Darla Jean, Duwayne and Princess went on their second trip this July and it was a mixed bag.
We hitched up and hauled Gumbo all the way from Poulsbo to La Push, Washington without incident. New tires on the 5th wheel added to our sense of security and the dreaded drive around Lake Crescent turned out to be a piece of cake – we rarely had to decrease our speed to slower than the speed limit. When we arrived in La Push, we were more than happy to park in a long, wide pull-through site that made maneuvering quite easy.
And what made the trip special was the arrival of four long-time friends with their trailers. Doug & Sooz (along with “the boys” – Wally and Tyler) arrived shortly after us with their 21′ Escape “Toto”. And later in the evening Beau & Blanche (along with Cass) showed up with the 19′ Escape that they had just taken delivery of earlier that morning in British Columbia!
A couple great dinners, more than a few wonderful beach-walks and some very pleasant campfires made for a memorable gathering with these fine folk.
Well, it wasn’t THAT bad. But Duwayne is learning the hard way (by making constant mistakes) about dealing with 5th wheels. Just when he finally started to understand BOATS! The first mistake he made was when, after disconnecting the truck from the RV, he decided that the RV wasn’t level enough. So, rather than lifting the rear stabilizer pads ALL the way up before hitching back up and levelling the rig, he just lifted them a few inches. He then forgot that, when hitched to the truck, the rear of the RV tilts DOWN a few inches, meaning that, when he backed the rig up, it drove the pads into the ground and bent the brackets!
Luckily, a big vice, a big wrench and a big piece of pipe made straightening the brackets not too big of a problem.
The second, and more embarrasing screw-up was when Duwayne attempted his first ever pumping of the black water (sewage) tank. He methodically hooked up the drain hose to the RV and put the other end into the sewage dump hole. Then he confidentally pulled the handle that releases the contents of the tank into the hose, listening to the gurgling of flowing sewage. But, much to his surprise, nothing came out the other end of the hose! He KNEW that the hose was clear because he had used it to drain grey water once before. Then it dawned on him: he had put a plug in the end of the hose that attaches to the holding tank! That meant that, when he had pulled the drain handle, raw sewage had exited the tank, entered the pipe that attaches to the hose, but then couldn’t get into the hose! And the only way to rectify the situation was to unhook the hose to remove the plug. But, of course that meant that the raw sewage that was backed up would exit onto the ground (or Duwayne’s feet!). We’ll spare you the details by not posting any photos. We’ll leave it that a fresh water hose and some nitrile gloves (and no audience) made the chore a little stinky but not too messy.
What we DIDN’T know, when scheduling this trip, was that La Push (usually a sleepy little First Nation fishing village) was going to be celebrating Quileute Days on the weekend that we were visiting. This is basically the Tribe’s version of July 4th, with all the celebrations, partying and FIREWORKS that that entails. Since the RV sites were situated about 100 yards from where the fireworks were being set off, this made our doggy pals VERY unhappy. Which, in turn, made their humans very unhappy! What is usually an almost deserted beach looked like this near sunset:
Needless to say, a good night’s sleep was NOT had by all on Saturday night. (The Totos made the wise decision to pack up and leave earlier that afternoon).
But, to leave on a positive note, the trip was still deemed a success by Darla Jean and Princess. As always, the beach walks were incredible and we’ll be back – just not during Quileute Days!