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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

“That’s a shame….”

Last night I went and picked up Richard from the Comox airport. I was dreading the trip frankly. You never realize how far away you are from anything staying in Fanny Bay, until you have to go out at night to get somewhere. The roads were wet, it was raining and there are no streetlights at all until Courtenay, which is a 25 minute drive north on the Inland Coastal Highway. Even getting to Comox airport, from the town of Comox, is down a couple of country roads which are not lit, until ‘bam’ there is the airport in the middle of nowhere!

I was glad Richard’s flight was on time because both of us had early starts to our day so it was nice to get home at 11pm and get to straight to bed. Richard brought me a few nice souvenirs from Mexico, which was very thoughtful of him!

Beautiful silver Swarovski crystal earrings and some pure Mexican vanilla. Unfortunately he had two large bottles of vanilla which got confiscated at security, because he did not check his luggage and the bottles were over the allowable amount of liquid he was allowed to carry onboard. UGH! At least I did get some pure vanilla to bake with though!

This morning I had a long workout in Newman. I enjoy watching the ‘Keep Your Daydream’ (which is the couple who RV on YouTube), while I’m cycling and today they started a trip down Route 66 from Chicago. It sure looks like a fun trip to do in an RV. Maybe we’ll do that one day in Newman!

As I was finishing up my strength training, the phone rang. Richard answered to see that St. Stephen was calling us from his road trip to Florida. As Richard was talking to St. Stephen, his other line rang and it was Brock our mechanic from Coast Auto in Qualicum Beach, who had just started working on Jerry. Richard said to St. Stephen he would call him back after speaking with Brock. I wonder what Brock had found on Jerry that he needed to call us before he started replacing the engine?

Brock advised Richard that the rear differential on Jerry had completely separated itself from the body of the car, once Brock put Jerry up on the hoist to start replacing the engine. He said the rear differential was so rusted that the car was a write off for scrap and should not be repaired. Brock said he would call ‘Hwy 4 Auto Salvage’ to see if they would take back the engine and give us a credit for the engine. He quickly called Richard back and said ‘Hwy 4 Auto Salvage‘ usually charges a 20% restocking fee, but if we sign over the ownership of Jerry to them, they will waive the restocking fee. Brock asked if we would please come and get our stuff out of Jerry, so he could get him off the hoist and get the car picked up by ‘Hwy 4 Auto Salvage’.

Well, that’s a shame as Jerry from Seinfeld would always say on his show. That means we have no tow car to tow with us to Florida. That makes sightseeing on this upcoming trip a lot harder when we have no car. Its hard to get a 40 foot RV in and out of places to sightsee. What are we going to do now?

We called St. Stephen back and gave him the bad news on Jerry. I think we were all a bit stunned that Jerry was really dead. Without Jerry, we also lost our tow system, since the tow bars were welded to Jerry’s frame. So that was something else we needed to consider, now that Jerry was headed to his grave.

I started looking around online for a new tow system to see if we could purchase a tow system in Canada in Canadian dollars, before we headed to the US. Tow systems are typically $1100 US and are not easy to find used. As luck would have it, I was able to find a used Blue Ox tow system on Kijiji in French Creek, so I gave Richard the information after checking with St. Stephen that the blue ox system would work for Newman. Richard called and left a message for the person selling the Blue Ox tow system and hoped he would hear back today while we were ‘out and about’ in the Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Coombs area.

We decided we would deal with Jerry immediately, so we headed down the Inland Coastal Highway to go to Coast Auto in Qualicum Beach.

Of course it was raining again today!

Say goodbye to Jerry.

And that’s the last of Jerry. Richard emptied everything we had in Jerry and put the stuff in Kramer the Kona, took off the license plates, grabbed the ownership and insurance slip, and away we went to Coombs to sign over the ownership slip and get our $895 credit back for the engine.

Hwy 4 Auto Salvage in Coombs. Its a good thing Q. Beach and Coombs are very close to each other. Its not like we had to drive an hour to Nanaimo or Campbell River to deal with Jerry. As Richard went in to get the credit on my visa, I called our insurance company and cancelled the insurance on Jerry. At least we will save $865 a year in insurance by not having Jerry around.

Since we were already in Coombs and it was lunchtime, I suggested to Richard we go to the cafeteria at Goats. Richard had never eaten at Goats, so today was his day!

