Archive for the ‘Camping’ Category

Maiden Voyage

The maiden camping trip with the new travel trailer is now successfully completed. It was a wonderful weekend, other than my rotten head cold (an end of year gift from one of my students). As the breeze blew, so did my nose. It felt good to get things organized in the new living space, but I did not feel like hiking or sitting by the fire, which was a bummer.

The best part was the finale:  I drove the camper from home to the storage facility and backed it into the parking space with only a minor adjustment! My copilot guided me, of course. I was so excited I told Terry I wanted to drive to the campground on our next trip. He expressed his concern, but then relinquished and told me to go for it. I wonder if the cold medicine had any influence over my bold driving and parking skills? I guess I will find out in two weeks!

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Double Trouble

Despite my determined spirit, I was not able to haul the big rig to the campsite. I had my shoulder injected with cortisone on Wednesday, and I still only had one good arm by Friday. Since I want to get this issue healed up as quickly as possible, I decided it would be wiser to follow the advice of my doctor and make my maiden voyage hauling the camper to the campground on another trip. How did I get my shoulder messed up in the first place? I believe it happened last winter, when I was determined to clear our driveway of ice and snow, and I tweaked it throwing the heavy shovelfuls of the white stuff.

I can see the same determined spirit in my 16-month-old grandson. The other night at dinner we played peek-a-boo. I covered my eyes, he pulled my hands away, and I said, “Boo!” He giggled down to his toes each time. I started holding my hands with some resistance, so that he would have to work at opening them. The more I resisted, the harder he would pull; he pulled so hard that he clenched his jaw, and his whole little body shook. With each release and ,”Boo!” he giggled. It didn’t matter that I was bigger and stronger; he kept trying with all his might and would not give up until I stopped resisting. He will go far in life with that determination. I just hope his family has good insurance!

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When we had a pop-up tent camper, I felt comfortable driving to the campground and setting up camp. It was low enough I could see over the top while driving, and small enough that narrow roads did not bother me.

The new travel trailer is a different story. It is 19 ft. long, and about foot wider, maybe a little more. I have let my husband do all the driving with this behemoth (even though it is small in terms of travel trailers). He has asked me often if I want to drive, and each time I have said no way, until last night when we were taking it back the four or five miles to the storage facility. Since it would be easier for my husband to meet me at the campground after work this Friday, I decided I should suck it up and try to pull the camper myself. He was quite excited; I felt like I might vomit.

Through the neighborhood we crawled at about .5 miles per hour; yes, there is a decimal in front of the five. He said, “Uh, Honey, you might want to pick up the pace a little.” So I started going about 2 miles per hour. It feels really weird only seeing white aluminum in your rearview mirror. On the road, I started to feel more comfortable and got to within 5 miles of the speed limit. We were a couple of miles in and the road narrowed drastically, and there was no shoulder. He laughed at me as I checked my mirrors every time a car passed, mostly because checking after the car had passed was too late to correct my position. We finally made it to the storage facility with no issues, other than me driving five to seven miles below the speed limit. Now for the fun part, backing into our space.

Luckily, the camper next to us was out, so that left an empty space on one side and a camper on the other. I thought I was doing really well, until my hubby told me that I was backing into the wrong space. I had gotten the camper in an awkward position for our space, so I had to circle the lot and come back around. It took about six tries, but I did get it in between our parking barriers. When I got out of the truck, my husband saw wet places on my shirt. He said, “Did you spill your water?” “No, that is sweat!” I exclaimed. He laughed and told me that I did a good job.

On the way home, I felt satisfied that I had tackled my fear of the big rig and excited to drive to the campground this week. We were chatting about the experience, and then it struck me, “I have to drive this thing on the highway, don’t I?” What will it feel like driving at 65 miles per hour with semis passing me? I better bring an extra shirt and maybe a clean pair of shorts.

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Well, we camped this weekend without running water in the camper. It was like the old pop-up camper days- off the ground with air-conditioning and a refrigerator. Thankfully we had the air-conditioner; it was near 90 degrees on Sunday and Monday. We still had a blast hiking, eating s’mores, running, eating s’mores, napping in the lounger, eating s’mores. Do you see a pattern here? Terry took a boys club shower on Saturday night (open area shower with no dividing walls). He snuck over to the primitive camp area on Sunday and Monday; they had shower stalls. Even though we had a water issue, we had a blast. Good times and good friends!

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