Roll Those Dice, Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes!

One of my mother’s many favorite sayings is “Into every life, a little rain must fall.”   I always defy this statement, affirming “Not in my life…that’s not my truth!”  Which is typically followed by a clap of thunder and a microburst.

I seem to have hit a little stroke of “rain” lately.  It started with my trip inland to visit my favorite asphalt riverbank, Eugene’s Valley Center Mall.   I love this parking spot right alongside the cool waters of the Willamette River, parked beneath the shady sycamores.  (Pay no attention to that mega Macy’s and Regal Cineplex 16 out the other side of the Winnie.)

A familiar sight on Hwy 101, the "Follow Me" Pilot Car. I am happily following to the scenic Heceta Head Lighthouse in the distance.

A familiar sight on Hwy 101, the “Follow Me” Pilot Car. I am happily following to the scenic Heceta Head Lighthouse in the distance.

Rogue Distillery's "Mash" Transit...get it?

Rogue Distillery’s “Mash” Transit…get it?

My friend Scott comes to visit me in his 1956 Metropolitan while I am in "time out" at the hitch repair shop.

My friend Scott comes to visit me in his very snazzy 1956 Metropolitan while I am in “time out” at the hitch repair shop.

I came in to Eugene to visit some friends Scott and Jan, and have my tail lights checked at Hitch Pro and Tow.  My tow lights have not worked properly since I left Ventura, where the Winnie had her “belly work” done, replacing the sheered frame rail extensions.   While there, I had the SMI Stay in Play braking system installed to replace my old Brake Buddy.  I think it must have been Barber RV of Ventura’s first SMI install, as it took them all day (at $120/hr) and they never did get it right.   The problem with my tow lights (driver’s side turn signal receiving continuous signal, therefore would not flash, nor would it turn off, hence draining the Tracker battery.)   Turns out the $115 converter box for the tow lights that Barber RV sold me had already failed, and I’d been unknowingly driving for who knows how long with no supplemental braking system.

And then, this happened…

On the bright side, it was a relief to see how well the Tracker handled this while being towed!

On the bright side, it was a relief to see how well the Tracker handled this while being towed!

Thankfully, I was six miles north of Walport on Highway 101, approaching the little town of Seal Rock. I was able to pull over to safety and successfully change the tire in front of the Yuzen Sushi restaurant.  However, I hope Karma does its thing for the shrunken Japanese man who owns the restaurant.  “This busy season!  Need to move!”  He threatened a tow truck if I wasn’t gone by opening time.  This, after he stood there with his small yappy dog and watched over my shoulder while I changed the tire with an ace bandage on my foot.  I asked him, “Where is your heart, sir? You see I have a problem here!” His response, “That’s your problem!”

And after 3.5 years and 30,000 miles together through thick and thin, how could I have missed that the Little Tracker has been covering all those miles in a set of “snow tires?”  Tire stores will not accept the liability of replacing one “regular” tire, mixing with the remaining three “studless” snow tires.   So it was all or nothing.  Baby now has a new set of shoes!

So close, but yet so far!

So close, but yet so far!


So…on to the ace bandage and my own “blow out.”  I have injured the fascia in the bottom of my left foot.  It happened when I stepped wrong on a rock and my foot slid backwards, hyper extending the tendon in the arch of my foot.  I was halfway around a five mile loop when it happened, a pain so severe I almost lost my lunch and contemplated testing the SOS button on the Delorme.  After a visit to the podiatrist, I am throwing  every treatment I can find at it.  Frozen water bottles, tennis balls, and even “ASTYM” (augmented soft tissue mobilization), which involves scraping the bottom of my foot with the side of a spoon, resulting in a gritty grinding sensation of the tendon, second only to fingernails on a blackboard.….all which are helping neither my foot nor my bad mood.  I went from planning a trip around Mt Rainer’s Wonderland Trail to “wondering” how I was going to get around the grocery store.   Don’t judge a woman by her footwear selection until you have walked a mile in her orthodics!

Judging form my lack of success at the slots, it's good I chose a different path...

Judging form my lack of success at the slots, it’s good I chose a different path…

The latest craze in Casino accessorizing..."Bingo Daubers."

The latest craze in Casino accessorizing…”Bingo Daubers.”

