Do you Smell that? Not Yet.

“Huh,” Scott said more to himself than to me.  We were driving down the road.  Me, “What?”  Scott, “Nothing.”  Me, “Nope, more details please.”  Scott, “Nothing. Don’t worry about it.”  Me {snarky and a little demanding (not proud of that, but it’s true)}, “Negative, Captain.  What?”  Scott, “Well, it’s just that I thought I saw some mist or something in the backup camera.

The Chief has a backup camera that is wired to always run.  It’s super helpful when backing up and it doubles as sort of a rear view mirror when we’re driving forward. I use it a lot and so does Scott.

Three minutes later: Scott, “I smell something.”  Me, “I don’t… yet.”

Let me set the stage a little better.  We were on route 9 in Southern VT – right where the Appalachian Trail crosses it.  We were maybe 10 minutes outside of Bennington.  We were coming off of a mountain on a 8% grade.

Scott, “Something isn’t right.  I’m going to pull over and have a look.”

We found a pretty little spot, plenty of room, right beside a babbling brook.  Jack was sound asleep – in the middle of his nap.  Evie was quietly playing, getting ready to drift off herself.  Scott and I climbed out and looked around.  There was a smell.  Scott went around the driver side of the Chief.

“Get the kids out NOW.  Get the kids out NOW.  Get the kids out NOW,” in command voice.  Those of you who have heard it know exactly what I’m talking about.
Ask Jason.
There was no questioning.
There was only hemorrhoid-inducing butt clenching followed by action.
As I was getting Evie out of her car seat, Scott was at the door getting the fire extinguisher.  Evie, of course, wanted to take her time, know why, put on her shoes… she availed herself to her first opportunity to hear Mommy’s command voice, “Get out of the Chief {more deeply} NOW,” as she was helpfully pushed out the door.

Poor Jack.  He had to have felt like he was hit by a class 5 tornado.  He was so shocked he didn’t move in my arms for a solid 5 minutes… he just kept blinking and looking around.

The kids and I stood beside the river maybe 40-50 feet away from the RV.  Scott monitored the smoking drivers side back wheel.  When I say smoke… we’re talking thick white smoke that smelled like hot gross rubber.  We weren’t sure if it was on fire or just ‘almost on fire’.

We were in a black cell phone coverage hole (like most of Vermont… what the hell is up with that?!!?  I get that they’re hippies, but seriously… who doesn’t have cell coverage in today’s world?  Hello Facebook put balloons over Vermont AND Africa please.)  Calling Mike or Todd or any of the Grey Beards wasn’t possible.

A good samaritan stopped in a sweet 2016 Land Rover.  “Hey folks. I saw the Mrs with the babies and I had to stop.  I’m not mechanically inclined, but I’d like to offer you any service I can.”  How sweet is that?!   

We let the brakes cool.  Scott decided to put the kids and I in the Grey Man for 2 reasons – first to make sure we were safe in case there was a fire, second so that I could monitor the tires from behind and beep and flash my lights if I saw something before he could.  We were on the road again in about 30 minutes.


We made it to the campground without further incident.  Scott talked to Mike – who is a truck driver and our “ace in the hole” for all things big truck stuff.  He suggested we have the brakes checked to make sure they didn’t glass over but he’s fairly confident that it was just a case of overheating them.  Apparently that’s a normal-ish thing that can happen.

Is it me or are more things happening to us and the Chief than I normally read about in other blogs?