges and engine temps and oil pressures and...." and I started thinking about this responsibility of hauling 34,000 pounds of motorhome plus the car out on the highway without knowing or understanding everything in front of me, and what if there's construction and cones and cement barriers and...?????

"Uh, honey, I don't think I'm ready for this just yet. I need a huge parking lot where I can roll around and  work with the gauges and get the feel of this coach...." Push button driving and gears and speeds and exhaust brake and air gauges and gas gauges.... I panicked and quit! That was enough driving lesson for me today! I need Dennis Hill's RV Driving School lessons! Eldy pulled out what little hair he had left after working with me for about 20 minutes.

Zion from the motorhome car window
Eldy very capably took over and understood I was just a little too nervous and a little too unprepared mentally to start driving today. He drove the rest of the way to Kanab, Utah, about 230 miles today from Nephi, Utah where we were yesterday. I don't know about most RVers, but when we pick up and move frequently, I forget where we were yesterday, what campground we stayed in and where we are today! Oh, yeah! We're right outside Zion and the beautiful red rocks and canyons and hills. Kanab is a great base for exploring many monuments, geological formations and attractions--Zion, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument, the Anasazi Indian Village State Park, and much much more.... Unfortunately, we only have a day and a half...

Kanab RV Corral gazebo
Kanab, Utah is a great town..We're staying at the Kanab RV Corral, one of three RV parks in town and it appears to be the  nicest. A little over 30.00 a night with a Good Sam's discount. Although the sites are very close together, there are beautiful grassy seating areas here..a gazebo where anybody can come and sit and visit with others or just have a peaceful nook for reading or knitting. There are rocking chairs, benches, flowered landscaping in other areas of the park...the couple that is running the park are British, very warm and charming. We chatted with them a bit today after settling in. Very funny sense of humor! We really enjoyed talking with them....
Hm-m-m-m, Eldy in jail-a reoccurring theme here
Over 100 westerns were filmed here in this county, Kane County....Zion National Park is at our park's doorstep. We've been to Zion before, just not traveling by motorhome, and since we've only got one day before heading to Arizona, we're probably not going to explore the national park tomorrow.  We're going to explore it on the way back AFTER the family reunion. There are some little funky places here that are calling out to us....we stopped at one late today for some barbeque after we got settled in. It was a fun, although touristy little place called Calvin T's BBQ. Very good food and VERY fun decor outside. Lots of funky metal sculpture......of course we had to get some silly photos of the place.....

And this pile of bones? From all the BBQ perhaps? (Just kidding...)  Who knows?

Just a funky little place and fun to visit and good food--Calvin T's BBQ...we're going to be in a not so fun place tomorrow morning, the car repair shop..brakes are making a terrible noise! Hopefully, it won't be something more than debris from construction or dirt or dust in the calipers or pads....see you later!


  1. Well, at least you gave it a try. A driving school is a good idea. Parners sometimes don't have the needed patience with each other. :)

  2. Driving school with help, but it's still nerve wracking to drive. Great that you know how to though. I did the driving school in 2008, it was great.

  3. If you haven't left Kanab go to the 3 Bears for ice cream. Cute little place if a tad pricey. But hey it's ice cream!!

    Next time you want to drive, just pull over on the interstate. Nice straight road, stay in the right lane, no clearances to make sure you don't hit anything and drive for an hour or two. That will get rid of the nerves.

    If you find a driving school I might do that too so let me know. I think though that mostly it is "practice". BUT I still have trouble with how WIDE am I. How far out do I have to pull to turn. HOW close can I really get to that because I have such a blunt front nose.

  4. You stepped on the brake really hard and now they are making a noise? Hum.

    I know a trucker that uses his winshield like a dry erase board. He puts the directions right on the glass. You could do that with your current location.

    Have fun in Sedona. If you want to get wet, I highly recommend Slide Rock State Park.