"If it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there", Captain RonLast June RetroMan and I decided to go on our Inaugural Camping Trip during what turned out to be the first week of a record-breaking heat wave. We decided to go on this trip without City Girl, so that when she deigned to come with us, we'd have all the kinks worked out.
She was spending the week at a different camp that had adult supervision.
We had spent a couple hundred dollars and a few weeks in preparation, but we were ready. We packed up the camper that hadn't been used in 10 years with just about everything one would need - toilet paper, a new porta potty, a generator for the air conditioner, a box of breakfast bars, matches, etc. We didn't need much, since we were only going for a few days. We'd get cash and gas for the generator on the way.
We got our coffee and were off.
About 40 miles outside of Town - DING, DING, DING, DING. We looked at the dash. No warning lights. Well that was weird. We stared at the dash for 5 minutes. Then looked at each other and shrugged. It must have been nothing. DING, DING, DING, DING. We looked at the dash again. Nothing. This went on a few more times. It was just starting to get retarded, and then we saw the NO OIL PRESSURE light. The master of understatement said, "That's not good".
We took the next exit and stopped at the Flyin J Truck Stop. Thank God for the Flyin J. RetroMan checked the oil AND THERE WASN'T ANY! He checked that dip stick twice. He got 5 quarts of oil and unbelievably the truck drank it all. Since we only owned the truck two months, we thought maybe we bought it that way.
Note to self: Don't buy used vehicles. But if you do, make sure they have oil.
We decided to keep going, and fortunately there was no more DINGing. We got off the highway at our exit heaving a sigh of relief, and I'm not kidding, there went the DING, DING, DING, DING. Fortunately we were near the last gas station before the middle of nowhere. Sure enough, there was NO OIL. We got 5 more quarts of oil, and the truck took 4. In one hour, we had just put 9 quarts of oil in the truck and had 1 to spare. For the next 30 minutes, we waited for the DINGing, but all was quiet on the Western Front. Numerous stops to check the oil showed that the leak had stopped.
Since it looked like the worst was over, we decided to head to Tree Ring. As we came to the clearing where we decided to set up camp, there was our friend Ron, mowing with his tractor. As we talked, some clouds started gathering. He said "Don't worry, it hasn't rained here in weeks". Before he finished the word 'weeks', we heard thunder in the distance.
After Ron left, RetroMan popped up the Camper and then put up the Potty Room.
Ok, so it was more like a mini garage with a bathroom.
Sure enough it started raining. But we were happy. We made it! The wind started picking up, and I stood to hold the sides of the pop up from blowing in. "This is going to be the best trip ever!" I yelled over my shoulder. I couldn't hold all of the sides at once, so RetroMan had to help, and for 45 minutes it poured. As we held up the sides of the camper, we talked and laughed until the rain stopped.
Then we threw the door open to go outside.
Good Lord the Potty Tent was gone!
We looked around, and 100 yards into the Forest, we saw the Tent. RetroMan went to get it.
It was totally destroyed.
So was the only roll of toilet paper.
There was nothing left to do but break the Potty Tent into pieces, and play.
Doesn't that Potty look lonely?
Night was starting to fall, and since it had just rained, we couldn't build a fire. So we just set out our chairs, looked at the thousands of stars in the black country sky, talked about how fortunate we are to own such a beautiful piece of paradise, and ate some breakfast bars.
We decided we'd go to the Dealership in the nearest town in the morning.
The rest of the night was uneventful except for City Dog Sammie continually barking at what he thought were animal eyes glowing in the dark at the edge of the clearing. We kept telling him they were fireflies, but he wouldn't listen. He wasn't too happy about the Coyote howls off in the distance either. Neither was I, but I hadn't read anything about Coyotes attacking humans. Besides, RetroMan gave me a knife that I'd snapped to my belt buckle. Between that and my crutch, I was ready for anything.
That was Day 1. Please stay tuned for the continuation of The Best Worst Vacation Ever tomorrow.
We Lived To Tell About It