You know the Boy Scout motto?
Well, we were not great Boy Scouts.
We were most definitely not prepared.
We moved from our campsite near Knoxville, Tennessee to a campground in southern Middle Tennessee on February 12. We knew a winter storm barreled toward the south central part of the country, but after checking multiple weather apps it looked like it was going to perhaps just skim the edge of where we scheduled to camp for three weeks.
We were wrong.
Very, very wrong.
We arrived the afternoon of February 12. We headed into the nearest town on Saturday morning February 13 to buy groceries. We got up Sunday morning planning to go get propane, but the roads were covered with black ice. We tried to get out of the campground, but slid all over the place.
We turned around and came back to the camper.
According to the weather apps we use we were going to get up to 0.2″ of ice followed by up to 8″ of snow over the next several days. Temps that just a few days before were predicted to fall into the high teens were now predicted into the single digits.
The storm hit.
The temps fell.
Our water froze.
But we have much for which to give thanks.
On Tuesday, February 16 people came around to make sure everyone had propane. We were able to get both our tanks filled. With temps in the single digits at night we were burning through propane even though we set our heat at 55 degrees for a couple of days and did not use our stove except for coffee.
Even though our water froze in our camper, the spigot outside did not. We were able to tote water from outside to run through our Berkey water purification system to drink. We could also use the toted water to flush our toilet.
Until the black tank got full.
Thankfully we have a Thetford Porta Potti. That came in super handy. In fact, we like it so much we may remove our RV toilet and use the Porta Potti until we can get a composting toilet installed later this year.
We did not lose electricity. That in itself is amazing! We were able to run our small space heater on low to augment the propane furnace.
Finally, on Sunday, February 21 we were able to get out. We drove to Lawrenceburg for groceries and propane. I can’t describe how great it felt to get out and drive somewhere.
We learned a couple of lessons during that week. Probably more than a couple, but I’ll get to those in another post. I’m only going to mention a couple here.
First, God’s provision is no joke. Were we comfortable? No, not always. Were we concerned about our frozen water? Of course. But we had enough heat, enough water, enough food, solid electricity. We had everything we needed. There were many who lost power, ran out of propane, food throughout the country.
Second, neither of us is a fan of cold weather camping. I knew this about myself already. But that frozen week brought home just how much I dislike temps below 40 degrees. I’m all about chasing mild weather. And, that’s our plan going forward.
I made some other personal observations, but that will also be another post.
We’re just beyond grateful to be on the other side of the winter storm of February 2021.