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Troubles and Travail

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Last November my wife and I drove our Minnie Winnie, pulling our canoe, from Iowa to Arkansas for a couple of days floating with a couple of old buddies. The canoeing ended in disaster with our canoe trapped for three days in the river and a Search and Rescue for one of my friends. We found him at midnight unharmed but cold and frightened. But that’s another story.

DigbyThe misfortunes began on I-35 in Missouri. An 18-wheeler, with lights flashing, was stopped on the right-hand shoulder. I watched the truck instead of the road and hit a dead deer lying in the left-hand lane. There was a loud bumping as we passed over the body. As nothing seemed damaged we continued on.

Forty miles later we stopped for gas. As the tank filled I noticed that the outside rear tire was totally flat. We called Good Sam emergency roadside service. Three hours later we were ready to go, with a new tire. The “old” one (having only 2,500 miles) was ripped from the impact with the deer.

Days later, having rescued my canoe I attached it to the Winnebago. We’d driven down a steep, rough, eroded path to a campground right on the river, surrounded by tall bluffs and unbroken forests. As I was cold, tired, and hungry after the canoe rescue we decided to spend the night in the solitude of the wilds. We slept soundly – for a few hours.

It became a very dark and very stormy night. At 2:30 a ferocious rain pelted the roof blasting us to full-alert. We worried about that long, steep, muddy road and decided to get out of while we could.

We pulled forward into the rain-slashed blackness – right into the dead-end of the narrowing road. I’d have to unhook the trailer and drag it through the mud out of the way. That done I backed up, intending to turn around when, suddenly, the RV refused to move. We thought we were already stuck. It was worse. I’d backed over a guard rail, driving the receiver hitch over the top of the upright post where it firmly snagged. We needed a jack and didn’t have one. I was so frustrated and crazed by this new turn of events, trying to think of some zany engineering solution involving the cable puller, that once, out in the cold rain, I dropped my flashlight through the RV’s grill where it became imprisoned. By now the travel demons were all laughing. The downpour continued on through the night as we slept fitfully, waiting for the daylight, praying that the river wouldn’t come up and float us away and that we would be able to navigate up that steep mud road.

In the morning I hiked four miles into a village, found someone willing to jack up the RV and we were able to heave our battered equipment up out of the river bottom and make it back to Iowa without further mishap.

Submitted by David Digby of USA as a part of the RV Centennial Celebration “Share Your Favorite RV Memory” contest.

Do you have a favorite RVing or camping memory you’d like to share? Submit your favorite memory here!

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One Response to “Troubles and Travail”

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