Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > RV'ing Humor & Crazy but True Stories
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-26-2008, 02:13 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
RVThere's Avatar
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Florida Keys
Posts: 2,163
In the days following Hurricane Katrina, I guess you would be able to loosely call me a ˜rescuer'. Not the kind that short-ropes out of a chopper to pluck some infant from a flooded rooftop. More like the UPS guy who brings that needed part for the toilet so you don't have to share your neighbor's bathroom anymore (though I did not finish reading his Field and Stream yet...)

Katrina hit on a Monday and on Wednesday night, my brother-in-law, who lived in Ocean Springs, Mississippi finally got through to us on the phone. This was a man who had spent 25 years in the Navy, seen battle from Lebanon in the 70's all the way up to Afghanistan, and his voice was cracking as he described the destruction and aftermath. As the world focused on New Orleans, whole devastated sections of Mississippi went unnoticed.

But we, caught in the moment of brotherhood and sheer stupidity, volunteered to drive down in our Class A motor home – a literal hospital ship on wheels. He had his shopping list and, bright and early Thursday morning, we were on a no-holds-barred shopping spree at Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Shop-Rite.

Now although the destruction and pain caused by Katrina is no laughing matter, it is humorous to get inside the mind and thought-process of this ill-prepared rescuer, me.

Using the pickup for my shopping spree, I packed in FOUR generators, a portable A/C unit, dog food, fresh food, gasoline containers, lumber, chain saws, electrical wire, fresh water jugs, etc.

As I arrived home to pack the motor home, I discovered an inherent flaw in motor home design. They are set up to transport people and your household items, but NOT cargo. Did you ever try to get a full sized, 200+ pound generator through a motor home door? And after you achieve that feat of gymnastics and power-lifting, repeat it three more times? After I was done, Sesame Street could have used my body to represent the letter ˜C'.

With such valuable cargo stowed away, I feared thievery, looting and general chaos, so I smartly remembered to pack a 12-guage pump action shotgun to ward off anyone who might think to highjack my ˜vehicle of hope'. Unfortunately I secretly hid the shotgun under the fold out couch and then packed the four generators in front of the couch. Not too bright...

Felon: Git out of the RV and empty yer pockets!
Me: Excuse me, but first, can you help me move these 200 pound generators so I can get to my shotgun?

Late Thursday afternoon, my wife and I bade farewell to the boys and the in-laws and pointed our rig South into the great unknown. As you recall, gas prices were going up 50 cents every night. In New Jersey, gas was $1.90 on Monday and $3.07 when we filled up on Thursday. (hey, that's a bargain nowadays!) This was the first of many shocks over the next few days. It WAS the ˜Twilight Zone'. Nothing seemed ˜normal'.

Since the storm came up along the Mississippi Valley, we decided to take a more eastern route down Rt. 81 to Rt. 77 and cut through Atlanta before hitting the Gulf at Mobile, Alabama. Our first gas stop at a Luv's in Virginia was the next shocker:

GAS: $25 LIMIT

Holy cow! At $3 a gallon, that's ONLY 8 GALLONS. That will take this puppy oh, about 60 miles. How the heck was I going to get to Mississippi at this rate? I haven't seen signs like this since the 70's. This IS the Twilight Zone!

We tried to catch a few hours sleep at the Luv's but my mind was racing. Should I turn back? What if I get stuck somewhere short of Mississippi with no way to get gas? What the heck did I get myself into? I had 800 miles to go, that would be like 13 fuel stops if I'm limited to $25 bucks. I had six empty gas containers that I still needed to fill up for the generators – that's 30 more gallons I needed right there.

Before I could come to my senses and think rationally, I got up and started driving – SOUTH. Don't stop now.

