Dad had to say, “The van is undrivable” to anyone who needed to know it. I had a cracked rib, and we were stranded in Sparks, Nevada.
While we were waiting for my x-ray results, Dad was wondering what to do. Then, the Highway Patrol officer gave us the accident report, which allowed Dad to call UHaul Roadside Assistance.
Roadside Assistance put us up in a hotel for the night and called an Uber for us to get from the hospital to the hotel.
I was out of the hospital in record time! I got there at 3:30 PM and it was almost 6 PM when we got to the hotel!
Yes, I am going to write a thank you card to the Trauma Team that took care of me. I didn’t get a chance to personally thank them, and I was in too much shock.
I’m re-iterating my post: Dos and Don’ts at Hospitals During COVID-19. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to forget some social norms when you’re in shock or in pain. BUT don’t be a jerk!
Auto glass is so annoying! You think you have got it out of your clothes, but it still shows up at random times!
I was glad to have an appetite and slept well that night. I didn’t think much about being stranded then. Relaxing is a good thing!
We woke up and waited for a call from UHaul. Everything depended on getting the damaged truck out of the impound.
UHaul called and reported that they couldn’t get the truck out of the impound! Apparently, they had to pay by cheque. Seriously?!
Upsetting was hardly the word to describe the mood. Then, I said to Dad that this works out well for me.
When you break a bone, you spend the first day figuring out how to live with it. I needed that. The idea of waiting for Dad to reload the van the day after the accident was not appealing to me.
We stayed in the hotel another night and I figured out life with a cracked rib. I couldn’t go out so we ordered food delivery.
And so concludes Day 1 of being stranded in Reno.
I was bracing myself for news on the truck. The idea of going out was still not appealing to me.
Dad was cynical about making it home that day. I didn’t want to admit it then, but I was cynical too.
UHaul called and told us where to pick up the new truck and where to drive to reload it from the damaged truck. They told us the damaged truck would arrive by noon. Famous last words.
We picked up the new truck and headed over to the location where the damaged truck would be. While we were waiting, we struck up a conversation with a UHaul employee about travels and living in other countries. That made me happy for a while.
This is where things became a tangled web of miscommunication.
A UHaul employee told us that the damaged truck was accidentally diverted to the wrecking yard in Winnemucca, Nevada! That meant the truck wouldn’t arrive until 6 PM!
We called Roadside Assistance to ask about that. Here’s what they said.
At first, they didn’t have a tow truck to transport the moving van and then they didn’t have a driver to drive the truck! The truck would arrive tonight but there was no way Dad could start loading the new van!
Before I got the news though, I had booked someplace to stay for the night. Fortunately, UHaul said they would cover that cost as well as the food costs we accumulated while we were stranded.
See, this is why one should get comprehensive insurance coverage!
It Got A Bit Fun:
I booked our accommodation through Hotels.com. I was using it for this trip and it turned out to be invaluable for last-minute bookings!
There’s a premium on last-minute bookings, and if you know how to use Hotels.com, you can usually escape that premium!
All I did was book the cheapest accommodation, but it wasn’t easy considering Nevada has a tourist tax. It turned out the place I got was like it was right out of a James Bond movie!
Pictures or it didn’t happen!
No, we didn’t use the casino there. I’m not a gambler and I wasn’t in the mood. I know gambling is part of the Nevada experience, but as my Mum said, you have to be in the right mood for it.
That eliminated one part of the James Bond experience right there! All that was left was to have someone try to murder us in either the bathroom or the bedroom!
Yeah, okay. I have watched too many Bond movies! 😂
A Walk Around Reno:
Dad and I got sandwiches at Capriotti’s, which is a famous sandwich shop in Reno! I recommend their Italian sandwich.
Nothing says, “I overdid it yesterday” like waking up in pain! I did NOT want to leave my bed where I was being eaten alive by pillows!
Now there’s a thought for a Bond movie. The villain tries to kill Bond by having the bed in his luxury hotel eat him.
Dad and I checked with Roadside Assistance to make absolutely sure that the damaged truck was at the location. They were tired of us by now, but hello, I have a cracked rib! I didn’t want to go out to get my hopes dashed!
Dad and I had breakfast at the CUTEST 50s Diner! It’s called Mel’s Diner. I left my phone in the room so I didn’t take photos.
Besides, I was in desperate need of breakfast and a painkiller. Oh well. I will go there again the next time I’m in Reno.
Fyi, Mel’s Diner is moving to a different location because the hotel is undergoing renovations. I hope they keep all the photos and the jukeboxes and the music!