A Chinese folklore deity, he is called the BUDAI for his jolly countenance. According to legend, if one rubs the Laughing Buddha’s great belly, it brings forth wealth, good luck and prosperity! All of the things we’ve been missing lately. So I rubbed the BUDDHA’s belly for a bit at the entrance to ’Goats’ before we went in for lunch!

Tortilla soup and a drink $10. Richard had a soup as well. We were saving some room for dessert!

So many flavours…so little time….

‘Billy Goat Bomber‘ maple, bacon donut made fresh on the premises at Goats! Amazing donut!

Richard had a ‘Ukee Magic’. He didn’t particularly like it because it had a lot of salt on it, and he’s not a salt fan. My maple donut was great!

While we were at ’Goats’ the guy selling the Blue Ox tow system called Richard back and said that the system was still for sale, so we decided to drive over to French Creek and take a look at it.

Driving due south from Coombs over to Parksville. Still raining….even in Parksville St. Stephen!

Richard is taking a look at the Blue Ox tow system and then the guy says he’s also selling the Ram pick up truck for $15,000 if we are interested. He used to tow the Ram behind his RV but he has his RV consigned for sale as well. The Ram was a 2010 pick up which had over 200,000 km on it. We are definitely not buying a Ram pickup today, but Richard was able to negotiate the Blue Ox tow system down to $400 from the original asking price of $500. We drove to Parksville to get the cash for the Blue Ox system and then drove back and picked it up. It is very heavy and it took both guys to get the system loaded into Kramer the Kona.

The Blue Ox tow system is rated for vehicles up to 10,000 pounds, so we will have lots of options for tow vehicles with this system.

After picking up the Blue Ox system, we headed north to Qualicum Beach and the rain had stopped briefly, so we decided we would go for a walk along the Boardwalk.

Q. Beach.

Looking across to the Coastal mountains on the mainland, across the Salish Sea/Strait of Georgia. The fog just hangs in the air most days. It was 6C today, but with the crazy wind, it felt a lot cooler.

The boardwalk was closed where the road construction is being undertaken at the entrance to Q. Beach. This road construction started when we were here last winter and is almost completed. They have made a traffic circle instead of a stoplight on the highway, but its definitely taken a long time. So instead of a long walk, we walked back to Kramer the Kona and headed for home.

We needed to stop and buy a lottery ticket in Bowser. After rubbing that Buddha’s belly I felt lucky, so we stopped and got a Lotto Max. Our luck has to change doesn’t it?

Q Beach Boardwalk.

Let’s hope our luck turns!

So its a real shame that the Jerry and Newman era is over for us! We so wanted to get Jerry back on the road and head south to have more adventures with him. Unfortunately that is the end of Jerry. Its a shame he didn’t get to do the West Coast and see all the cool sights we’re going to see on our next trip. We’re now evaluating when we leave the Island. Since we were waiting for Jerry to be repaired, we had allowed ourselves the time until December 7th, to make sure that he would be all spiffed up and ready to go. Now with no tow car, the only thing holding us back is the weather. Richard needs to get on the roof of Newman and di-cor the crap out of Newman’s roof, but the weather forecast is not good until maybe next week.

Maybe next Monday or Tuesday Richard can get on the roof and do the di-cor job, so we can leave earlier than we had planned. Christmas in Florida is looking like a reality this year!

I would sure like to see some sunshine right about now!

Almost 12 litres of rain fell in the past week. Isn’t that crazy?

So that’s our sad tale of woe. We’re both trying to figure out what’s next? Do we buy a tow car in Florida where we already have licensed and insured vehicles? or do we wait and figure everything out back in Canada? One thing we know for certain is we are leaving the Island and sooner than we had thought. Once we get the roof fixed up, we’ll change our ferry crossing, drop off the rental car and get on the road. Life isn’t about the lemons we’re given and how sour a taste they leave in our mouths, its about making lemonade and saying ‘that’s a shame’ and move on. We’re moving on.

See ya later Jerry!

Jerry on a warmer day…

Looking mighty clean Jerry!

Jerry in the snow.

And tonight we will have a proper toast to Jerry. Raise a glass with us please “TO JERRY”….may he live a great life in the junkyard!

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