Giving As Good As I Get

I traded my motorcycle in for a lawnmower. I’ll use it to make a little extra money while I travel.

Yeah, right! But, my trailer came in extremely handy to help out my friends I’ve been staying with in Oregon. To make a long story short, yesterday their new riding lawn mower from Tractor Supply got delivered. The crate was in perfect condition, but the mower inside was seriously smashed up. Levers were bent, body panels were scratched and didn’t line up, and the ignition switch didn’t start the engine. It was demolished, packed in a crate, and sent out anyway. Naturally, they called and complained, but were told that a replacement couldn’t be delivered for a month. It seems that I’m not the only one having bad luck with companies letting them down this week.

A store in Junction City, about 45 minutes away, had an exact replacement in stock, but they had no way to deliver it themselves. It just so happens that I have a ramp trailer that the mower would fit into quite well. So, after determining that we didn’t have the right hardware to tow it behind Keith’s jacked-up truck, I hooked it up to the van. I’m planning to get back on the road tomorrow, so I needed to do this anyway. We just took a little side trip to Junction City to bring them the messed up mower from the delivery and take home a replacement in perfect condition, as it should be. Both of the Tractor Supply stores they dealt with — the local one where they bought the first one, and the one in Junction City that had the replacement in stock — were wonderful to work with. In fact, this wasn’t the first time they’ve heard of equipment being delivered damaged inside the crate like this. Clearly, they’re having a huge problem with their distributor shipping out damaged goods.

The mowers were just short enough that I didn’t even need to remove my motorcycle wheel chock to make them fit. It would’ve been easy enough to remove if I’d had to, but even easier that I didn’t. Then Keith got to do his best Knight Rider impersonation when we got back.

I never intended to haul lawnmowers, but I’m glad I was able to help them out. I’m really glad I had the e-track and movable tie-down hooks installed since I was able to move them where I needed them for the mowers instead of the bike. Just call me Lawnmower Van. It’s the least I can do for letting me stay with them for a few weeks and feeding me yummy food. (The gas money didn’t hurt, either.) It wouldn’t surprise me if this is only the first time of more to come that I’ll be able to help someone out this way in my travels. I can haul a motorcycle, lawnmower, go-kart, whatever.

Finally, it’s a bright, sunny, warm day. I think we’ve finally come out of the rainy season, and the 10-day forecast agrees. I got here earlier in the year than I should’ve, but now it’s warm enough for me to continue my journey north. I don’t have a whole lot farther north to go before turning east — whether I’m in the US or Canada.

I don’t have much else left to do before hitting the road. I already put my tools and motorcycle gear back in the trailer. Since I’m leaving tomorrow anyway there’s no point in detaching the trailer and putting it back where it’s sat since the end of April. I have a plan for tomorrow’s destination. All I need to do is load the bike and go. Tonight we’re having a cookout because it’s the first cookout weather they’ve had this year. I’ll relax, hang out, and enjoy my friends’ company before leaving tomorrow morning.

Oregon’s been good to me. I’ll definitely be coming back. My friends would like that, as would I, and there’s a whole lot more to explore here that I didn’t get to see. I’ll just come here in June rather than May next year. I might spend a while here next summer.

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