Thursday, July 29, 2010

Campgrounds Less Travelled By...and Worth It!






Cumberland City Park - Eagle Point
Cumberland Wisconsin
The nice thing about breaking down is that you sometimes get to stumble upon hidden treasure, such as Eagle Point Campground right in the heart of Cumberland, Wisconsin.

We had a breakdown and were saved from disaster by Lundmark Campers.
Being late in the day, Terry Lundmark himself having stayed open late to assist us, we needed a place to bed down and recover. He pointed out Eagle Point Campground, a small City Park in the heart of Cumberland.

We balked at first since City Campgrounds are often less than desirable, noisy and often crowded with few amenities, but this campground is a jewel. Nestled on the point overlooking the lake, you would think you were in the wilderness at a State Park.
No traffic noise, Loons abound, and even a nice deer came to visit us this morning!
They have a great, clean shower facility and friendly staff.

This campground is usually bustling and crowded on weekends, we are told, but during the week it is quiet and spacious!

There are more than a few lots that can fit a 40 foot trailer and full hookups abound. No cement aprons for you city folks though, you have to rough it a little. Road access for big rigs looks tricky, but if you look it over you find even the biggest rigs can move about without scraping trees and such.

The town is antique and interesting, with many small shops and eateries. If you are looking for Walmart and other "urban" stores you have to drive to Rice Lake, a short 15 minute drive away, but we like to rough it and visit Mom & Pops when we can...so this Park gets a top rating from us!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You Picked a Fine Time To Leave Me Loose Wheel!

So, after spending a wonderful week at Forts Folle Avoine in Danbury Wisconsin, we headed out and had this happen.
Our Tire and hub on our 2008 Forest River Work and Play decided it had better things to do and left us. We weren't hurt, the rig is OK and no one got hit by the tire, so we feel blessed to have come through it unscathed. We have been meticulous about checking our bearings and properly maintaining them, so this leaves us at a loss as to what went wrong. And this is not the first time. Two years ago the same thing happened on the other axle on the drivers side.
We have Good Sam Platinum Road Side Assistance, so we just pulled off the road and gave them a call.
They are sending a Tow Truck to tow us in, (or make needed repairs).
I can't stress enough how important it is to have road side assistance and to do proper maintenance to your rig. Peace of mind is priceless.


Chapter 1 - We Deal With IT

Well. Here's where it gets interesting. We call Good Sam's Roadside Assistance, great people to deal with, always friendly and helpful. they send a wrecker who comes out with a small tow truck and a flat bed, neither of which is useful to us in our situation, but they have their instructions from Good Sam and we feel confident.


After consulting with Doyle, the driver says he doesn't want to take us to the location designated by Good Sam's, that he has a better idea. Now he has no way of towing us, so he thinks we should drive our now crippled, one tired trailer to a repair place that's closer. He says they have the parts on hand and can fix us right up.

We become a convoy of one tow truck in front, one in back, us limping along at 15-20 miles an hours, through construction traffic on a divided highway.

We reach our destination after a while, turning down less and less improved roads until we turn down one that has a Dead End sign on it.

I laugh and joke with Doyle, saying they are taking us out in the woods to rob and abandon us.
The repair shop turns out to be one of those Mom & Pop affairs at the end of the lane. The tow trucks turn around and magically disappear.

The shop owner comes out and tells us he doesn't have the parts or the time to help us, but he can order our axle for us and it will be in in around three weeks, also that we cannot stay there because he doesn't have room for us and he's real busy. He seems unconcerned as to our future.
This is where it got real quiet and you could hear crickets chirping.


The owner then goes inside and comes out with a rusty, seen-better-days-hub and says if Doyle wants to get on the road, he could try to get this to work. he hands Doyle the hub and walks back into his air conditioned shop. The crickets are getting louder now, and Doyle is perplexed as to how this will work, since HE HAS NO TOOLS.

Enter Terri with the cell phone. "Call Sam's back and tell them what is going on".
Which he does.

They can't believe what they hear, "They WHAT?" and "We never authorized THAT!" and "Can you hold?" which we do for about half an hour. When Sam's comes back on the line, the Supervisor is speaking to us now, and she's adamant that the tow company WILL return and get us to the authorized dealership and that they should never have taken us elsewhere.


Then the owner of the towing company called us and said NO WAY would the authorized company do good by us, and that it was all a SCAM on their part, and he'd raise HOLY HELL if we didn't get the parts we needed installed in the hour they promised. He told us to call him when it didn't happen so he could call Sam's and tell them he TOLD THEM SO, and for us to call Sam's and raise HOLY HELL with them when it turned out that he had been right all along.

First, Sam's never promised us anything about a one hour turnaround, they just said they'd get us towed and take care of us, as we expected of their service.
Second, the owner of the towing company told us the first place he towed us to would have the parts and would fix us right up, which they didn't.

