What I Did Last Week…

Some of you may have noticed a lack of posting in the last week. Or not. I wasn’t posting because I was on vacation. In the Rocky Mountains. All of you Texans should be jealous. The average high all week was about 67 degrees. Lemme tell you, it was hard to come back to 100+ degree weather!

I can’t really fit all of the vacation into one post, so I’ll cover it all in the next few days. Starting with last Friday/Saturday.

My Mom and Dad got here to the house at about 7:45 to pick up our dog and take her to the kennel with their dog (thanks y’all!). When they got back we all hung out and goofed off until my little daycare friend got picked up at 4:30. Then we piled into the car and headed out to Colorado! Yes, that’s 3 adults and 3 kids and all the requisite stuff in one vehicle. Luggage was on top of the truck and 10 tons of various junk was inside. Party Boy, sadly, was not able to join us this year…

As we were pulling out I gave the address of our destination to Bob. Bob is our handy-dandy GPS. We like Bob. He decided that the best route to Colorado was through the panhandle, the corner of New Mexico and into the southern part of Colorado. Bob fits right in as he is bossy and upsets easily. He hates recalculating and if you really want to irritate him, you should drive in a circle while he recalculates your route 4 times.

We drove for a couple of hours and stopped for dinner at Whataburger.

Yes, the kids are wearing their pajamas – it was an overnight drive and I wanted them to be comfy!

After dinner we piled back into the car, hooked up the DVD players for the girls and settled in for our journey. Next stop….a roadside rest stop where we saw this –

We didn’t see any snakes, but the very friendly man working at the rest stop told us that they killed one on the playground the day before. “He was an aggressive one too!”

We made a couple more uneventful stops for coffee, Monster, and 5-hour energy. Finally at 4:30 a.m. we realized we were making better time than we thought and decided to stop for breakfast in Pueblo at Denny’s. Well, we were going to eat at McDonald’s, but those lazy bums don’t open ’til 5 a.m.

Our next stop was Centennial, Colorado, where we would be picking up the pop-up camper that we would call home for the week. Our appointment was at 11 a.m. We got to the place at 7:30 a.m. Overeager, anyone? When they opened at 8 we begged them to let us pick up earlier and they moved our appointment to 10, so we headed across the road to Target and Kohl’s to pick up those items that inevitably get forgotten, like towels and baby shampoo. Then it was over to McDonald’s for more coffee and a snack to kill time until our appointment. There was a play-place, so the kids were able to burn off some energy.

At 10 we headed back to the camper rental and watched our orientation video and helped put the camper down. We hooked it all up to the hitch and headed out. My Dad’s only comment on the matter,  “I just hope I don’t have to back it up.” Sounds like a quick process, but it took about an hour and a half. And this is where the fun really started!

If you have never towed anything in the mountains then you really have no idea what a good time is! While our Tahoe had ample torque (no idea what that is, but I was told that it was important for towing) and power for towing this camper it is still unsettling to feel the pull of a trailer on some of the steeper mountain passes. Our final destination, Jellystone Park of Estes, was an hour and half away. I can’t tell you how relieved we all were to finally arrive. Until we saw our campsite. On the side of a mountain. In a space that the camper needed to be backed in to. Carefully, lest you hit the boulders on one side or fall off the other!

The Jellystone welcome wagon happily helped us back the trailer in (Dad’s nerves were shot) and we unhitched and started out to set it all up. Everything was in place and ready to go when Dad pulled out the electric cord and attempted to plug the darn thing in. Can you believe that the 25 foot cord was 4 inches short of the plug?! 4 inches! We all stood around, scratching our heads in disbelief, until it was decided that we would have to move the trailer. We tried just manhandling the thing a few inches, but it wasn’t budging. So we decided that we’d have to re-hitch the thing and maneuver it into place in reach of the plug.

Yeah, sounds easy right? Mom and I took up our spots by the hitch and Dad backed the truck up. I was told that at one point Mom was telling him to stop and I was saying to keep pulling back. Good times. And if anyone knows how to get a 2-ton vehicle to move only 1/4 of an inch I would love to know the technique. We finally got everything lined up and started to try and hook back up, but the stupid hitch wouldn’t seat. Back into the truck to try and re-align everything. 30 minutes, and 3 moves later and we were all hooked up. Now to move the trailer itself.

You’d think it would be easy to move a trailer four inches. And it probably would if you weren’t parking it on the narrow edge of a cliff between a boulder and the precipice that it would happily roll off of taking out several other campers as it made its descent into the ravine at the bottom of the mountain. Finally, after much yelling of orders, wringing of hands, and ulcer producing uncertainty we got the camper in reach of the electrical outlet. Yay! We’re almost done! Now what did they say about leveling this thing?

We headed inside the camper with our 12 tons of stuff for the week and decide that it is definately listing to one end. Oh well, should be an easy fix. We’ll just adjust the front wheel. Ha ha, hoo hoo, hee hee.

We finally decided that the camper looked level and decided to go on into Estes Park and have a look around. And find dinner. It was after all, 4:30 and we hadn’t eaten for 12 hours. I think eating finally just won out over having a totally level camper. That and relief at finally being done setting up and unloading…

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