We made it! To our first stop, at Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia National Park. The campground was pretty empty and we parked at the edge of a river (listened to flowing water all night until icicles began forming in the camper as the temp dropped to 41 in the RV- at 7:00 am everyone ended up in my bedroom warming their feet under blankets until we figured out how to turn on the generator). We had dinner, roasted marshmallows and went to bed. During the drive to Sequoia, Brown Bear was constantly chiding us
“We need to watch water consumption- we are going to run out!”
Well, 9-11 year old boys take this warning to heart and being their lovely selves they also went about their business after using an increasingly full toilet as if all was right and well in the world. At this point in the story, Dear Reader, I would also like to let you know that my usually fine strong sense of smell has left me (for more reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anosmia turns out to be the dieting aid I’ve been looking for as well, so far no downsides) and I had no idea that there was malodorous stench coming from the latrine rather I was busy creating a pasta dinner extraordinaire.
After, Brown Bear got the RV situated in the parking spot to her liking, popped two sides of the RV popped out, and threw the kids out of the RV handing them knives and telling them to whittle ( not my first choice for an activity but questioning the driver at that point was not advised), she decided to use the bathroom as she had been the driving and had been hydrating due to the increased elevation.
Upon entering the bathroom, I received the first salvo
“Hilary, CAN’T YOU SMELL THIS????”
Thank you Anosmia, I can not. I tried. I inhaled, nothing but pure what I figured was gorgeous mountain air.
I guess at that point she opened the lid because she strung together a slew of words that will now thankfully fund my kid’s college funds after she antes up the money into the swear jar.
Needless to say, the kids and I whittled happily for the next 30 minutes….
We have been out of cell/wi-fi range for two days now (except for the return to Fresno- where I was busy picking up a z-pac for an annoying sinus infection and we had to pick up ice for Brown Bear’s post drive g&t- more on all of this later). Let’s start a bit earlier in our story- here is a video to catch you up on the first day)
So…. It’s always good to learn and we have learned some valuable lessons in RVing before leaving my driveway
1. RV’s are tall and in a battle between ficus the RV will win.
2. Secure your 5 gallon jugs of water before stopping at that first red light because a five gallon will fly and explode into the driver’s cab completely drenching the co-pilot and the rug that already had a mystery smell.
3. If the co-pilot is getting over a cold and is soaking wet within the first five minutes of the trip she may detonate a couple of f-bombs (another not you’re greatest mom moment).
Luckily, the pilot continues to be as calm and steady as she always is and drives the RV as she would a finely tuned Ferrari.
Except for me…
She came… I was busy at a board meeting all day… BB had to go through the RV orientation which means she gets to pump, clean, and refill, right? While the RV looks okay, there are some unfortunate stale, perhaps, previous renter mystery smells that offend. The rig is big, old, and a bit long in the tooth, which describes both the pilot and the co-pilot as well. So, why complain? We don’t need the newest model and while this model has a bit of tread under her tires, she handles like a dream and doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles.
Welcome home, Dear Reader for the next nine days…
So, the day before leaving on my RV journey, I had the honor of attending my niece’s 8th grade graduation. I can’t believe I have a niece who is about to graduate the 8th grade. I remember holding my brother’s first daughter in my arms as her babysitter. That evening, I had brought along my good friend Mike to give me, a childless-30-something-year-old, the strength and support in the face of having no idea what to do with a newborn. R2 was a cherub, when we arrived. She was cooing and giggling and Mike and I felt on top of the world and sure that we could handle anything young R could throw at us. Before leaving for her dinner, K (R’s mom) gave us her her cell phone number and she was off. The door shut and R2 began to scream… No, Dear Reader, she began to wail… Mike and I passed her around like a hot potato, sweating through deep knee bends and verses of “Old McDonald.” We moved her legs as if she was bike riding to relieve any pressure and we broke under the pressure and yelled at one another. We called in our lifeline to K, but she had no cell phone reception. So, we were left to our own devices. I’m not sure what happened at the end of the evening but it ended with R not being permanently harmed. I was so concerned then and I am amazed that the love that I felt for this beautiful baby continues to this day. I feel so grateful for such a wonderful soon to be 9th grade spirit in my life. She is constant joy.