Thursday, July 28, 2016

My war with a U.S. Post Office Mail Box

Well, it has become 'confession time' again.  The last  big one was when I set a picnic table on fire in Washington State. Since then I have been pretty damage free except for whacking the oak tree branch in front of Dickie Bourgeois' plantation.  That damage was only a minor scrape.  

This was really awful! And it happened in Cicero, New York!

And, what, you may ask did I do to cause such a terrible catastrophe to my brand new Winnebago?

It was so stupid!  I tried to mail a letter, at the post office, in the outside mailbox, that was bolted into the sidewalk.  Simple enough, right?  Nope, there was a narrow track I had to drive through to get to the box... 

...and when I started into the track all was fine, until the track curved slightly to the left.
And then I was trapped!  I could not go forward, I could not back up, cars were coming in behind me, and I caught the lip of the mailbox on  the driver's side. The nasty scraping sound was chilling but I couldn't get away from it.

It was when the car behind me suddenly and angrily honked that the worst happened.  I decided to bite the bullet and just charge ahead to get out of there but the lip of the mailbox would not let go.  It held onto the side of the RV and pulled the back panel away from the body of the van.  And it also pulled the mailbox out of the cement! And my life flashed before me in slow motion.

The insurance adjuster was incredibly nice and sympathetic (Let me recommend Progressive Insurance right now), and found this company, Fast Forward, that did Fiberglass repairs.
The owner agreed to let me stay in the RV until all the new parts and pieces came in and the work begun.

I watched daily as new beat up RVs, boats and even a truck limped in to get repaired.

But the crew here made it a priority to get me back on the road again.  When work started on my vehicle they brought in an RV trailer for me to stay in, then they drove me to the laundromat and to the grocery store when I needed a ride.

There were several times they worked on Spirit until 11pm and over the weekend in an effort to get caught up.

Certainly there were bigger jobs but no one else was living there for over two weeks.

I got to watch Spirit get a new paint job, rear end, 

Brett decals, and a thorough clean up.

I owe these guys a million thanks...Matt, who doesn't like his picture taken,

Margie, who even cleaned the workshop shower for me and brought me clean towels (!),

And Ken, who never stopped working the entire time I was there.

Thank you so very much.

Even though my trip was at a standstill for over two weeks, I had this scenic area across the street for me to walk and explore.

It is another section of the Erie Canal that flows out of Oneida Lake.

There were restaurants, marinas, boat launches and just nice sitting areas for blocks along the canal,

and I explored it all.

It was so very frustrating to be sitting still while summer marched on.

I had a lot of miles to cover ahead of me and I felt the pressure of time melting away.

As lovely as the canal was, there were spots along the way that made me cringe.

Why do we use the water as a garbage can?

These wildflowers are growing right in the midst of slabs of discarded broken cement and chunks of rusted metal.

And that stretch of green grass was so covered with dog poop it was impossible to get to that table.

So I just looked for the pretty spots and wished that humans would become better stewards.

Finally I was on the road again and on my way back to Canada.


  1. Oucchh...that is not something that you ever want to see or hear! It looks like you found an excellent shop to do the repairs. Onward to more adventures, hopefully all of the good kind!

  2. .The following is from Linda. I had some trouble getting it into the blog so I had to enter it this way.

    Toni, we know that feeling too well. The main thing is you are fine and back on the road again. Just a bit of inconvenience for you, but you had some folks helping you out and Spirit is looking pretty again. Take care and safe travels.

  3. We are on our road trip too and have had no mishaps (so far.) We saw a lot of rigs like yours on the road and traffic, traffic, traffic everywhere we went. So tomorrow will be an R & R day from our strenuous vacation!
    Glad all is going well after your unfortunate encounter with that mailbox!

  4. Thanks to you all. BTW, the Post Office had a new box in place the next day. My insurance company assured me they would pay for the old one. I didn't ask how much a mailbox might cost.

  5. What a wonderful outcome to a potential disaster. Stories like this remind me that there are still kind, generous humans out there in the world. I'm always relieved to be reminded of that. Safe travels to you.

  6. I can only imagine the sick feeling you felt when the accident happened. Jerry hit a pole last year (trying to get a coffee at a coffee shack). Our damage was minor compared to yours. I do not understand the impatience of people who obviously could see you were in trouble.