Angles Curves and Mounds Part 2

It’s morning.  Yesterday is just a blur.  At least I feel rested, and ready to tackle the next leg of this learning experience.  I am up as the sun is rising, making coffee, waiting for Cindy to stir. The Toy Hauler has had plenty of time to “stabilize” on level ground now, so I go test the fridge to see, just in case, if it would somehow miraculously work.  Nope.  Nothing.  Not a wisp of cool from the fridge or freezer after 30 minutes of hoping.  At exactly 8 A.M.  I call the Bemidji RV service store hoping to secure an appointment for my Toy Hauler’s malfunctioning fridge.  The man on the phone says they are backed up two weeks.

“But…but….all my food will go bad!”

“Can you get here right away? Maybe we can sneak you in.”

“Oh, thank you!  It’s 8:10 A.M. I am about 40 miles away.  I’ll leave right now!”

Yeah, right. Sure I will.

We analyze and discuss the angle and curve we need to navigate around in order to clear the outhouse building.  It’s going to be tight, but Cindy insists it’s “no problem.”

I jump into the driver seat and take a stab at pulling out.  Once again, the key is to pull over as far to the left as possible in order to get all 38 feet or so of truck and trailer through without taking off the corner of the outhouse roof.  I quickly discover I can’t get left enough without driving up into the heavy brush.

 

Curves2Corner“Left!  Left!”  Cindy is calling out.

“I CAN’T!!!  I’m in the WOODS!!!”  I reply.  I’m going to scratch the hell out of the truck and trailer.

We can’t clear the building.  We do clear more brush out of the way.

I try and try to swing farther left.  It’s not enough.  Back, and forth.  Back and forth.

“Cindy, you try.”

Back and forth some more.

I am about ready to cry.  Finally, after spending over two stressful hours of back and forth, trying to maneuver the Toy Hauler around the shed and up through the narrow curved “driveway” out onto the narrow tar road, we clear the building and trees and are on our way to Bemidji.

So much for getting there right away.

But I pull into KB RV Center just past 11:00 A.M., and the owner is gracious enough to take a look anyway.  We have to leave the Toy Hauler with him for the day.  They will call when it’s ready.  That’s our invitation to explore Bemidji, so off we go, feeling the freedom of not pulling 28 feet of monster behind us.

It is entirely possible to see all of Bemidji, and have lunch, in less than 4 hours.  So when it was 3:45 and I still hadn’t heard from the Service Center, we decided to go back and check.  They were done testing and troubleshooting, and my timing was perfect to get the news.

“The fridge works fine.  We found nothing wrong.”

I’m stupified.  Mortified.   “Whhhat? No!  That can’t be!”  I cry.

The technician takes me to the back service area to show-and-tell me about my fridge.  Apparently it is entirely possible that the fridge just needed 5 more hours of sitting level for it to kick back into working mode on its own.  All parts are working fine.

“But are you sure?  What if I get it all the way back into that property and it doesn’t work?”

“We’ll come out there and fix it. You don’t have to bring it back in.”

“Promise?  You have no idea what hell it took to get here…..promise?”

“Yes.  I promise.  I will come out to you. “

“Really?”

“Yes.”

Heavy sigh of relief.

The technician did notice a few other things that could use attention, and when I explained to him what was going on with the water and hot water heater situation, he said they would be able, and happy to perform that work too, and they would come out to me.  In addition he gave me some instructions on maintaining the air conditioner, replaced two of my missing gutters, and positioned the Toy Hauler so that I could exit without difficulty.

My Knights in shining armor.

Cindy and I exchanged looks.  There is no way we could have known.  It is what it is.  I thanked my new favorite RV repair guys, so grateful for their integrity and kindness, and we headed back to Leech Lake.  Back to the driveway of many memories.  Bad memories.

I swear I was about breaking out in hives the last 7 miles in.  And then came the final turn onto her narrow road.  I slowed down to a crawl, contemplating how to get into that driveway again.  Remembering how hard it was to pull in, then turn around to face the other direction.  I know I need to pull farther over to the left to have enough room to swing around.

“I’ll get out and direct you.”  Cindy says, jumping out.

I attempt to swing right, but she is directing me to turn.  I begin to turn to the left and she beckons me to come forward—then suddenly she is calling “Stop! Stop!  NO!”  I am too angled and about to clip the left side of the trailer on a tree.

Back, forth, back forth.  Now I am about jack knifed.  I have done more backing in this one trip than the entire time I’ve owned the Toy Hauler.  In other words, this trip is my first real experience backing the Toy Hauler.

I want to cry.

Frustrated, I manage to back out all the way again, and pull far forward down the road to straighten out.  Then I back up past the driveway.   I keep backing down the road for a fresh start.  I come up on the driveway slowly.  As I pull far right to swing in to the left, my passenger wheels leave the tar, I pass the driveway, like I did yesterday.  Hard left, Cindy is about to have a cow fit, thinking I’m going to clip the signs on the tree.  Mirrors in, I miss the signs by an inch.  Pulling ahead, straightening out, slowly, feeling the weight of the trailer on that downhill grade…..I slowly clear the driveway entrance and am heading straight into the yard. Straight for the lake.