In the dark of the night, I bounced from one gas station to the next getting my 25 or 30 dollars of fuel. A new sign now appeared:

NO FILLING OF EXTRA GAS CONTAINERS

Now I was really sunk. I needed my gas containers filled and I had better do it now. With stealth and cunning, I maneuvered to the back of my rig and the hitch storage rack that held my empty gas cans. Using the cover of darkness, I covertly filled those containers while checking for any newly-deputized ˜gas police'. Before you could say ˜Bond, James Bond', I had completed my mission and was high tailing it back to the interstate.

As dawn broke, we pulled off Rt. 85 to go to the Flying J in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The pumps were deserted. No cars. No RVs. Holy cow, was the place closed? Did they run out of gas already? I eased into the RV pumps and did not see ANY signs. No one came out of the store to wave me off. It took my credit card. So I pumped. And I pumped and I pumped and I pumped. That needle was sitting pretty on ˜Full'.

Realizing my good fortune, I even called the attendant to fill me up with propane. As he filled me up, I questioned him:

Me: Do you know that some stations in Virginia are limiting gas purchases?
Attendant: Nope.
Me: Do you know that some stations in North Carolina won't let you fill up containers?
Attendant: Nope.
Me (thinking): THIS IS THE TWILIGHT ZONE!

Needless to say, we kept going and made it to Ocean Springs. Our last gas stop was somewhere around Evergreen, Alabama where they only had Super left for $3.29 a gallon. After that, all the stations were closed. What is normally 24 hours of driving we accomplished in 27 hours of elapsed time arriving Friday evening.

Although the isolated incidents of looting and pillage made the news, Katrina brought out the best in mankind. Neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger.

Of all the necessities we packed, our most precious delivery was ˜hope'. Hope that tomorrow would be better. Because if this motor home with two hapless ˜rescuers' could get through from New Jersey, imagine what REAL help was on the way.
__________________

__________________
Tom and Katharine
'07 Winnebago Tour 40TD, 400hp Cummins
'17 Winnebago View 24V, '02 R-Vision B+
RVing for 19 years & 150,000+ miles
RVThere is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-26-2008, 02:13 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
RVThere's Avatar
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Florida Keys
Posts: 2,163
In the days following Hurricane Katrina, I guess you would be able to loosely call me a ˜rescuer'. Not the kind that short-ropes out of a chopper to pluck some infant from a flooded rooftop. More like the UPS guy who brings that needed part for the toilet so you don't have to share your neighbor's bathroom anymore (though I did not finish reading his Field and Stream yet...)

Katrina hit on a Monday and on Wednesday night, my brother-in-law, who lived in Ocean Springs, Mississippi finally got through to us on the phone. This was a man who had spent 25 years in the Navy, seen battle from Lebanon in the 70's all the way up to Afghanistan, and his voice was cracking as he described the destruction and aftermath. As the world focused on New Orleans, whole devastated sections of Mississippi went unnoticed.

But we, caught in the moment of brotherhood and sheer stupidity, volunteered to drive down in our Class A motor home – a literal hospital ship on wheels. He had his shopping list and, bright and early Thursday morning, we were on a no-holds-barred shopping spree at Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Shop-Rite.

Now although the destruction and pain caused by Katrina is no laughing matter, it is humorous to get inside the mind and thought-process of this ill-prepared rescuer, me.

Using the pickup for my shopping spree, I packed in FOUR generators, a portable A/C unit, dog food, fresh food, gasoline containers, lumber, chain saws, electrical wire, fresh water jugs, etc.

As I arrived home to pack the motor home, I discovered an inherent flaw in motor home design. They are set up to transport people and your household items, but NOT cargo. Did you ever try to get a full sized, 200+ pound generator through a motor home door? And after you achieve that feat of gymnastics and power-lifting, repeat it three more times? After I was done, Sesame Street could have used my body to represent the letter ˜C'.

With such valuable cargo stowed away, I feared thievery, looting and general chaos, so I smartly remembered to pack a 12-guage pump action shotgun to ward off anyone who might think to highjack my ˜vehicle of hope'. Unfortunately I secretly hid the shotgun under the fold out couch and then packed the four generators in front of the couch. Not too bright...

