Thursday, September 22, 2016


Taz barked earlier than normal on Sunday morning, our last day at Bolding Mill. He always barks just once to let us know it’s time for his morning bathroom break, usually just about daybreak. He used to lick me on the arm or on my face to wake me up, but those days are over. Ilse dressed and took him out but was only gone a few minutes when she stuck her head back inside the camper and said, “Honey, it’s sprinkling.” I looked out the camper door at the dark, ominous horizon to horizon cloud that spread across the lake that said, “Surprise!”

How does the Christmas Carol go? “I jumped out of bed and threw open the shutters...” We had done nothing to prepare for departure as we had a late 3:00 pm checkout and only a 25 mile ride to our next campground, Old Federal, located on the other side of lake Sidney Lanier. We couldn’t check in at our new campground before 4 in the afternoon, so why not take it easy and enjoy the morning. There was no rain forecast, so we saw no reason to pack the camper early. Well, so much for leaving everything until the last minute. I couldn’t help but think of the three little pigs and why I built my house of straw.

I had to race to beat the approaching rain storm. I almost got away with it, folding up the screen room, rolling up all the carpets, and packing all the outside gear away, but I made a mistake by assuming a lull in the sprinkling would give me more time and I foolishly took a break. Wrong. The rain came down in earnest as I cranked up the dripping wet awning. By then it was raining hard enough to wear one of my 99 cent disposable raincoats. I keep a supply of the little plastic rain coats tucked in various places around the camper just for emergencies like this. We finally abandoned everything and retired to the camper to watch it rain hard for the next two hours. Ilse always packs away the inside of the trailer, but now all I did was get in her way.

Another lull allowed me to hitch the trailer, but by then I had to stand in two inches of water to hook up the cables and the load levelers. For the coup de grace, the rain started again as I raised the trailer levelers and the trailer promptly sagged down on a flat tire. So, after a few choice expletives, I jacked the trailer back up and pulled the flat tire off. I removed the spare tire from its rack on the back of the camper and mounted the spare. The rain did not let up, of course. 

Another mistake was I hadn’t tested the tire pressure in the spare tire before starting this trip, and while the spare worked, it was under-inflated with only 25 pounds of pressure. Luckily, we have a four-wheel trailer, two wheels in tandem on each side, so the underinflated tire wasn't a problem for our planned, short trip to the next campground. My always trusty, battery-powered tire inflater died last year, and I replaced it optimistically with one of those 12vdc units you plug into the cigarette lighter. You know, the ones with the real short cords that won’t reach all the way from your car to your trailer. I assumed it was battery powered as well, so much for not reading the label. It will be replaced as soon as we find a store.

The soggy trip to Old Federal Campground was uneventful but certainly not boring. The rain continued all day and we sloshed along the twenty five mile trip wondering how we missed the rain forecast. I always pack up ahead of time if bad weather is expected, but we got caught off guard badly this time. So much for Atlanta television weather forecasting. So much for goofing off first and working later.

NEXT -  Pleasant surprise at Old Federal -

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