A Grand Entrance

Some of you may remember the frying pan start to my 1st migration. Or the time I drove the tracking van into the ditch the day after getting to WI one year.


Some traditions are not good. Seems I have started an unpleasant one. 

While on migration I drove a Dodge pickup truck with a camper, The Arctic Fox, set in the bed, pulling a bird pen trailer. I could not see the bird trailer unless I turned a corner or the sun was just right and I could see our shadow. If you over steered the whole thing would agitate like a washing machine. And, I did fine. The guys said it was more difficult than pulling one of the big travel trailers or the equipment trailer. Hmmm…

This past winter I bought a 32 foot travel trailer and Joe was kind enough to let me borrow the white Ford to pull it north. Jo-Anne and Sue brought it down to St Mark’s and traded it for the tracking van, which needed to go north to NY to be inspected.

So, last week I packed up and got nervous. Brooke and my sweet friend Hal, who has every tool known to man on one truck, put the tow package on the truck and trailer. I got nervous-er.

Saturday, I woke up shaking, moving day was here. Brooke drove around with me for a couple of hours and gave me a good lesson on how to pull a trailer you CAN see. He laughed at me while I shook. At the end of the lesson I had to admit it was nice to see what you are pulling and the leveler/sway bar package is a wonderful thing. Semi trucks did not blow me off the road. I could get in and out of a gas station for diesel. I was ready!

Brooke took off in the Jamboree RV and headed west on Interstate 10, aiming for Wisconsin and nest monitoring, and I headed east on I 10 to catch I 95 north to the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland. While I white-knuckled it Saturday – Sunday I was much more relaxed. A mostly uneventful trip. I was thinking I could not ask for a better start to pulling the Cherokee, as I pulled into Patuxent. I tempted fate.

Robert Doyle greeted me, handed me a much needed adult beverage, and we discussed the best way to get the RV into position. Since I have very little experience backing up, we decided the best way to go was through the field and swing into position rather than try to back it up. We both walked it and deemed it dry enough. I got about 50 feet in and promptly came to a halt.


Sigh. The 4 wheel drive did nothing. Him pulling with his truck nada. So close. So far away. We gave up and I went to bed grateful that if I had to do something stupid and need rescuing, at least I had done it here where I have friends to rescue me.

And rescue me they did the next morning!

It has been a wonderful week! A whirlwind of activity getting ready for crane chick season. It is a happy time of year with so much hope! It’s a happy place to camp, White Birds call all times of the day and night. I pinch myself in the middle of the night when the chorus starts. I get to lay in bed and listen to Whooping Cranes calling. Wow. Just WOW!

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  1. Mollie Cook April 17, 2017 3:04 pm

    Oh wow Colleen……..falling asleep to the sound of Whoopers calling. Enjoy Enjoy & take care of those fuzzy chicklets. We all have much hope with you & will be watching (we hope!).

  2. Marilyn Wanser April 17, 2017 9:57 am

    The “white birds” were singing their lullaby to you so you could forget your trying day and sleep peacefully. <3 How beautiful.

  3. Jean P. aka CrabtowneMd April 17, 2017 9:22 am

    Sweet Home away from Home! Welcome back to MD.
    The hope your posting brings to all the craniacs is a true Easter and Spring blessing. Thank you for sharing all that goes into helping Whooping cranes recover.

  4. Dora Giles April 17, 2017 8:50 am

    So glad you had a safe trip and trouble only happened where you almost needed to be (lol) and had friends there to help. I am a good jealous of you being there with the baby chicklets as they arrive. Please stay safe, keep writings coming, and hopefully can send pics of the babies. Love you for what you do.!!!!!!!


  5. Christy April 17, 2017 8:17 am

    Grinning ear-to-ear.
    Welcome HOME, Colleen!

  6. Cheryl Murphy April 17, 2017 7:24 am

    You are brave! Glad you made it safely and almost uneventfully!

  7. Carol Phillips April 17, 2017 7:24 am

    So glad you made it back safely. Best wishes friend!!
    Carol P.

  8. Richard P. Chase April 17, 2017 6:58 am

    Were those White Birds “calling” or telling the funny story about the “woman trying to park a camper”?