We’re off again like a herd of turtles.
As we approached the Mobile bay bridge there was a sign that said to take exit 30 as there was an accident ahead. When we got to exit 30 no one was getting off and we didn’t see any traffic backing up so we kept on going on I-10. BIG MISTAKE number 1. (not the last BIG MISTAKE of the day but we’ll get to that later). Traffic started backing up and finally stopped. Then they closed the bridge to all traffic after it was full of traffic. Apparently there was an accident with fatality. They managed to maneuver all the cars off the bridge by getting them to turn around and exit the bridge using the shoulder. All semi’s and larger traffic (like RV’s) could not turn around and had to wait out the cleanup. That ended up being 3.5 hours. We finally shut down all engines and got out and visited with all the truckers. We also checked out the pelicans as they flew by and we are glad to report that they were all oil free.
After escaping the bridge we stopped in Slidell, La. for lunch around 3:30PM. When traveling we try to stop and eat at the local eateries rather than the main line restaurants. The food is usually very good and it’s always interesting. We ate at Camellia’s Cafe which primarily serves Louisiana style food. I had a good old fashioned New Orleans style roast beef Po-Boy nice and sloppy with a Barq’s Root Beer. (It came in a bottle. I haven’t seen Barq’s in a bottle in at least 10 years.) Linda ordered a hamburger with sweet potato fries. The fries come with powered sugar on them unless you specifically order them without.
We finally arrived at Lake Charles around 8:30PM, in the dark, and this is when the real adventure of the day started. (Read that as REALLY BIG MISTAKE number 2).
We had called ahead, from our parking spot on the Mobile Bay bridge, and reserved a site at the RV park. The lady at the park was wondering what was taking us so long and she was waiting for us so she witnessed us missing the first turn into her campground (no lighted sign as someone had run over the lights and they were out) and to attempt to make the second turn into the park. Well, the second turn was not designed for motor homes and we were unsuccessful in making the turn and ended up in the ditch. The right rear wheels were about 6″ off the ground with the right rear portion of the coach sitting on the ground. The man that owned the park came down and he owned a wrecker but it was out of service. We called our insurance company for their roadside assistance and they dispatched a wrecker that would be there in about one hour. When we told the folks that had gathered around who was coming there were plenty of groans as that particular wrecker company was known to take advantage of folks on the side of the road. The man that owned the park decided that this just wasn’t going to do and that we needed his Bulldozer and he left to get it. In the meantime his son, and friends, got blocks and boards and we were able to use the motor homes hydraulic leveling system to raise the right rear wheels higher off the ground and get them blocked up and sitting on the blocks which got the right rear portion of the coach off the ground. By this time the sheriff had arrived with lights flashing and this bulldozer comes rumbling up out of the darkness from who knows where. We now have the bulldozer completely blocking the road. He hooks up a chain, that his daughter found, and he pulls us out of the ditch. He told us how to get to our camp site and he would see us in the morning. It was about this time that the wrecker showed up. We were actually in the ditch for a little under an hour. Damage to the coach was some scrapes to the bottom of the storage doors on the right side and you have to lay on the ground to see them.
We went to see the man the next morning to pay him for his trouble and he refused to charge us. He was just happy that the wrecker company didn’t take advantage of us. He also liked the fact that we stayed in his campground.