My lucky streak of finding “the last available campsite” seems to also be running out, leaving me few options but casino-docking.  Not my favorite venue.  I am grateful for the free parking, but even that is drying up.  Some casinos are now enforcing gambling in exchange for the privilege to park within the painted square of their crowded, slanted asphalt lot.  Judging from the crowds I have seen, RVers are among their best customers.   And possibly their most affluent.  I am not a gambler despite the title of this blog post.  So it is painful for me to feed money into a machine until I reach the magic “points” required to cash in my winnings for a parking pass.

Is it any wonder casinos feel "dark" to me?

Is it any wonder casinos feel “dark” to me?


The casino’s “All-you-care-to-eat” buffets are certainly a bargain along the coast, particularly those offering seafood.   But it’s tough to enjoy the ambiance for fear I will soon resemble the clientele…people my own age in walkers and “scoots” because they have grown too large for their own two legs to comfortably support them.  I want to walk but can’t, which exacerbates my unfair judgment of those that can walk but choose not to…

Oh, yes I did...

Oh, yes I did…

So yes, “Into every life, some rain must fall,” and this is just a passing cloud in the great big sky of life, but it feels like a summer monsoon.  Some say “blogs are fiction.” Marketing. At the very worst, “lies.” No one tells the real story. All you read are glowing tales of sunshine and lollipops. But maybe that’s because when the proverbial shit hits the fan, there’s not much time to blog. All resources go toward research, phone calls, negotiations. One tends to retreat. Suffer from perceptual narrowing. It’s tough to share at a time like that. Nobody sends postcards saying “Life sucks right now. Glad you’re not here!” It gives me a new respect for those who have the courage and tenacity to keep blogging in the face of adversity.


Total damage:
Tow light repair…$335
Four new Tracker tires…$485
Podiatrist Visit…$260
Online banking from the road?  PRICELESS
For all else, there’s MasterCard

34 thoughts on “Roll Those Dice, Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes!

  1. I feel for you with the faciatis situation. It can last months. Do Not go barefooted. Stretching the achilles tendon by dropping your heels with your toes on a stairstep and holding for 10 seconds. Build to doing the 10 second intervals to 5 minutes. I also wear some arch inserts. Trust me, I have had this several times and seen others with it.

    What a time you have had. Hopefully things will settle and no more rude entrances with issues.

    • In addition, from my sister’s experience with plantar fasciitis: Her hubby, an MD, recommended that she use a heating pad (hot water bottle might work) on her lower calves/ankles for 15 minutes while still lying in bed in the morning, then place a towel (yoga strap) around the ball of the foot and gently pull the ball of the foot towards your head, while stretching the heel – never to the point of pain, simply to get blood to the area. It worked for her after a year of nothing else working; then when I was afflicted I used the method successfully. I now never get out of bed without stretching my feet, shins and calves in several different ways. If I miss one day, the plantar fascia muscles tell me to knock it off. Hope you and your readers find this helpful. Hope you heal (whoops, sorry) quickly!

  2. Oh wow! Faciatis–I still remember the pain. That’s good news for you because it’s in past tense. I tried everything, too. Rolling the water bottle helped some and the stair thing, but time was ultimately the driving force to relief. So sorry about your tires and that rude little man. All is not glum–you are on the Oregon Coast!

  3. That does sound like a summer monsoon to me. I like what you said about the “perceptual narrowing”, it’s tough to stay on track when things are going badly. It’s probably not much help but your post brought some welcome connection and entertainment into my life! This too shall pass.

  4. There’s some kind of weird synch thing going on here. Just a moment ago I turned to Paul and said “I haven’t read anything from Suzanne for a while” and that very moment I get your blog. I know this means something, but I don’t know what LOL.

    Ouch and ouch…both for the wheels and the ankle! Not fun at all! If you’re still stuck in Casinos try the Marinas. We’ve been to a few good ones on the coast. The airport camping in Tillamook is also not bad.

    Sending good vibes to your foot, as long as that doesn’t sound too creepy 🙂


  5. Oh, Suzanne, I am so sorry about your life lately. Glad the Tracker has new shoes. Sure hope your foot is on the mend real soon:) However, I did have to laugh through your post…it’s your fault for having so much humor in your writing:) Love the closing!

