Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Camping Extravaganza!

We're home... as of Sunday evening!

So you read the previous post as to the woes of Thursday morning... unfortunately what was chronicled was really just the tip of the ice berg as it were.

By 12:30pm we still hadn't heard back from the glass people so Daddio re-phoned them and told them that we would be camping out in front of their shop until they fix it... so off we went to their location. Naturally we thought that we were nearing the end of our rough start. Upon arriving we are told to pull around the side (into a Sonic parking lot) and unhitch the camper so that the BEAST can be pulled into their garage. No problem. Daddio pulled around, hopped out and set to work on removing the camper from the hitch... yep, you guessed it, calamity struck again (are you noticing any sort of pattern). While using the jack on the front of the camper it broke... but not before it was quite high enough to come off the hitch attached to my car. Looking around Daddio spots a Jeep shop... surely they will have a floor jack that will get the camper high enough... NOPE... short just about an inch from even touching the frame. In the mean time I run inside and ask the mechanic from the glass shop if he can just come around the side and do the repairs there until we can figure out the hitch situation... NOPE, I was rudely asked how they were to get electricity out there... Hell if I know... don't YOU go to people's homes and repair this stuff without the use of their electricity... I was told they could only do the repair in their garage or wait for another mobile unit to come back to the shop and they had no idea when that would be (it was 1:30pm by this point). While Daddio looked around, prayed, and tried to stay calm, I called the camper guy and explained the situation... Thankfully he was super nice about the whole thing and stopped whatever he was doing and came out immediately (about 30 minutes or so for him to arrive). While we waited we had the brilliant idea of pulling the pin from the hitch extender... and I simply drove forward and we were free... with the hitch extender/ball still attached to the camper.

So into the garage went the Beast with Daddio... I was sent to handle clean up duty! At some point during this whole little escapade Bubba had gotten a bloody nose, and proceeded to SNEEZE all over the backseat before gaining control with kleenex... it was all over him, the windows, the seats, seat belt... so over to the Sonic bathroom for some much needed water and wipes. And to keep the kids out of Daddio's hair we stopped at the picnic tables and order some ice cream to pass the time.

The camper man came, and had the hitch jack thing replaced in about 5 minutes (long before the window was fixed)! Finally at 3:30 we were on the road... camper in full working order, the window (without tint... poor Daddio's left arm), and everyone happy to be on our way.

Our original destination was supposed to be Palo Duro Canyons, unfortunately due to the ridiculously late start that was simply not an option. We don't know the park, and finding your way around so late at night with a camper didn't seem like the smartest move. So we decided that we would stop at Caprock Canyons (which we are quite familiar with), set up for the night then re-evaluate the situation in the morning... maybe continue Friday the rest of the way.

We arrived at the park at 9:15ish pm, went right to the hook-ups and began the process of navigating (backwards... which Daddio had yet to do with the camper attached). Thankfully a wonderful couple that were across the road stepped out of their camper and were nice enough to guide us right in (on the first try... yeah Daddio and Mr. Powell). With the neighbors help, by 10:00pm Daddio was taking a hot shower in the camper and the boys and I were munchin' down on some popcorn!

As it turned out, our neighbors were also headed to Palo Duro... but due to flooding in the canyon, they were told that most sites were not able to be reached due to high water crossings... so it would seem that in all that happened the Lord had once again protected us from something that we were yet to know. If we would have attempted to make Palo Duro that night we would not know about the water situation, we would have been arriving well after dark and business hours, and may have gotten into serious trouble not realizing how deep the water was!

How was the camping trip... WONDERFUL. The weather was fantastic, the camper was a real treat, and our new friends helped us out immensely (seasoned campers in RV's of all sorts, they were always there when we needed help, advice, and a few beers... not to mention their instant affection for the boys... gotta love the grandparent nature)! We decided to stay put the whole time!

All in all my ankle held up well. The camper had a freezer in it, so I was able to bring my ice pack... any down time I iced up! And I have to say, having an A/C was wonderful during the first two nights, and then a heater on the third night when a cold front moved in! Oh, and the potty... if you're a lady and a tent camper, the mornings (or middle of the night) are tough... but not in a camper :-). Oh, and being able to shower in the camper, then blow dry your hair in your camper, that was cool. Mostly not having to lug stuff over to the shower facilities (which are quite nice at this park, don't get me wrong)... being able to cycle all three boys through there, then pitch them right into bed!!! AWESOME! Plus with the current burn ban, we were still able to do all our cooking inside... and eat real -- tasty food.

Will we rent a camper again... YES!!!!


La Familia said...

Wow! The Lord was surely looking after your family! I'm never gonna look at setbacks the same way again! I'm glad your family is home safe and sound. Be on the lookout for a letter that I mailed today.

The Rhodes' said...

I am glad it turned out well! the Lord always has the best plan! I am about to tour the photos!;)