The Terrible Funk...Iris The Virus

When you're a Boon Docking camper, you've got to be a hearty individual. You had better know the status of your holding tanks. Now we have been RVers for over 30 years and have never maxed out a black poop tank . That is until now during the rally from Hell.

This was the trip that caught us flat footed.. We belong to a local chapter of a large National RV Association. Unlike our monthly outings that bring out 20-25 rigs, regional rallies can grow to a thousand coaches or more. We left home in northern California on Sunday and headed south 150 miles to Tulare. Our rolling home was fully stocked including 100 gallons of fresh water and empty holding tanks. That night we parked at the local Walmart. Of course, that was dry camping with no hookups of any kind.

The next morning we joined the caravan of coaches from our RV club and made our way to Spotlight 29 Indian Casino in Indio for the night. Again, no hookups.

Tuesday morning broke sunny and clear and we moved into our positions at the Riverside County Fairgrounds. We all shared electrical connections through what seemed like miles of heavy cable but alas, no water and no sewer hookups. That evening we visited the public showers on the rally grounds. Oh it felt so good to take a hot shower and not worry about water conservation too much.

Wednesday morning I reported to the coffee captain at dark five thirty AM ready to join the crew shuttling hot coffee pots and donuts to perhaps 1500 campers. Later that night , our little long haired Chihuahua, Toby Dog, got sick to his stomach. He's a little long in the tooth now but has been traveling with us since he was a pup and normally sleeps peacefully on a blanket on the foot of our bed. This time he managed to include the bottom of our sleeping bags in his sickness. Later I wondered if a human can get the flu from a dog. After the coffee shift, Shirley and I set off for the Laundromat and later I began to get dizzy and queasy. We got back to motor home just in time for a visit from Montezuma's revenge and his step sister, Iris the Virus. For the rest of the day and into the night, I was up and down and up and down to bathroom. Nurse Shirley was attentive and holding her own. The dog slept peacefully.

The next day (Friday), I felt better and we managed to get out and visit a few vendor displays and enjoy some of the rally entertainment. I thought maybe the worst was over. WRONG ! Come bed time, it's back to frequent visits to the china throne for me. Saturday morning I was a little better but by now, Shirley was down hard with vomiting and diarrhea intermittently during the day and into the evening. We knew then that we were really at the Rally from Hell. The dog slept peacefully.

That evening just after dark, my darling wife calls out "there is something wrong with the toilet" I checked it and replied, " um yes there is something wrong, the holding tank is full; one more flush and it's gonna get really interesting around here". "Well what are we going to do ?" she says. "Not to worry nightingale, you took care of me, I'll fix this for you" I had a 5 gallon bucket stowed outside so I figured to drain some of the ugly liquid if I could figure out where to dump it. Visions of hauling bucket after bucket down to the dump station in our tow car was not appealing. What if it sloshes about and then there's the smell. After a little exploring, I found a sewer connection around the corner. I explained the emergency to the grounds keeper living there and he gave me the go ahead to use his connection. So off I go into the night with my trusty bucket full of sewage. Five trips from the black tank and five trips from the shower (grey) holding tank would more than get us through the night. The fresh water tank was about empty so I strung several hoses together and filled the tank. The emergency was averted!...and the dog slept peacefully.

D Mendonca

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