I haven’t written about any of our RV excursions lately because the last few trips while fun were uneventful. Translation: too boring to talk about. However, as I write this column I am on the trip from hell.
My husband and I decided that we would go to MU’s Independence Bowl game. (Because we haven’t had a bowl game in years and we are getting older, we seized the opportunity, not knowing when the next post-season foray would occur.)
We figured the trip to Shreveport would take about 10 hours. If we left early, we could do it in one day. Trying to figure out what to take by way of clothing was a bit of a challenge. Having searched the Internet we found that the temperature in northern Louisiana varied from the mid 60s during the day to below freezing at night.
We decided to err on the side of warmth and loaded our closet with sweatshirts, mittens and earmuffs. We also brought some tee-shirts, light sweaters and even a couple of pair of shorts (one could only wish).
I was in the throes of my annual post-Christmas cold and felt crummy. One eye was almost swollen shut, I had a hacking cough, and my nose had a non-stop drip. But I figured I would just sit in the co-pilot seat and sleep most of the way.
It was drizzling when we began the trip, but before we had traveled 30 miles it began to pour. It continued raining for most of the day. The only time the deluge slowed was when we were stopped in traffic somewhere in Arkansas. For more than an hour we crept along at 5 miles an hour. We never passed the scene of an accident, so we decided that because most folks from Arkansas can’t read they thought the speed signs said 6 or 5 miles an hour not 65.
Have I ever told you that I hate Arkansas? I also hate Kansas, but at least it’s flat. Arkansas has hills (they call them mountains — refer to speed signs). I seldom get car sick, but in my weakened condition I was dizzy and nauseated after nearly an hour of leaning to the left and right as we wound around all the curves. As the sun set, the rain intensified. My husband said he felt like he was driving blind.
We arrived at the KOA well after dark and after the office had closed. My husband found our site but it took two tries before he could hit the cement pad. Even then he was mortified that he’d parked our big rig at an angle. (What would the seasoned RVers think?) But he was too tired to take another stab at it.
We went out to dinner (mainly because I had forgotten to defrost the meat) and came back and fell into bed. But before falling into bed, I went to the bathroom. And somehow when I pushed the lever to flush the toilet it stuck.
At 3 a.m. I was awakened with the sound of water dripping. At first I ignored the sound. Then, deciding I might as well visit the john again, I got up. I hadn’t gone 3 feet when I screamed for my husband. The toilet was pumping water onto the floor, and the bathroom had an inch of standing water. Apparently the toilet had been running since we’d retired at 11 p.m., and the entire coach was sopping wet. I grabbed the half-dozen towels we brought and began trying to soak up the mess. Within seconds they were heavy with water.
We spent the next two hours alternating between wringing and spinning the towels in the washing machine and then stomping on them to soak up more water.
At one point I told my husband that it reminded me of Lucy Ricardo in the famous scene where she stomped grapes. (He didn’t find it amusing.)
Finally at 5 a.m. we were too exhausted to continue. The carpeting still squished when I stepped on it but all of the standing water had been removed.
We were up and moving early this morning. My husband left to purchase a wet vac. I guess he thought most of the water had been removed because he came back with a puny one gallon size. After three sweeps with the wand the tank overflowed. Growling he returned the pint size vacuum and just returned with a BIG one.
So today, when we should be exploring Shreveport, (it’s sunny and in the mid 60s) we’re stuck here in the RV cleaning up. He’s made at least 10 swipes across the carpet and it’s still wet. I have put the first load of clothes and towels in the washing machine. (At one point I was grabbing anything I could find to help blot.)
Because the washing machine is RV size, it only holds about half of a regular machine. A load of towels takes close to two hours to dry.
I figure by late tonight we’ll be back to normal.
If you have a comment or know if our coach is going to warp, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.