Chapter 2 - The Second Trip Around

So the tow truck drivers now begrudgingly return with hangdog expressions and toeing the dust in the windswept driveway artfully, this time with a young kid to lead us in our sad convoy. He has no turn signal, or the ability to use them, we aren't sure. he asks us if WE KNOW THE WAY. Which we don't, so he has to have a big consult with the other driver, who knows the way but isn't talking to us now because he was on the first tow and isn't happy to be back.

We proceed down the road at 15-20 miles per hour, backtracking six miles before we are on our way to the authorized center. The lead truck boy is all over the road, has no turn signals, or the ability to use them, we're not sure, and he keeps pulling over, but we wont because THERE IS NO SHOULDER, and we'll be DAMNED if we are going to drag a one tired trailer through the ditch.

Every once in a while, the lead driver pulls over to let traffic pass, except he waits until we are in a blind ravine instead of a flat straight stretch to do it, so semi's and cars of all descriptions are coming over the blind hill to find us on the shoulder. We are honked and swore at continuously. Doyle refuses to pull off the paved apron, the only tire holding up our trailer is just about hatched, (did I mention the bad axle is on the ditch side?) and he's not going to push it by rolling it unto the trash strewn gravel shoulder. The kid doesn't understand. He wants to go 4 wheeling and we won't go with him. So he gives up and wanders all over the road, with no turn signals., and/or the ability to use them.

Doyle's nerves are shot now, and we still have many miles to go. Life on the road never seemed better.

Chapter 3 We Arrive In Town

Ah, Cumberland. I have never been so happy to see a town I have never been in. "Cumberland, The Island City", the sign says, and we breath a collective sigh of relief for the tire who should go into the Tire Hall of Fame. Cumberland.


OK, maybe it's not time to relax yet, the townsfolk have no idea we are coming, so they cast aside their usual respect of the law and keep pulling out in front of our rig. "Turn Signal Boy", as we now call him has completely lost control of the situation and is pretending he is back in the womb where it is safe and warm. We follow suspiciously, not knowing when he will turn as we wend our way through town, desperately looking for campers on a lot as our signal to prepare to turn.

At last we can see it rising like the sun on the horizon. Campers. Service bays. Home.
The lead tow truck driver spins gravels as he turns around in the driveway, we wave and he shoots over his shoulder as he drives away, "These people will take care of you". We holler back to the dust cloud, "Your turn signals don't work!" to which he replies, "I didn't use them!"

Chapter 4-The Authorized Service Center Lundmark Campers
The Owner, Terry Lundmark greets us and tells us to park in the bay, he needs to look at it and might have to order parts.
"We were told you had the parts and would have us out in an hour"
"No, I didn't say that", he says, and laughs, "but I'll do what I can".
We are not laughing yet. But, at least we are safe and among our own kind, perhaps it will all work out for the best after all.
We are wheeled immediately into a shady bay and they get right to work, the sound of swinging hammers is music to my ears.

The Final Chapter - We Get Some Rest From Our Adventure
Well, honestly, it really wasn't much more than an hour and we were on our way. They even stayed late to help us. I guess we weren't surprised to find out they were a Heartland Dealer also. Good Folks, Good Trailers, Good Service go hand in hand.

If you are ever in Cumberland, stop by to see Terry Lundmark at Lundmark Campers, http://www.lundmarkcampers.com they sure made our day and if you ever need help, they are there for you. They have some nice fifth wheelers and other campers on the lot too!

Cumberland is a great small town, from what we've seen of it, and we plan on going out to eat and see a bit of it before we fall into bed. Here's were our adventure ends today, but a new one begins tomorrow, and you never know what may come our way next.

PS If your hunting or hanging around Highway 53 this Fall at mile marker 152 East of the North bound lane and come across a G14 commercial tire with wheel and break drum attached, we would like it back and will pay a small reward for it's return, last seen bounding into the woods at breakneck speed!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

We are Doyle and Terri Johnson

We are Owners of a Traveling Kitchen under Canvas
We participate in Historic Events throughout this Great Country.
We cook historic foods and travel from The Canadian Border,(Grand Portage, MN, my Hometown), to Homeland Florida, as well as Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama and Nashua, Iowa, (Doyles Hometown). You never know where we may end up yet as we travel while cooking breakfast, serving wholesome Root Beer and meeting new people while learning our countries great historyand making new friends. This necessitates our traveling for extensive periods of time in everything from a 12' tent to our latest purchase, a Road Warrior Fifth Wheel Trailer. We have suffered all the pitfalls and the wonders of living on the road, from bad food to bad wiring at the RV campground. We wish to share this journey with you, maybe we can save you some time and tears, perhaps we can share our experiences and learn from it all.
Here is our website:

Two Eagles Kitchen

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