It starts out to be a great day. We are on the road early, eager to get to Lamoine State Park where we have been accepted to be volunteer Campground Hosts. The drive through the woods of Maine from Houlton to Lamoine is beautiful even though we are on an interstate highway. Our goal is to take secondary “blue highways” (often drawn on maps in blue) as William Least Heat Moon calls them in his Blue Highways book but today we take the fast route. We arrive at Lamoine State Park about 12:30PM and are greeted by friendly rangers and volunteers. So far so good! Let’s get our fifth wheel set up! Here’s where the day goes, as the saying goes “to hell in a hand basket!”
UH-OH-the entrance to our site isn’t very wide and there are rain runoff ditches on either side. AND. . .trees, lots of trees, and brush on either side of the road making maneuvering very touchy. Gary, who loves a challenge, gives backing into the site a try --- nope, the wheels of the fifth wheel start falling into the ditch and the nose of the truck is deep into brush and trees across the road.
On to plan B-back in from the other direction. Hey, it’s working until. . .the fifth wheel starts shifting and leaning into what turns out to be soft earth! Oh no! The rather large tree and our home are becoming perilously close - 6 inches or less!!In my mind I envision the side being bashed in and with it the refrigerator which, inside, is exactly beside the tree.Gary jockeys the truck back and forth trying to get out of the rut but the rut only gets deeper. This rig is going nowhere-not forward, not backward without it sliding toward the tree! He and Bob slip boards under the tires by jacking the whole rig up with bottle jacks. Inch by inch it is moved forward but THEN there is no more room for the truck to go forward because of the trees. Can’t go forward, can’t go back!Let’s see now, if we could only swing it around to the left just a bit. Gary unhooks our GMC and very carefully, almost inch by inch, ranger Bob’s VERY HUGE Mack truck pivots the fifth wheel just a few feet. Gary hooks up the GMC again and eases the fifth wheel over the boards, the boulders, a granite slab the Ranger has dropped into the ditch but, oh-oh, the 17,500 lb. fifth wheel is sinking again! Keep it moving Gary! He does and, five hours after this odyssey began, we are safely out. WHEW, WHEW and double WHEW!Now what? Will we be staying at Lamoine State Park or will we have to leave? For tonight we make NO decisions. We boondock in the parking lot for the night (for you non-RVers, boondocking is parking with no water, electric or sewer hookups.) With the electric coffee and tea maker out of commission, I dig out the good old percolator and tea kettle for my morning Earl Grey and Gary’s Maxwell House. The not-so-scenic view of the parking lot from our window.A new day dawns with a decision to be made. Is it back on the road or ?? Dulee and I go for our morning walk and see that they have moved the granite block to the other side and filled in dirt over the ditch to make the entrance about four feet wider. Gary says “piece of cake!" and we’re soon in position for day two’s maneuvers. The fifth wheel moves pretty smoothly over the makeshift arrangement with just a little sinking into the dirt and the boards crack as it passes over but we are soon set up in our Camp Host site. Much better clearance with the tree!