Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 67 Monday August 22, 2011 Our most expensive camping day yet!

Well. It rained buckets last night. It rained so hard it actually cleaned off our camper roof and canvas ends. And the good news is, it stopped raining about 5 am. The sun was even out while we were packing up the camper. Today is moving day to White Ledge Campground in the White Mountains. We are scheduled to be there for one week. It is in Albany, NH right near Conway where we camped earlier in the summer.

I am in charge of cranking down the camper. That's why I'm called 'Cranky'! And Ed is in charge of tucking in all the canvas around the camper as I do it. When I was done cranking, Ed said I had to put it back up a little bit since some of the canvas did not get tucked in properly. I could not. The crank would not move to the right.

Ed came around not believing me and being somewhat annoyed. He tried it. It will not put the camper roof up. Our camper is broken and we have 2 weeks left of camping before we can get back into our home.  This is not good.

Sounds like something broke, dropped, got stuck or something in the gears of the crank shaft. It's a manual lift system and it doesn't work. Now Ed is REALLY not happy. I'm particularly pleased that there are no walls around. By now, his fist would be thru one of them. We stand around trying to do the same thing we were doing (sign of insanity, isn't it??) when finally we give up and lock everything up and get ready to go.

Ed takes a shower which I hope will calm him some while I set up our Trip program. We also have the Garmin GPS which I program for the same spot. Between the two we should do fine. Not exactly. Right when we get out of the campground, one is saying take a right the other says take a left. Not a good start! We decide to trust the Streets and Trips after looking it over since it looks like the fastest route.

We are fine for 20 miles or so. A lot of the roads are torn up with reconstruction so it's slow going. We were on Rt 17 for a bit. Then the instructions took us right for another 5 miles or so to get us to Rt 5. Right after we made the right hand turn, the road started to rise, the pavement stopped and a sign said "Road closed in winter for repairs" . We aren't too bright. We didn't turn around. We spend a lot of time on dirt/rock roads when we are in the North Country. How bad can 5 miles or so be?  It can be. There is NOTHING on this road. In fact there are signs on some trees that indicate a tract number.  Ed says that's so you can tell someone where you are when you get shot by a hunter.  Testy, isn't he?  At a point there are forks in the dirt road (that are not on our map, by the way!) and we have to make a choice. The day is not going well, we are jostled from the trip, we're both worried about the camper and not knowing where we are. We are both a little testy. Actually, though, a little further on this road we surprisingly come across two old cemeteries.

Finally, we begin to see a house here or there (how in God's good earth do people POSSIBLY live out here?!). We have gone far more then the 5 miles we expected--obviously we were wrong on one or two of our forks in the road! We finally see a lake thru the trees and we come out to a paved road.  Now, there are a LOT of little cabins and houses on this little lake. I think the name of it was Ellis Pond in Oxford County, ME. We found where we were on the map and began to feel a little better. We got onto Rt 5 which is a better paved road.

We stopped for lunch at the Sunday River Brewery. Ed said they always eat here when he and his friends come to ski. Food helped buoy our spirits a little...but not much. The Pollyanna in me wanted to consider how we would handle this:

  • If we simply go home and sponge off Chuck and Jean, we'll still have to get the camper fixed and the repair place is by the bridge---a 2 hour ride to bring it there and 2 hours to go home.

  • If we get it fixed this week, we'll stay in a hotel in Conway while it's being repaired and Ed can still hike. We can leave the Kayak and bikes at the campsite that we already paid to reserve for 7 days.

  • If we go home, we miss visiting Tom and Louise at her lake house on Saturday and we won't get to have our Camping time with Pam and her boys which starts next Monday. We'll all be very disappointed!

  • So it costs a little money. We can make it work! Ed says I sound like his mother:)!

    We call a few RV places and none seem to work on Monday. There is a pretty big one on Rt 302 right near the Maine line not that far from where we are camping, so Ed left a message with the Service Answering machine. Their web site says they go out to campsites to do repairs. Let's hope he's not a really busy guy.

    We finally get to the campground. It's very small and very wooded. It looks nice.  We are right next to the Campground Host, John. It must be a slow day. John comes right over to us as we finish (poorly) backing into our site (we are both still grouchy). John listens to our tale of woe and he is going to help get the top up!

    Well, he and Ed try to prop the corners of the lid with logs and keep trying (unsuccessfully) to crank.  Finally, John and Ed take off in his truck down the road. John thinks there is a good mechanic down there that can help with this problem.

    They arrive back in a half hour.  No luck.  This guy is one we already called while on the road. 

    John is still chatting.  About his Cancer, his Agent Orange health problems, and his Vietnam experience.  Like I's a slow day. We decide  to leave the camper, kayak and bikes at our site and go off to find a hotel for a night or two.  It's mid week and there are dozens around.

    Well, it takes longer then expected.  Now I have three criteria for a hotel:  they have to take dogs, they have to have Internet and they have to be cheap.  Now we first had to find Internet to save some driving time, then we had to call them.  Not as easy as expected.

    We end up at Mt. Washington Inn right on White Mountain Hwy (Rt 160 in the heart of North Conway.  Now I am being very specific when telling you about this hotel so that you NEVER attempt to stay there!  It had a King sized bed which was comfortable, it had Internet and a TV.  The pet friendly room was at the end of one of their buildings.  There is NO key card access to the buildings and they are all unlocked all of the time!  There is no deadbolt or good lock on our room door.  There is no chain.  Simply a little latch to lock the door.  Sure glad I wasn't alone! 

    There must have been LOTS of previous pets there since Buddy sniffed around every inch of the rug for at least a half hour.  After that, all he wanted to do was go back to the campground.  In fact, at one point the next morning, he refused to come back inside the room!

    But it was next door to an Applebee's so we went out to dinner for awhile, which was nice.

    OK.  I started by saying this is the most expensive camping day yet.  We have had lunch and dinner on the road and gotten a hotel room.  All of this before we pay for repairs on the camper.  The repairs could cost ANYTHING!  We have to get it fixed.

    We're going to go to bed early and hope for some good luck tomorrow!

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