Part of the reason Duncan and I are building a teardrop trailer camper has to do with our camping luck, or lack of it.
Case Study – Beaver Lake, Arkansas
We spent a week in a tent at Beaver Lake for our anniversary. We hiked around the park, fly fished, read in a hammock, and relaxed by the lake. We sun bathed and swam so much that we were part fish by the end of the week. Our campground quickly turned into a home.. We would hike and then come “home” to start dinner. I love vacation “homes” and how even for only a few days, they feel like yours.
One evening we made “Hobo” dinners — hamburger patties, sweet potatoes, onions, and bell peppers wrapped in foil and cooked in the fire. We were having such a fun week and we were exhausted, so we decided to turn in early. After a few days in a tent, the noises of nature are soothing. I had no trouble sleeping until the middle of the night when nature decided she’d been soothing enough. We were startled awake by a sudden downpour of rain. As the water pelted the tent, I quickly moved all of our bags to the middle. Duncan and I are not strangers to rain when camping. During a summer shower I’ll read my book and wait for the sun to come out. Tonight was different. The rain came down furiously and showed no sign of slowing.
Suddenly, our phones started to sound an alarm. Our usually-quiet phones were both chirping angrily. I looked at mine and saw FLASH FLOOD across the screen. I opened the weather app to find that we were in a Flash Flood for the next 6 hours. Six hours is too long to wait it out. We needed a plan.. Our camp was soaked. It was so dark and there was no way we could pick up everything we’d had out for the last week.
We decided I would grab all of the bags, sleeping bags and pillows. Duncan would cut down the hammock and grab the ice chest. Whoever finished first would take the tent down.
At 3 a.m.
In the Pitch. Black. Pouring. Rain.
On the count of three, we ran. Throwing as much in the back of our S10 truck, and putting the important stuff in the front. I beat Duncan to the truck, double checked my camera bag and started the engine. Soaking wet, he finally jumped in. We make it to a gas station where we changed into dry clothes and did a better job of tying down our gear in the back of the truck.
As I entered the store at 4 in morning, clothes in my arm, drenched from the rain, the clerk stared at me. I changed quickly in the bathroom and then bought some coffee. The clerk was strangely silent for the whole transaction. I ran back to the truck to avoid getting soaked again and we started the trek back to Tulsa. It took us twice as long, but as we pulled into town we were greeted with a rainbow and a gorgeous sunrise.
Our perfect week ended with a perfect storm. As with all of our camping mishaps, we survived. I have no doubt we could survive again, and in a much more dire situation. But instead, let’s build a cute camping trailer.