The 11th Nevada challenge was the most daunting
August 28, 2002
During the period of time from Aug. 5 through Aug. 14, four athletes successfully completed the first-eve,r Nevada10-in10-Challenge.
Those four were Jeremy Evans and Karl Horeis of Kingsbury, Rick Gunn of South Lake Tahoe, Calif. and K. M. Cannon of Las Vegas.
The 10 Challenges were sponsored by the Nevada Appeal as part of the current Nevada Commission on Tourism effort to promote a number of the physical attractions found within the state.
Evans, Horeis and Gunn are current employees of the Nevada Appeal and Cannon is a former employee.
As I wrote in my previous column, Elaine and I were on that trip as the support team for the four athletes.
I was the designated driver of the motorhome as we drove a total of 2,175.3 miles around Nevada.
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Elaine was the designated cook who planned, prepared, cooked and served the meals. She also served as the ex-officio “Mother Hen” who fretted and worried until all four athletes were back in the motorhome, safe and sound, after each and every Challenge.
The 10 challenges consisted of:
Challenges No. 1 and No 2: Hiking and mountain biking a total of 165 miles on the Tahoe Rim Trail and the Flume Trail at Lake Tahoe on Aug. 5-8.
Challenge No. 3: Sand boarding off Sand Mountain (600′) near Fallon on Aug. 9.
Challenge No. 4: Skate boarding on the Black Rock Desert near Gerlach on Aug. 9.
Challenge No. 5: Mountain biking for 24 miles on the “Bloody Shins Trail,” near Winnemucca on Aug. 10.
Challenge No. 6: Hiking for 40 miles along the Ruby Crest Trail of the Ruby Mountains near Elko on Aug. 11.
Note: Many, many people (including me) thought that it would be physically impossible to accomplish this challenge in just one day.
Challenge No. 7: Climbing Wheeler Peak (13, 063′) in Great Basin National Park near the Utah stateline on Aug. 12.
Challenge No. 8: Rock climbing on the cliffs at Red Rock Canyon west of Las Vegas on Aug. 13.
Challenge No. 9: Sand boarding off the Armagosa Big Dune (500′) between Las Vegas and Beatty on Aug. 13.
Challenge No. 10: Climbing Boundary Peak (13, 130′), Nevada’s highest peak, just east of Bishop, Calif. on Aug. 14.
However, none of the six of us on that extended trip, around Nevada, ever dreamt in our wildest dreams that the biggest challenge of all would actually be “Challenge No. 11.”
That 11th challenge was the 28 foot, motorhome that was rented for the trip.
We, collectively, spent more time contending with a myriad of problems with that miserable motorhome than were presented by all of the actual challenges combined! True story!
It was a classic example of the inescapable fact that when you rent something far less expensive than all other offerings that the renter should beware. If you are not careful, you get exactly what you pay for.
And, boy oh boy, did we ever!
Operating within the constraints of a modest budget for the 10 Challenges, the motorhome was rented, over the phone, sight unseen, from a small business that was priced far below all other rental companies that were contacted. That should had been the first clue of bad things to come, but no one realized it at the time.
Obviously, it would not be wise to publicly name the company that provided the motorhome, but if anyone contacts me on a person-to-person basis, I would be more than glad to provide them with the name of that business.
And for the record, I was not the individual who rented it. Thank Goodness!
From the first day of its use to the final day, here is a list of the many, frustrating things that occurred with that “inexpensive” rental:
We were delayed for one entire, extra day in picking it up because of various repairs being made to the motorhome.
The two, front tires were brand new and had not been balanced.
The motorhome badly needed an alignment. The rental company’s “mechanic” told me that he did not have time to do it, so if we wanted to, we could get an alignment somewhere on our trip. Yeah, sure, like it should be our time and expense to solve their problem! I don’t think so!
The need for an alignment caused the motorhome to have a very serious “shimmy” whenever you put on the brakes or whenever you drove at a speed of exactly 45 mph.
The brakes had just been replaced because the previous user had reported problems with them.
They were “mushy” and if you pressed down on the brake pedal and kept pressing, the pedal would sink all the way down to the floorboard.
The motor was hard to start.
The right rear view mirror could not be adjusted for use by the driver because of a striped bolt.
The left rear view mirror would slide down whenever the motorhome hit a bump in the road.
The gas to the refrigerator had to be re-started on three different occasions and was hard to start.
The gas to the stove had to be re-started on one occasion.
The door to the refrigerator fell off on two different occasions!
The jack lost all of its hydraulic fluid when we went to use it and there was no handle for the jack.
Note: When we were first being shown all of the features of the motorhome at what passes for a “lot,” Horeis asked where the spare tire was located. When the mechanic showed us the spare tire compartment, there was no jack. Horeis asked why there was no jack and the response was, “We don’t put a jack in with the spare. If you have a flat, just have someone call AAA.”
Horeis demanded a jack and we later found out (the hard way) that it did not work and did not have a handle.
The inner dual on the driver’s side lost its tread on the way back to Baker from Great Basin National Park. And a matter of interest, the way that the tread peeled off, that tire looked suspiciously like a re-cap.
The motorhome overheated in the stifling, 111 degree heat of Armagosa Valley and stopped running. While being broke down, we started the generator to run the air conditioner. The air conditioner ran for about 15 minutes before it, too, broke down.
And, then finally as a classic example of “Poetic Justice” or “There is a God,” when Evans, Gunn and Horeis drove the motorhome to Evans and Horeis’ home at Kingsbury Grade, it broke down in their driveway and would not start.
They called the owner and told him to come pick it up and get the darn thing out of their driveway.
So, in conclusion, if you are ever offered a deal that is too good to pass up, beware.
It could turn out to be another “inexpensive” motorhome.
— Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you about the most “Magnanimous” quote by the owner of the motorhome.
If he grins and says,”It was when the motorhome broke down in that God Awful, 111 degree heat at Armagosa Valley. When the owner was called about the breakdown, he told us, “That happens to all motorhomes when the weather gets too hot. Just go ahead and use the air conditioner as long as you want and I won’t charge you for the time on the generator,” he wins this bet.