It finally happened: we had a no good rotten terrible travel day.
Actually, the travel wasn’t that bad: we were on G in round two of our musical alphabet game so were listening to the Grateful Dead, and Tracy found a decent county park where we pulled in to eat lunch. It was the Airstream hitching and parking that did us in.
Leaving Morrow Mountain State Park was a trick. We had the trailer tongue resting on a flat board on top of a stack of leveling blocks, and the board was situated just so that it blocked the weight-distribution bars so the receiver hitch couldn’t swivel. Yadda yadda: I had zero wiggle room to make the receiver meet the stinger on the truck, and Tracy had to back in perfectly.
That’s hard to do. Each time I directed him back and then decided the stinger wasn’t perfectly aligned so told him to pull up and try again, he got increasingly frustrated. It’s not easy listening to me on the phone saying, “a little to the driver’s side. No, now more to the passenger side. No, pull up and start over to the driver’s side” as he cuts the wheels over and over.
But as he gets frustrated, he backs up a little faster, which changes the rate the wheels turn and messes with my ability to judge how much to tell him to turn. So we get increasingly inaccurate and keep having to try again and again. I was about to suggest we both stop and walk around the park and start over, when bingo, hitching happened.
Parking in the New Spot
After the drive carefully avoiding Chapel Hill and Raleigh and finding our campground here at Falls Lake State Rec Area near Raleigh—amid several campground loops at this lake—then finding our campsite, I backed Tracy into it.
According to the level meter inside the trailer that Bluetooths to my phone, we’re not level.
So I back him up more, guess at how many leveling blocks we need, then direct him to pull up on the ones I’ve set in front of the tires. Better.
We commence to pulling everything out of the back of the truck to set up and connect the trailer to the utilities, when I realize the thing I’ve dreaded all this time has happened. I have directed us to the wrong campsite. We’re at 107 when we should be at 97.
Parking at the Actual New Spot
Get Banjo back in the truck. Reload all our stuff. Direct Tracy to back the truck to the hitch again and hitch up. Pull out and find 97.
Back into 97. Nope, there’s not enough room on the door side of the trailer to fit chairs. Tell Tracy to pull up and back in again, just a little closer to the woods.
The woods?!? The woods are all around us! I’ve lost my ability to figure out directions much less give them, and Tracy’s lost all will to give a damn about where we put the trailer. Especially if I’m directing.
It was a bad travel day. But we made it to the end of the day.
Each of us has a lot to juggle on travel days, and we each have to remember that the other one is handling more than it appears. Or we have to buy each other a bunch of t-shirts and pillows and mugs. Maybe all of the above.