All last week we listened to the reports of Hurricane Irene. Where would she go, how strong would she be when she made landfall? We figured being in the Poconos that we were far enough from the eye of the storm to be safe. As Irene grew bigger we still thought we would just get the edge which shouldn’t be too bad. Then it looked like she was making a right turn and would make landfall closer to the middle of Long Island and not New York City. A fickle woman she was and kept changing her mind. All day Saturday our eyes were on Irene. At 2pm we got a notice from the campground that they were closing and we were being told to evacuate to a safer place. At this point it would take us too long to pack up and be out by 4pm, let alone drive a high profile vehicle in high winds on a highway in the dark! So we opted to stay and stick it out…but with friends. We have made some real nice friends at this campground and one who used to work here lives a block away. They invited us to stay at their house and pets were no problem. We put the cats in their crates and got the dog leashed up and drove the block away to stay with Tina and Rob. Rob’s family owns a funeral home back in New Jersey so when we got there I just had to ask him if the spare bedroom had caskets to sleep in? His reply was right in step…“No, but I have two in the shed I use for Halloween if you feel more comfortable sleeping in them.” Our pets have been living in the RV with us since January so it took awhile for them to get re-adjusted to a large home. Shiloh was great, giving the kids kisses. Sammy, our older cat didn’t want to come out of his cage. Eventually he did and went under their hutch. Munchkin, our little girl, well, let’s just say she went exploring. That night when we were all in our beds, Len and I heard a sound that didn’t sound good. Oh, it wasn’t Hurricane Irene…it was MUNCHKIN!!! It seems she found the FISH TANK! Yikes. Poor Haley (Rob and Tina’s 3yr old) would be crushed if she woke up and found her pet fish eaten by guests. So there was Len at 1am building a fortress out of pizza boxes from dinner and stuffed animals to keep the cat away from Fred and Bob. Yes, they survived the night and Munchkin went hungry. Sunday morning, Rob cooked up a delicious breakfast of bacon, sausage and French toast. It was wonderful. Len rode up to the campground to check things out before we packed up the pets and came home. He came back with the all clear to return. The rest of the day our camper rocked with each gust of wind that blew. It was kind of freaky, but after dinner, things finally began to settle down with gusts only in the 30 mph range. We drove around our campground and the one a mile up the road. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! The one we stay in had a few small branches and limbs down, a couple of folks lost their screen rooms and a few satellite dishes were blown over, but at the other campground, WOW. We saw numerous trees down, some just missing trailers and cabins, one was not so lucky. The tree went right thru the cabin, rendering it unlivable. Thankfully, no one was inside. Both campgrounds are closed until the end of the week to give them time to clean up the mess. We lost electricity for about 24 hours, but we have a generator, so we didn’t suffer too much. The road going down the mountain was cleared by Monday morning, so we’re once again able to get to the store although it was a drive before we found one with electric that was open. All in all, it was an exciting weekend and I’m glad we are all ok. We are here until Labor Day weekend when we start traveling west. Thanks for traveling along with us on…The Thomas’ Trails. Until next time.