Sunday, March 8, 2015

Adventures of a Toad

We spent the month of May 2005 in various spots in Montana enjoying the mountains, enjoying life and enjoying each other. The mountains were fun everywhere we have seen them. On May 30, 2005 we pulled into the Bear Canyon RV Park in Bozeman, Montana. Our normal practice when we arrive at a new RV park is that Kathi goes inside to register us and I stay outside and unhook our tow vehicle. When driving the Blue Ox tow bar locks in the extended position, which puts pressure on the pins holding the tow bar to the motorhome. I usually leave the Cavalier in neutral so I can move it a little to ease the pressure on the pins to separate the two vehicles.

I followed my normal procedure and as soon as I pulled the second pin the Cavalier started rolling backward. I decided to open the door and jump in the driver’s seat and put on the brake. The car was picking up speed and I could not crouch low enough and quick enough, then a vision flashed through my mind of being knocked down by the open driver’s door and run over by the front wheel. I did not like the picture in my mind so I went to plan B.

I dashed back to the back of the car to get behind it, all the while it was gaining momentum. Just as I got to the driver’s side rear fender I got another vision of being knocked down by the car and getting ran over by the rear wheel and being dragged a few feet by the low undercarriage before getting run over by the front wheel. On to Plan C.

While I was thinking about Plan C, I watched our cavalier crash through a barb wire fence, go over the side of the mountain into a field where I could see roofs of houses across the field. Plan C turned out to be “hold your breath” while I had another vision seeing the Cavalier crash through the roof of a house”. 

The Cavalier went out of sight and I waited for it to come into view near the houses and it did not appear. I walked down the hill which seemed to have more incline than it did when I started unhooking the car. I got to the edge and looked over and there was the grill of my Cavalier looking up at me. It was right over the edge of the cliff hung up on a post from the barbed wire fence.

I navigated the barbed wire, got in the car, backed up to a more level spot in the field got out to look. My right front fender was hanging by a thread so I jerked it loose and put it in the trunk. I spotted a place in the barbed wire fence where the top stand of wire was missing, so I drove over the bottom wire and got back on the road and drove back up to where our RV was parked. I was still surveying the damage and Kathi came out and asked what I was doing. I think I forget to mention that she always admonishes me to put the emergency brake on when I am unhooking our tow vehicle. After my explanation, she just shook her head and got in to move to our RV parking site.

We spent a week longer than we planned in Bozeman driving a rental car while our Cavalier was repaired. This is the first time I have told this story without being embarrassed. I have used up all my embarrassment tokens on this issue.


  1. I once unhooked our toad on a sloped driveway, without setting the parking brake. It started rolling back toward the busy road, but I was lucky to get in and brake it before it reached the road. So I didn't have to go to a "Plan B", which would have been to watch what happened.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Craig. I am glad your experience was better than mine. I hope you enjoy my blog.