Trial Run #2 – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

So with a successful trial run under our belt, we waited a few days and then headed out to Fort Mountain for our second trip. Fort Mountain is a state park and as such, just has standard water and electric sites. So we really had to be careful, with the tanks.

The park was great! We would recommend it to anyone. Lots to do. We hiked, swam at the beach, and the boys completed the Junior Ranger Program there. We had only done those at federal parks so this was their first state park badge. The campground was quiet and the campground hosts, Marty and Susanne from Chatsworth, were super friendly.

Our hike out Big Rock Trail

Our snack under a hemlock tree.

No camping trip is complete without s’mores.

Mason getting his Junior Ranger badge

This trip proved more challenging. This is my mommy vent. We were later getting back from the beach for supper the first night so I was a little frazzled trying to hurry to get the crew fed. Granted the only person who cared about this was me. Things take longer in a camper. They just do. I am going to need to chill a bit about our routines. The ground beef for hamburgers was still frozen solid and I had to rearrange three cabinets. The next morning, I realized half way through cooking breakfast that I can’t use my griddle and the toaster oven at the same time; trips the breaker. I was cooking eggs and didn’t realize the breaker had been tripped so the bacon and toast were no where near done when the eggs were. Again, no one cared that breakfast took a long time except me. Our bed is extremely hard. I mean really hard. After Mountain Lakes, I bought a 3 inch foam mattress topper. Our camper has a Murphy bed and since it was designed to not take up space in the cargo area, the mattress folds up a third of the way so we can’t put a better regular mattress in it. Trev said the topper made a big difference. I couldn’t tell too much of a difference. I thought I lost my wedding ring and Trev and I were digging through garbage looking for it. I found it but not before I had a meltdown. Lots of little things going on but in such a small space; they seem gigantic. All I could think of was the nice roomy 50 amp 5th wheel my hubby didn’t buy. Frustration, discontent, and lots of hormones. By this point it was time to leave so we packed up. Since it’s not full hookups we had to stop at the dump station to empty our tanks before leaving the park.

Now it’s confession time but before I confess I need you to know that we’ve owed a camper before. I have done this set up and take down numerous times, successfully mind you by myself with two little toddlers at the time. We know many of the dos and don’ts. Sometimes you know what you’re supposed to do but you don’t always remember to do them. In all the excitement of showing the boys how to get the camper ready to leave from Mountain Lakes, I forgot to… embarrassed to admit this….to close the black and grey tank valves. I thought the trickling of water still coming out was due to the boys filling up the grey tank so I just capped the pipe and headed off into the sunset. Well, it kept gnawing at me about the trickle and it hit on the way home what I had forgotten to do. So when we got home I closed the valves to the tank.

You campers out there know what’s coming. But for the rest of you let me explain. When you drain your tanks there’s still some “stuff” in the bottom on the tanks. Well, when you close the valves it stays in the tanks, the rest drains out the pipe and them you cap it. When you leave the valves open while you’re driving the “stuff” sloshes around in the tanks and out into the drain pipe. I know this but I was so frustrated when we left our site at Fort Mountain, I wasn’t thinking about any of that. BIG TIME ROOKIE MISTAKE. So………. when I took the cap off the drain pipe to hook up my sewer hose all that “stuff” that had sloshed around into the drain pipe came pouring out of the pipe all over my hands and feet. Trevor was gagging and laughing all the while wishing he had been recording this fiasco. The boys thought it was funny that mommy was covered in poop. Mommy didn’t find it funny at all. It was one of the most disgusting moments of my life and I was in no mood for it.

Now that the moment has passed, I can laugh about it. My hormones have leveled, my discontent gone and replaced with the excited of the trip to come, and my frustration is gone. Sufficed to say we are about to embark on a true adventure. It’s not a vacation, there’s lots of work to do but it will certainly be an adventure.

Those of you who are glass-half-empty-people are reading this going – this is just a sign of the disasters to come. Those of you glass-half-full-people reading this are thinking – they can persevere now that they’ve handled these setbacks and lived to tell about it. Me, well, the jury is still out which kind of person I will end up being. It will certainly be a test of character and I will need to handle these situations with much more grace than I did. My husband is amazing; steady and calm and loads of fun. He and my kiddos are glass-half-full-people. I’m blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people. I hope they will be able to say the same about me when it’s all said and done. We shall see; we…shall…see.

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