First Camping Trip of the Year – April 20-21, 2019

After strong storms and heavy rain on Friday, Saturday morning, April 20th, dawned clear and spectacularly beautiful!

We didn’t have any specific plans for the day, but after visiting a local campground and finding that there was one site open, we decided to do a one-night camping trip. By staying close, we could take care of things on the homefront, but also enjoy a mini-vacation.

We had few opportunities to use our new-to-us Clipper trailer after we bought it late last summer, so we were excited to get it out. Knowing we’d be coming back to the house a couple of times, we packed lightly, and soon we were in our site getting everything set up and connected.

The Scamp trailer we’d owned previously didn’t have water, propane, or too much of anything else in it, so there’s been a bit of a learning curve with the Clipper, which is well appointed. As we were putting up the awning, I turned one of the knobs too far, and–oops! Try as we might, we couldn’t get the knob to connect back through the small square metal piece inside the frame in order to raise the awning. Not good.

Wayne and I tried everything we could think of to fix it, but then a man from the next campsite walked over with a tool bag and asked if he could help. Yes, thank you, yes! Soon his wife came over, too, and before too long they had the awning working properly! Yay, for helpful neighbors!

As we officially introduced ourselves, we discovered some very cool common ground and connections! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you meet the nicest people in campgrounds! I’m so thankful that we had the opportunity to meet our new friends from New England, Carol and George, and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing them again in the future. 🙂

So with all of the set-up done, it was time to get down to some serious camping. For us, that means some serious relaxing. Ah, bliss……

Around 5 pm, we made a quick trip home and also picked up some food for dinner. We talked about going to the campground’s karaoke event in the community building that evening–or playing some pool–but we opted to stay put. Wayne got a fire going, and we sat outside until late that night….

Despite inching closer to the campfire, we kept adding layers–sweatshirts over shirts; jackets over sweatshirts–as the night became cooler and cooler. We knew the temperature was supposed to drop to the low 40s, and so we turned on the furnace in the trailer to see how it would work. (Quite well, we discovered!) We’d also brought a small ceramic heater with us, and when we went to bed we turned the propane and furnace off and used the electric heater instead.

Early the next (chilly!) morning, we left the campground to feed the feral kitties at my school and to feed my old kitty, Kian. When we got back to our campsite, the temperature had climbed to the 50s and it was a phenomenally beautiful Easter morning.

We visited again with our neighbors, and after they left for a family gathering, we started packing up and getting ready to come home.

As we pulled into the driveway, we could hear a shrill alarm going off inside the trailer! What on earth?!! I knew I’d turned off the propane at the tank the previous night when I’d turned off the furnace, and I’d doubled-checked it (and everything else) before we left the campground.

Cautiously entering the trailer, I saw an orange light on the refrigerator control panel next to the word CHECK. Well, check I did, and I saw that instead of pushing the button to turn the refrigerator OFF, I’d accidentally pushed the button that toggles between “automatic” and “gas.” Perhaps by having some propane gas in the lines from running the furnace, it was actually trying to pull propane in to run the fridge. And perhaps that was enough to set off the detector. Yikes!

Wayne was able to silence the alarm while I quickly opened windows and turned on the bathroom exhaust fan. We left the door, windows, and vent open for over an hour just to be on the safe side.

Finally convinced that all was well, we drove over the mountain for a late lunch/early dinner and to pick up a few more things to use on our next camping trip. Coming back over the mountain on the way home, we were both struck by the amazing clouds over the Rockfish Valley. The beautiful day was turning into a beautiful evening.

We talk (often) about the feasibility of an extended road trip with the trailer–some day. Maybe for a month? For a year? Would our Clipper trailer (with modifications) suit our needs for something like that, or would we need to go a little larger? So much to consider…

While cross-country travel is certainly a dream, we are so thankful–and so richly blessed–to be able to enjoy the simple wonders that are all around us, right here, right now.

Until next time,

Sharon & Wayne

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One Response to First Camping Trip of the Year – April 20-21, 2019

  1. Alex N Indiana says:

    *I feel blessed to have read your story… *Seriously!* …I’m a happy.*


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