B-16 at Wind Creek Park
Ray and I bought a well-seasoned fifth wheel travel trailer, 1994 Avion Fleetwood the first of September. It is 35’ long with a big slide out in the kitchen/living area. I will download several pictures so you can see how it looks.
We had planned for me to go camping at Wind Creek State Park in my home town for a week in the near future, and since Jaye, my son, wasn’t able to have his divorce hearing this week, we decided this week would be as good as any.
‘The Husband’ didn’t feel good on Friday, at all, so we decided to wait until Saturday morning to get our ‘stuff in one sock’ and get on the road. After getting up early, going to the Waffle House for breakfast, and getting home to pack the trailer out, nothing seemed wrong with the world. We stopped long enough to say our prayer, which we always say, before we get on the road going anywhere.
After getting all my weeks clothes packed, the food, make-up, jewelry, shoes, and all the other things you need to empress a family of visitors (HA) you hope will visit during the week, we were ready to pull out. I was in the car, since ‘the man’ would not let me go alone in the truck, pulling the trailer all the way to Alex City and Lake Martin, Alabama.
“It’s only two and a half hours!” I begged. He said, “I don’t care if it’s two and a half miles! You are not going to go away by yourself! You won’t be able to handle the set up and tear down!”
I didn’t argue!
Ray was in the big red Dodge duly and I was sitting in my Chrysler 300 watching him maneuver the BIG trailer between the two little posts which flank our drive. I was afraid he could not get the trailer out of the drive without hitting one, pulling the trailer out on the road. He did have to back it up once. It was a little close. Then when he got it in the road, I heard this GOSH AWFUL noise and I thought one of the tires had gone in the ditch. He stopped. I got out of the car and was just frozen to the spot.
I saw him walking around the truck and trailer. Then I saw his face, the color of powdered ivory talc. He walked up the driveway and I just held open my arms. He walked into them and laid his head on my shoulder. I thought he was going to faint. I walked down to the truck with him and we assessed the damage.
When he was getting the trailer ready, hooking on the fifth-wheel, he thought he had the latch locked and the pin in. When he pulled out into the road, the trailer came off the hitch and dropped down on the back of the truck sides. It tore the tail-gate off and it was hanging by only the chains. The side of the truck bed went into the underside of the front of the trailer (Ray said thank goodness there wasn’t anything there).
Several cars, by this time, had gone by on Old Cartersville Road, but a very nice couple did stop to help us. He got out and saw what Ray was trying to do, which was jack the trailer up enough to get the fifth-wheel engaged and LOCKED. They got this done while we were standing there waiting for the jacks to go back up, they did not stop. Ray had to stop the jacks when the motor started to click.
I tried to tell him we would just pull the trailer to the shop and forget the trip. He said no, we were ready and we were going.
We drove to Alabama, all the back roads, him pulling the trailer and me in the car, so he would not be on the interstate. We went through Roanoke, Wadley, and in Daviston cut-through to Horsebend to Jackson’s Gap. When we got to Hwy 280 we went north to Hwy 38 and went toward Wind Creek. We had to wait at least an hour for the people to clear off the site we wanted which had electricity, sewer and was right on the water in the shade. It didn’t hurt it was on a level site. I paid my $220 for my week. We found B-16 and Ray got the big rig backed into place. Thank God I didn’t have it to do!! He was right, I couldn’t back it up….pull through maybe, but no backing up!
When we got out and started trying to get all the things set up, it was not hard to do. I thought this would be a piece of cake. I pulled out the leveling planks, chock blocks, electric cords, got the water lines and sewer lines hooked up while Ray was getting the front jacks lowered. I noted he was taking a long time getting them down. I figured he was letting me see how hard it was to ‘set-up’.
I was ready to start lowering the back jacks, but I know you don’t do this until you get the front ones down, so I went to the front of the trailer. Ray had the look on his face, AGAIN.
“Dee, the jacks won’t come down!” he whispered.
“What do you mean, the jacks won’t come down?” I sneered, and continued, “Just whack ‘em, and they will drop!” He didn’t even look at me by this point!!
After him working, for over an hour…and me just giving up, going inside with the dog, to a cool air-conditioned trailer, he finally came in and told me the jacks were not going to come down. There was NO WAY to jack up the trailer, off the truck, so he could go home. We couldn’t level the trailer so I could stay.
