1. Eu·re·ka A city of northwest California on Humboldt Bay, an arm of the Pacific Ocean. Lumbering, fishing, and tourism are important to its economy. Population: 25,400.
2. eu·re·ka interj. Used to express triumph upon finding or discovering something.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
I took a little break. Okay, maybe in the blogosphere it was a big break, but I really needed it. I’ve taken a little time to take care of myself post-breakup by going to Arizona to meet my brand new niece and spend time with my family, by spending time with close friends and spare-bedroom hopping, and by working with Francisco to amicably handle our divorce and maintain our friendship.
I also started to think about what I want my life to be like. If you read my last post, you may recall that the silver lining part of me has been thinking, “You can redesign your life radically and you have the courage to do it- the sky’s the limit!” But what to do out of all the possibilities? So I started thinking about the things I’d always wanted to do. And then I decided I wanted to buy a little house on wheels. And then I scoured the RV and car/truck listings on nearly every U.S. city on Craigslist. I did Google and Ebay searches to do research and catch anything I might have missed. I Google image searched relentlessly so I could see what the options looked like. And then I actually found what looked like the perfect fit…in Eureka!
Tuesday night Leslie offered to have she and Dean make the 5-hour road trip up to Eureka and by Wednesday morning our whirlwind adventure began. Shortly after we got on the road, we saw an awesome rainbow, my second in a month, when I can’t remember the last time I saw one before that. Making our way up the 101 Freeway, we saw sweet little towns, too many signs for a place called Confusion Hill, endured a littering accident coincidentally in front of a litter fine sign just after an anti-littering rant- oops for me!- and saw trees growing out of classic cars.
We drove through it all- sun, rain, sleet, hail, and the hugest snowflakes I’ve seen since I left New England. The weather cycled through these so quickly that rather than becoming white-knuckled, we rolled through it all in awe. Dean was fantastic- a happy little adventurer who never once complained about the long drive.
By the time we arrived to Eureka, the hail was so strong it was bouncing off the tiny motorhome. I confess that it was love at first sight, but I did my best to treat it like the business transaction it was. The great thing about vehicle shopping in hail and rain? You’ll know if it leaks! Fortunately, this awesome little 1976 Toyota Chinook did not. After riding along with Nathan, the seller, we made the switch for me to test drive and the rain let up, and there was another rainbow! Driving it sealed the deal, so I offered $300 under his asking price and he took it.
The plan had been to check into a well-rated hotel that had a pool for Dean and spend the afternoon checking out the area- possibly Humboldt Bay, Redwood National Forest, etc., and swim at night. But we got in later than we’d hoped, things took more time than expected, and the weather wasn’t conducive to our plans. And when we got to the hotel, we discovered the pool was outside- um, no thanks. I would never have imagined that a Super 8 would save the day, but it did, with an indoor heated pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, continental breakfast, wifi, and a clean, decent room with two queen beds for $69 (and no, they didn’t pay me to say that). Our plan B involved getting a bite at a restaurant close by, getting back to the hotel to use the amenities, sleeping like babies, and bumping the site-seeing to the morning. And then Leslie noticed the broken tailpipe hovering just above the ground.
Thursday morning I took care of getting insured to drive back while Leslie & Dean swam. We made a quick trip to the DMV, got $100 back from Nathan, and then on to Leon’s Car Care Center to replace the tail pipe. We got a bite to eat and took Dean bowling while Leon’s worked on the truck. I wouldn’t have guessed that the only tour I’d get in Eureka would be of the underside of a Chinook, but it was fantastic. I got the tailpipe replaced and a clean overall bill of health for the truck with the mechanic pointing out everything good going for it- including that “It’s a Toyota, and it’s cute.” Did I mention how incredibly nice everyone in Eureka was?
With a thumbs up from the mechanics, and a need to get home so I could house-sit, we caravanned back to the Bay Area, and my new home did just fine on its 5 (okay maybe 6) hour audition…with the exception of being a bit of a Grandma on the steep mountain hills.
I wish I could say I felt like I’d actually been to Eureka, but I really can’t. In the 24 hours we were there we saw a bank, a gas station, a motel, two restaurants, the DMV, an auto repair shop, and a bowling alley. But it gave us a nice little window onto the place, and the home that will take me on my next big adventure…which may actually include a real trip to Eureka.
How about you? Been on a whirlwind trip lately? Been to Eureka? Ever lived in a house on wheels? Tell me about it!