Oct 012011

I’ve been stumbling around this old world for quite a while now, and I’ve seen a thing or two. In  fact, I’ve seen some things you would never believe, and I thought it had gotten to the point that nothing would surprise me. How wrong I was!

Our Ohio Gypsy Journal rally ended yesterday, and we knew that it was going to be an interesting morning, because it has been raining here for over a week, and the ground was saturated. There was no way all of those RVs were going to get out of here without some of them getting stuck. And, of course, it was raining again.

Steve, the fairgrounds manager, was here with a tractor, and he had also called in a second, larger, tractor to pull out anybody who got stuck. And get stuck they did! Some folks did it right, carefully giving their rigs just enough throttle to get moving, and not using too much, which was sure to result in them spinning their wheels and digging in. And once they got going, they didn’t stop until they were on pavement or a hard packed road. Most of those folks made it out okay.

RV and ruts

But if somebody used too much throttle, or if the ground around them was already chopped up by other RVs, or if they had even the slightest incline to go up, they were stuck. Really, really stuck!

Motorhome tire

There were plenty of muddy ruts just waiting to trap an RV, and the more rigs that moved out, the more ruts we got. It was a muddy mess!

Trailer and ruts

Muddy road

The two tractors did a good job, but they couldn’t keep up with the demand, and soon a couple of very large tow trucks were called in. Some folks were smart and decided to just stay put until things dry out, but there were others that needed to get going, or didn’t care to wait any longer.

Tractor truck trailer

And then there was one fellow, who convinced me that no matter what we may think we know about human nature, there is always one more person waiting to show us that we haven’t seen it all yet. Just as a tow chain was being hooked to one RV, a man who was parked a short distance away in a large diesel pusher came up and demanded that he be pulled out right then, saying “I’ve been waiting for two hours! I have a meeting to be at tonight, and I have to leave now!”

So the first fellow said he was happy to wait, the poor fellow doing the towing crawled back under the first RV in the mud, unhooked his chain, repositioned to the other RV, and crawled under it in the mud to hook up the chain. Then he pulled the motorhome about fifteen or twenty feet to a hard packed road, crawled under the front end and unhooked his chain, and started back to the first RV, whose owner was waiting patiently.

And that’s when the man who had just been towed out of the muck put his transmission into reverse and backed right back into the hole he had just been pulled out of, where he promptly sank!

I was standing there with several other people, and all of our jaws dropped down onto our chests! At first I thought that the man must have gotten confused and put his rig into reverse instead of drive, but he goosed the throttle as he went backward. I walked over and asked him why he had backed back into the same hole, and he said he had to take his water hose out of the bay to get to his extension cord, and had forgotten it. So he went back to get it!

I know that right now, you are reading this, shaking your head, and saying “No way!” I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I had not seen it, and even then a couple of the witnesses were shaking their heads and saying “Did he really just do that?” Needless to say, the fellow doing the towing and crawling around in the mud was none too happy, and told the impatient man that he was going to sit there a long, long time before he towed him out again! Can’t say as I blame him. $200 later, one of the big tow trucks pulled him out yet again, and he went on his way.

Yeah, NOW I’ve seen it all!

There are probably about 30 RVs still here, waiting for the weather to clear up, or just catching their breath after our busy week, before they go on down  the road. The weatherman says it is supposed to clear up and be sunny for the next few days, but as of bedtime last night, it was raining hard again. We’ll just sit tight and wait it out.

Thanks to all who came to the rally, to all of our volunteers, and to Dennis Hill for the photos in today’s blog.

Thought For The Day – At some point, you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life.

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Nick Russell

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

  16 Responses to “NOW I’ve Seen It All!”

  1. Nick;Lydia and I must be doing something wrong here…
    We have never,except for a few exceptions, stayed in one RV park withought extending our stay…..
    If it looks like rain,we dont bother.
    As in your friends case,he may just not be ready for the flexable time frame that allows an RV’r that extra tme to just” chill out “.
    Let’s face it Mud happens.
    Mark T

  2. I had to chuckle at Mark’s comment, ” Mud Happens”. As far as the guy who backed back into the mud goes, I guess common sense isn’t so common any more.

  3. When you look for future rally sites, where does a hard parking surface rank in your list of criteria? After several rallies in the mud, I would think it would have a higher priority. Must be kind of frustrating for folks to have to clean the inside & underside of the rig of all the mud, not to mention the additional expense of towing.

  4. Wow… that is one expensive water hose! $200 instead of a little walk back to get it?

    Tee heeeee Can’t fix stupid, eh?

  5. I bet that fellow’s wife had a dandy donkey barbecue at his expense!!! Wow!! I bet she was HOT!!

  6. I was one of the guys there watching the guy do that Nick. Coundn’t believe it either. He told me he had his regular end of the month poker game to get to that he haas not missed in 11 years. I told him he lost money going in!!!!!!!!

  7. Max, except for a campground with paved sites, which very few rally attendees are willing to pay for, and which would not have the number of buildings we need, almost every venue large enough to accomodate an RV rally will have you parking on dirt and/or grass.

    Yes, it is frustrating to deal with, but most folks take it in stride. We can plan every detail down to the tiniest degree, but we can’t control Mother Nature.

  8. when god was handing out brains this person thought he said trains and said no thank you I have some. Wrong!

  9. And they breed. That’s the scary part.

  10. We were just happy there was a tractor to pull us out. Thank you fairgrounds and Nick. We were pointed downhill and did start out slowly but our wheels just spun. Knew enough to stop and wait for help.
    Thanks again for a great rally with friends.

  11. “More money than brains” keeps going around and around in my head. Make it stop!

  12. Karma is a bit**! For every decision there is a consequence and that man could have made a choice to be patient instead of being a bully! Hopefully, he learned a lesson and will not repeat his bad behavior…We can only hope!!

  13. One of the joys of being a fulltimer is being able to afford the time to wait for the weather to change. Besides we always stay after one of your rallies if the rally ground doesn’t kick us out so we can catch up with our brains and our sleep. It amazes me how long it takes to process all the stuff I learn at your rallies. I love that your bring in new presenters and your previous presenters offer new stuff. Keep offering the good stuff, Nick.

  14. Nick,

    At a rally you come into contact with a whole lot more people than just moving from campground to campground, and since common sense and manners seem to be in short supply these days I am not at all surprosed to read this story. I loved 2HOBOZ update to the story.

  15. Forrest Gump: Stupid is as stupid does.

  16. That was hilarious – I can just see it. Pete and I both enjoyed your book “Big Lake” very much. We’ve always loved your writing style and our only question for you is “when will your next book come out?”

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