I loaded up the leveling planks, chock blocks, electric cords, water lines and sewer lines. We were going back home.
Ray pulled the trailer up to the front of the campsite, so I could see about getting back my money paid for the week because I could not stay. I made a wrong turn and ended up in the middle of a wreck at the back of the campsite store. When I got around to the front, she gave me back my money, but Ray had tried to call me three times. My purse had dumped in the floor, as did Scooter, when I realized I had turned the wrong way and had to STOP due to the wreck. I got the dog back on the seat but the purse was hopeless.
I pulled around, to try to get up beside Ray in the truck, but he saw me coming and took off. At this time, I just pulled the purse up, praying the phone would not fall out in the floor, and started digging. Thank God, it didn’t. I had to ramble in the mess and I finally found the phone. I called Ray and said, ‘why in the name of bloody *&% did you take off and not wait for me to pull up beside you?’ As if he should have known what I wanted, he let me know in so many loud words, how was he supposed to know this is what I wanted.
While he was pulling up those long hills, out of the park area, he was meeting a motorcycle. A deer darted in front of him and it went between him and in front of the motorcycle. Neither one hit the deer, but if either one of them had another coat of paint, they would have killed the deer, or been killed by it. I wonder what the poor guy on the motorcycle thought!
We decided to go back through the woods to Deloris’, in New Site, and leave the trailer in her yard, since she was in Millbrook at Kelly’s, and we would go to The General for a bite to eat. We could go in my car. It had been a long time since the Waffle House at 7:30am.
Big Daddy Riddle called me when he pulled up and saw the big rig in his yard. He didn’t go with Deloris and Allison. He said, “Where the hell are you?” I told him…and he then said, “Who the hell are you with?” I told him I was with Ray. He said, “OK. I was just wondering where the hell you were, since this hotel is in my yard and I couldn’t find you anywhere!” I told him he could come over but he said nope he just ate.
We came back by and Ray saw Big Daddy for a bit but I didn’t even get out of the car. We just took off for home.
There was no trouble, until I was within two miles of the house. Another little deer ran out in front of ME right before I turn left at Fairview Church Road on Highway 113 coming from Yorkville to Rockmart. I wasn’t hurt but the deer lost her life by tearing the driver’s side headlight out! I did not see the deer until I hit it! Usually you can see a deer and swerve to avoid it! Not in this case! There was no time to swerve at all! A couple following behind me saw what happened and they pulled up, rolled down their window, asking if I was okay. I said I was except for being shook up. They kept asking if I wanted anyone called and I kept saying no! My husband was behind me pulling a trailer. They kept saying, “I think you should call him!” I finally said, “You don’t understand! If I call him and tell him I hit a deer, after the day we just had, he will lose it!” I bet they thought he would beat me or something!! Ha! ha!! They left!
I almost didn’t breathe until he got home afraid something else would happen. When he did pull in, and parked the trailer, I walked out to where he was in the yard. I was almost crying. He asked, ‘what is wrong?’ He thought it was just the day!! I said, “You are not the only one who had accident today!” His eyes got really big and he said, “What is wrong? Are you alright?” I said, “Yes, but the car isn’t! I hit a deer!”
He went over to the car and said, ‘so you’re the one who hit the deer I saw on the side of the road back there? I didn’t know if it was a deer or a dog. Don’t worry! If you’re okay, it’s all that matters!’
What more can you ask for?
Needless to say, we went to church today to thank our Lord for Grace, Mercy and Looking after us yesterday in so many ways.
We have a very good friend who can fix our trailer with fiberglass so you cannot tell anything happened! The tail-gate is not as easily fixed. We are going with a mesh tail-gate for a while. The rest of the little dents and scratches will come out at the same time. The car will go to Pruitt’s in Yorkville….the only place Ray will take my car for repairs. He was the person to fixed it when Lori wrecked it. This should only cost about $400. If it is less, I will be extremely thrilled.
The jacks on my trailer will be another question all the way around. I need to take the trailer to a person who can go through it with a fine tooth comb and fix all the little things….but then I am afraid of what it would cost if I do. The jacks are where the damage is worse in the nose of the trailer.
I am not sorry I have my trailer. It will just take a little time to get the bugs worked out. These are things which will not happen again…..I assure you!
The next few stories will be better than this one…at best I got to see B-16 at Wind Creek State Park as a nice camp-site.
Dee Bradley, Author