Valley City, North Dakota, United States

Trip Start Jun 25, 2009
Trip End Sep 10, 2009

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Flag of United States  , North Dakota
Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday, June 27 - Valley City, North Dakota

Today was a day of saviors and victims – both of the Mother Nature variety. I'll explain.

We didn’t leave our Camping World overnight spot until about 11 a.m. and since there was a Cabela’s just down the road, we decided to take a chance to find a pair of boots for Art.  Luckily, they carried a couple of different styles than the previous store and Art found exactly what he was looking for.

That’s when Mother Nature called to Art.  As he was doing his business, he heard a faint voice from the next stall, "Hey, you. Can you get somebody in here to help me?  I can’t get up from the toilet."  Art looked under the stall wall and saw Depends on the floor.  Art said, “I’ll help you get up.  Unlock the door and I’ll come around.”

“I can’t reach the door,” the feeble voice replied.

So savior Art laid on his back and shimmied under the stall to help the poor fellow get up off the toilet and then ushered the man’s wife into the restroom to aid him further.

So, new boots in possession, we headed down the road to North Dakota.  Driving was difficult due to high crosswinds.

About 4:00 p.m., Mother Nature called again – this time in the “wind” form (no, not THAT kind of wind!)  We heard a loud crash on the right side of the motorhome and immediately knew something had blown off or into our vehicle.  We pulled over to the side of the road and got out to find the awning flapping wildly.  We had heard horror stories about this kind of thing so Art had taken precautions before we left by strapping down the awning supports.  Evidentially, the wind was stronger than the ties…about 70 mph strong!

We were unable to correct the problem with the high winds and thought that maybe it might be easier to work more effectively if we turned the motorhome the other direction.  There was a crossover nearby, so now parked facing back east, with a bit less of a gale, we attempted to get the awning under control.  Thank goodness for our ladder.

All of this took about 4 hours and Mother Nature never relented.  In fact, I kept my eyes peeled for tornadoes.

With the help of zip ties and various ratchet straps, Art was able to secure the awning well enough to travel to the next exit where we hoped to find a spot to pull off out of the treacherous wind to assess the damage and do further repairs.

We were fortunate to find a service station and café with a large parking lot nearly 10 miles back in the direction from whence we came.  After some grunting and tugging, with the help of wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, knives, hammers, and a ladder, we were able to unravel, extend and retract the awning.  We are still amazed that the fabric isn’t shredded.

The service station attendant told us to park there for the night if we wanted, so we stayed put and enjoyed a delicious meal in the café.  All of the men in the restaurant wore cowboy boots.  We enjoyed listening to two couples at the next table carry on about how their children refuse to discipline their grandchildren.

After dinner, which was about 9 p.m., we were pretty zonked out.

Don’t fool with Mother Nature!
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