Meanwhile, back at the campground………
Yes, still grounded until the parts come so they can be replaced. Ordered via overnight service on Day 6 (Monday) for Day 7 (Tuesday) delivery.
Easy, lazy days. Decided to do what little laundry there was and spend some time by the pool. Since the ball would not unhitch from the coupler (due to the broken part in question, I found out later), we were literally grounded so we utilized what we had. Nature. Everything else was far enough from the campground it would have been plain foolish to try to get somewhere on just two feet. Roads, hills and walking don’t always go hand in hand and I don’t always walk straight on a good day! Roadkill… aka me, was not on my list of things to accomplish for the day.
Heard some low, rumbling thunder in the late afternoon and looked up only to find this beautiful angry cloud that wanted to pound something, and it looked like anything or anywhere would do. I sat outside to watch and listen even as it did a complete circle around where we were. Darn, was it going to miss us completely? Fiddle! Where’s a good thunderstorm when you need one? Ha! I shouldn’t have wondered about that. We surely were not going to be left out. Wasn’t long when…. Splat! Splat! Splat! Then the heavens opened up and in she blew! Oh, yeah! Pounded us good! Of course, I had the thought of hating a pine tree during that time being Gypsy was parked in the midst of them, as were the other RV’s. Ick! But all’s well that end’s well, as Ma Ingalls’ said.
When I go to bed at night, I sleep. Good. No, great. I don’t worry – there’s nothing to worry about. What I see instead is a problem and I have a challenge to meet. Since I’ve done all I can do most of the time, the night belongs to Hershey and I, my faithful friends who cheer us on, the confidence (not conceit) that I’m acquiring on this ‘maiden voyage’ that has not quite put me where I wanted to be on this trip but has, in fact, made me quite happy with so much more. I can think unhindered! Don’t think there’s a med that works quite like that.
Day 7 (Tuesday) I get the call…… parts are in and he’ll be here after work to replace them for me. Have I ever said there are some very good and kind people in this world? Yes? Well, I’m saying it again!
Mr. Parts Man showed right up after work, with all the right tools (which, of course, was not what I had in my toolbox!) and viola, it was done! At this point, we finally got Miss Ellie unhooked from the coupler and we hooked it all up to make sure everything was as should be. Did it one more time for good measure and then it was time to yak. Have I ever mentioned that I’ve talked to more people these past eight days that I have in the past year? Weird, wild and wonderful! (Didn’t realize how closed-mouthed or closed-minded I had become until I realized just how much I let others control my thoughts and, at times, my actions and behaviors, especially since my dad left us. That’s another story and one I find hard to believe about me). Anyhow…..
Mr. Parts Man eventually left. Hershey and I settled in for the night so we could finally hit the road again the next morning. We were ready. Really enjoyed where we were; the town, the county, the country feel, the southern talk and the friendliest people. Some of the campers are a little hard to ‘strike up a conversation’ with and yes, I check to see what state they’re from. Okay, okay…. maybe I’m just a little territorial! I don’t think it matters what part of the South you are in; it seems they all have a quick smile and a kind word for anyone.
Day 8 dawns with excitement in the air! We were soon going to be on the move! Cut the breakers off, unhooked the power, water, sewer; put it all where it belongs, did the inspection and re-inspection…… and we’re off!
Good-bye! Drive down the road a click or two, hang a left, hang a right and drove into a parking lot to get a BLT. Well, I thought it all circled around because that is sure how it looked. NOT. Oh NO, right to start with? Yeppers. Here we go again; you got yourself into this mess so get yourself out of it. Bah HUMbug! The good thing is I CAN do it; the problem lies in the fact that I’m slower than Methuselah while doing it! Jammed up good but getting out of it slowly when a lady trucker walked up and told me she’d direct me. Oh, YES! Before long, after thanking her profusely, I’m out of that parking lot into the one beside it that does have a circle around drive.
Put Hershey inside the camper (it’s still chilly from the a/c) while I run inside for the BLT I was starving for. Came out, put the key to the door in Gypsy…… and the door wouldn’t open. What in the world? Nothing I did would get that door open. I pushed, locked, unlocked, pulled; repeat, repeat, repeat, and nothing would work. Okay. No panic yet, I told myself. I raised the jack and tried; I lowered the jack and tried. Nothing. Panic was coming on by then. My beloved doggie was in there! By that time I was already wondering if I should kick the door in or bust the closest window? Somehow, with additional height for myself and heavy work gloves, I managed to get the door open and grab my doggie, who was fine….. just wondering why it took me so long to get him out. Me? Called the RV dealer right then and there. ‘There’s nothing I can do about it with you out there.” NOT a good thing to say. Did not offer any options AT ALL, as it’s been on this whole learning expedition. No options? Ha! I fixed it, and it didn’t cost me an arm or a leg….. well, maybe a foot. Works the best it’s ever worked and I didn’t know it wasn’t working!
Towing on an interstate can be a challenge just by itself. When you’re in a city that has about five, six, seven or so interstates going in, going through or going out of, the best thing to do is put on the Big Band Swing CD, turn the music up and just drive. I’m certain the music playing throughout the truck is what saved my sanity while trucking it through the city. Glad when THAT was over!
Time to gas up and check the air in the tires. Truck stops are my favorite because they are camper-friendly. So imagine my surprise when I made the wrong turn and didn’t end up at the truck stop. Well, nothing to do but get back out on the road. I saw this little “S” shaped road behind the gas station that led to the road where I could cross and get to the truck stop. Simple, right? Yea, I thought so, too! Oh boy, almost to the end and home free! Until……… an eighteen-wheeler started making a turn into the very road I was trying to get out of. Oh, this was not good and no, I was not going to win this battle. HERE WE GO AGAIN! Go forward, back a little, go forward, back a little, repeat, etc. You get the picture of me backing by now, I’m certain!
After a little bit, this big, chunky dude jumps out of the truck and heads toward me, smiling the biggest, brightest smile I’ve ever seen. I just burst out laughing and we were already yakking with each other before he got to me! So funny! Yep, he’s going to help me, and help me he did! With perfection, I backed out of that “S” road towards the back of the restaurants behind me, turned back onto the main drag and hit the truck stop. Honestly, I don’t know who laughed the most, the truck driver or me but I will say this….. another friendly, knowledgeable person willing to help with nothing but kindness and plenty of knowledge he shared. There are some good people in this world!
Smooth sailing from here on out. Stopped at a rest area to give Hershey a break. We went to the doggie park while he did the doggie park thing. When we turned around to walk back to the truck, something didn’t look right. Hmmm…… not right at all. Then it dawned on me. Someone’s motorhome was on fire! I saw the first puffs of white smoke. I saw all I needed to see; grabbed Hershey up, threw him in the truck, unlocked Gypsy, grabbed the fire extinguisher off the wall and started running. It was too late; it was engulfed and all of it was burning, inside and out. What I also saw was that everyone who had a camper and was in that lot had grabbed their own fire extinguishers to help put the fire out. Everyone. Perfect strangers, all coming together to help some family in dire need.
The Big Adventure should have been name The Learning Experience. Am I disappointed that I’m not where I thought I would be by now? Nope, I certainly am not! If I had not taken this trip, made some plans, and then realized all the things I didn’t plan or account for that could and have happened, I would still be that innocent camper chick that thought she knew something when she really didn’t know anything at all.
This little life of experience is giving me lifetime experience. Nobody can take that away.