Technically, that happened on Day 2, so let me give a quick update on Day 1 before I get into the start of the trip.
I got to LA with zero travel incidents, Mike was there at the airport and the traditional insane LA traffic wasn't that insane, so we made it to the hotel in about an hour. My cousin Julie and her husband Eric were walking in as we did, so we hit the bar and caught up on the last 38 years. Was amazing to see her and am thankful that they so graciously schlepped from Long Beach to come see us!
The camper was parked out in front of the hotel, but we were pretty nervous about it getting stolen. We figured we would get about 7 hours of sleep and head out around 8 am. That sort of morphed into getting up at 4 am to use the bathroom, Mike staring worriedly out the window at the camper because someone was parked next to it, and a - to hell with it, let's just hit the road - decision after about 4 hours sleep.
Which ended up being a really great idea because, while we thought we hitched the trailer up properly, we discovered with a very loud clunk on the slow drive from the hotel to Starbucks that we had not. Minor catastrophe averted, we hit the road.
Which was brilliant actually - we were way ahead of schedule and out of LA before the traffic got crazy. The extra time meant we got to head over to London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, because of course some nut job American bought it and had it transported, stone by stone, through the Panama Canal to Long Beach and trucked to the site. And according to the tourist material, it is the second most visited tourist site in Arizona after that Grand Canyon thingy.
We took 40 to Rte 66 in Kingman, which was an awesome decision. Found a little place along the way call Hackberry General Store which was an eclectic mix of real memorabilia and stuff you could buy. Kids, watch out for those tshirts coming your way!
We got to the Seligman KOA on 66 at about 4:30, which was great because we have no idea what we are doing and we needed a lot of daylight to figure stuff out. Within about 5 minutes we were accosted by an extremely talkative and friendly woman (Her name is Emma, her husband's name is Frank. She went to Wellesley and he graduated MIT. They are traveling with their son and have a place in Puget Sound and OH MY GOD is your trailer cute!!!). I am definitely going to have to warm up to all this... friendliness. Very unsettling.
And so everything was going pretty well. We figured out that the fridge wasn't actually turned on so that food may have spoiled but hey, that's ok. And we figured out how to make the dry flush toilet work - it's like the toilet from The Martian. The sink was a bit tougher - sort of a hassle to get the water in and took a while to figure out that it wasn't firmly plugged in but that was ok. And then Mike decided to put the propane tank in for the stove top. And it wouldn't light, which was weird... so I PULLED OUT THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL which seems like something that he should have done in the first place and we realized that it was the BUTANE tank that needed to go there. Right. So easy enough to fix. Mike goes to remove the propane tank and the thing about explodes. He can't get it off fast enough and the propane is escaping at a VERY high rate of speed and he is yelling that his hand is freezing off and 'THIS IS BAD!' And for me to get out of the camper NOW! He says he has never seen me move so fast.
So he managed to get it out and he throws it to the ground next to the camper where we are now enduring maximum noob camper humiliation as there are other campers near us, and the thing is blowing off propane like it's going to explode. But it didn't, which was great, so we drank some wine, went to the bar, I tried to have a rational conversation after 3 gin and tonics about politics with the locals not successfully (Mike has politely requested that I cease this behavior for the remainder of the trip) and we came back to the camper all sort of happy drunk and laughing about our near disaster and we decide because we are sort of feeling intimidated at the moment by the whole propane incident, we should not use the propane fueled heater tonight because hey, how cold can it get.
Quite cold actually. The Commander requires heat. So we have to sort that.
And so we had a pretty tremendous first day of the trip and are heading to the Grand Canyon this morning and this afternoon we will address the propane/butane training portion of our trip. Because not only is heat good, Mike's a bit of a bear without his cup of tea in the morning.