Under pressure and out of options. I had to. I had no other choice.
My truck had been in the shop all week for an exhaust sensor issue. I had requested it be done by Friday as the Intern and I had reservations for the weekend at Pacific City, Thousand Trails. Friday morning, the part hadn’t arrived but I was assured the truck would be fine to get us to Pacific City and back perfectly fine.
Pulling out of the driveway, the engine light came on and the Intern, asked if that was supposed to happen. Assured by the service department, we went ahead and made our way to Pacific City. Our trailer is thirty-nine feet long and on those tight, narrow coastal roads in the dark it truly felt eleven feet wide. The narrowness of the road, the single lane bridges, the engine light illuminating the dash board and the Intern freaking out around every corner had me tense. It would have been better if there hadn’t been so much traffic on the road…and if part of the road wasn’t along a shear wall of rock. Oh, who am I kidding? The other part of the road was a shear cliff and it was on the Intern’s side. Yeah, it was a fun drive.
An hour and fifty-nine minutes? Um, no. Plan on a couple of hours plus. Especially if you are driving at night AND you are married to an Intern/Safety Sally as well.
We arrived well after dark and checked in at the front desk. They only had two spots available to accommodate our length of RV. Driving in the blackness, engine light illuminating the cab, we peered into the darkness to find the numbered campsites. The first one available was impossible to get to. The turns were far too tight and after the drive, I knew the Intern was pretty much out of patience. The second one was large enough for us, but it was already occupied with a tent trailer. So, it was a bust. We had driven two and a half hours to find nothing even though we had made a reservation, there wasn’t a campsite for us.
I was trying to read the map and get us back to the front office and realized there was no way we were going to be able to negotiate the round about in front of us. Exasperated, I asked the Intern to get out and help me back up, or back down a very steep grade to get the truck and trailer straightened out enough to get out of the campground. She was thrilled. No, she wasn’t. In fact, after I got the truck situated, she nearly refused to get back in. Granted, I did spin some gravel, had to put the truck into four-wheel drive and I may have raised my voice slightly. I was done you guys. The drive was stressful, and then we couldn’t even set up camp, have a beer and go to bed. Anyway, I talked her into continuing the adventure with me and then…scrape! I applied the brakes and put the truck in reverse. Scrape. (Insert your favorite string of inappropriate words here.) I put the truck into four wheel drive and try to maneuver the trailer in the darkness to get into a position where I was not going to bottom out again. Just then, two truck/trailer combos arrived and we were completely blocking the lane.
“How bad it is going to be?” The Intern asked.
“It’s going to be pretty bad,” I replied.
We sat there, in silence for a millisecond before I let the brake off. Oh the agony! SSSCCCCRRRRAAAAPPPPEEEE. The back end of the trailer scraped along the gravel road for so long. Seriously you guys, it felt like forever and I was just imagining the worst. The Intern sat in silence and the dog stopped whining.
To describe my mood as anything less than totally outraged would be an understatement. I pulled the truck and trailer to a wide spot, handed the Intern our paperwork and asked her to take it back to the front desk. I headed back to inspect the damage. I could see a light dangling and felt pretty confident the trailer door would not open. I grabbed the duck tape and went to work on the light, swearing like a sailor under my breath the entire time.
All I wanted was a quiet weekend with the Intern and Steve. Oh…but wait…there’s more. As most of you know, from following us on Facebook, we had another issue with the truck about an hour from home. That blog post is next… Parking Lot Camping. You will have to read that one as well.