Hurricane Fred

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Waking up early to a dripping rain. I made coffee and wrote up yesterday’s blog. Everything itched from the yellow jacket stings and my lip was still puffy. All-in-all it wasn’t too bad. I would wait until 8:00 to reconnect the truck batteries so I didn’t disturb Ginger. There were only two other campers and they were at the end of the camp. I guess everyone else knew it was to be a week of rain with a hurricane on top.

I walked over to Ginger’s to see if I could get a cell phone signal, but nothing. I had to check messages from Autostar Chevrolet to see what the solution was for my truck. Maybe I really need a priest. I pulled the horn fuse and connected the batteries. It’s getting easier now, but I don’t like working with batteries in the rain. I kept the hood as far down as I could to keep the rain out. I thought about putting a tarp over it, but dismissed it as too much trouble. 

As I went for a tool, the hood closed. Since I had tools in there, it didn’t close all the way, but I couldn’t reopen it. Possessed! The spirits are messing with me. I could barely get to the latch, but couldn’t open it, nor could I force it. Finally squeezing the hood onto my fingers, I could open it. Whew. I finished and double checked to make sure I hadn’t left any tools in there.

I gently knocked on Ginger’s door to see if she had cell service. “No”, she said, “but if you drive up the mountain, over the bridge, past the curves sign and past the reflectors, you will see a gravel pull-off where you can get cell service. We call it the ‘phone booth’”

The phone booth! I never saw the reflectors, but I saw that I instantly got four messages from Ed and Diego as I drove past it, but nothing from Autostar. I drove to the overlook, but no service, so I went back down, monitoring my phone as I went. I remembered two pull-offs, and I guessed it was the first one after the curves sign. Creeping past the second one, there was no signal. I pulled into the first one and had one bar, flashing two, then back to one. No message from Autostar. I tried to look up a phone number, but not enough cell service.

I went back down the mountain and turned right through the old farms and the Palmer family’s house with the breezeway in the middle. Those are cool, and I guess literally cool in the summertime. I didn’t see any elk or bears in the cherry or apple trees, so I drove down to the group campsite that sits in a nice field with tent sites along beautiful Cataloochee Creek. I envisioned fishing this shallow, fast-running stream, deciding it could be good with dry flies, maybe a Yellow Sally. I need a month of fishing here. With so much rain this week, it looks like I won’t get a chance this time.

As I parked the car, there was a camper fixing a hole that used to be his driver-side window on his van. He said he opened the door and the window just dropped down into the space in the door. He had put some kind of plastic over it and had taped it up. Ginger was quickly on the scene with a roll of duct tape. I have been in hundreds of campgrounds, almost all with campground hosts, and I have seen some good ones, but Ginger takes the cake.

I’m embarrassed to say I was a bit happy that the spirits were picking on someone other than me. Progressively, the rains came harder as Fred came over us. The truck weather app had a tornado warning for some county, but Ginger said that was in Georgia. She had called headquarters, and they said all we would get was heavy rain. 

The rains came heavy at mid-day. I kept checking the trailer for leaks. By late afternoon, the little trout stream was a raging river, up by three feet. We watched a weird movie Martha had downloaded on her iPad.

By late afternoon, we took the drive looking for wildlife. The elk herd was lying in a field. The big buck got up shaking off the rain. One would not want to be on the receiving end of those antlers. They look pretty sharp. It was a bit scary crossing two small, but very well-made bridges with the water rushing so hard underneath.

Ginger brought us a message from Autostar saying they wanted to do more testing, but didn’t know if they could do it tomorrow. Tomorrow is supposed to be a sunny day, but the trails will be a mess, and the streams won’t be fishable for a week. My batteries are getting low, so we will have to leave tomorrow. If we get some sun on the panels tomorrow we could make it another day. We didn’t seem to be in danger of the creek flooding the campground, as it would have to come up another 6 feet. It was already up 2 feet, but running out fast.

A little wine and some music on the new sound system, dinner and a good night’s sleep to the sound of rain on the Airstream.

  2 comments for “Hurricane Fred

  1. Sandra Wheless
    August 24, 2021 at 8:38 am

    So sorry for all your demonic problems but I have had some good laughs-best blogs yet!

    • August 24, 2021 at 8:43 am

      It was so crazy. You should have heard it. Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.

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