My son had asked me a few weeks back if I wanted to go to Darlington, South Carolina with him to see the races that were going on over Labor Day Weekend. I had told him yes because, why not? He was paying for everything, I was just along for the ride. But first, we had to get going.
Trips never begin smoothly for us.
My son had to work Friday, so while he was at work I loaded up the camper with all I thought we would need. He had told me that there was a restaurant nearby so we wouldn’t need major food stuff. So I packed the snacks, my coffee and cream and my clothing, along with blankets and cameras. I was somewhat surprised when my son came in early from work, but glad as well. I thought we would be leaving soon. No. He informed me that there was no hurry as one of the roads on our route was backed up due to a crash. So we waited. I prepared a pizza, which we ended up not eating but that was a good thing.
My son finally put what he needed in the camper and got hooked up. Pulling the camper up from its parking spot about midway up the driveway he went to fill the tank with water. Only the well decided, nope. It had been working fine, suddenly it needed to be primed? Just suddenly, out of the blue, nope, no water. He did manage to get the tank filled and said he would figure out the well when we got back.
You can tell that my son is the son of a truck driver. Before he moves that camper any further, he does a thorough pre-trip check. Lights, hook ups, everything secured, then finally we were off and running.
We got a few miles from home when the hook up for the lights came loose. He had to find somewhere to pull over and secure that back in place. He managed to get off the roadway far enough, but traffic was so bad that he couldn’t get out on his side. I had to get out of the car and him get out the passenger side, Get everything back secure, double checked and then back in the car. Once I was in and seat belt fastened, we were off again.
We were over two thirds of the way there when the car began to vibrate. He found a place to get well off the road and checked to see what was going on. We had came through a heavily populated and large town, for this area. The traffic had been heavy and his brakes were over heating. To the point of smoking. I asked if I needed to get out of the car but he said it would be fine. Twenty minutes or so on the side of the road and we were off again. To be on the safe side he was going to use the brakes on the camper to ease the work load on the car.
By this time it was getting late and I was getting nervous. After a whispered prayer I began mentally reciting, ‘faith over fear, faith over fear’. I trusted my son and his abilities, I trusted that God was looking out for us. Unfortunately I tend to be a worrier so the mantra kept me anchored. It also kept me from asking my son too many questions and making too many comments to annoy him more than he already was.
Finally arriving in Darlington he began looking for the camp ground. It was dark, it was late, and the google map lady was no help. My son was also getting even more annoyed and grumpy. We drove in circles trying to find the right spot. Imagine the fun of following google’s instructions down wrong, dead end roads and trying to turn around hauling a camper. Finally finding someone who could point us in the right direction we managed to find the camp ground. Then, we had to find out spot. Remember, its late, nearing ten at night so its good and dark. They had spray painted the numbers on the grass using silver paint. This camp ground was not small. A guy on a golf cart was helping us in looking for our spot, he would drive so far, stop, get out and look then move again. We were following along behind. We drove down one road, up another and down a third doing this hokey pokey type dance before our reserved spot was found.
Did I mention that my son is pulling this camper, 23 feet, I think, with a Dodge Charger? His man card jumped way up in status points when he pulled in and people saw him. It doesn’t hurt that he had the tail pipe modified so that you can hear that thing coming a mile away. It was amazing, seeing the camp ground filled with campers of all sizes being pulled by large pick up trucks, and then there is my son’s charger. Yes, he got attention, yes he loved it. At one point over the weekend there was even a group of four people hiking through the camp ground that stopped and took photos.
When our spot was found, my son pulled the camper straight into it, adjusting where he was parked to make sure he had enough room for the awning to be out. Once he finally got everything taken care of we were both exhausted. But we had made it, and made it safely. Too hungry to go looking for food, we finished off that pizza I had prepared earlier.
It was going to be an interesting weekend.