TEXAS BOUND-January 8, 2019-First Trip of the New Year
It seemed like forever but we finally got our camper back from the camper hospital. On our November trip to visit family in Florida, we had two flat tires. The second was a blowout. When the tire blew, it twirled round and round catching the wiring from the undercarriage and did some major damage to the sound TV/VCR system. But it was fixed and we were off again this time to Texas to see a brand new great grandbaby girl. With the truck loaded with new quilted baby items for our new little one, we were on our way.
Since this was a 2-day trip we planned an overnight stay part way. Just about 1/2 way of the trip in Hazen AR is a new campground called Lower White River RV Park and it is just off the interstate making it a perfect overnight layover. The spaces are huge, level and paved. There isn’t any internet yet, or other amenities, but it is very nice and with very nice staff. Lower White River RV Park
Next Day Delays
On Wednesday, we headed out on the second part of our journey driving down the three-lane interstate. We had only driven 100 miles of the 6-hour trip when everything changed and not for the good. Suddenly, we were on the side of the road with some significant damage to our truck and camper. A call to 911 brought a state trooper to the scene. An unsecured ladder in a pickup truck traveling in the far right lane fell into traffic, and to avoid hitting the ladder a lady in a white Kia behind the truck swerved into our lane. She side swiped-first our truck’s right fender and then the edge of the camper.
My husband moved over as much as he could but the far left lane was full of vehicles that didn’t even slow down. The trooper directed us to a gas station to get more information and to fill out his report on all three families involved.
We were grateful no one was hurt, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how much trouble this will be for us to deal with. Not only did the truck have to be fixed, so did the camper. And we can’t take the camper anywhere if the truck is in the shop. The Kia the lady was driving was totaled and she was very grateful to us for being so understanding. She appeared calm, but I am sure she was very shaken as we were. I’m glad she couldn’t read my mind as this truly put a damper on our trip and I wasn’t calm at all inside.
BE SURE YOU ARE PREPARED
Thankfully, this was one time we had everything in order to hand to the officer-license, insurance card, and registration paperwork. Just days ago, my husband said, “we’ve been driving on an expired license on the truck.” He had renewed the license for our truck but failed to put the sticker on. But he had taken care of that when he filled the truck up for the trip to Texas. My husband and I are both seniors and technology does not come easy to us, however, we are learning more ways to keep up with cards, payments, etc through our iPhone and IPad. For instance, we have learned to put some cards such as the Senior discount cards and Sams Cards on the Key Ring AP. That way the card is readily available when we need it.
The unexpected hour and a half made us late to our destination. This meant we would have to use flashlights to hook up. We had to register the next day because the office was closed by the time we arrived. This is partly what I meant as a damper being put on our trip. And even though we weren’t at fault and won’t be out any cost, we still had to report it to our insurance company which is never good for your record.
Fernbrook RV Campground in Longview TX was our destination and we had a reserved pull through site. This is a very nice campground with level sites which made it easy to set up even in the dark.
Sightseeing in Town
Longview is a nice clean town but there aren’t many tourist attractions. However, there is a historical museum that is something worth seeing. The Gregg County Historical Museum is located downtown Longview on Fredonia Street. The day we scheduled to go they were doing a photo shoot interview for the paper. There is much information on the history of the war as well as the Texas oil field developments. If you are a history buff, this is a great place to visit. We thoroughly enjoyed revisiting Texas history.
Camping in the winter months is always a challenge because you are never quite sure what the weather will be. One night, a storm hit Longview with serious strong wind gusts. A camper is never where you want to be in a storm. There wasn’t much sleeping going on that night as the camper rocked recklessly back and forth and the rain hit sideways hard against our unit. The pounding sounds were frightening. The next day the rain stopped but the wind continued to jerk our camper back and forth making for a stressful day. The temperatures were 57 on a day only to drop to freezing the next. So, we determined that winter camping is only for brave campers.
Texas a Little Longer
For various reasons, we decided to extend our stay at the campground another week. And I should say: if you think you might stay longer at a campground, check their monthly rates. Usually, those rates are less as they are at Fernbrook Campground.
The temperatures dropped drastically again on Wednesday before we had planned to leave the following Sunday. We woke up to frozen pipes-yikes, one of the likely side effects of winter camping. Thankfully, after running water for a while the water was flowing normally again. The next day on Thursday, we had to turn the air conditioner on for
a while. Enough said to make sure we always travel with short and long sleeves, coats and jackets on command hooks everywhere in our camper to adjust to the weather wherever we go.
After a 3 weeks stay, we finally headed home hoping the weather is safe to travel.
Until next time, God bless and keep you safe and adventurous.