A not-so-smooth start

I looked up “inauspicious” just to be sure I was going to use the right word in the blog post about our first night out.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.29.51 PM

Yep. That’s the right word.

We left Chattanooga almost three hours later than planned (surprising no one) so we arrived at Cumberland Falls just as dark was falling. I managed to back in without much problem, but when I got out to hook up the electric, we found the sketchiest looking electrical hookup I hope to ever see. The pic is after they fixed it, because that night it was leaning backward with the screws coming out of the sheet metal (to the park’s credit someone came out and fixed it the next day).

The electric post did not have any power, and since the water system was still winterized, we camped the first night with a 12,000-pound tent on wheels. Then Sweet Braden clogged the only working plumbing system in the RV for a few minutes. Around 11 p.m., when I went to take the dogs out in the rain, I somehow managed to set the car alarm off on the RV and undoubtedly woke up the entire campground.

The next morning we moved sites to a better looking electric post, but when I reached in to plug up the cord I thought I got shocked. It turned out, site 22 had a decent little wasp nest in the electric post. That, plus our cord was not long enough to reach from the box to the terminal on the back of the RV.

Our third site was nice. Working wIMG_0059ater and electric and within sight of the playground. We set up camp and I started getting the antifreeze out of the lines (not the toxic kind from a car engine). We were hooked up, chocked, and going great, right about the time the grey water tank filled up (mainly from draining the system for the antifreeze). Jess said this didn’t really count as my first dump station experience because it was only grey water. She still didn’t volunteer to take over.

Without hot water, we showered at the bathouse. Braden took one look in and said it wasn’t clean enough for him to shower. I passed on great wisdom my father had shared with me at many a gas station bathroom: “Don’t touch anything but yourself, buddy.”

I also tore my pants on the RV door post and was hit in the side of the side of the head by a rock that a kid threw while I was showing him to skip stones.

So despite some challenges, in the first 15 hours of the trip I successfully dumped a tank and successfully backed into a campsite 4 times.

We did learn however that you have to IMG_1069watch the top of the RV when parking as well, because we came very close to a significant problem. 

By the third day, I had the system de-winterized and the hot water working.

For the fun stuff, the falls were gorgeous with a thundering roar you feel in your chest. Braden made fast friends with two boys a few sites down from us. They caught tadpoles together and played superheroes. Braden also got to see a woodpecker and spotted his first snake. It was a little black one. “We ran away from it and it ran away from us,” he said.

Braden slept on my shoulder through our midnight attempt to see the famous Moonbow at the falls. Right as the moon got high enough, a bank of clouds rolled in and disappointed the sizable crowd. 

Aside from rain the first night, the weather has been great. We hiked a couple of miles, ate fire-roasted hot dogs a lot and met other campers from Michigan, Kentucky, Gainesville, FL and Knoxville. We also installed our all-important vinyl US map with state stickers that our real estate agent gave us. So far, two states down, a bunch more to go!


Jess and Braden read books in the hammock and hiked about 3 miles while I worked. So far, I’ve been able to get quite a bit of work done and I’m not even just saying that because I think my boss reads these.

Our next stop is the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington where I will be attending and speaking at the Kentucky Telecom Association Conference.

Common questions from loyal readers:

What gas mileage do we get? On the first leg, towing the Fit, we’ve gotten a shade over 8 mpg. Oy.

Profound Braden quote of the week:

“We have to go down this trail because otherwise, we won’t know what’s at the end of it.” So true, son. So true.


3 thoughts on “A not-so-smooth start

  1. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us! I look forward to reading more. I love Braden’s quote. Miss you Jess!


  2. Oh man, I really want to camping now. I mean without the faulty electric, wasps, the too close trees, the 8 mpg, and the dump station stuff. Seriously though, that is normal camping fun stuff. Pictures are awesome. Keep it coming. Miss you guys!

    Liked by 1 person

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