As I drove home from work, I thought to myself: We haven’t had much rain lately. I need to water the flowers and garden before leaving on our trip tomorrow. If you’re an English teacher, you might call this thought “foreshadowing”.
We left on a bright, sunny Friday afternoon. The RV was packed to the hilt and the kids were buzzing with excitement. We were heading on a one-week RV trip, with the first stop being Stone Mountain, North Carolina. Stone Mountain State Park boasted some pretty amazing hiking with a great mountain feel. We were excited to get into the fresh air, and capture some beautiful sights.
As we headed north, the sky started to turn cloudy. I checked The Weather Channel app and it said rain. OK, I thought. Periods of rain, but there had to be some breaks, right? I was still so optimistic at this point.
We set up camp at our rather bare bones camp site, a concrete slab with an electric hook-up. No water. No Wi-Fi. No problem.
It was cloudy, but no rain. So, I set up the picnic table with our brand new tablecloth. I fastened the clips to keep it in place and…..CRACK. Lightning very close by. Kids ran into the RV like the outside world was a house on fire. I took the tablecloth in and waited for the storm to pass. I tried to check to see if the weather was going to be severe or if there were any tornado warnings, but we had no Wi-Fi.
We ate some delicious pizza my husband made and set up dinner on our RV dinette. We all viewed it as an adventure – seeing the torrential downpour outside, while safe and warm in our home away from home. We played board games and waved to our neighbors in the campers next to us.
There was a strong rain throughout the night. It was hitting the roof of our camper really hard and the wind buffeted the camper. No matter. We were snug in our beds and I was feeling so grateful for this home we made in our little corner of the forest.
The next day, more rain. Again, wanted to check the weather forecast because it felt like we were sitting ducks if there was a tornado. I suggested taking off and heading somewhere that might not have any rain- somewhere further west. Also, wanted to find a campground with Wi-Fi. It just felt safer to have some tether to society. As you can probably tell, I am not an outdoor girl. No one would accuse me of being Cheryl Strayed or anything.
My husband is always up for an adventure and the kids were game, so off we went. The weather forecast did not look good for anything in western North Carolina. Perhaps Tennessee? We’d see what we would see.
We decided to stop in Boone, North Carolina, as it is one of our favorite places. The campground where we stayed was on top of a mountain and promised beautiful vista views (and Wi-Fi). As we climbed the mountain, we encountered more rain and fog. Vista views may have to wait until the weather cleared. Still the rain slowed a bit. Perhaps an al fresco lunch at the campground?
I took advantage of the break in the rain and the tablecloth came out again. I have to admit, I was becoming a little hell-bent at this point. We were going to eat outside if it killed us. Well, not killed us per se. But, you get the picture. We were going on the second day of being in close quarters. Fresh air was needed. Again, I clipped the tablecloth to the picnic table. We ate outside for a total of 2 minutes. Really? The first bite out of my sandwich aaaannnnnddd…..DOWNPOUR.
We stayed in the camper for lunch and dinner that night. The rain was relentless. As we were hanging out with the kids, my phone made a loud alarm noise. It was, hold on to your hats, a mudslide alert. Conditions were favorable for severe mudslides in our area. The alert said look for downed trees, power lines and avoid areas of high elevation. Umm….would that include mountaintops?
At this point, I had enough. The kids were anxious messes as they feared our deaths by mudslide. Mark and I were beyond tired and disappointed.
And, there was that damn tablecloth amidst the chaos, folded neatly in the open cupboard and full of promise of happy outdoor eating. It taunted me from its perch like a smug little shit, if only you could use me, Elizabeth…
Don’t judge me. Cabin fever will do this to you, too.
I announced (well, really growled) that everyone was going to bed. Enough of this day! We’d figure out a plan tomorrow. I went back to our bed and flopped on the mattress. I tend to be a bit dramatic at times, I know. As my arms fell, I noticed a damp spot at the head of our bed. “Who drank something in our bedroom!?” I yelled, accusing the kids of spilling something. No one confessed. However, upon further investigation, the window and wall were wet as well. There was a leak in the camper.
Mark and I got towels and stuffed them into where we thought the leak was. We went to bed in a camper that felt like a sinking ship. For real. I had the wetness to prove it.
We had to head home the following morning due to the leak and everyone was relieved. I looked at the weather and noticed this major storm would blow over in a few days. We would try to resume our trip later in the week.