I received a flyer in the mail from the campground that we stayed at when we were in Pennsylvania last year. We had been there before a couple of years before that when we took the kids to Hershey park. At that time my husband thought I was nuts to drag him so far from the park for a chance to camp about 30 minutes away. I did a lot of research and came up with a place called Mountain Creek Campground. It's a beautiful place at the base of some mountains with a lazy little creek that runs through the lower part of the campground. The first time that we were there the kids were very little and we were in a tent. Despite high temps we had a wonderful time so when we decided to head toward Gettysburg last summer we knew where we wanted to stay. This time we'd upgraded and bought a tent camper with a nice awning and sleeps plenty with space to share. We were excited as we drove the 12+ hours to get there. We set up next to the stream and dreamed exploring the area the next day. But during the night it started to rain... and rain... and rain some more. We did a few cautious trips about the area, but when we came back we found that the creek was rising. Still, we thought we were safe and we watched it through the night until it rose up under our picnic table... some feet from the bank of the creek. We moved the camper back thinking we would be safe, but by morning... this is what it looked like...

This is what it looked like in the morning. Our camper was parked next to this table. Most people would have bailed and headed for home at this point, especially since there was more rain forecast for the area. But not us. We hooked onto the camper and moved it to higher ground well above the stream with only a minor drainage ditch nearby. We went to Gettysburg as planned and managed to enjoy it. We even had a small break in the rain, enough for us to get to see the 20th Maine monument. But by the time we got back to the campground the water had risen more. The campers in the lower area were flooding (some were seasonals who leave their campers there during the week).

Being the nice Mainers that we are we helped people move their campers up from the lower area. My husband drove his truck through the floodwaters to help retreive gear and people and possessions and we helped move tables and chairs out the way of the now raging river. By nightfall we were watching as the owner pulled the huge campers out of the lower area with a tractor in an attempt to salvage what he could. We could see that the devastation was going to be phenominal and costly. When the water rose again and we knew we would have to drive out through 2 feet of water we packed the kids and the camper up and left at around midnight. We stopped long enough for coffee and hotdogs for the kids and headed back to Maine. As we crossed the mountains in Pennsylvania they were closing I-84 behind us and evacuating the towns because of danger to the dams. We drove until we hit the New York border and then slept for a few hours in the truck. We made it back to Maine about 14 hours after we left Pennsylvania.

Some have asked us if we would return again. We definitely would do it again. We saw a dedication in the people who run that campground and those staying there to protect and help others that isn't glimpsed much anymore. We would definitely do it again. And when people ask me where I get some of my crazy ideas for my stories. I tell them that they come from life... because without a little excitement, life would be pretty boring.

1 comment:

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