As promised, our first...errr...misadventure.
First day out and we planned a short drive to Tonkawa Springs in Garrison Texas. We used a trip planning service on the internet from one of the RV groups who shall not be named. Was going to be about a three hours drive quick and easy first day. Right? Right.
Started out well enough, we loaded up and left Trader's Village drove out and hit Hwy 59. Not too far in we found a truck stop and filled the tanks and got the rig weighed. We came in at a svelte 22,280 pounds.
Sarah was driving the Civic and ranging up ahead or trailing behind as the situation dictated. We bought two way radios so we could stay in touch. Everything was working out well. The truck is great, pulls strong, the tow/haul mode works great.
Then we get to the turn off of 59 heading toward Tonkawa. Small highway, no problem. Then we get to the next turn. We look down to see a steep short descent onto a poorly paved road with trees overhanging from both sides. But, this is the directions to the park and they do say big rigs welcome. Can't be as bad as it looks, right?
We turn down and sure enough we clear everything. The road is narrow with periodic stretches of low hanging branches, but nothing has rubbed yet. We keep on going down the road and I am wondering what happens if we cross paths with an RV leaving the park because this road is far too narrow to let to RVs pass. We didn't have that problem.
Eventually we come to where the road turns to dirt. We were expecting this as the camp staff said there was a short dirt road leading to the camp. The road led on for a mile or so before coming to some chicken farms, then on another mile or so, and another...and another. Several miles later, wondering just where in the heck we were we came to the bridge. About twenty feet long and made of wood. Yes, wood. Wooden supports, wooden cross members and 2x6 boards laid out as a track to drive on. Sarah and I confer on the radio and decide that, hey, they say big rigs are welcome and this is the road...right? Did I mention 22,280 pounds?
We made it across.
Then we come to a Y in the road that isn't mentioned on the map. By this time I have about had it with the mild heart attacks and ask Sarah to go ahead and find the camp. She gets on the phone with them and tells them where we are. They guide her in and she finds the place. The camp staff say we are coming in the wrong way. That road is only for county maintenance trucks. The other way is paved. And safe.
Sarah asks them if they think we can make it and the camp lady says, "Oh man...I don't know. You aren't supposed to come in that way."
Well, we decide that anything would be better than going over that bridge again and Sarah thought we could make the last leg in safely so we went for it. When we got to the camp the entrance was angled for easy access...from the other side. You know, the way you are supposed to come in! I had to turn down another dirt road and then back the rig up about 200 yards down a narrow dirt road and past the entrance so I could drive in the normal way. I made it. Not too bad for my first day really driving this rig. We had a pleasant day swimming in the cold (65 degree) spring fed swimming hole. The campground was nice, there were deer roaming all over the place. It was quiet and I could use a good rest by this time. IT was a good first day. The next day would present another set of challenges. This RV life does have a learning curve and some days it can feel pretty steep.