Thursday, March 22, 2012

Be Safe Out There…

riverside park flooding Tuesday night we got a whole lot of rain in Bandera. We went to bed, not thinking much about it except that I was pleased that the residents might get some relief from the drought, only to awaken to the sound of someone knocking on our door. When I went to the door, our next door neighbor said the sheriff had ordered that the park be evacuated, due to the rising river. Yikes !! I hadn’t even had time to look outside to see how the river looked but I hollered at Linda that we needed to start breaking camp to leave. It’s not until one is faced with dire, immediate circumstances that we find out how fast we can truly move ! We got everything packed up and unhooked in about 10-15 minutes. As we were finishing up, the same neighbor (and her husband) came by and said that the river was going down so sit tight. Linda and I walked down to the river and couldn’t believe how high it was. Turns out that the lower end of the park had been awakened at 4:30 and told to evacuate so they went to the top of the hill to a vacant lot and sat till the sheriff told them they could come back. Down at the other RV park, where we had been up until Saturday, they had to evacuate the lower level of campers.bandera flood Luckily they had enough sites empty up on the main level so they moved them up there. Sure scary how fast the river can come up. The thought fleetingly went through my head as I was dozing off that maybe we might need to keep a watch on the river but sleep overtook me and that thought vanished. Thank goodness for neighbors that look out for each other.

We left Bandera Wednesday afternoon and hit the road for our next assignment in Oklahoma. We were originally going to leave Thursday morning but knowing that we need to get our rig looked at, due to the power issue, hastened our departure. We started noticing that something was askew last Saturday when our radios would flash, lights would dim, slide out wouldn’t come in, etc. It has continued with lights going out, etc. and when I called the Thor factory, “Bill” said it sounded like either the transfer relay switch or the converter or both. Our power monitor, when plugged in, shows minimal power but once we get on the road, the alternator brings the power back to normal levels. We hustled to get to McClain’s RV Superstore, in Oklahoma City to get things checked out and repaired. We arrived about 2:30 today and they got our rig right in. Turns out that it’s the converter. Although our transfer switch is humming quite loud, they think that is only cause the converter is bad. They will see if Thor will approve the replacement in the morning and see if they can get the part locally. We also need to get the microwave turntable checked out. We had the whole unit replaced on March 2 and after a week, the turntable stopped turning. They may pull it out and get it repaired locally….they apparently have a person in the area who works on them. We are plugged in and have water on site at McClain’s. They are super nice here and have really taken a shine to Boomer.

Last night we stopped at a picnic area for the night. We came off the road about 6 and saw that a 5th wheel and truck came in shortly after we did. There were several state troopers at the far end of the lot that had a speed trap set up and they would zip out to catch a speeder and then come back a short time later. A little after nine, Linda and I sat down to play dominoes. We had drawn the curtain around the front of the rig and I was up there getting something when I saw a truck or SUV pull in front of our rig. It seemed odd to me that they were backed up so close to the front of our rig but walked back to the dinette to resume our game. It was pitch black outside and we only had the light on over the dinette and over the sink. Someone knocked on our door several times, startling both of us. We’ve heard enough stories to know not to open the door late at night to an unknown person. I opened the window over the sink and said “What do you want ?“ A male voice, in the darkness said something about needing help, mother on life support, something about Fort Hood, needing $5 for gas…blah blah. About a million things were going through my own head and Linda was talking to me, in whispers behind me, so my head was spinning. I could tell she was scared….I was more annoyed that someone would come out in the dark to seek help or money and that we were on the receiving end of that request. I briefly had a “WWJD” moment but thought there were too many calamities in one sentence to make the whole thing legit. I told him I didn’t have any money but if he went up to the far end of the lot and asked the state police there, they could probably help him. With that, he got in his vehicle and pulled away. Linda dialed “911” and started talking to the operator while I looked out the front window. I could see that he had driven up to the vicinity of the other RV’ers and parked. Linda finished with the police, hung up and then my phone rung. A woman trooper asked me what happened and after telling her, she said she was about a minute away and would check it out. She then said another report had just come in….apparently from the other RV’ers. The trooper drove through the parking area and you could tell she was checking for the guy. We saw her come through several times. Linda was really upset and wanted to move….afraid he would come back. We saw that the other RV’ers had started their vehicle…we could see the running lights were lit. We decided to move up closer to them and be in the middle of the parking area, instead of at the end where we thought it would be quieter to sleep. We drove up and parked directly across from the other rig. I got out and saw that the man and woman were in their truck. I waved my arms and announced myself in case he had a gun. He rolled down his window and we swapped stories. Same thing…guy looking for money. This guy told him he was calling the cops and that he had a gun (he did) and he took off. He asked me if we had a gun…I said no. He said we should get one but that’s not something I would really consider. I can certainly handle them, having hunted as a youngster but I don’t like the thoughts of a gun in the rig. Now a taser type of device certainly crossed my mind as I could hear this guy talking through the kitchen window and how it would knock him on his A** if I zapped him with it. The guy’s wife was really upset but said she would stay if we were going to stay there. We all went back to our respective rigs and went to bed. I’m still annoyed. If this guy truly needed gas money, there are better ways to get it than knock on RV’ers doors in the middle of the night. If he truly needed help, I hope that he found it. To our RV’ing friends…Be safe out there. We’ve never had a situation like this occur before, in the five years we’ve been on the road. We won’t let this detract from our experience. It just reinforces that we all need to be aware of our surroundings and keep ourselves out of harm’s way.

Hoping that our rig gets fixed in the morning so we can get to our park to get set up. It’s a state park that is first come – first serve so no reservation. It’s spring break time here, from local schools, so we have a feeling we might have to boondock or take a less than ideal site till Sunday. We’ll see what happens and take it one day at a time !

4 comments:

Away we go with the Kintners said...

I am so happy you are both safe and all is well. My suggestion for protection inside your home is Hornet/bee spray the stuff you can spray when you are 25 feet away.It's cheap & easy to use works on all the criters out there. good luck and thanks for sharing. MKintner

Jack said...

Bee spray is not a good idea. It can cause blindness, and you would be liable. Bear spray, however, is generally legal to have, sprays really far, and has lots of volume in the can. Just a thought.

Tom and Donna Clapham said...

I have the hornet spray too....but something to consider. There have been cases when the person getting shot with the spray comes back and sues the person that sprays them. I understand that the spray can do permanent damage to the eyes if not flush with water immediately. "It is violation with Federal law if used inconsistent with its labeling". I think a money hungry lawyer may cause you a problem. I have the spray "just in case"..I'll worry about the consequences later....yeah, I'm from Texas!!! Have fun and be safe ladies. rockin'

Dave and Susie said...

That seems to happen alot here in OK. Mainly it's druggies looking for quick money to buy their next fix or bottle. We just tell them that we don't have any money and they move on. You did the right thing. Sometimes you will have to be a little stern. We have been approched at least 5 times. They generally give you some sob story of a loved one on life support and how they need gas to get there. Once you tell them "no" they move to the next person that will be a sucker. Besides $5.00 is not going to get you very far down the road.

I find a good baseball bat will do the trick. Our daughter's T-ball bat is just the right size to fit in the frame of the truck door and it's an aluminum bat so would work well. Swing away!