Ed & Marilyn 'The Happy Wanderers' travel blog


I hardly know where to begin and my hands are shaking as I write this entry.

Marilyn & I awoke during the night numerous times, simply held each other in our arms and allowed the tears to fall.

Not since the death of our 25 year old daughter have we been so blessed by family and friends. The outpouring of love and support has overwhelmed us and is certainly humbling.

We have had so many phone calls and messages that we are speechless.

We have been offered a place to stay, meals, people we don’t even know have offered money and equipment to help us with the horrendous tasks ahead.

Several have offered their homes and their RV’s.

Marilyn & I have found ourselves unable to speak because of the lump in our throats at times, when a call from a friends offers so much love and support.

Please allow me to say a very profound THANK YOU!

Until we can hug each of you in person, please consider yourselves hugged big time by each of us.

It has always been much easier for me to help others than to accept help for myself, so this is a real learning experience for me.

Let me explain what we know at this point.

We were traveling from Hannibal, MO to Mountaindale RV Resort near Colorado Springs, CO.

Our plan was to spend the first night out at Topeka where we planned to have dinner with friends, John & Lori.

We stopped in Cameron, MO at a Wendy’s which also serves as a truck stop.

I fueled the truck, we grabbed a sandwich and we continued westbound.

Less than 3 miles east of St Joseph, MO I noticed a wisp of smoke in the mirror.

I began to slow when I heard a loud Bang!

The Pressure Pro system went off at that time and I stopped quickly, explaining to Marilyn that we had blown a tire.

As I got out of the truck and looked back I saw flames around the front tire on the drivers side of the RV.

I grabbed the fire extinguisher and nearly had the fire out when the extinguisher became expended. It was the only one we had.

A younger guy in a pickup, headed the opposite direction stopped and called 911 to get the fire dept out there.

I was running the front landing gear down to disconnect the truck, but the hydraulics stopped working as it neared the height I needed.

The young guy took hold and yanked several times, finally getting the jaws to open and Marilyn pulled the truck forward.

I then opened the door where the propane tanks are located and quickly disconnected the two 40# bottles and carried them forward to the truck.

By this time the fire was burning pretty good and a fire truck was arriving.

They worked to control the fire but ran out of water, carrying only 500 gallons. They had to call another truck as we sat watching our world go up in flames and smoke.

Talk about a helpless feeling.

Once the fire was out, the firemen carried out a few items for us. They were covered with smoke, some melted like our main camera, and the odor is one we’ll never forget.

The fire Marshall arrived and later told us that it appeared to be a wheel bearing which locked up, causing the tire to simply drag until it caught fire and blew.

I guess the only advice I can give at this point to all you RV friends, is to carry three, four or even five fire extinguishers. That small one in the RV is simply not enough for an event like we had.

Marilyn & I are OK. Our daughter, Jennifer, is quite upset but will be ok.

The American Red Cross helped us out with some money for a place to stay up to three nights, some money for food and clothing, and even paid for the out of pocket expense of getting our medical prescriptions renewed at the local Walmart.

I cannot say enough about the kindness of Karla Long, who interviewed us and helped with money and phone calls to get us as comfortable as she could.

What kindness!

Later I’ll write about our insurance company and the person who is helping us there.

Also our plans for the immediate future.

As for now, I’ll quit and simply say once again, from the bottom of our hearts, Thank You!

May God bless each one of you wonderful friends!

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