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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

We've been trying to come up with a name for our popup. The day we drove it home, Michael asked me what we should name it. I couldn't come up with anything off the top of my head. As I looked at the side mirror of the truck, watching the reflection of the trailer bouncing along behind us, I said "Jayco Peecotrain." Micheal said "What?" and I replied "Jayco Peecotrain." We both found this funny, but did not agree that this would be the permanent name for the trailer. Except we haven't come up with anything else, so I'm calling it Jayco Peecotrain for now and here is an account of it's maiden voyage to exotic Joplin MO.

Most state campgrounds are still closed to full hook-up campers, which is why we ended up at the Joplin KOA. It was a fine campground for what it was. It sits right off the interstate and is more of a stop for the night kind of place than it is a hang out for a few days and enjoy nature kind of place. Our camper ended up parked right next to a privacy fence for a big-rig truck repair place and on the other side of that was the interstate. There was an area of woods with a walking trail that Josephine and I would walk in the mornings that was nice, but we did not have a campfire ring. The Cabbage made herself a cold smore on the first night, which would not be the only cold thing about that night because Michael could not get our furnace to kick on. Sometime around three o'clock in the morning, I piled all of the blankets onto one bed and convinced Michael to crawl in. The Cabbage was fine as long she remained wrapped in her blankets like a burrito, but Michael and I did not get very much sleep. 

He spent the the next morning on the phone with technical support, troubleshooting the furnace. We had almost reached the decision that we would have to pack everything up and go home when I pressed a small piece of metal inside the thermostat and the blower for the furnace kicked on. The on/off switch was faulty, but we were able to repair it on our own. This was great because my Mom had driven in to spend time with us and I would have hated for her to come all that way for nothing. We all went had a nice lunch before visiting the George Washington Carver National Monument (which I have so much more to say about later). We had a nice day and then everyone slept (mostly everyone) warm and snug. I say everyone mostly slept because the wind kept blowing stuff outside our camper like the door and the awning, making a banging sound. I would wake up thinking that either someone was trying to come into the camper or the camper was collapsing. Neither of those things were true. 

Despite the freezing time and the lack of sleep, I think we all had a nice time. It was the Cabbage's first camping trip and she said that her favorite thing about the trip was eating a cold smore. So there ya go. Michael and I learned a whole lot of things about the camper. We determined that cooking outside is the way to go because of counter space and how there isn't any inside. Once the camper is closed up, there is no way to get inside to the tiny fridge. We will always need to carry a small ice chest. Our setup time was pretty good. Michael ran into a snag with turning on the gas, but that was easily figured out. I learned the sweaty hard way that installing the door is a two person job. It took us a lot longer to break camp then we thought it should. The new rule is that breakfast on the last day should be something cold that doesn't require dishes. This way we can pack up kitchen stuff the night before and water and gas can be disconnected first thing in the morning. We are also amazed that we didn't lose the camper on the way home seeing how neither one of us actually latched the trailer hitch down onto the ball on the truck hitch. One good bump and it would have been bye bye trailer. 

On the second day, after getting the heat to work and eating dinner, Michael asked "So, are we keeping it?" I looked at our little camper with the sky turning purple and pink behind it and said "I think so. I think so." We've already booked a campground for Memorial Day weekend in Hannibal MO. It will be the kickoff for our summer of camping.