A Strange Twist of Fate – aka Unplanned Happiness

Our original plan when we left Texas was to head to the Grand Canyon. I hadn’t been making RV park reservations because we weren’t dead set on the dates we would arrive anywhere. This turned into a problem when I started looking for a place near the canyon. Everywhere was booked solid. Apparently there is a water crisis in the park and outlying parks are picking up the slack. I had resolved we would just drive on to Las Vegas and see the Grand Canyon on some future trip. This had left me a little cranky and it didn’t help that Waldo was overheating – again. As I sat in my seat, sulking a bit, and perhaps muttering a few profane words, Steve pulled off the highway and turned into the parking lot of the Petrified Forest National Park (PFNP for short). Hmmm, maybe we should find an RV park near here and explore. I called the Sunny Valley RV Resort and made reservations for 3 nights. The park was right off the highway and only about 20 miles from the PFNP. We were unhooking the Jeep and trying to get settled in when I noticed another rig pulling in. I didn’t really give it much thought, but suggested to Steve he move the Jeep out of the way because we were about to have neighbors. A few minutes later, I came out of Waldo to see if there was anything I could help with outside. This was the moment my entire day turned around!!!! I was watching the camp host escort the incoming rig to the site next to us. She was walking with the passenger as the RV followed behind. When they got near us, in a less than ladylike fashion, I hollered, “Holy S*#T, I know you!” Technically, I didn’t really “know” them, not personally, but I have followed their blog for quite a while. It was Dawn and Mike from Random Bits of Trial and Error! Luckily, they almost always include what Dawn calls “Our obligatory selfie to prove we were there” so I knew it was her. At nearly the same instant, we ran towards each other, like some corny romantic beach scene, threw our arms around each other and hugged. We’ve been conversing via blog comments and email for close to a year and it felt like meeting a long lost friend. But, just think about this, we only stopped at THAT park on a whim – no planning. I had no idea Mike and Dawn were heading back east. They had no idea we would be there. I can’t even begin to calculate the odds of us arriving within an hour of each other. There are dozens of parks either of us could have chosen, but we both ended up at Sunny Valley.

Steve and I went back into Waldo and had dinner. I just kept saying “How flipping cool is that!” “What are the odds?” I have personally met a few of the bloggers I follow, but it was always by design, not some strange twist of fate. After dinner, the four of us sat out by the picnic table and talked and laughed over a few glasses of wine (well Steve was drinking beer).  It was the perfect ending to what had been such a crappy day. Actually, it wasn’t exactly a perfect ending because the wine went straight to my head (I’m going to blame it on the elevation about 5400 feet above sea level) and I fell off the picnic table. Doh! Thankfully, Dawn and Mike just laughed it off, but I was pretty embarrassed.

Over the next few days, we each did our own thing during the day and spent evenings around their very cool propane firepit. Mike still works full time, so Dawn does quite a bit of exploring on her own. While we were there, she visited the ghost town of Two Guns. I can’t wait to read her post about it and see all of her pictures!

We had dinner together our final night. I brought stuffed shells and she made a huge salad, garlic bread and dessert. I was truly sad we were leaving. Looking back, I’m really bummed I didn’t take more pictures of us together! It was such an awesome experience meeting them in person! Thank you Dawn & Mike for being the best neighbors we ever had at Sunny Valley!

“Our obligatory selfie to prove we were there:”

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If you enjoy reading about cool places and great people, check out Random Bits of Trial and Error

Have you ever accidentally met up with someone on the road? Did it turn out as well for you?

Up next my post about PFNP

17 thoughts on “A Strange Twist of Fate – aka Unplanned Happiness”

  1. Girl–that was the best twist of fate EVER! I’ll never forget the first moment we recognized each other. It was such a great time. Wine, elevation, and an uneven picnic table never mix (that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it), but what happens in Sun Valley stays in Sun Valley. Thank you again for your delicious recipes–they were a perfect parting gift for this lackluster cook. We loved meeting y’all and can’t wait until we cross paths again. It’s our coolest camping story, yet. Wishing you safe travels and wonderful adventures in Alaska–you KNOW I’m going to be keeping up. Dawn P.S. You beat me–I’m currently working on my post and it should hit on Sunday–it took me forever to catch up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it was the best ever. I still smile every time I think about it (which is often). We’ll have to plan the next met up, I don’t think fate will smile on us twice like that. Enjoy the recipes, it can be hard to find easy to cook things for a small kitchen. The only reason I’m getting caught up is because we are currently sitting at a repair shop and there isn’t much else to do. The power steering pump went on Waldo and we are waiting for parts. I have to say the shop has been AMAZINGLY helpful. They let Steve do as much of the work as he is capable of to save us some $. We might be back on the road today. Looking forward to your post on Sunday. Safe travels and happiness to you both. (insert cute manatee face)

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      1. I missed this comment somehow! I hope that Waldo is feeling much better and so glad they let Steve do what he could. We now have a slide issue that will probably take us to Elkhart for repair (it’s off track and will probably have to be taken completely out). We are currently on the road back to Florida–got an appointment we can’t miss and/or reschedule. Flexibility, right? UGH! Glad you are in Alaska and in your spot safe! Love that cute manatee face! 🙂 It just dawned on me–we never heard the rest of that story!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Isn’t it always something? Slide, step retractor, radiator, power steering pump. Ugh bad as having a stick and brick. Hope you are still under warranty. Enjoy the Florida sun. It is 36 and cloudy here with a chance of rain all week.

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    2. I found you from Random Bits of Trial and Error .. what a great story of how you met up by chance! Love it! I look forward to reading and following your traveling journeys as well! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Who’d a thunk it? What a great story and even better time. Awesome meeting you both. When I say “ See you on the road”. I really mean it. “See You On the Road”

    Mike

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  3. While we haven’t met anyone by chance on the road yet, we are endlessly amazed by how small and connected the RVing community is. I’m working on a post right now about some of the things we realized while socializing in San Diego and that was a big part of it – everyone seems to know everyone and, especially within the smaller sub communities of folks on Instagram and bloggers, it’s even more connected. Anyway, it’s very cool that you guys ran into each other. Sounds like you had a great time!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful story! I read the post on Random Bits of Trial and Error and clicked on over to your blog. She mentioned you are on your way to Alaska. It’s been 5 years since we took our fifth wheel to Alaska. I’ve never met another blogger in a campground or anywhere else. However, we kept running into the same couple at different campgrounds when we were on our Alaska trip 5 years ago. We ended up becoming friends and having dinners together. Wishing you safe travels and happy trails!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for clicking over! It really was a wonderful meet up. We made it to Alaska on May 1st, but I’m determined to keep my posts in order. Sounds like you met some great people while you were here. ~Enjoy the journey!

      Liked by 1 person

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