Camping Tried To Kill Us

But we prevailed!!

My husband and I recently bumped our heads. It must have happened in our sleep, I’m thinking a giant 2×4 fell across the bed and we never noticed because we went and got a travel trailer.

I keep calling it an RV because it’s just easier. When I say the word “RV” people tend to bug their eyes out, so I’ve altered that to “camper” or “trailer”. I think these fit more because of my redneck roots.

Anyway, we let the dust settle on the camper for about 12 hours before we were on our way for our first camping trip with it. The behemoth was purchased under the agreement:

a. Hubbz will be the one driving/towing/hauling the freight train
b. Hubbz is 100% in charge of the poop line – a.k.a. black line.

I found a site in Leavenworth which is close enough and not so far we couldn’t handle it if we had to turn around and go back home. It was deemed an RV “resort”. It was a KOA which everyone but myself seem to understand. The website promised a pool, a playground and lots of family friendly activities.

Saturday morning we began packing the trailer … Saturday afternoon we were still packing and our hopeful departure time came and went. 2 hours later we were on our cautiously optimistic way. As we pull off the highway and get closer to the park we notice huge billowing brown clouds. That can’t be good…. that’s ok, the map has us going this way, and that is clearly happening over – oh wait… shit… are those helicopters? Are those helicopters pulling water from the lake bordering the campground??!

Photo Aug 27, 4 39 37 PM

We pull in to chaos. RVs parked nearly on top of each other, children running this way, parents running that way, dust flying, helicopters chuffing, smoke choking, it was a scene from MASH.

The green panicked employee with the walkie talkie told us the campground was on evacuation alert.

We opted to go elsewhere.

Thank heavens for cell service, unlimited data plans, and smart phones! We managed a reservation at an RV Park 10 miles away and out of fire range. We pull up, hubbz gets out to check in and a pair of ladies walk by and warn me “something sounds really wrong with your back tire.”. I jump out and sure enough, the back tire of the Tahoe has a bolt sticking out of the middle of the tread and loud accompanying “sssssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!”


We cut check in short and rush to back the trailer into our spot before we have no tire to support this. As long as we can get the trailer in, we can wait days for a new tire! That’s the whole point of the RV, right?! We manage to get it all backed, parked, blocked and set before:


Whew! Now we just need to hope the fire doesn’t actually spread and we have to evacuate before we find a town with a proper tire! (yes we had a full spare, but remember this SUV is fairly new to us still and we have no idea what’s what and what’s reliable, and what is rated to properly tow a 28ft 3500lb trailer)

We manage to alleviate the initial anxiety and panic and set up our spot. The tire will get taken care of and we can enjoy our trip. The next day we get the spare on and head into the local town of Leavenworth for some sight seeing and early dinner.

The next day begins around 4am when my daughter wakes up with something painful in her eye. I rinse. I wash. I flush. I rinse. It’s not budging. I see nothing. I convince her to try to get back to sleep and maybe it will right itself.


Later that day we head to town to have the truck looked at and advise us on the safest way to move forward. We are in a brown dry town called Wenatchee. There is not much to see here, and the one way 4-lane roads will make you crazy. There is, however, a river bordering the town, so maybe the kids can play in the water?

Brown Wenatchee River in smoky haze from the fires

This would be a good plan except my now sleep deprived daughter is a one-eyed pirate. Her eye is decidedly worse and she is miserable. We now stop in at urgent care and have a significant sized speck removed from under her eyelid by a very nice doctor.

My trooper handled it all like a warrior. MY eyes were watering and trembling watching the Q-Tip go up to her inside out eyelid and remove this sharp black speck. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the doctor then puts a liquid in her eye that glows under a black light. This allows him to see if there is any damage to her eyeball. There is. She has a scratch on the iris.

(She is actually smiling in n the pic on the left!)

The only griping she’s done is when I have to put the antibiotic ointment on 3x/day because it burns … and I have to deposit it inside her lid.

The things they don’t put on the hospital brochures when you go in to have a kid. It’s hilarious to think of how intimidating a newborn is in comparison to the things you have to do when they are bigger and even more uncooperative.

Anyway, despite the fires, tire, eyeball ER we actually managed to fit in some fun. Overall the camper has been a dream and certainly the least of the problems on her maiden voyage. I am looking forward to a very boring and uneventful second outing.

The RV Park we stayed at had a little creek running behind it. This made for some fun camera practice for me and our old guy, Barney, surprised us all by wading right into the icy water!


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