Last day Basecamp 2018

Well, my last 24 hours at 3D Basecamp were partially spoiled by a rental car crisis, and then saved by a number of great people I met there.

The Lost Key Fob

If there’s one thing I learned at 3D Basecamp, it’s never to loose the key to your rent-a-car!

Thursday Evening

After a lovely dinner and stroll by the pool, I realize my rent-a-car key is missing from my pocket. I run back to the restaurant and have no luck finding it where we sat, and we notify hotel lost and found. I retrace my steps to everywhere I sat that day with no luck also. I call Hertz and find out what I’ll need to do:

  • Tow the car to closest service center - next to Palm Springs airport
  • Pay $250 fee for the lost key
  • Get a new rental car at the airport

I can’t do this at 11PM, and the conference ends after lunch the next day, so I plan to do it then and hope the keys turn up before that.

Friday Morning
Still no luck at lost in found. I call AAA and schedule a tow for 2:15 hoping the keys might still turn up. I tell everyone I meet my tale of woe. One suggests I try the Hertz desk in the hotel. After a 20 min. wait in line, they can’t help me. Someone else suggests posting on the 3D Basecamp App social media feed. Good idea, I do that too. It goes up on the big screen and everyone’s mobile devices

Friday Afternoon
Still no luck, as 2:00 approaches, I accept time’s up, and get ready to meet the tow truck.

The tow truck arrives and the driver explains it won’t fit inside the garage where the car is parked. Not a big problem he figures, and he works out a plan to use dollies from the truck to lift the front tires and allow the car to be pushed around to the entrance ramp where the truck might just reach it. This works well on the smooth garage floor. I have to help by pushing while the driver does crude course correction at the front.

Almost to the goal and we come across an expansion joint an inch and a half wide. The little dolly wheels can’t get over it, and it takes a good 20 minutes of jockeying with a floor jack and coaxing to get it over. Finally the truck backs in as far as it can and drags the car onto the bed. It has taken nearly an hour to get to this point. We head out to the airport, drop the car in the repair yard, and then he drops me at the airport.

They charge me the $250, and give me the keys to a new car. Such is my fate. I linger a little to get a snack for my trip and head out into the heat to get my new car. It’s now two hours since the tow truck first showed up.

As I’m walking to the parking lot to the new car, my phone is buzzing in my pocket. It’s so hot, the first thing I do is open the car, start it, and get the air conditioning running. Then I check my phone. It’s a text from @ChrisFullmer saying @thomthom found the key!


So, I turn the car off, go back inside and ask it they can erase the charge if I get the key back. After a nerve wracking call back to the repair yard, the manager says yes, the part wasn’t ordered yet. With that, I drive back to the JW Marriott, get the key, say thanks and goodbye to Thom Thom, Chris and John Clark who also got in on the communications. As I head to the door, I run into @Box in mid conversation. Wouldn’t you know, I learn yet one more SketchUp tip before exiting for the final time. Back to the airport again, get the bill corrected and finally hit the road at 7:15, five hours after the tow truck first arrived.

Unbelievable! Many thanks to the SketchUp community, the great people I met, and the social media app for coming through in the end, truly, without a minute to spare to save me at least from a harsh penalty.