Felon: Git out of the RV and empty yer pockets!
Me: Excuse me, but first, can you help me move these 200 pound generators so I can get to my shotgun?

Late Thursday afternoon, my wife and I bade farewell to the boys and the in-laws and pointed our rig South into the great unknown. As you recall, gas prices were going up 50 cents every night. In New Jersey, gas was $1.90 on Monday and $3.07 when we filled up on Thursday. (hey, that's a bargain nowadays!) This was the first of many shocks over the next few days. It WAS the ˜Twilight Zone'. Nothing seemed ˜normal'.

Since the storm came up along the Mississippi Valley, we decided to take a more eastern route down Rt. 81 to Rt. 77 and cut through Atlanta before hitting the Gulf at Mobile, Alabama. Our first gas stop at a Luv's in Virginia was the next shocker:

GAS: $25 LIMIT

Holy cow! At $3 a gallon, that's ONLY 8 GALLONS. That will take this puppy oh, about 60 miles. How the heck was I going to get to Mississippi at this rate? I haven't seen signs like this since the 70's. This IS the Twilight Zone!

We tried to catch a few hours sleep at the Luv's but my mind was racing. Should I turn back? What if I get stuck somewhere short of Mississippi with no way to get gas? What the heck did I get myself into? I had 800 miles to go, that would be like 13 fuel stops if I'm limited to $25 bucks. I had six empty gas containers that I still needed to fill up for the generators – that's 30 more gallons I needed right there.

Before I could come to my senses and think rationally, I got up and started driving – SOUTH. Don't stop now.

In the dark of the night, I bounced from one gas station to the next getting my 25 or 30 dollars of fuel. A new sign now appeared:

NO FILLING OF EXTRA GAS CONTAINERS

Now I was really sunk. I needed my gas containers filled and I had better do it now. With stealth and cunning, I maneuvered to the back of my rig and the hitch storage rack that held my empty gas cans. Using the cover of darkness, I covertly filled those containers while checking for any newly-deputized ˜gas police'. Before you could say ˜Bond, James Bond', I had completed my mission and was high tailing it back to the interstate.

As dawn broke, we pulled off Rt. 85 to go to the Flying J in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The pumps were deserted. No cars. No RVs. Holy cow, was the place closed? Did they run out of gas already? I eased into the RV pumps and did not see ANY signs. No one came out of the store to wave me off. It took my credit card. So I pumped. And I pumped and I pumped and I pumped. That needle was sitting pretty on ˜Full'.

Realizing my good fortune, I even called the attendant to fill me up with propane. As he filled me up, I questioned him:

Me: Do you know that some stations in Virginia are limiting gas purchases?
Attendant: Nope.
Me: Do you know that some stations in North Carolina won't let you fill up containers?
Attendant: Nope.
Me (thinking): THIS IS THE TWILIGHT ZONE!

Needless to say, we kept going and made it to Ocean Springs. Our last gas stop was somewhere around Evergreen, Alabama where they only had Super left for $3.29 a gallon. After that, all the stations were closed. What is normally 24 hours of driving we accomplished in 27 hours of elapsed time arriving Friday evening.

Although the isolated incidents of looting and pillage made the news, Katrina brought out the best in mankind. Neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger.

Of all the necessities we packed, our most precious delivery was ˜hope'. Hope that tomorrow would be better. Because if this motor home with two hapless ˜rescuers' could get through from New Jersey, imagine what REAL help was on the way.
__________________

