Yesterday late in the afternoon Katie and I took another walk and right near us someone had pulled out that day. There was a perfect site for us. Level, near the road, near the front of the Hot Springs area closer to the dumpster and vault toilets (for my family next week, if needed), and surrounded by large bushes, so a little privacy.
Excitedly, I went back to The Palms, took in the hummer feeder hanging in a bush nearby, and started the engine. We drove around our neighbors and into the great site on the other side of their rig. And into the sand trap. Here's the front passenger tire:
But the real problem was with the rear passenger tires:
As you can see in the bunk window, we were having a beautiful sunset - yes, it was getting dark and we were stuck for the night. This is the first time ever I couldn't have "escaped" if I needed to. Thank fully we are camping among a very friendly group of RVers and had nothing to fear.
I noticed my neighbor outside bringing in his awning and I walked over to get his view on the situation. He suggested digging out behind the rear tires, making a ramp, then pouring water on the area to damp it down and make the dust more solid. At that point it was dark, and we both went home.
I immediately e-mailed Bea and Peter and asked if they had any suggestions. I was going to try the neighbor's idea in the morning, but wanted a "spotter" to yell if I was digging myself in deeper so I'd stop.
Then I went on the Internet and searched for solutions. I did a copy/paste from a few different websites to save as a Word document just in case this ever happens again. The good stuff I got was that after digging out the trench/ramp, I could put a carpet piece down on the "ramp," or even the floor mats from the truck, material side down. That sounded like a good idea, and I've heard of that solution before.
I got a couple of e-mails back from Bea, and she said they would be down around 8 am to assess the situation.
I set my two alarms for 7 am so I'd have time to dig before they got here. After a surprisingly sound, though tilted, sleep full of good dreams, I woke up at 6:30 and got up right away. I had some digging to do.
This is what it looked like after I was done digging. The tires on the other side were on solid ground, so they were okay.
A bit of a tilt - surprisingly, once I knew this was it for the night, the tilt inside The Palms didn't bother me at all. I guess I subconsciously knew "it is what it is," and if I couldn't do anything about it, I might as well accept it.
This is my telescoping shovel - actually a small spade - but it collapses into a small tool and fits in my closet. And it works great. All metal, so no wood to dry out.
And Four Dollars??? If you don't have one, you've gotta get one.
In the morning, Peter arrived - and he had a big, solid chain that someone found out in the desert and loaned him. He found a good spot to attach it to The Palms, then....
Attached the other end to their van.
I got in The Palms and started the engine, put it in neutral and sat there, waiting. Peter started the van and slowly, slowly moved forward - in my imagination. But in reality the van didn't move forward. It started digging a hole with the rear passenger tire even though he seemed to be on solid ground. The van just wasn't strong enough to pull The Palms out, I guess.
Next idea was the carpet. So while Peter removed the chain, I got out my new $10 Costco carpet to lay under the rig, behind the rear tires in the ramp. The photo below shows the rug, it's a "runner," so it's longer than a normal carpet piece and I thought it would be a longer area for the tires to grab and keep going.
This is the rug:
I went back into the cab, started the engine, and put it in reverse while Peter moved the van back out of the way in case I was able to reverse out and then he positioned himself so he could watch the tires and carpet and also be in my line of sight. The articles I read said to move slowly, and if you started getting traction, keep going - don't stop! I slowly pressed on the gas and we started moving - YEAAAA! I kept moving and WE WERE OUT! I kept backing up until we were on solid ground.
Thumbs up to Peter, and thumbs up right back at me. :) I got out of the truck and looked at the tire tracks. The rug was bunched up like an accordion in the rear tire hole, but it didn't wrap around the tires, thank goodness.
What a great feeling! I was so stoked, and Peter had a huge smile on his face, too.
That's when I noticed my neighbors standing next to Peter. I hadn't met them yet, but they had come over for moral support and bearing a piece of lumber in case I needed it. Thanks, Jim and Maryon! Peter got back into the van and went home, where Bea was probably wondering what was going on. Thank goodness he went home with a good report. Maryon and Jim stayed for a while and had a really nice conversation. When they left to walk over to their rig, they said, "Well we haven't solved all the problems with the world," and I said, "Yeah, but we solved MY problem!" :) Very nice neighbors!
I got into the truck and backed up further to the hard packed area behind our site and moved The Palms over to the other side, where there's a nice, level, hard packed drive-through which is in the midst of large bushes and opens up on the motor home entry door side to a large "living room." Perfect. I filled the hummer feeders and my homemade dorky seed feeder and put them out and within hours I had some Costas hummers and some White-crowned Sparrows.
There is also a little critter here in our area - it's either a Prairie Dog or a light colored squirrel. My camera battery was charging when I saw him, so I wasn't able to get a photo. That's usually how I identify critters, snap a photo, blow it up big, and then look it up. So, I'm waiting to see what he is, but I'm thinking a light squirrel, the color of the sand.
So - this is our new, and I hope last, campsite here at Hot Springs LTVA:
Around 1:00 after resting up and fooling around inside The Palms for a few hours, I went outside with my rake and leveled the area where we were stuck. It's quite an eyesore in the middle of one's campsite. With all the hard packed ground surrounding this area, though, I decided top put my American Flag in the middle of the soft sand area. Just in case. Maybe someone else driving over to visit, or just driving too close, might be saved from the indignity of getting stuck in the sand!
And now... it looks as if it never happened.
Yeah, it never happened, you know what I mean, it never happened? Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)
And here's the sunset on that fateful evening, very pastel:
From me and Katie - have a great Friday, everybody! :)