Delayed Departure

Based on the BIG plan for this BIG road trip; I was meant to be leaving on the 14th – so, technically, I could still leave on time if the universe opened up and gave me an extra large helping of luck to offset the past few months. But we can’t plan on miracles; so I am hoping to leave on Monday (the 17th) instead.

Three days isn’t so bad.

But here’s why I am delayed : West Hills Ford in Bremerton.

They are the worst. If you want to skip my rant; feel free to scroll down to “Rant Ends Here”

Rant Starts Here

I dropped my van off three weeks ago to get an oil change and make sure that everything was good to go for the trip. I already got new tires put on and stocked up on essentials (things like dog food that I won’t want to pick up as I go). So I really thought that I was being super prepared and planning ahead. What I didn’t expect was general incompetence, poor customer service, and zero follow-through on the part of Ford.

In addition to the oil change; the service center let me know that there were two recalls on the vehicle that I needed to address. My car was fine; but the hinges on the doors had to be checked and the seal on the moon-roof had to be redone. Again, my car was fine. I had no leaks, no creaks, everything was hunky dory. But Ford sent my van to an Auto Glass Plus that broke my perfectly good moon roof. The part apparently couldn’t just be immediately ordered and replaced, as you would think would be the basic protocol when they break something on a customer’s vehicle. Instead, it took over a week for Ford to approve the part – all with no communication from the service department to myself. I had to call them repeatedly to gain any of this information.

Now it has taken over three weeks and I still haven’t gotten my vehicle back. I was told the day after I dropped my car off that I needed lug nuts and new breaks; but at the time I had three weeks to get a second opinion and find a cheaper option (Les Schwab wanted to do the lug nuts for a third of the price). Now, I don’t have time and asked to have some of the costs covered for the work that they recommended. They thought it was appropriate to mock me for expecting any kind of financial relief from the situation. After being talked to like a child; I told the manager that I was going to leave. I literally had to say “I am walking away from the situation now” and point to the door repeatedly while he continued to pester me about the ridiculousness of my request.

I have never been so frustrated in a service experience.

Rant Ends Here

SO, here I am. It is the 11th; I was hoping to leave on the 14th, and there are still some very important steps to take before I am ready to go.

The biggest task is to put on the hitch that came in the mail a couple of weeks ago. My Ford Transit Connect is rated with a tow capacity of 2000lbs; but it doesn’t come ready to go. I will need to remove the spare tire and bolt the hitch in. Assuming that I bought the right one, I won’t have to buy any spacers or any other hardware to attach the part. But it isn’t something that I have done before, and it couldn’t be more important that I get it right. When I get my wagon and go to attach it; I will be 3000 miles away from home and won’t have a lot of time before I need to turn around and come back to Washington.

I will post a video as planned talking about how that install goes, but that was something that I wanted to have done this last weekend at the latest. Until then, I am getting super excited to get on the road. I will be stopping at KOA campgrounds.

KOA, at first glance, isn’t the style of camping that I typically go for. I usually like to be secluded in the woods with minimal amenities. BUT, I am traveling across the country with a 75lb dog and I want to make sure that we don’t have any emergencies or waste too much time finding places to stay at night.

By staying exclusively at KOA,

  1. I will have water and electricity every night
  2. I don’t have to worry about camps being dog friendly
  3. There are tons of these campgrounds all across the country
  4. I will save enough to more than pay for the annual membership
  5. The campgrounds are AWESOME

It is definitely exciting to plan a trip and the delay to departure means that I get to spend extra time planning – Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance, as they say.

While I plan, I am also developing the format and the voice behind this blog. I want to have a video based blog, so expect to see a lot of my face on this trip. But there will also be a growing portfolio of images taken on the road as well as posts such as this one where I am simply engaging in a Public Free-Writing Experience in a more conventional blog format. I am, after all, a writer at heart.

To bring my writing, my traveling, and my search for knowledge all together, I will be adding an author page which I encourage readers to check out to find links to my published works including my latest novella – Mutiny.

The adventure is just waiting to begin; and I look forward to having the company of my readers as I hit the road.

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