Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Trials on the Trail

"Without adversity, without change, life is boring." - J. Amatt

I am sitting here on the camper bed staring at the screen trying to figure out where to begin when it comes to all the craziness that we have experienced these past few days!  I know that they always say to start at the beginning but honestly I am not even sure if I want to re-live the exhausting experience!  Blocking it all out sounds really good to me!

I wish I had an idea on how to put a funny spin on any of these situations!  This is something I am known to do when it comes to re-telling our stories! So many people tell me that I SHOULD write a book!!!  But, I have yet to find the humor in any of it. And, so it is not nearly going to be as entertaining!   Beloved hasn't found humor in it either, yet.  So, Beloved and I have brought out our “Traveling Motto”  --  Adversity brings a family closer together!
Let me start by telling you about our camper.  In order to pack the camper for our trip, Beloved had to go get it out of our storage lot.  
       First Issue –
The Problem:  While over at the lot, he was raising the hitch tongue jack to hook up the anti-sway bars only to have the jack brake.
    The Blessing:    He was able to hook it up to the van and secure the sway bars but  once on the van we weren’t able to unhook the camper without a new jack! 
     The Problem:  Should I tell you that all though I am not terribly disappointed that we don’t have to hand crank the jack anymore --  we ended up spending some money to get an electric jack!  So, while I wanted one, I never dreamed I would be flipping the bill so soon!

     The Blessing: This might one day be of a huge benefit to me if I ever have to hook up the camper in an emergency situation!  Although even that might still be a problem, I am purposely trying not to learn how to do it.  I try to make myself more useful by just backing up the van to  the jack without ruining our bumper!   

     The Problem:  Beloved had to call around to find out if anyone in 3 states, on the way to our camping site, had the time to fix our jack.  No one on the way could get us in to the shop in a timely fashion.
    The Blessing:   It ended up being that the Music City was able to get one on for us the next day so we pulled out only a day later.  

                                                                      The new electric jack!

Next Issue:
The Problem:  Beloved’s fixed wing pilot school is in what I would call a “not RV friendly” area! 
The Blessing:  We knew of one that had a 5 star review though and we have had friends stay at it during several other type of Pilot Schools. 
The Problem:  So, 9 months ago Beloved called the RV Park to make sure that they had accommodations for a long term stay. He was told “Sure! We have plenty of sites and by the time you get here we will have them all paved. But, call back closer to time about a month out.”   So, Beloved emailed a month out but received no reply.  Three weeks out he emailed again while he was at War.  No reply.  Finally, he called from overseas and that was when they said, “We have some spots torn up for up grading but they should be done a week after you get here so we can just put you in a temporary spot.”    We never dreamed that when we got there they were going to put us in grass, (what they consider their emergency spots),  sitting beside 3 busy entrance roads and 70 feet from 4 lane divided Highway!   And, those temporary spots were not going to be ready for over a month or more.
The Problem Continues:    Now, if they didn’t have any other spots and we had not made reservations then we would not have much to complain about. However, they had PLENTLY of spots available!!!  They were just not in the over flowed long term parking.  They consider their other sites short term pull throughs for their over nighters!!  So, we asked if we could pay for short term parking for short term price but for a long term stay. The reply was absolutely not and that those sites were for their camping groups that rarely come through!  We were NOT HAPPY CAMPERS and we both let them know it in a kind way!   Finally, Beloved and I decided to pay for only two days so we could see if there was anything else around in the area.  We were told directly by them that there was nothing else in the area. That all the other places were horrible!  So, with two nights stay paid, we dropped the camper and went looking at some of the other RV camping areas! They were correct! Horrible!!! 

The Blessing: We know several others families in the RV park from our Unit who are also "working" in the area who gave us a run down on the 411 of the park.

The Problem: They were just as unhappy!!!
The Blessing:  While away looking at other camp ground, friends began to talk to the managers and word got around that we probably wouldn't stay.  Although I am sure that the managers weren't surprised we weren't happy  apparently they were told by our friends that the Iceman and the Redhead don't bluff. We will take ourselves else where because we do have the option of just going to a hotel.  You see, Beloved and I were kind but most firm about our annoyance and we did it in a Christian attitude as well so I am not sure that they really understood that we would leave!  But, with friends who know us well  and who whispered in the manager's ear that we DON'T have to stay, they did find  a spot for us in the long term parking area away from the busy road and Highway!  Imagine that!  They found us a spot and it just so happens that it was one in which the person who reserved just a couple of days before had yet to show up for several days.
The Problem:  The camping spot was small enough that we could only put our camper on it. Since they don’t allow parking on the grass we would have  to park our cars about 130 feet way!  Then, they had so many restrictions on every single thing it was ridiculous.  No screened porches. No outside floor mats. A picnic table that only fits 2 people was available.  It was not a kid friendly area.  The circuit breaker would trip every night when the street lights came on.  The sites were practically on top of each other.  Beloved said the campers were so close together you could walk from roof to roof but it wasn’t that bad!  You would have to at least jump!
The Blessing:  We had full hook up with a small concrete slab.
The Problem:  They said that they had a slight Ant problem in the park!  NO!  The RV park has an ANT Infestation!!!  Black Ants everywhere.  So, Beloved had to treat the concrete slab and grass with Borax and Ant Pebbles. He had to treat the Camper with Comet too.  We were still infested by the morning!!!!  The guy that is there permanently for a year who was  right next to us said he treats every day and if he doesn’t he gets them in by the 100s. (Eeek! Ants can ruin the insider of your camper quickly.)
The Blessing: THERE ISN’T ONE!!!  Ants are horrible.  Well,  Except that this made us go and look at the camping areas that aren't a full hook up but has electricity and water!   This is something that we are use to having anyway but have never done for as long  as the long term parking we will need to be doing here.  
The Blessing:   ONE LOOK and we were instantly set on moving!!!   We went and reserved our spot immediately!   And, then we drove back to grabbed our camper from the other RV site!!  The site we are now in is more like a State Park!   Who needs the swimming pool, the sewer, cable and Internet anyway?!   I have Internet where ever I go on my phone and it can hook up to my computer too!  I don’t want cable! And, it is going to be too cold to swim anyway!   Yep, Real Camping like we like it!!!  And, no ANTS!  (They have coyote noises instead and the occasional snake)  They have a huge concrete slab, plenty of flat newly paved roads for us to ride our bikes and scooters, the sites are not on top of each other with the nearest camper being 100 feet away and brand new comfort stations with new washing machine and dryers.