  6. I was wondering where you’ve been lately. Now I know. Everything is relative. Just think how much better this summer is than last summer! You’re on the Oregon coast!!! I don’t mean to sound like the irritating optimist, but I heard from your brother the other day, and he made me laugh. I love my Anthony friends…. You , Don & yo Mama!!!! May the healing foot fairies be ever in your favor!!!

  7. Yes indeed, life does not stop throwing curve balls does it?!

    Good luck with the foot problem. Sounds a little different from the plantar fasciitis that I have but the stair thing and icing seems to be helping me. I keep wondering how long this is going to take to fully heal…and also if the relatively light exercise I am doing is simply prolonging the problem.

  8. I had to laugh at all the humor lying beneath the descriptions of your summer monsoon. Sounds like more than a monsoon I would say. Gak! If you get sick of gambling, after you are settled into your home on the pavement, you could go back and read your own blog, remember when….?? That can be kinda cool, actually. And can cheer you up a little bit at least. I can’t imagine how awful a foot injury would be for a hiker like you. Kind of like a hernia for Mark last year. Hard to keep a good man/woman down. Can’t wait till next year, it is bound to be a great one after all this.

  9. Sorry to hear about all of the various boo-boos, but at least it seems like you’re finding some humor amidst the suffering. We’ve had our share in the past few months, too—camera croaked $500, computer hard drive croaked $300, unexpected axel alignment $900, trailer tire near blowout $900, and a trailer flood that is too painful to talk about and is going to be a very expensive repair (flooring). I am so far behind on our blog that by the time I get around to writing an entry, none of that sh*t seems important. Besides, I’ve written in detail about how we high-centered our brand new trailer on a rock in the desert a couple of years ago, and I don’t want people to be afraid to hang out with us, haha!

    • I can vouch for hanging out with the two of you after the Anza Borrego ordeal and we lived through it. We were a bit nervous at first, what with all your friends around you also having rig issues, haha!

    • Suzanne, I wanted to add that I admire your honesty in posting about the difficult times as well as the wonderful times. I was thinking about you today, and imagining that of all of your recent travails, the limitations imposed by the plantar fasciitis must be the most challenging. (The rest of the stuff can be fixed with MasterCard, right?) Eric has had bouts of plantar fasciitis, so I know second hand how painful and limiting it can be. Wishing you a speedy recovery so that you can get back on the trails soon.

  10. If it’s true that “Misery Loves Company,” what Sue said!!!
    The old adage “Bad Things Happen in Threes” is a freaking LIE! “Monsoons” run in seasons!
    Recall last year’s hernia was the second in as many years, the first of which was followed by a month of internal bleeding that was so painful I couldn’t walk for more that 15 minutes. It required another surgery to stop the bleeding and 7 (or was it 10) days on my back in a hospital bed with a tube stuck up my penis.
    Previous to hernias and their repairs was surgery to remove a parathyroid gland in my neck that had wrapped it’s “roots” around my vocal cord nerve… which made the surgery “delicate” and ended up costing me my voice. The months I waited for it to return I withdrew. No one could hear what I was saying, and quit coming around or calling or, at best, cut conversations short… “oh, I got to get going.”
    And during this 2 year maelstrom of HELL, throw in a few blood clots and embolisms, and yes, PLANTER FACIATIS… ortho doctors, limping, and pain with every footstep.
    Adjust your sails. Keep moving. The Monsoon season has an end. I know of no quick cures for facia problems nor “Monsoons.” This shit will end, tho, and I pray that for you it is soon than later. You are in good company… you, me, and Job.
    Box Canyon Mark

  11. “Which is typically followed by a clap of thunder and a microburst.” Hopefully, those dark clouds are behind you and you are now sailing in calm seas…What I appreciate most about your blog is the subtle dynamic employed to keep the reader’s interest piqued through the twists and turns of your life plot, however small or large on any particular day. The descriptive writing and attending images posted ‘fore and aft’ are such a delight to uncover. Whether a glistening glass filled with the unmistakable green of a perfectly mixed margarita (“Wow! Fun and relaxation!”) or splayed dark gray rubber blown to bits surrounding a tire rim (“Okaaaay. Life on the road. Got it.”), you are a wizard at storytelling. I keep your book “Alone, But Never Lonely” in the stack of travel tomes on my bedside stand to occasionally pick up and peruse a particularly colorful chapter. I love that book and I love reading this blog. Thank you for your effort and time…:-)

  12. Marilyns advice is good to follow, and inserts can be ideal. Sometimes its good to go to a sports podiatrist as they can monitor the way you walk and suggest solutions. It never rains but it pours……something always kicks you when you’re down. Just a couple that I use.

