Ah, the great outdoors… at this point camp was rockin’. Last night’s marshmallow sticks greeted us cheerfully. With my routine of french-pressed coffee, I was happy to whip up blueberry pancakes for the whole crowd. Today was no different than all the others, of course, we had plans!
With his camper’s contents accessible, my brother was finally going to assemble his home-made chairs. Explaining his execution and genius modifications, his fuss was not uncalled for. With a mere three 2×4’s and $10 worth of hardware, he had created one of the most comfortable, foldable, Adirondack-like chairs I had ever graced with my glute’s.
Next was a trip to town. He to get new tires on his second-hand camper. (3,000 miles over the 4th of July weekend, you’re just asking for trouble, right?) My mission was simple, get water. While we were away, someone stole our 300 gallon tank we had stashed in some bushes, so this year all I had was a 55 gallon drum. Strapped firmly to the trailer, I was confident bringing it into the city where I had an account. After waiting patiently, I was informed “they don’t do that anymore.” I very politely explained that we go camping once a year, there’s 7 of us, and we just need 50 gallons from their hose. “Sorry, only construction purposes are allowed, drought and all…”
As I left, utterly crushed and frustrated, I read a sign on the front door. It explained that watering restrictions had been lifted. Residents could now water their lawns without worry. “Right,” I thought, “the drought is SO severe, I can’t have 50 gallons…”
I hopped in the truck, and cruised down to try the only store in town, where I planned to pay double for ice, food, etc. and hoped they might part with some water, too. The cashier referred me to the owner, whom I patiently tracked down. After a friendly chat, he recognized that I wasn’t some pot-farmer, but wasn’t willing to cross the city. They had decided not to sell any water to anyone. As I left, my emotions started getting the best of me, and I couldn’t attempt asking for more mercy. I went back to camp empty-handed, and mad at the world. Needless to say, I won’t be giving that city or its inhabitants any more of my patronage.
I did have most of the 20 gallons in my camper, so that was rationed for the rest of the trip.
Upon my return, I took my son for a spin, giving some instruction/practice on the ATV. Then I broke out the cantaloupe I had been chilling in my refrigerator. Although the heat was more intense today, this simple treat did much to soothe my soul. We passed the rest of the heat with games and crafts. (Courtesy of Aunt Susie and Grandma Nini, respectively.)
That evening, we were all very excited at the arrival of our visitor, Uncle John! I hadn’t seen him since my wedding 10 years ago, and my brother 3 years before that, so this was a real treat. My coordinated meals plan had fallen completely apart, but he wasn’t aware, bringing his own food. Still, we managed to force some desert on him .
Some clouds blew in, bringing in drastic relief in temperature, and just a threat of moisture. We spent the rest of the night just hanging out, catching up, and talking. This was torturous for my son, so his Aunt took him for another ride, but still, he got to meet his great Uncle for the first time. We enjoyed each other’s company through some dutch oven peach cobbler, and late into the night. My camera died, so I put the battery on to charge that night.
In the next installment, we have some long-overdue fun with our Uncle, then wrap things up for an eventful trip home…