The problem: Helicopter will fly over me all day long but at night I can still hear the sound of crickets!

The problem: No sewer! So, we will have to get.... oh my! Do I dare even think about saying it?  Yes, one of those waste containers in which you have to empty. Uh. Yet, I know it is done all the time...

               This is the  portable sewer container. That sound much better than what Beloved has the Children' calling it ---  the "poop dolly".   Just gross, huh?!  The only thing funnier is that the Little Miss thought it was a brand new wagon!                                                      

The Blessing: I got to tell the RV park that we were moving!!!! How sweet it was for Beloved to give me the honor! ;)  They were shocked. They asked where we were going and I told them sweetly  about the newly remodeled competition.    Told our unit friends we were going up the road! I doubt the crew will be at the other place long.  So, we packed up our camper and headed out to our new camp site. 
The Problem:  Next place – new spot --- Our RV was unhooked and slides were out only to discover that our new site at the camp ground’s electric box had no power!!!  So, we had to pack up the camper again and move the camper to another site!!! 

The Problem: Each time the camper is moved, it jiggled out more ants from the under belly of the camper and they scatter inside.  So, I had used an entire bottle of vinegar to kill them since it was all I had left. So much for my Cole slaw recipe!
The Blessing:  Beloved is not going to have me cook until we get rid of the ants! 
The Problem:  We go to dinner and while there the Little Man pokes two holes in his Styrofoam cup. So, tea leaks out all on the table.  Then, on the way out of the restaurant, the Little Gentleman trips and falls down and his Styrofoam lid on his to-go-cup comes off. Tea goes everywhere as well. But, at least it wasn't in my camper where it would bring in more ants!
The Blessing: The camper has been once again treated with Organic Ant Spray because if you are going to kill something in the environment you should do it friendly!    Beloved says, “It smells like Vick’s vapor rub in here now.”  And, the entire exterior grounds within a 50 foot radius have been treated with something slightly less toxic than a flame thrower! 
The Problem Now?   I am keeping Beloved up with this light and he can’t go to sleep with all my giggling! Thanks, Mom for reading to the end!  Could it be you will be the only one?!  I will be back to posting normally tomorrow! ;)


  1. OH sister...prayed for you the WHOLE time I was reading!!! I know just how you feel, been there and done it ALL!!! The joy of camping is all I can say...Thinking of you often and sure hope things start to go GOOD for you and your family. GOD BLESS!
    And remember, "your not the only one"...our jack broke just as soon as we pulled into Lazydays...

  2. I made it to the end!!! Camping stories are great, because when you think your situation is bad there is possibly someone else who has had it worse.....or you an always say that line..."well you know my friend went camping once and you know what happened to her...."

    I am glad you moved and found a new place instead of staying at the orig. location...there seemed to be too many red flags there so to speak.

    I'll be praying that the next week to come will be filled with many more blessings than issues.

    Take care and God Bless~~

  3. Hmmm....Oh dear....I sure hope things get better...

    The cup with the hole in the bottom? Ha. Big girls do that stuff too. ; )

    Praying you get home safe and sound!

    xxxooo ~Mrs. Amelia

  4. Wow, those are some crazy issues you've run into in the last few days! I hope everything goes better as you get settled in and into more of a routine in the near future here :-)

  5. Yes..dear...I read to the end...maybe by the time we get there, the ant issue will be taken care of.....happy camping!!!!!Someday you will be able to laugh about this experience.

  6. I laughed out loud when I read the ants then the Vicks. It was a great story!

  7. We adore our new camping site!! It is fabulous and 100 percent better than that other place! ;) I will show pictures soon, I am sure.

    And, the ants are all gone!!! ;)

  8. Oh my Word! What an adventure! The ant infestation drama that followed you to the new camping spot would have really torqued me! Ants are tough to get rid of. So glad your new home away from home is working out better.


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