Damsel in distress – Part One

I am female. I am Asian. I stand 5’2” and drive a VW Touareg and sometimes I tow a 3500-4500 pound Airstream “Bambi” trailer. Since February of this year, I’ve learned to hitch up Bambi to my Touareg, negotiated the curvy roads of CA152, managed the swells and dips of the Grapevine, backed up Bambi into a tight storage spot without help from anyone. And in those moments I felt a sense of power and confidence. That feeling of I can take on anything has pushed me to get through difficult times and challenge myself mentally and physically.

Yesterday was no different. I needed to be in Santa Barbara for work so I drove myself, Butters and Bambi to the Central Coast. The drive felt long since I averaged 55-60 miles per hour. As I reached King City, the vehicle status light popped up on the display: “Fill with at least one 1 and 1/4 quart oil. You can continue to drive.” Startled, I pulled into a nearby Walmart. 

Finding the right motor oil is not a slam dunk task. I stared at the variety of motor oils and tried to decipher the options. There were several confusing number combinations, synthetic oil mixes, and of course, different brands. The mechanic at Walmart suggested 15W-40 since I have a diesel engine. I purchased two bottles so I could fill up later and continued on the highway…toward my overnight destination…which was unknown at the time.

The strategy was to check the campsites along 101S and see which one made me feel comfortable. If all else failed, I would head into Santa Barbara and find a spot along the water or worst case scenario, park in my office building lot.

As the sun set behind me, I passed rest stops, RV resorts, overnight RV “motels” and secluded spots off the main highway where I could have spent the night. After all, I’ve got a self-contained unit; my mini studio on two wheels. The trailer’s battery was charged and I had fresh water in the tank to get me through a night. I considered pulling off the road, walking Butters quickly and then locking ourselves up for the night. But I decided to press on and see how far I could get before I got tired.

The oil light stayed on but the message still read: “You can continue to drive.” So I continued driving toward Santa Barbara which was 175 miles away. It was 6:57 pm.

(To be continued.)

5 replies »

  1. I second Katie’s comment. Perhaps the full message on the dashboard read "you can continue to drive…your reader’s crazy with this new cliffhanger approach to your blog"

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