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  • Writer's pictureLily Temple

RV (mis) adventures

We wrapped up our stay at our very first stop in Nevada City, California last week and we were encouraged by how well it went! The drive there was smooth, the campground beautiful, and we dove right into exploring nature with the kids in our new backyard. When we left 5 nights later to head to our second destination in Reno we were feeling positive and excited. And then things started going awry.

First... the drive. While driving any distance with toddlers and an infant is unpredictable, this would be our shortest drive yet while towing the rig. We weren't worried, and figured we didn't need to plan a rest stop. The kids and the universe had other plans! Right off the bay, we entered an area with a two lane road and heavy construction, which delayed us for at least an hour. Luckily it was forested and very beautiful, but then Laramie took the opportunity to poop! I pulled her out of her carseat and changed her in my lap while we were at a standstill, but traffic started moving before I could put her back in her seat. We ended up driving down a winding road with a squirrely Laramie in my lap grabbing everything in sight as Jeff searched for a place to pull a 40' fifth wheel over on a mountain highway. Yikes!

He finally found a spot and we got her buckled in. We decided we needed a stop after all even though we were only 30 minutes away from our destination. We pulled into a rest stop at the top of Donner Pass and prepared the kids to get out and use the bathroom. But as Jeff navigated into a parking place, we turned around and realized all 3 kids had (finally) fallen asleep! After a few minutes of debating we decided to let them sleep and press on. Of course, 10 minutes later Georgia (who is in the midst of potty training) woke up and announced she needed to pee. Enter second unplanned highway stop! As toddlers do, she got in the bathroom and then decided she was fine (eyeroll). Once again, we continued on our way just a bit more frazzled than we had started.

And then things continued to get a bit more, shall we say, spicy? We pulled into the RV resort we had booked, which had glowing online reviews and a fancy website, to discover it was actually a trailer park. Now no knocks on trailer parks in general, but for us that meant an extremely tight space (since the other RV's all had fences and cars parked around them and people's personal property out and about). It was 100+ degrees and the "riverfront" access and "recreation" area was too overgrown to get down to the river and cool off. We were also planning to have groups of visitors over for an outdoor party, and there was definitely no space for it. To make matters worse, as Jeff delicately navigated our shipping container- sized home into our designated space, gallons of water started pouring out the side of the rig!!! Upon opening the door we saw the water faucet had jiggled open while we were driving and we had accidentally left the water pump on. We travel with the sink covered so water had flowed out of the faucet ALL OVER the floor and counter! In one stroke of luck we had set a bath towel on the floor in the kitchen (under our knife strip to see if the knives would stay up . . . they didn't). The towel soaked up a lot of the water and was sopping wet.

By the end of the evening, we had decided we needed to move to a new location. Our family who live in the area (and who we should have consulted in the first place) suggested Gold Ranch Casino & RV Park. I'll admit I snobbishly never would have considered a casino parking lot (as is what I imagined), but we looked at a couple photos and it definitely had more space! And even appeared to be scenic! We booked it. Turns out the "casino parking lot" was next to a really beautiful hillside and had plenty of room, a pool, and hey why not... lotto tickets! Maybe we will win the big one and keep the ride going even longer. :)

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