It started out as a great family, fishing trip. The full moon prevented us from catching any fish but we had fun playing with crawdads and chatting. I made waffles and eggs with real maple syrup a friend brought to us from Alberta. This syrup isn’t the thin, runny stuff we get in the supermarket, It's so thick you have to wait for it to ease out of the bottle. I discovered if you leave it in the sun for awhile, it will pour easier.
Now, as I was saying, the trip started out great, but like all good things, there was a lesson in it for me, maybe two or three.
Back in 2003, after a frustrating experience with my camp trailer, I came home and bought a new camp trailer. It was more out of pride and anger than deliberation. I had a better job then—I figured we had the money. Don’t get me wrong, however, I’ve never regretted buying the new trailer. It has brought us much joy and family togetherness.
Our trailer has a retractable awning attached. It's nothing special, not like the motor home parked next to us. I watched that camper step out in the morning, push a button and the awning unrolled on its own, but I digress. My awning came with specific instructions that if not obeyed, would void the warranty.
Last weekend, we were camped in the middle of the campground, on a very hot sunny day—RV’s were all around us. A microburst wind came out of nowhere. It blew my awning up, and over the trailer, tossing camping gear, and awning parts, everywhere.
This devastating event would’ve been easier to swallow, but mine was the only camp in the whole campground affected by the wind. After the event, I looked around with a vengeful eye, hoping at least one other awning would have been taken.
I promise, I’ll repent of my vindictive attitude, but why me? Okay, I’ve got it under control. Would you like to know what I recommend?
First, leaving the awning up was not an option. We were in Renegade Campground at Strawberry Reservoir in Utah (no trees). At 6000 feet the sun will rip your hide off. So it was either risk the shake of the wind or bake in the sun.
Second, forget the instructions, detach the vertical legs from the trailer, and anchor them to the ground. Not with tent pegs either. Have you ever seen the size of stakes they use in the circus to anchor a tent? You get the idea.
A 20-pound double jack has become part of my camping gear. Along with some thick rope and 2-foot long, 1-inch thick stakes. As for my awning, I’m still in shock. I’ll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, I have two easy-up canopies I can anchor down.
As for microburst winds, I was scheduled to give the lesson in Priesthood meeting on Sunday. I considered getting out of it and staying over Saturday night, but the wind convinced me I’d better go home and do my duty.
Here’s a cooking tip for you. If you cook on a free standing propane stove, consider getting a shorter set of legs for it. You can sit in your lawn chair. And relax while you flip pancakes. It also makes watching a waffle iron much easier.
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