We survived our first night of tent camping on this trip and it was a blast. We ended up laying down the stakes and popping the tent around 7pm, had our burgers grilled up by 9pm and then just hung out chatting and discussing today’s plans for the rest of the night. Showers were completed, but the evening did not go without a notable event which spurred me to throw this post up.
Around 12am, my mother had gone up to the main office to grab a shower. Leaving me to hang out solo at the mouth of the tent, facing away from the vacant parking lot, about 100 yards away and out of view. About 30 minutes after she left, I began to hear rustling around the car that has my Bianchi bike strapped to the back. I had already spent the early part of the evening paranoid of someone snatching it from its rack while I slept, so this did not bode well.
While in sonar hearing alert mode, a rattling sounded out and a slam of what a sane man would consider a bike and rack being yanked from a trunk and onto the ground. Well, at that point I sprung into action, leapt over the tent ropes and began a sprint across the grass, out of the treeline and toward the car. As I ran, I found myself squinting to see the car… calculating many aspects at once. How many people were there? Where they big fellas? Do they have a car? How far did they get with my bike… All of this in an quick-action attempt to foil this robbery.
About halfway there I realized there was nobody taking my bicycle, but rather a diesel parked on the road about 100 ft off and the driver was adjusting his gear. I am sure my embarrassment held no comparison to the terror felt if he had heard my rumbling foot steps as I ran and noticed a crazy eyed, paranoid man standing alone, partially shadowed by the trees behind him… mind you, at midnight in the middle of nowhere… Me, I’d have likely soiled myself. But hopefully he did not, and I returned to the campsite satisfied that my possessions were yet again safe for the night.
It gets better… as I returned, I attempted to navigate through the camp circle and stepped right on my dogs water bowl, sending its contents to meet with the back of my pants leg… “Yay, wet pants,” I thought in irritation. Oh, well… I carried on and made way for my seat. As I lowered to rest upon my throne, I noticed my ass became very cold, very fast. “GREAT,” I just sat in a seat full of soda that spilled when I ejected myself to confront the midnight marauders. So there I stood, irritated and embarrassed, with a wet leg and and soda-soaked ass. All just before I planned to lay down for the night.
At this point it was imperative that I acquire some new pants. But my mother was still finishing up her shower. I knew how easy it was to spook her, so as I walked around the tent cautiously and made way the 100 yards to the van. I just knew we’d cross paths in the shadows and I would scare the living hell out of her… sending her running and screaming through the woods toward all the parked RVs. This I certainly wanted to avoid, because I am sure as I chased her to calm her down, I would look as though I’m trying to murder her out here in the middle of nowhere. So I was careful to tread lightly.
Thankfully she wasn’t coming, I saw no movement from the main showers building and headed for the van. When I got there, wouldn’t you know it, there she was half sticking out of the van gathering some things for the night. Mental images of freaking her out came back into my head and I tried to whisper warnings to her as I approached. