Winter is for Wandering
1:00 AM - January 2, 2013
After installing a heavy duty hitch, a brake controller, & switch to control the trailer’s battery charge, we were ready to fetch our new rolling home from Arizona. First stop: Pasadena & the Rose Parade floats!Rose_Parade_Floats.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0
Fetching Miss Trilly
On the way to see the Rose Parade floats, we had a little bit of a strange adventure... Cruising down I-5 at about 2:30 in the morning, the cruise control quit. When we pulled to the side of the road, we also noticed that the TOD display had disappeared and the ABS warning light was on. Hmmm. Nina got out the manual and we ran through the procedure to reset the ABS. That did not work. The Trooper was drivable so we continued on our way. Encountering some wet fog, we turned on the wipers to clear the windshield. They did not work. Nina traced that issue to a certain fuse. OK, one problem down. We would replace the fuse when we got to Pasadena. At 7:15 AM, we turned into the free parking area near the floats display. As Zuzu reached the attendant, Clark tried to roll down the driver-side electric window. The windows did not work either.

We caught the shuttle bus to the floats, then spent several hours enjoying the beauty and creativity of the wide variety of designs. The imaginative use of natural materials was mind-boggling. We had never seen such extravagance– the profusion of orchids was astounding! We both felt getting up at 1 AM to see the floats up close was worth it!

Back in the parking lot, Clark opened the fuse box under the dash and found a burnt 15 amp fuse. We had two spares and installed one of them. When we started the car, everything worked again! Five minutes later on the freeway to Desert Hot Springs, everything quit again. HMMM!! What had we changed recently in preparation for towing? Ah-ha! Clark had installed a solenoid switch for the trailer battery. The proverbial lightbulb switched on. He realized that he should have installed a relay switch. Solenoids are not designed for continuous duty and it had burned out at 2:30 in the morning.

When we arrived at Cousin Steve’s home, Clark disconnected the solenoid, replaced the fuse again, and we were back in business. Whew!
From Desert Hot Springs, we drove all the way to Florence, AZ, where Lloyd and Judy were waiting for us. We had a wonderful two-day visit, sleeping again on the very comfy foam mattress in the Trillium. We had not yet decided upon a name for our lovely new travel companion.

On our way west, we chose Clear Creek as a first overnight. It’s just south of Cottonwood where we would visit a friend the following day. A free BLM dispersed camping area barely north of the city limits of Lake Havasu City called to us from Cottonwood. We had a little trouble locating it because the GPS coordinates were off. We followed the written directions on the website (now offline) and found it easily. We located a level site and settled in. Shortly, a gent strolled up to ask about the Trillium. It is the perfect size, he exclaimed. We have since learned to expect interested visitors. She is just the right size.

From Lake Havasu City, we towed our gal to another free area at Jawbone Canyon. This is an OHV area just north of Red Rock Canyon California State Park off Highway 14. It was not busy with off-roaders, being a Tuesday, but large dump trucks bearing “LADWP” emblems rumbled up and down the dirt road. They service the Los Angeles Aquaduct Its huge pipe, a so-called siphon point, could easily be seen from the spot we chose to park. 9ah spent her time picking up tire-puncturing nails and screws.

From Jawbone, we made a long run all the way to Sacramento. Miss Trilly, whose name had now become official, towed like a dream. Zuzu was a little slow uphill, but we prefer a relaxed pace anyway– all the better to enjoy the passing scenery and keep the anxiety level down. The work began immediately. We gave her a good cleaning inside, though it took days with Goo Gone® to remove the old double-stick tape from the gelcoat. Clark used 3M Fiberglass Rubbing Compound and Finesse-it Polish on the exterior.

Read more about the makeover at
More to the story below the photos...