Jul 252009

We left Bowling Green State University Friday morning, and though I had been worried that we might get stuck in the field where we were parked, we got out just fine. We stopped for fuel, then drove north about ten miles on Interstate 75, skirted the west edge of Toledo on Interstate 475, then picked up U.S. Highway 23 and followed it north into Michigan.

The line at the dump station in Bowling Green was really long, so we decided to stop at the Cabela’s Outfitters in Dundee, Michigan, about 45 miles north of Bowling Green, to use their dump station. Apparently quite a few other folks from the FMCA rally had the same idea, because there were several motorhomes waiting to dump. We also needed to make a bank deposit, so we unhooked the van and Miss Terry ran off to do that errand while I waited in line to dump. She needn’t have hurried, because I was still in line when she got back.

Several rigs ahead of me pulled up, dumped, and quickly went on their way, but you know there always has to be one jerk in every crowd. A guy in a big diesel pusher pulled up to the dump station, got out, didn’t like his position, got back inside his coach and maneuvered around a bit, got back out, still didn’t like where he was, and repeated the process again. Then he puttered around, opened his sewer bay, closed it, went back inside his coach, came back out, opened the sewer bay again, then opened several other bays until he found his rubber gloves and put them on.

Then he took out his sewer hose, hooked it to his tank outlet, realized that it was too short, and went to two other coaches until he could find somebody to loan him an extra length of hose and a connector, which he attached to his hose and finally dumped. That chore done, he rinsed out the hoses, unhooked the loaner hose, unhooked his sewer hose, replaced it in the bay, returned the loaner hose, went back to his rig and opened two bay doors before he decided where he wanted to put his gloves, changed his mind and got them back out and put them in a different bay, and finally got inside his coach. And sat there. And then he sat there some more. People started blowing their horns and the fellow ahead of me was ready to do him bodily harm before the fool finally drove off and the line moved forward, and eventually I was next in line to dump.

That was when an idiot in an SUV pulling an Airstream trailer came the other way through the parking lot and tried to shoehorn himself in behind the rig that was finishing dumping. No way was that going to happen, and Bad Nick went flying out of the bus to explain the facts of life to the guy behind the wheel. Meanwhile, the air was split with blaring horns as people who had waited patiently in line let the offender know that he wasn’t going to get away with that!

He decided to play dumb and said “Oh, are all of you waiting to dump? I’m sorry,” before beating a hasty retreat.

We wasted an hour at the dump station, but eventually got back onto the highway and followed it north until it joined Interstate 75. Traffic was heavy all the way from Toledo to Bay City, with some particularly bad stretches in Ann Arbor and Flint, where nobody seemed to know what a yield sign, a turn signal, or a rearview mirror was for.

By the time we turned west on U.S. Highway 10 at Bay City, I was more than ready to get on a slower paced road. An hour later we joined State Highway 115 and took it to U.S. Highway 131 near Cadillac, and with a couple more zigs and zags down two lane highways we arrived at my cousin Terry Cook’s place just south of Traverse City about 6:30 p.m., having logged just over 300 miles.

We backed into our usual spot in Terry’s driveway, received warm greetings from the entire family, and hooked up to water and electric. We’ll be here for a few days as Miss Terry has her annual visit to her oncologist, and we enjoy some time relaxing with family. After being up early every morning at the FMCA rally, the first order of business will be to turn the telephones off and sleep late every morning!

Thought For The Day – Over prepare, and then go with the flow.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “Road Trip To Traverse City”

  1. Nick,

    The headline for today’s blog could have read: Constipation at Cabela’s Dump Station.
    (Bad George)

  2. Nick,

    The fool in the big diesel pusher had to be Richard. Most people with a big rig carry some extra sewer hose. Richard would rather borrow than buy. (Bad George strikes again). O.K. I’ve had my fun for the day.

  3. Sounds like you were driving in the NYC metro area where people don’t know the difference between red lights and green. The only difference is we are not “dump friendly” in NJ, at least in the northeast part of this state. Janis

  4. Sounds to me like you are in too big of a hurry Nick…… You said yourself that you have to take time to smell the…… opps, not so rosey.


  5. At least you made it to cousin Terry’s safe and sound. Now the only morning sounds should be ZZZZZZZs.

  6. Really enjoy your blog. I know from reading the comments that I’m in minority in regard to voting positive for a “Bad Nicks” blog but there is to much already negative in the world today. The method of reporting that you use – positive and negative – is the correct mix. Not a utopian dialog just interesting to read the ebb and flow of your traveling and rv experience.

    A local newspaper in my community allows or solicits comments from reader and it has turned into several pages of negative bitching people.
    Very tiring and depressing reading over and over again what is wrong with their life – their problems alway seen to be bigger than every one else. Glad I have the health to arise in the morning and enjoy this great country and read Nick’s Blog – ok just the way it is!!

  7. We just ended the Winebago-Itasca Travelers (WIT) rally and had a front row seat watching foks line up at the dump stations. One couple made a terrible mess, but after hearing their story, can see how it happened. They had paid for a honey wagon dump during the rally. Unfortunately, the worker failed to secure their dump valve and when they opened their wet bay, it was FULL of “stuff”. Not a pretty sight. I guess we add a mental reminder note to check all valves after someone else dumps our tanks.

    On a positive note, we met your friends Ron and Brenda Spiedel. Neat folks. Having dinner with them again tonight.

  8. with the weather your having you should have come to the northwest, beautiful and hot. psst, don’t tell anybody, we want them to believe it only rains here……

  9. Great writeup. I’ve never driven an RV, and had never stopped to consider that the dumping could be such a hassle. Makes sense though: people are clueless enough with cars, so why wouldn’t they be even more clueless with a larger, more complex vehicle?

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