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Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's Off To The Wild We Go!
by Curtis Fesler

We entered the world of RV-ing with the purchase of our 27 foot trailer and decided to try it out with a trip to the National Park near Little Rock. The park is on the banks of the Arkansas River. I thought I was big-time with my self-contained trailer with slide until I saw the rest of the RVs scattered about the park -- I had a small unit compared to the huge motorhomes and fifth wheel trailers.

The first thing I learned was . . . they call this camping. I always thought of camping as living in a tent and cooking on a portable stove or over a camp fire.

We settled in on a black-top pad and everything seemed to be going fine. A neighbor lady even applauded when I managed to back the rig in one shot. My wife had been over there telling her this was our first time. Big mouth!

The first thing we learned was this: You need some kind of a little dog when you go camping. There were numerous people strolling the paved roads with their dogs on leashes. They all carried some kind of a pooper scooper to clean up the mess, which was very thoughtful.

Everything was going fine. We had not even had a cuss fight. I had a few channels dialed in on our HD TV. We had a big Mexican Dinner earlier, so we decided to have snacks during the evening. Mexican Dinners and RV-ing are not a good mix. Do I need to explain?

We turned into our queen size bed and had a decent night's rest. I left a small ceramic electric going on low setting which took the edge off the very cold chill.

When I got up early the next morning, around 6 AM, I made coffee and decided to turn up the heat. I cranked the electric heater up to 1500 watts and everything in the trailer went dead. I had blown a circuit breaker. I first checked the outside hook-up at the site. It was fine, so I had to find another circuit board in the trailer. In the meantime it was starting to get cold inside. No problem. I decided to fire off the propane forced air heat system, which was full of odors from glues and newness since it has not been used. The air coming in from the furnace set off the smoking alarm and a loud beeping started. I threw open the door and began fanning. It went on and off continually with that piercing beep.

I looked next door; some guy with a tent had moved in. He was no doubt awake now. I finally got everything shut down and found my breaker box without losing my testimony. I'll bet my neighbor in the tent lost his. We got everything back together and had a big breakfast of bacon and eggs along with some fine toasted bread from a local bakery.

We went shopping for items for the trailer, then out to lunch, and when we returned later on our neighbor with the tent was gone. No one dared move into that spot for the remainder of our two day trip.

We are back home now, awaiting our next camping experience which starts this coming Friday. We might end up in Mississippi . . . then it's on to Florida.

I hope I get the hang of this.


Curtis R. Fesler was born in Nebraska, raised in Los Angeles, served 3 years in the United States Army, and spent 25 years as a Los Angeles police officer. He retired to the Ozarks and currently resides along the banks of the White River in North Central Arkansas. He loves to write about personal experiences and attempts to show the humorous as well as the dark side of law enforcement.

“Police officers are simply a cross section of the general public with all the character flaws, emotions and a little excess baggage. They are far from perfect, but most of them try,” writes Fesler, a regular on the USADEEPSOUTH Porch message board, where he fascinates Porchers with his wonderful stories.

Read another of Curt's stories here at USADS: Remembering Fred

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