I also love how Mel’s Diner is open 24 hours. That’s great for a place like Reno.
Time to leave our Casino Royale hotel!
Dad had to load up the van himself since I couldn’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds. I’ve been disgruntled that I haven’t been able to help with moving as much as I’d like.
We saw the damaged truck for the first time since the accident. It was eerie. I took photos for future reference but I’m not posting them here!
There were special instructions to position the damaged truck in a way that would make it easier to reload our stuff into the new truck. That didn’t happen, so it took Dad several hours to load up.
Since I had a lot of time to kill, I watched the tv in the UHaul waiting room. I saw this program on training dogs, which I liked.
I also talked to this guy who grew up on a ranch in Montana and has lived in California. He was taking the same route as us and his UHaul trailer got damaged too!
Unlike Dad though, he was having movers load his stuff. Dad and I wanted to get home and UHaul getting movers would take too long.
This guy and I shared accident stories and talked about driving. We decided to start a trend whenever someone tells us to drive safely.
By the time Dad was loading up the van, it was late. He didn’t feel like he could drive four-plus hours to the Bay Area, so we stayed another night.
Google Maps redirected us while we were going to our motel. We got on the same freeway entrance where we had our accident.
I think Dad and I really needed to see that area before we left. It helped to know that it wasn’t an unusual entrance and nothing else jumped out as unusual.
I felt more at peace when we saw it. Thank you Google Maps!
Nevada Tourist Tax:
I can’t stay in Nevada without mentioning the tourist tax. Here I was planning the trip so that we could avoid it, but fate intervened!
Here’s the summary: When you book accommodation, it doesn’t automatically show up. But if you look at the fine print on Hotels.com then you find out the specifics of the tourist tax.
All accommodation in Nevada charges a security deposit at check-in. Some places call it a Resort Fee.
Depending on the location, you may or may not get your deposit back in full after you check out. That’s where you have to read the fine print!
You might think you are getting a great last-minute deal on Hotels.com, but not always. Read the fine print before you book!
I got caught out with it at first, but never again!
By now, Dad and I didn’t want to jump the gun on expectations for arriving in the Bay Area. We were up by 6 AM and Dad said, “Do you want to get an early start?”
That was a big yes!
You could feel our impatience by now. Although, we were also cynical.
When we crossed the Reno city limits and the Nevada state line, we were like “BYEEEEEE!!!” As I said, “It was as fun as it could be under the circumstances. Next time will be more fun!”
I had some pain while getting in and out of the moving van and while driving. But I told myself that if Chuck Yeager could break the sound barrier with a broken rib, I can get through a 4-5 hour drive in a moving van!
We stopped in Truckee for breakfast so I could have my painkillers. Then, it was back on the road!
I have missed rural California landscapes. I got a reminder of the Goldrush at a rest stop.
Quite the Welcome:
We made it! My uncle and his crew were at our place and they cheered when we pulled up!
Mum was inside and when she came out to see us, we had gone to the end of the road to turn around.
The joke was we had gone back to Winnemucca. Haha.
I finally felt safe and that I could start recovering from here on out!
Starting a New Trend:
It’s not enough to drive safely anymore. Plus, it’s getting more important for people to talk about their experiences with accidents thanks to those fucking idiots.
I have found sharing those experiences has created a lot of solidarity. It’s hard to say what that will lead to in the future, but to help it along, here’s a trend I have started:
Random person: Drive Safely.
Me, or anyone else who joins on my trend: Let me rephrase that. I hope you’re not at the mercy of some idiot.
Feel free to join my trend if you want!
Speaking of trends, I will have more posts about my trip before the accident, so watch this space! Writing is a great thing to do right now, and I’m taking advantage of it!
There are some things I wanted to mention in this post, but I will save them for later.
I have not given up on my goals.
Am I going to start my business? Yes.
Will I still be a digital nomad? That’s a resounding yes!
I just have to rethink things and delay some things. I’m making it clear that I won’t be at Mission Control forever and talking about my plans.
Still, it’s nice to be here while I am recovering. Mission Control is a familiar place and my family and some close friends are here. Familiarity is what I need right now.
I’m where I need to be for the time being. I can still prepare for being a digital nomad though!
One day, Mission Control will beam out a signal around the world and a country will pick it up! Watch this space for the next one!
It’s been almost 2 weeks since the accident, so it’s 1/6-1/4 of the way through! I can’t tell which one it is yet, but hopefully, that will be clearer soon!
Onwards and upwards!