Well, it happened! It's a long story, but bear with me. I have always found that mia culpas, while probably good for the soul, still are incredibly hard on the ego. So ...

We finally got the call from TravelHome that the Folly was ready for pickup with all damage repaired, and all the warranty items addressed. There was good news too ... the bill was not too bad and the Folly looks brand new! Now was the time for me to shine. The plan was to hitch up and head to the Meadows, drop off the Folly and then head home. It was to be a pleasant day trip so we invited Elsie's sister Mieke to come along and enjoy the outing. Me, I'm cocky! A typically rainy Wet Coast day and no problems on the horizon. By this time, I have convinced myself that there would be no problem backing into the Folly's new home. I can do it! Lots of room etc! Heh, the RV Gods must have been barely able to hold in the guffaws. It was to be quite the experience!

We arrive at the site, pull along the road and get out to reconnoiter. Gee, it does look smaller than I remember, but being the brave type, I'm keen to get started. Elsie and Mieke, get out and take the walkie talkie with them ready to guide me into a safe haven. Let's see ...hmmm... turn the wheel in the opposite direction that you want the trailer to go, and then get in behind the trailer as quickly as possible. Simple eh? Well the first attempt almost put the rear into a tree. Nonplused, I pull out and try again. I have my end of the walkie talkie on the passenger seat so I can hear Elsie's suggestions. This attempt almost formally introduced the rear of the Folly to the very permanent deck.

Oops ... better stop. Now Elsie has two voice tones when we back up ... panic and terror! Discretion, being the better part of bravery, and in order to keep our marriage, I quietly turn off my walkie talkie and do attempt 3 and 4 and 5 solo.

The difficulty is that the distance from the back wheels of the Folly and the back bumper is so long that positioning the rear in just the correct spot is incredibly difficult. Most semi trailer trucks have the back wheels within 4 feet of the back end while the Folly's is about 12 feet. Add to this the length of the full size bed we have on the truck, and you have a recipe if not for disaster, at least for frustration. I just could not get the truck straight in behind the Folly in the space provided. The shoulder on the other side of the road, due to the fact that the Meadows is really a rain forest, is incredibly soft, and the ditch, of course, was full of water. This was one time I was patting myself on the back for the foresight to buy a truck with four wheel drive. Needless to say, I chewed up the shoulder badly enough to make it look like the American Army was holding tank practice right in front of our site.

By this time, Elsie and Mieke were standing off in a corner (albeit a safe one, well away from the danger zone) whistling and trying to look totally unconcerned. To their credit, neither one laughed or even snickered ... at least while I was looking anyway. Of course, the air around the truck was now tinged quite blue and afterwards Elsie did admit that she learned several new phrases but did doubt that some of my suggestions for the placement of the Folly were medically possible. After 40 minutes of this fun, I gave up!!!!

What to do? Well, the Meadows has a grounds keeper, George, who, by all accounts, can do anything. So, off we go to find him. Now remember, we have the Folly on the hook and we are about 50 feet long. We finally run George to ground in the Club House where he and his side kick were painting a floor. Just how I got the Folly beside the Club House actually impressed him given the size of the roads and the number of turns required. He looked at me as if I were crazy and then proceeded to slowly, and very carefully, guide me out of the labyrinth. It turns out that he used to drive semi trailer trucks and was ready and able to give me a hand docking the Folly. Still, it took him 20 minutes of trying to accomplish this feat. He took one look at the job I did on the opposite road shoulder and said that he would bring the back hoe to repair the damage. So, what was to be a simple pleasant day trip turned out to be a less than enjoyable, ego-destroying humility lesson.

After George and his side kick got the deed done, he emphasized that his days off were Sunday - Monday. So, when we return from our wanderings, we should plan our return for when he was on site. He did admit that the Folly was much harder to back up than a semi trailer truck given the back overhang and the narrow road.

Several days later, we returned to spend 4 nights de-winterizing and checking out the repairs before we head out on our next Excellent Adventure. We could hardly wait to be "back on the road again" (with thanks to Willie Nelson). We have been told that here is a lovely campsite in Waldport Oregon, right on the beach that we would like to hit for a couple of winter weeks. Long walks on the beach and lots of time in front of the fireplace sure sounded good after the usual hectic Christmas festivities. We were aiming to leave right after Frank's, Elsie's brother, Birthday on Feb. 12. But, sadly, it was not to be.

We finally got a contractor to take on the redesign of the front of the house. Our whole front, being mostly cement, has, over the years, been slowly sinking. We have been putting this off for a number of years mainly because we could not find someone with imagination and the requisite skills to do it. The fellow we chose, is now free to begin, but we have to have a very large machine come in to take out the existing concrete. The "Machine" is scheduled to arrive here on Monday Feb. 17th to begin a 4 day removal exercise after which our contractor then begins his redesign. When will we be free to go .... Who knows. But, the work is necessary and once finished, we will not have to worry for the rest of our time in this house. So ... we get on with it ... I have included some new pictures of the Folly in its new home in the picture section.



Return to 2003 Page