Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

“Unending” Travel Travails & Health Issues Restore Faith in Humanity


The beauty of fall helps minimize Airstream aches

©Bert Gildart: For the past ten days we’ve been in Eugene, Oregon, contending with  problems that seemed to just keep mounting.  Resolution, however,  has restored our faith in humanity.

Last month we discovered that the front panel on our new Classic Airstream was developing “waves.” At first Airstream at the Jackson factory in Ohio said it was our fault because we applied too much pressure with our Hensley Hitch to the “A” Frame of our Airstream. Baloney, we said, and  as the facts begin to emerge the factory center relented, eventually offering to provide a panel.  Then George Sutton of Sutton RV in Eugene offered to provide 1/3 of the labor still leaving me with a $500 bill.  The item was warranted, but if part of the blame was mine, then I thought the 1/3 split was fair. (More on this in a moment!)

But about the same time that we discovered problems with the pride and joy of our travel lives we were also trying to close on the sale of a rental house we owned.   All went well until the last week when the buyers began to vacillate.  Eventually we closed but money matters are never easy, especially when legal considerations must be finalized from the road.

Compounding the above were unexpected health concerns, and when we got to Oregon Janie’s doctor called saying the reading on the biopsy of a small growth showed melanoma.  Two days later he again called saying that his diagnosis was correct but that the imperatives were not so urgent because growth was “in situ.” Nevertheless, he said the growth must be removed, meaning we either had to fly back home — or find a board-certified dermatologist while on the road.  That may seem easy, but it required half a dozen calls over the period of several days before a doctor in Salem, Oregon, agreed to take on a new out-of-state patient.


Though Dr. Goodenberger’s schedule was overflowing he nevertheless took Janie in for consultation, and then immediately after for a 20-minute surgical procedure.  He told her he didn’t want her driving around having to try and find another doctor when so many doctors  might be on a Thanksgiving vacation.  God bless that man, for my bride is now cancer free and good to go!

Nevertheless, all these problems seemed to compound themselves, something stress always seems do. Coincident with all the above my laptop computer crashed while I was trying to complete a deadline on a story, I spilled coffee on the rug of  our new Airstream; I left my credit card at a filling station, and then when American Express said they’d overnight me a new card I gave them the wrong address…

A loose propane bottle I’d placed in the back of the truck to be filled slipped and broke one of the windows in our topper. Crap;  oh, double damn crap! (I’m sure that’s what I said.)

That brings us up to yesterday, and because Mr. Sutton had initially offered to pay 1/3 of the problem, and because his service department had provided us with such great service, even allowing Janie and me to camp in our Airstream in their lot as repairs were being made, Janie and I bought two huge pies from SHARI’S for all those good folks (Thanks, Josh, Brett, Noah, Thom, the tall bicycle rider, and others whose names I didn’t get).


Fall photography around Eugene provides escape from travel travails


We bought our favorites pies, a peach and an apple, and set them out on their table.  I was glad because Sutton’s service manager Thom Locke said George had, in fact, offered to cover my share of the repairs.  I’m hoping Mr. Sutton can reclaim from the Airstream factory some of what he provided. Whatever, I’m getting to know George and contend he was simply adding kindness to kindness. Regardless,  Janie’s doctor and the people at Suttons have all restored our faith in humanity and that’s a challenge, particular when on the road and when  life can at times seem so impersonal.

We’ll certainly be back.  And now, with a new credit card, a computer (I’m using Janie’s) that will soon be returned, and with our Airstream and health issues resolved – we’re off for another extended trip that we hope will soon be providing us with adventures equivalent to past adventures. Here are a few links to some of those travels: Nova Scotia, Airstreams and Kayaks, World Eskimo Indian Olympics, Dry Tortugas, Natchez Trace.




*When It Snows in the Great Smokey Mountains



2 Responses to ““Unending” Travel Travails & Health Issues Restore Faith in Humanity”

  1. Tom & Sandi Palesch Says:

    Janie and Bert, you give new meaning to the saying “when it rain it pours,” but none the less we are glad to hear you were able to quickly deal with the medical issues while all the rest was going on. A big “Woo Woo” to you both for handling your significant dilemmas while under fire as we are sure you could feel the stress. It sounds as if all is now well: Janie has a new beauty mark, you have a new computer and you both have each other plus a new front panel. Good news all around!

    Now, head south, settle into the desert and start behaving yourselves. No more of this “monkey business” as you’re too old for all of this excitement, … and so are we.

    Have a nice peaceful Thanksgiving, don’t spill the gravy and have a safe journey south.

    Tom & Sandi

  2. Leigh Says:

    Oh my god you guys! I’m so glad everything worked out.

Leave a Reply