It’s 6:00 in the evening.  We’re in.  Time for a beer!

We take a little break, let the dogs out and reposition the blue tarps.  I dig out more leveling boards, and we find a few more in the yard.  I will need to raise the passenger side of the trailer up about half a foot or better to be level.  Not an easy task.  We talk about how to proceed.  It’s agreed I need to swing far, far left right away, then hard crank to the right before getting to the “drop off” hill, in order to swing around enough to just drive right over to the other side of the yard into a good position for landing on those tarps.

Okay, it’s game time.

I get behind the wheel, and initiate the plan.  Cindy is watching to ensure I don’t hit a tree I can’t see.  Straight ahead of me, I am looking at the lake.  Now would not be a good time for the breaks to fail.  I swing far left, inching downhill, then crank hard to the right, inching….inching……I cannot see the drop off hill over my hood.  Cindy is screaming “STOP!  STOP! YOU’RE TIPPING OVER!!!”

WTF?

What does she mean, tipping over?

“Back up!!  Patty, BACK UP!!!”

I put it in reverse and back up.

“NO!  Pull forward!  FORWARD!”

I carefully pull forward, worried about that damn drop off hill.

“Back up!  You’ve got to back up!”

I put it in reverse, but I cannot back up.  The weight is all pushing downhill.  I’m asking my Chevy 1500 a lot to back up over 6,000 pounds up a hill.  I am in 4WD low and cannot budge at all.

WTF?

I get out.  Cindy’s eyes are big as saucers, her face is flushed red.  “I thought for sure this trailer was going to tip over.  You came so close to tipping over!” she gasps.  I am speechless.  Why can’t I back this thing up?  I walk around to check the hitch, look at the drop off hill clearance, and then it hits me.  Slowly, sadly, I walk around back to the driver side wheels of the trailer.

OH MY GOD.  There was a solid oak stump, about two foot tall, and 18 inches wide, wedged in tight between the two trailer wheels.  Apparently I pulled the trailer wheels right over this cluster of stumps, almost tipping the trailer. Curves2WedgedIt is now 6:30 and this rig is going nowhere any time soon.

Needless to say, my mind clicked into auto pilot at that moment. In a panicked attempt to rescue my trailer from the clutches of Mother Nature, I sent Cindy running for axes, hammers, crow bars, and useless little hand saws as I swung and chopped and cursed and pounded and tried and tried to whittle away that damn stump with all my might.

“Patty you need to take a break!  Girl, where do you get that energy?”  After over an hour of relentless determination, I was spent.  There was a little pile of wood chips on the ground.  The stump won round one.  She managed to pull me away.

Time for a beer.

“Cindy, I need a chain saw.  A chain saw or any kind of electric saw would help.”  I am not going to be able to get anywhere with these tools.  “What about a neighbor?  Could we ask a neighbor for help?”  I’m grasping at straws for ideas, realizing this is a super huge job that could be crazy expensive to hire out.

“Hey, maybe my nephew Mike is still up here.  I’ll try calling him now.”  She offered.

No answer.  She left a message.  Now we wait.

Three beers into the evening, now its 7:40 and I begin round two.  It will be dark soon.  How can I leave things like this all night?  Swinging the mallet like a mad woman, Cindy watches with concern.  She cannot help me, having had surgery on both shoulders, and both wrists, this would be too hard on her.  But she was definitely an expert on  moral support, concern and finding useless tools.  I try a jigsaw she found.  The blade falls out.  I try the hand saw.  Maybe I’d get through in 6 months.  I swing the mallet some more.  It’s no use.

Freaking oak tree!

I want to cry.

In the meantime, her nephew has responded.  Yes, he is still at the lake, and will arrive shortly.

We are saved!

He arrives about 8:30 with his lovely wife Tracey and two kids, Lauren and Sam.

With the gusto of a professional woodsman, Mike digs under the stump.  In the meantime, Cindy actually finds A CHAINSAW!  And he puts it to work.  Within a matter of 30 minutes, the trailer wheels are free and clear of the oak stump.

Oh my yes, there was a celebration to be had!  Mike was by far the super hero of the day.   I handed the keys to Cindy.  She pulled the trailer around and into position, while he and I maneuvered the leveling boards into place.  With only a few tries, Cindy was able to back onto the leveling boards.  The Toy Hauler was now in place for the remainder of the season.

Or perhaps until the end of time.

We all head back into the cabin, for a toast to a rescue well done.  Never had I felt so helpless or beaten.   Never have I been so relieved.   Now, life is good.

As for Cindy?  Her words went something like this:

“Patty?  I will never, ever EVER own one of these damn trailers!”

 

 

Don’t Want to Miss a Thing? Subscribe to My Blog

Comments

  1. Wow, now that’s what I call an adventure. Now that you’re in, I’d certainly never ever ever move again. Wishing you a wonderful time and so glad your fridge is working and you’ve found a great repair crew if needed.

Speak Your Mind

*