About Us

Chris and Dennis are traveling around the country seeing the sights and occasionally volunteering at select locations. We avoid the interstate as much as we can and tend to stop for squirrels and shiny objects.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Things We Do

[Photos are of drawings located in the main lodge Thousand Trails Leavenworth. Sorry for the light glare]

I now know the hardest part of transitioning from working full time to RV'ing full time is coming to grips with all of the time available. You've probably heard the phrase “as fun as watching paint dry” or “busy watching grass grow” and it pretty much covers what hanging out in a n RV park is like during week days. Oh sure, you can do all the outdoorsy things and all that but lets face it, its just another method to fight boredom. But, not all is lost for in large RV parks or campgrounds there are the weekends.

Last weekend we were at an RV park in the middle of a forest that is popular with folks who normally reside in an urban environment. They come to the park to “commune” with nature via their ATV's, jet skis, dirt bikes and what all motorized toys they might have. Friday morning came around and Chris and I made sure the patio was set up, got the portable cooler out with munchies readily available and got comfortable for the show that was just about to begin. The night before we caught the previews with the early arrivals and we were not about to miss a single minute of the upcoming main attraction - weekenders.

The show opened with the obligatory honking of the horn at the main gate; sure to speed everyone along that much faster [NOT!]. How busy the park is can quickly be judged by how far the horn sound is from the main gate and this weekend it was rather slow with only a minor 6 RV traffic jam out into the road (diesel truck by the sound of the horn). Hearing the horns, we knew it was time to put the popcorn in the microwave and to grab a cold beverage. No real rush even considering the horns but they do serve as a 5 minute warning for the next act in a play that will run all day and into the evening.

First up, a Chevy Traverse, you know, the one with the little stick figure family on the back window, towing a 24ft trailer so new it still had the dealer stickers on the front door, the safety chains were still shiny and there was not a mark on the hitch. Oh what a fine show we were in for!

With the kid's faces plastered to the back windows, the wife's face buried in a map of the park and the husband's hands at the 10-2, position (with white knuckles I'm sure) the rig proceeded into the park at a slow and stately pace of 5 mph (the top speed for the park). It didn't them take too long to find the “perfect” spot. The one between two well established rigs whose occupants were also out enjoying the show.

The driver carefully sized up the space and eased by in preparation for backing his trailer into the site. (It should be noted the family stayed inside the van.) The man stopped his vehicle and commenced to back in – OOPS, sort of forgot he had an additional 30 feet of trailer behind him. He sets up again, this time allowing ample space for the van AND trailer to back in. OOPS, when backing the towed item will tend to go the OPPOSITE direction of the towing vehicle. Guess the dealer did not explain this and of course the guy had not practiced before coming out. I went inside for additional beverages because I just knew this was going to be a looong evolution.

After the 4th attempt the family exited the van and looked to be taking off to the pool. Don't blame them, the language being used was definitely not for young ears or even old sailors for that matter. It was during this exodus one of the experienced RV'ers offered to assist (I'm sure it was more to save the vegetation between sites) and 14 minutes (yep, I timed it) after approach the trailer was backed into its site. The owner had received some very valuable training in how to tow and back a trailer and I personally learned several new cuss words.

We continued to improve our vocabulary during the day watching all sorts of rigs and combinations but probably the most fun still resided with the first one because the show didn't stop with the parking of the trailer. From the looks of the man and the paper he was holding he had a check list which he was able to clear the first item. Then came the unhooking of the hitch (more new words), the hooking up of the water to the tank flush system, (old words but I'm sure there is no anatomical way it would work) and the final sewer connection (note to self, ALWAYS check connections twice before opening ANY valve).

I'll give the guy credit, he cleaned up his mistakes, listened raptly to the suggestions of his neighbors and by the time his family returned had managed to have his weekend home ready to be occupied. (Well, maybe not so much, I did hear mention there was no food and of a drive to the nearest grocery; about 6 miles from the park.) The guy stuck with it and will probably enjoy the weekend making memories with the whole family.

We've all been there at one point or another and frankly I believe watching the new comers on a weekend is our reward for sticking with it.


Next up, Republic, Washington. A small western mining town that has (so far) avoided becoming one of those green bean, eco friendly, yuppy, new age stop overs for fugitives from the urban jungle.