Thursday, August 1, 2013

There and Back Again - Rainbow's End

This past weekend we took our first foray away from the local area.  That's right!  We towed our camper somewhere!  (We are getting bold, aren't we?)

Our adventure took us about 250 miles northeast to a small town in the piney woods called Livingston, Texas.  Do you recognize that location?  Yes, this is our legal "home" nowadays.

We drove to the Escapees flagship park called Rainbow's End to check out our new "home".  Since this is where we legally live now, we thought it would be nice to actually see it in person before we start out on our long excursion.

We were able to make the trip with only one vehicle.  Our 15yo son is still at Boy Scout camp for the summer, and we were able to farm out our 13yo son to a family friend. (Thank you, Noel!)  So the six of us were able to cram into our "Cowboy Cadillac" (that's a suped-up diesel Ford F-350 dual-wheel pickup truck, for those who don't know) and make the journey.

The journey went well... until we drove through downtown Livingston.   At a red light, making a right hand turn, we popped our emergency brake cable and the brakes on the camper locked up - right in the middle of the intersection!  After a few initial moments of panic (and annoyed drivers trying to get around us), Steve was able to figure out what the problem was.  He popped the cable back into place, and we were off again.  Good thing too, because I was about ten seconds away from calling a tow truck!

Our time at Rainbow's End was delightful.  You can tell that the park was at low capacity for the summer.  Most fulltime RVers leave this area of the country for the summer months and return in the fall.  (And no wonder!  We've been hitting at least 100*F every day, with no end in sight!  Blech!)

Rainbow's End is more than just an RV park.  We stayed in the section meant for transient travelers, but there is a long-term site section as well as a permanent site section.  (I think the permanent sites are deeded and privately owned.) 

We stayed at a site that was very close to the swimming pool and activity center.  Although the activity center was closed for the summer, the pool was not.  Steve and the boys made heavy use of the pool, which was just the right depth for my youngest kids to swim.

Besides the pool and activity center, up the road a short distance was the clubhouse.  Many social gatherings and classes are held in there throughout the day, but there is also a very nice book library and movie check-out room.  In addition, there is a private television viewing room in which our kids could watch some movies.  

On Sunday evening we joined others for the weekly ice cream social and met some very friendly older Escapees.  We were by far the youngest folks around, but I didn't mind that in the least.  All my life I've been told that I'm really an old lady in a young body, so I really fit right in.  (LOL)  Besides, I've learned that if you just listen to what an older person has to say, you can glean some very wise advice.  We met one couple who retired from the Air Force in 1974.  He was a Vietnam War pilot back in the day, and he had some great stories for us.  He and his wife were delighted to watch our kids set up and knock down dominoes on the floor.  Another lady that I met told me that she was from Tidioute, Pennsylvania (a town of about 800 people), and she was just pleased as punch that I actually knew where that was!

On our departure day, we scheduled ourselves for a "Smart Weigh" to see if we were not only within our weight limits but also to see if we were balanced.  Turns out that we are far below our weight limit, but our back axle is a little off-balanced.  So sometime soon we need to try to even out the weight in the boys' bedroom a little better.  Other than that, I think it proved to be a big relief to Steve's nerves to learn that we CAN tow that big of a camper with the truck that we own, and that we are NOT exceeding the weight limit of the RV.

Then we went into the headquarters building and collected our mail before heading back to San Antonio.

And so we were, like the Hobbit, "There and Back Again".