Wednesday, April 23, 2014

First RV Outing Includes an "Oh Crap" Event

The husband had some extra vacation days surrounding the Easter weekend, so we eagerly made a reservation for our first camping trip of the season.  We were able to secure site #9, our favorite site, at the campground in the Bald Eagle State Park in Howard, Pennsylvania.

We spent part of last week un-winterizing our fifth wheel from the LONG winter we've had here in central Pennsylvania, happily assuring ourselves that there had been no water leaks, vermin infestation, or any other catastrophe since last Fall.

Groceries, clothing, and plenty of books, magazines and movies had been packed.  The truck was gassed up, loaded with a small supply of firewood, hitched to the fiver, and ready to roll.

We were so happy and anxious to get our camping adventures of the season started, and to the best of our recollection, we had never camped this early in the spring before.

Our departure day was bright and sunny.  (A rarity here in central PA.)

Bob examines the damage
We didn't get very far from home when it happened, that "oh crap" event.  In fact, we had only traveled about 20 feet down our alley....

Our alley is tight.  Our camper is huge.  And... that's all it took.

We got a little too far to the left going down the alley, and when we turned right to exit the alley, well,  "oh crap" happened.  I looked back and discovered we had boogered up the neighbor's garage as we made that fateful turn.

I should have "spotted" Bob down the alley.

I didn't.  Not thinking, I just got in the truck with him, and off we went.

Lesson learned.

After looking over the damage, Bob seems to think it won't be that hard to fix.  He claims that when he is done with the repair, it will be better than it was.

Primarily the damage occurred at the rear corner of the structure,

Neighbor's damage
and at the rear left of our camper.

Our damage
Of course we reported the incident immediately to our neighbor, and she was more than gracious about it all.  We have been neighbors for the 33 years we've lived in this neighborhood, and honestly, we could not want for better neighbors.  Our kids grew up together, and these are good people.  

She urged us to go on our way and not think twice about what had happened.  She rejoiced with us at the news that our daughter's recent surgery showed no cancer this time.  She reminded us that the blessing of Easter was right around the corner.  She stated that compared to those two things, this garage damage is negligible.  

In fact, she even joked about how she is so thankful that at least we didn't scratch the paint on the garage doors.

We left with a promise to her that we'd make it right, and she wished us well and waved us off.

It was a quiet drive to the campground, as you can imagine.  Very quiet.  Bob was feeling bad about what had happened.  I was wracking my brain to think of some local RV storage facility for the future, so that we could avoid the hassle of getting in and out of our tight spot in that narrow alley.

En route we stopped to eat at a new-to-us restaurant and to purchase some repair supplies at a nearby Lowe's.  

Our spirits perked up when we were greeted at the campground entrance by a beautiful indigo bunting.   It's been a long time since we've seen one of those.

Arriving at our campsite, we found the campground to be almost empty.  There was only one or two other camping units in our loop, and only a few more joined us over the weekend.  We like it quiet and peaceful like that.  

After setting up, I went inside, made the bed, and did a bit of dusting and vacuuming.  No matter how clean I leave it at the end of a camping year, it still always seems to need a bit of freshening at the start of the next season.

Outside, Bob was tackling the damage to the camper.  He loaded the seam with plenty of caulk, and attempted to bend the corner piece back until a new one can be installed.  

That evening we turned on the "fire" in our indoor fireplace to take the chill out of the air.  We relaxed and did some reading.

Throughout our five days away we saw loads of wildlife around the campground, including 2 grebes, 1 bald eagle, several deer, a bluebird on a stop sign (there are a bazillion bluebird boxes around the park), 1 humongous ground hog (the size of a small bear), and a coyote that ran straight across the hillside adjacent to our campsite.  

Driving by the lake, we saw several grebes, ducks and one especially sparkling tree that had been fully "decorated" with plenty of shiny fishing lures and bobbers.

On Easter we had our first campfire of the season.  It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and we sat out near the fire and soaked up the sunshine for quite a while.

Now that we are back home, the rest of this week I'll be organizing more and preparing the final details for our move into the new lodge.  The moving in process has already somewhat begun.  Appliances are being installed, and carpets are being laid.  The workmen are wrapping up many loose ends as I write this.  The first batch of furniture will be delivered on Friday, and son Caleb with his puppy Sheila will be there to meet the delivery truck.  From there on, each day will have its own delivery, and set up will continue all next week.

Some folks have asked for clarification about this new place of ours.  No, I am not selling or leaving my home, nor moving out of town.  This new lodge is a vacation home that (sort of) replaces our old cabin.  In fact, it is built in very close proximity to that old cabin.  I am so excited about the new lodge that I expect I will rarely go back to the old cabin.  After all, this one has SHOWERS and a DISHWASHER!

I will share pictures as the move progresses and as things come together and are fully set up. 

And until all that is done, please bear with me - I may be a bit sporadic with blogging. 

Plus, grandbaby #5 will be making his appearance soon.....


  1. Accidents happen! Neither of you should be too hard on yourselves. Geez....John's tragedy cost $12,000 to fix. That's life in an RV.....but if John buggers anything else....I might have to get him!

  2. My RV is in the shop right now because a tree in my driveway jumped out and grabbed it. The first estimate is over twentysix grand. I think that is a little high. The insurance people think so too. So, I understand about your "oh crap" thing.

  3. oh dear, oh dear. . .such is life! Thankfully, it's just stuff. . .right. . .and repairs can be made!

  4. I didn't blog about it because Jim felt so bad, but he backed the boat into our neighbors motorhome. That makes our fourth oops (oh crap) moment. And our neighbor was just as gracious as yours. Such is life. I had to back and double check my blog but Bald Eagle State Park is where we stayed in 2010. What a beautiful place. We would definitely stay there again.

  5. Oops is almost part of the RV way of life. When you are telling someone to stop and they continue their maneuver and cause damage that is Stupidity.
    Kathy and I found a local Storage yard that has 24/7 access even before we sold our home. It was worth it and a lot safer.

    It's about time.

  6. I see where Caleb gets his wit and enthusiasm from. You both write in such a way, I wouldn't know one author from the other without seeing your name.