AT HOME, ALEX ALWAYS KEPT OUR MOTOR-HOME SPOTLESS. I like to keep it clean as a whistle. Before embarking on Our Great American Adventure, Alex was the answer. (He was our “ranch hand.” He and his wife and baby girl live in Tecate, Mexaco, but he lived with us during the week while he worked for/with us at home.) He ‘d wash the RV and hand wax it to perfection. I’m not sure how he did such a good job so quickly, but over the years I came to realize that in addition to being a great guy and one of my best friends, he was a heck of a good worker! It’s rare to find someone with such a work ethic. He’d work all day, clean up, have dinner with us and then ask what else he could do inside the house before bedtime. All the while, I’d be helping him with his English…teaching him phrases, idioms and words new to him. I really enjoyed our time together and I’m sure he did as well. And boy did his English improve!
TOUGH TO SAY GOODBY: I’ll not soon forget the day I said goodby to Alex, before Florence and I left Sweetwater Summit Park in San Diego for this first long leg of our Journey. Alex and I had worked together all day long. Well, OK… he worked and I tagged along and chatted. As the sun began to set and day’s end approached, I began to dread the time when it would be time for him to go home. …time for Florence and I to drive away and time for Alex and I to become long-distance friends for a long while. I guess men aren’t supposed to let their emotions show, much less cry, but I did both. I miss him every day. Seeing him again and “catching up” with him and his family will certainly be one of the highlights of our next return-visit to San Diego.
KEEPING IT CLEAN ON THE ROAD. It’s a bit of a challenge to keep the RV clean now that we’re always on the move. It’s simply too big a job for me. Some RV parks where we stay have vendors who visit often and who will wash your rig, clean the carpet and do other odds-and-ends type jobs. Most don’t, however and as a consequence it’s hard to keep it clean. I recently decided that I’d see if one of the huge truck-stop washes would allow me to run through. “Yep, come on down,” the guy said. I did. It was great…I hope we can find more of these washes along the way. The wash building is like an airplane hanger, with huge doors on either end. When the doors open and the clean truck in front of you exits, you drive in, the doors close and about half a dozen guys start spraying and brushing. I even towed the Jeep right inside the “hanger” and had it washed too.
NO PICTURES. WHY? When the manager saw me taking these pictures, he politely but firmly informed me that picture-taking wasn’t allowed. I couldn’t fathom why that would be the case, so I asked. “We hire a lot of underage kids and illegals,” he said. “We don’t want any evidence.” Alright, at least the guy was honest with me. Not a bad reason, I suppose.
TRUCK STOPS OFTEN HAVE WASH FACILITIES. THEY EVEN LET ME TOW OUR JEEP INSIDE. MIGHT AS WELL GET ‘EM BOTH WASHED AT THE SAME TIME.