Heading west to Kansas City, banks, Walmart and Armadillo’s

We are currently just east of Kansas City by about 40 miles at a place called Pleasant Lake.  It is very pleasant here.  We are in an RV park that’s about 250 acres in size.  There aren’t many RV’s and so it feels spacious and backs right onto the woods.  These are like the woods I remember growing up in the UK.  A variety of leafy trees, but so thick they look intimidating to walk into.

We were sitting out having a beer after we arrived here and saw a stealth bomber fly overhead which looked impressive, but ever more impressive are the humming birds that are all around.  I love to see them, such pretty little birds.

We saw a deer yesterday, and today more squirrels here in the park, a rabbit and some huge cranes.

We will pass through Kansas City tomorrow as we head towards Colorado.  We covered about 300 miles today which is a long time for S to drive.  I’m just starting to feel I might yet get behind the wheel of this coach!  In the meantime, 300 miles seems to be the maximum distance to cover in a day.  The interstates move freely but lots of concentration is still needed.  The on and off ramps to the interstate are short so you have to watch for vehicles, especially trucks joining, and move over for them.  Also, if a vehicle is pulled over on the shoulder its state law to move to the outside lane.  This is all simple in a car, but in a coach towing a car, not so.

We are so happy to finally leave St Louis near Kansas city.  We got rather stuck there because we ran out of money.  When we arrived in Chicago we opened an account with a national bank and moved lots of money in from NZ.  We explained to the bank what our plans and intentions were.  Initially they set us up with temporary debit cards.  This meant we could make withdrawals from ATM’s which we have been doing this for grocery shopping, gas etc.  We also got bank cheques for the car and coach.  This spending allowed us to get set up and get going, but the bank saw this financial activity as potentially fraudulent and our cards got cancelled.  This wasn’t done by a bank representative, they have actually been very helpful, but the bank system did this.  The cash we had was almost gone and we were heading into a difficult position.

So we called into the last bank as we head west which was St Louis in Missouri.  It wasn’t a branch but a main office.  Stuart spent all Fri afternoon in there trying to resolve our predicament with a very helpful lady but still no money, they couldn’t provide us with new PINs.   We couldn’t go further west until we got money.  We cannot find ourselves in a remote place, with no money for diesel or food.

We can’t believe how backwards the banking system in the US is, NZ is decades ahead.  The bank has shut us down and no-body seems to be able to do anything about it.

We decided to park in their carpark in the RV, by the main entrance on Sunday, so we could get their attention on Monday.  We put a poster in the window of the coach asking ‘where is our money’?  And took a photo with their signage in the background, and sent it to them. This may seem as though it was bullish of us, but we’ve been waiting for two weeks for this to be resolved.  It needed to be escalated-we needed attention.

Security asked us to move on, we politely refused.  Then the State Troopers arrived and asked us to move on, so we said ok, but we explained why we were there.  I think they felt sorry for us.  It was late in the day so we drove to the nearest Walmart which was about 6 miles away.  We had to unhitch the car as some of these carparks are too tight to turn with the car too.  Stuart drove the coach and I the car to Walmart.  This is a great store, as mentioned in a previous blog, they sell everything, but they also let RV owners park in their carparks over night, so this is what we did.  We felt safe, other RV’s were there too.  We even put our slides out.

The next morning our issue was escalated and by lunch time our cards were activated.  We even got an apologetic call from the chief executive of the bank in New York.  What a shame it took a peaceful protest.

Anyway, back on the road again today with cash in our pockets and cards that work.

 

I’ve always wanted to see an Armadillo and in the last couple of days I’ve seen 3 which is most exciting, unfortunately they have all been dead on the side of the road, but I’m hopeful to see a live one.  Apparently they carry leprosy so I won’t be cuddling any!!

 

The video that relates to this blog can be found on my youtube channel or use this link:

https://youtu.be/6amLyEFo98w