__________________
Tom and Katharine
'07 Winnebago Tour 40TD, 400hp Cummins
'17 Winnebago View 24V, '02 R-Vision B+
RVing for 19 years & 150,000+ miles
RVThere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 04:15 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
moldmkr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 196
Heart warming story and hope all is going well for your brother-in-law and all others concerned.
__________________
08 Itasca Meridian
Nissan Xtera Off Road
moldmkr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 05:48 PM   #4
Registered User
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Back in Philly for the fall heading to Sunshine before the snow flies
Posts: 1,485
We were in Waveland last January to help rebuild, YES THEY STILL NEED HELP. It's still bad down there, I can't imagine what it was like right after. People like you are what got those folks through it all.
__________________
hondo122 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 03:23 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: jax, fl usa
Posts: 78
Not to change the subject, but, it looks like they may get hit again this year with the storm that is planing to go up the middle of the gulf. Looking at the news it looks like it is going straight into New Orleans and Mississippi areas. RV there you might get read to travel again.
__________________
Happy Trails to you and yours

JAXFL
JAXFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 04:01 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
RVThere's Avatar
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Florida Keys
Posts: 2,163
Fortunately, my brother-in-law moved more inland since Katrina to a house north of I-10. But I'm always game for a new adventure...

Let's pray that Gustav peters out somewhere over Cuba.

Here is a link to some pictures of Katrina's aftermath.
Katrina Slide Show
__________________
Tom and Katharine
'07 Winnebago Tour 40TD, 400hp Cummins
'17 Winnebago View 24V, '02 R-Vision B+
RVing for 19 years & 150,000+ miles
RVThere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 06:04 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
GraciesMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 782
Send a message via AIM to GraciesMom Send a message via Yahoo to GraciesMom
Tom - you are a brilliant writer! I hung on every word - and had a few chuckles.

I was there in June of 2005 . . . and returned in March of 2007. I couldn't believe that the entire Biloxi coastline was virtually wiped away. I cried like a baby. I had grown up in Montgomery and my mom's favorite place was Biloxi - especially after the Casino's moved in. I spent time there almost every month from as far back as I can remember. I used to walk down the highway across from the beach and gawk at the beautiful antebellum homes. And now they're all gone.

I'm still shocked at the lack of assistance that they received. Bravo for you - for taking the risk of going down to help. What alucky brother you have. I'm watching Gustav and holding my breath. I won't make any political commentary - I just hope it doesn't happen again. I don't think we're any better prepared.
__________________
GraciesMom
GraciesMom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 08:19 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
historyljc's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 5,173
Fabulous job Tom and Katharine.

It was devastating to see the destruction on the Mississippi coast.

GraciesMom: DW was born in Pratville. She's a former Montgomery police sergeant. I've been dealing with the same skin problems as yours for over forty years. Don't let them get you down.

Just as a precaution, Saturday morning my rig is headed north. I plan on being at least in the north end of Alabama when Gus comes to call. We stayed during Ivan, Katrina and all the rest. Didn't have the motorhome then. It's not staying for this one and since I'm its driver I guess I'll go along.
__________________
Travel well, travel safe,
Jim
2006 Tiffin Phaeton - 2011 Cadillac SRX
historyljc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2008, 03:40 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: jax, fl usa
Posts: 78
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">historyljc </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
NORTH is "NOT" the way to go. Go west towards New Mexico. Also do not wait until Saturday Leave today. The roads, hotels and campgrounds will be packed if you wait, they may already be so get a move on it....
__________________
Happy Trails to you and yours

JAXFL
JAXFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2008, 10:11 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
historyljc's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 5,173
We're leaving at daylight in the morning. We're taking the back roads and avoiding the main drags. I don't want to run I-10 across Louisiana right now. If it's not a mess, it will be shortly.

Thanks for the advice. It is warmly received.
__________________

__________________
Travel well, travel safe,
Jim
2006 Tiffin Phaeton - 2011 Cadillac SRX
historyljc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Orleans Since Katrina Ol'Joe Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 1 03-20-2007 06:49 PM
Katrina Animal Relief Doggievet Just Conversation 7 09-23-2005 07:21 PM
Katrina Help Jim&MJ Southeast Region 5 09-20-2005 05:53 PM
Katrina - Animal rescue DonavonP Just Conversation 2 09-10-2005 09:46 AM
Hurricane Katrina!!!! TXiceman South Central Region 9 09-09-2005 11:51 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.