Friday, August 10, 2018

Vacation Reboot: Picking up the Pieces in the Motherlode


Other than health emergencies, it's tougher to think of a harder piece of luck on your road trip than having your mode of transportation have a major breakdown. That's what happened to us last weekend in Placerville, California when the rear axle on our van gave out. That meant we had to leave the van and Tim's very heavy everyday power wheelchair behind while we opted to get a rental car to go back home and wait for our van to be repaired.

(NOTE: we initially went to Placerville for a beer festival which you can check out at this Cocktail Hour and video)

It's a week later, the van's fixed (although the bookkeeper, who was supposed to call me to tell me how much the bill is has yet to call back), we're packed tightly into our rental Toyota Corolla, and we're headed north on Highway 99 as fast as our four little cylinders will take us.

Early afternoon, we're pulling into the parking lot of the Les Schwab Tire and Brake service shop in Placerville. We see our van parked outside so I pull in next to it so we can transfer our luggage into it.

The three of us file in and my first pleasant surprise is when I say I'm here to pick up the van and the lady there say's "That'll be $1412, please." Pleasant, because I was led to believe it would have been closer to $3,000. Trying to keep a poker face, I was almost like that lady in the IKEA commercial who was running out to the parking lot, yelling to her husband "Start the car!" before they found out they'd made a mistake.

No mistakes here...at least they didn't catch any as I paid for my service...I collected the keys, we packed up the van, Tim had a happy reunion with his main wheelchair, and Letty drove it to Folsom behind me as we took the Toyota back to the Enterprise agency there.



Then, it was another 45 minute drive to our destination today of the Jackson Rancheria Resort and Casino in Jackson. The Rancheria is a small reservation for the local band of Mi Wok Indians who have turned their little piece of California into a large resort.

Now, it's one of the cheapest places you can get a decent room in the area.

Since they're not required to follow the laws of the state, there are no taxes so the $104 dollar rate we're quoted is the entire price we pay. Except, the front counter person tells us if we apply for the casino card, we'll get another $10 off of that rate. So it's $94 for three ($5 extra for the third person)...no taxes, no resort fees, no parking charges.



The room is spacious, about a third larger than the motel room we stayed in last weekend in Placerville. Two queen beds, a tub with transfer bench built in, refrigerator, safe, large flat screen TV, ironing board, iron, and hair drier. Immaculately cleaned, quiet, and a view over the pool to the hills beyond one side and the casino parking structure on the other.

It's a very nice room, the nicest we're going to get for this price up here.

A sense of completeness takes over...we're back where we left off, our van is working, Tim's back in his main wheelchair, and we're in our favorite part of the world in a nice room. Comfortable, relaxed, and ready we head to the casino to eat.



The buffet here is $15.95 on Mondays but we get another discount since we're over 55. Our roles reversed...Tim used to get the kid's discount and now he's more expensive...we find a table and dig in.

It's OK but I think I should have went to the Asian counter instead of the brisket bar. Tim was fine with the pizza and mac 'n cheese. Letty had a time trying to get the meat out of her crab legs.

Now, we head back to the room to relax and rest up to go exploring tomorrow. We'll see you then.

Darryl Musick
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