Monday, October 13, 2014

The Close Call

During the first year we had our Casita travel trailer (2005-2006), Carole and I took it on a lot of winter camping trips. We were so anxious to enjoy the trailer that we didn't let something like cold weather dissuade us from heading to a state park or National Forest campground. (If you buy a Casita, make sure you get it with a furnace!)

So, one January afternoon after I got off work we hooked up the Casita and headed to the Davidson River Campground, a very popular Pisgah National Forest facility. In fact, it's probably the single most popular campground in the Pisgah National Forest. But, being that it was January, we pretty much had the pick of the campground.

Since we arrived just as it got dark, we figured the best course of action was not to try to back into our campsite but to park in the paved drive where we wouldn't bump into any trees trying to fit the trailer into its proper slot. Thus, we just parked on the driveway and figured that was that.

When we arrived the weather was overcast and the temperatures mild. But that changed very early in the morning when a very powerful cold front moved through. In quick order the winds began to pick up and began howling through the campground. Although we were safe and toasty in our travel trailer, we were alarmed at the savagery of the winds raking through the area. We later learned that the storm was packing sustained winds of seventy miles per hour with gusts up to 100 miles per hour. Hurricane force.

We got up and peeked out the windows and could see the trees whipping in the wind. In a little while I put on a percolator to make coffee and we fixed cold cereal for breakfast. As we were eating we heard a tremendous crash and thud. The ground quite actually shook. I opened the door to see what had happened and to make sure the truck was okay (we had parked it behind the trailer).

And where we should have parked--if we'd had more light when we arrived--a sizable white pine had snapped off at the base and fallen to the earth. If we had been there, it would have halved our travel trailer with us inside. Luckily, the failing light had saved us from having our Casita totaled and, perhaps, ourselves injured (or worse).

I've often wondered if the Casita would have protected us from the falling tree, or if the mass of it would have sheared right through the trailer.

Fortunately, because of the failing light when we arrived, I had parked in the drive instead of the campsite.


Vicki said...

Oh, wow! How lucky were you?

James Robert Smith said...

We were happy that we got there late.