Return Trips


Return trips always seem to be a different sort of experience than outbound trips. No matter where you might be going, an outbound trip is filled with anticipation; the return  seems always filled with more reflection and memory. I’m not sure I have ever been a fan of return trips. Still, returning is where we are at the moment.

As I write we are almost half way home. The first day was a short one. The car “came with” an offer to spent a post-delivery meeting with a “technology technician” to go over any questions we might have about the gadgets and gee-gaws on the new vehicle. In exchange for our time, we also received a $50.00 gas card, and who doesn’t like “free money”? The point being that we didn’t leave Milwaukee until nearly noon so the first night wasn’t all that far from home.

Add to that the fact that the better part of the first day and a half’s drive was through really familiar territory, and it made for a very quiet drive. WE overnighted in Springfield IL & Searcy AR. The trip was uneventful with the exception that our Stand-alone GPS fell off the dashboard. I doubt that the Subaru Navigation system will ever truly replace our Rand McNally GPS. Car makers sell cars; their primary purpose is the car, and not a couple hundred dollar feature that not many people push to it’s limits. It works, but not as well as the unit which has ONLY navigation as it’s raison d’etre

Anyway… we stopped for a bite of lunch in the +90 degree heat and the adhesive on the back of the mounting disk failed. We came back out to the car and the emergency flashers were blinking! It seems that when the GPS fell off the dash ‘hit’ the flasher button on the way down. We drove the rest of the day with the Subaru Navi system, and I stopped at a hardware to pick up a tube of cleat silicone sealant. After dawning the back of the mounting disk with silicone I applied it to the dashboard in the hope that by this morning the sealant will have cured and we’ll try again.

I have used the same approach with other vehicles. Some time the dashboard surface is bumpy enough that these adhesive disks can’t obtain contact with sufficient surface to achieve a bond that will survive the constant bouncing of the GPS box. A dab of silicone sealant usually gives a strong enough bond and has the side benefit of being easily (relatively) removed when you sell the car/RV. This morning I’ll remount the GPS and we’ll see if the trick worked.

I admit that the one thing I did not research was the “windshield clear zone” — a mistake. The Subaru safety system utilizes actual cameras to monitor road hazards and there is a significant area where owners ought not to mount anything on the windscreen. We’ll see if my alternate arrangement works.  We had no problem for the first week of ownership. That said, I had mounted our transponders for iPass And K-tag only to have to move them to a clear area just in case. That’s what I get for doing it first and then reading the directions.

At any rate the trip was quiet.we were both thinking about.what we ‘learned’ during our stay in town. We did some future-home research, including neighborhood research. It’s been a while since we lived in anything other than a free-standing house and our longterm ‘idea’ (it’s not fully defined enough to call a plan) is to find an apartment in WI. So we both came away from this visit with factors that need some thought until we have settled out the spontaneous reactions and know how we really feel about various possibilities. I don’t know how you approach decision making, but we have often found that how we feel whe wefirst see a place or idea is often not how we feel about it a few days later. So, right now, we’re still just “thinking”.

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4 Comments

  1. We finally gave up with adhesive mounts for our Garmin and bought the “sandbag” type. They work quite well and are easy to move to another vehicle. As to the I pass type transponders, we have had no problem with simply laying it on the middle of the dash right next to the windshield. Seems to be read just fine. I am always amazed when I see people pulling up to the “cash” lane who obviously don’t have a transponder. It is just so easy to use and sure saves time and money.
    Good luck with your apartment decision making. Lots of changes for you! Like the new haircut too, by the way!

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    1. I just suction cupped the bracket to the disk today, letting it sit with no weight on it for three days and it will be a few days before I put the GPS on the bracket — hopefully it will cure and all will work just fine. I HAD a sandbag holder for an older Garmin GPS but it would not work with the larger Rand McNally — so we’ll see how things go.

      I agree about the transponders. They make life so much easier. And cheaper. The iPass generally cuts the tolls by 50%.

      We’ll see how quickly we move on any of the choices.

      Talking is cheap and sometimes palliative! 🙂

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  2. Some of our druthers regarding apartments: Top floor means not having people walking overhead but you don’t want to be so high fire department ladders won’t reach you. Testing internet connections using our phone lets us know if we’ll need a cable modem. Soundproof walls between units are wonderful but if your front door doesn’t fit tightly you’ll still hear neighbors talking as they pass by. Consider the view out your windows; we overlook a nature center but most people here overlook their neighbor’s windows. Underground parking is a real plus in the northland. Secure is good–unless your keycard doesn’t work; how long will you have to wait for help?

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    1. Linda — good comments all.

      I had a real laugh at the comment about the front door. We stayed in a hotel in Panama City on a stormy night and the hotel literally whistled because of the winds and the ‘leaky’ front doors. That taught us a good, lifelong lesson about entry doors!

      We have mostly lived on 2nd floors, or in a home where our bedroom was on the second floor. We are spoiled about privacy. Though the house here in Texas has reflective film on all the windows and unless there’s a bright light burning seeing inside from outside is not easy.

      We aren’t in a hurry and we are taking our time — but thinking out loud about choices and decisions together as always.

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