  13. Sorry for the “little rain” you’ve had. I suppose you could “roll the dice” but IMHO you should be carrying some good luck talisman and amulets with you. We travelers need lots of luck and good fortune, so why not try to improve the odds. I carry a St. Christopher medal (patron saint of travelers) and a small St. Joseph statue (a gift from my Mom). I have a Native American medicine wheel to bring me good medicine and keep the coyote at bay. I just added a small set of Buddhist prayer flags that spread goodness where ever I go and provide good fortune to the person who hangs then. And I carry my luck rock in my pocket at all times. I’m not that religious, maybe a little superstitious, and don’t know if any of this stuff works. But I figure it can’t hurt and – you never know when it may be helping.

  14. As Nina mentioned, I had just said to Terry, “Suzanne hasn’t posted anything lately. I wonder what is up.” And now I know. As I am reading this Suzanne, I am saying to the universe, enough already! Give the woman a break! We can’t tell you how bad we feel for everything you have been going through lately. Although it hurts to have to spend money on repairs, the bigger frustration is more likely your foot as you could at least elevate your mood by getting out on the trails. So sorry to hear about the Wonderland Trail as I know how much you were looking forward to it. The expression “this too shall pass” has probably become your mantra. We are hoping for blue skies for you once this sh@#storm passes. Sending lots of positive energy your way.

  15. Thanks for posting in spite of your spate of bad luck. It’s always good to hear from you. I wish your foot could be fixed as “easily” as the Trackers’. Hang in there! Your readers are rooting for you.
    — Anne P

  16. Damn Suzanne, y’all a change of luck, this is starting to sound like Allison and my past year! Hang in there, this too shall pass. Take care of that foot, be patient and don’t rush it, we all heal more slowly now that we are over 30. 🙂

  17. I hope you foot heals quickly. I appreciate the bloggers, like you, who do tell the great and the bad. Life isn’t ever all wonderful, but I still am envious of the freedom I hope to have on the road, full-timing. Thank you for sharing.

  18. What bad luck? Looks as though life is pretty wonderful on the road. All except for that raw fish seller, may his intestinal worms bit him.

  19. When confronted by those lavish buffets, remember, “you can’t eat all you can eat.” Rather, you shouldn’t.

  20. Suzanne, you are a real trouper, I love the tenacity you have at overcoming anything that life’s curve ball throws you. I cannot believe the attitude of the Chinese restauranteur, what an ^&*^^&%! Like you I’m not a gambler, so I guess we won’t be staying in any casinos any more. Hope your foot gets better soon. On the bright side, you got a good deal on the tyres, we just paid over a $1000 for a new set for our truck yesterday, and we still need to replace the ones on the 5th Wheel soon.

  21. OMG Suzanne! It can only get better…right? Focus on the foot. You’re gonna need it for what’s ahead. I had to laugh, sort of, as we are staying in the lot of KLA-MA-YO Casino at Crater Lake Junction south of Bend. We finally made it to full-timing. So far, so good. We’re having a ball. And I keep looking, but no dark clouds…….yet. 🙂 Any chance of a crossing of paths? We’ll buy the first couple of rounds.

  22. Wow, this sucks! I guess the best thing to say is that the tracker brake system is now working, you have good, new tires on it, that mean old man will be hit with his own Karma, and now you only have to heal the foot. And that will happen in time. AND you get LOBSTER!

    I had my own week of misery, too, I was in such a state I was doing really stupid tings, which only cost me more money. I talked to my daughter, a therapist, and she said I was acting like a person with ADHD – I needed to chill and handle one thing at a time, concentrate. Wow, I don’t want to go through that again, everything’s back to normal except my bank account and my pride – AND I have renewed respect for people with ADHD.

    Good luck with the foot – I’m sending healing thoughts you way for a fast, smooth recovery. It’s the foot thing that really sucks. ☹

  23. ……not to mention friends and fans along the road like this–
    an amazing show of support and concern.

    Onward we go…..Marci

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