Misadventures with Wind and Water

Well, the water was a mishap; the wind was a near disaster.

Flying Kayaks

We were driving away from a big storm in Oklahoma and Kansas, into an area with less risk of hail and tornadoes in Missouri. There was still wind though, for sure: we’d had 45-mph gusts in the sketchy town park we’d stayed in the night before in Parsons, Kansas (home of the guy who created the Pride Flag, although they don’t tell you that).

The driving northeast wasn’t easy. Thanks to our evil monster hitch, the trailer didn’t sway behind us, but I could feel the wind blowing the entire rig, and our fuel milage was so terrible that we were running out of diesel before Tracy had calculated.

We’re on the highway near Kansas City headed toward a truck stop when we hear a big WHOMP above Tracy’s head. We look behind us at the trailer, which is still there, and in front at the bikes, which ditto, but my kayak is hanging low over my window, and the banging is loud and sporadic on the roof.

What can you do? You can’t safely just pull over to the side of the highway, because, unless there’s a huge shoulder, your home is way too close to trucks whizzing by. The alternative, though, is possibly having one or both of the kayaks fly off in this wind and cause a huge car accident. So we pulled over.

Nothing looked immediately dire, so we limped to an exit and pulled into a church parking lot that was mysteriously empty on a Sunday. The wind was so strong it was hard to open the truck door to even just get out.

What we discovered was that one of the clamps of the kayak rack was hanging off the side of the truck, and that’s why my kayak had been waving at me through the window.

The clamp on Tracy’s side was the culprit: wind had pushed his kayak so hard for so long that it pushed the clamp along the groove that it sits in (despite being screwed tight), so the rack had changed length and the whole thing was off kilter.

And we had to take the freaking kayaks off in the wind to get the rack reset. If we hadn’t had our handy Hullivators, there’s no way we could have done this. As it was, we had to lift each kayak off strategically and grab all the flying straps and then stand on the doorsill to see the racks while holding the door so the wind didn’t cut us in half … it was a lot going on.

Tracy even had to find the Hullivator manual in the trailer so he could figure out how to reset the thing. But he did, and we got back on the road, and hopefully it’s set not to slip again, but man do I not trust it now.

Trapped in the Shower

We made it to a state park near St. Jospeh, Missouri, where flooding has half the campground and all the bathrooms closed. So the park has brought in a trailer with toilets and showers, which I am very excited about.

Showers in campgrounds can be old: concrete, moldy, buggy, not private. But this trailer looks new, and a quick peek while walking Banjo showed me that each little compartment is totally clean and private. So, hot shower, here I come!

Turns out there’s one button in the shower that says PRESS, which gives you warm water but doesn’t say for how long. So I wash quickly, not knowing when the water will stop.

And then I stand there. The water keeps coming. There’s no indication whatsoever when it’s going to stop. I try to step out with the water running, but when I open the curtain, all my stuff gets wet in the rest of what I’d previously considered a cute little space and now see is way too small.

And the water keeps running. I am trapped in the shower! What the heck? It’s an ironic situation for someone who dreams of hot running water. Did I mention it’s 35 degrees outside?

So I make a dash for it, slipping through the curtain to stand by the toilet and dry off best as I can without getting the whole place sopping wet. I dress and close the door behind me, with that blamed shower still going.

Back in the trailer I’m still thinking about that shower. Ten more minutes go by, and I put my coat back on and walk across the campground to check it out. Yep, the shower is still running!

Luckily, a state park guy is cruising around on his gator, and I grab him to let him know. (Tracy showered a few hours later and reported that his water turned off every minute; I showered two days later, and my water turned off every 20 seconds!)

We’ve got back-to-back visiting coming up, which is one reason I wrote about the kayak and shower mishaps; I’m thinking I’ll have lots of lovely photos of people we visit but not much in the way of travel narrative. Gotta make the most of the excitement here. Let’s hope this is the end of it for a while.

4 thoughts to “Misadventures with Wind and Water”

    1. It really was. We’re lucky we got to the campsite, where Tracy fixed the kayak rack a little more.

  1. I don’t know which is worse: a shower that runs constantly even after you’re back in your camper, or a shower that turns off every 20 seconds. Either way, between that and the kayaks, sounds like you had quite the adventure!

    1. Because I’m so used to water conservation now that keeping the faucet open while washing your hands gives me the heebee geebees, a shower that constantly runs is a nightmare. I can deal with every 20 seconds. Odd, huh!

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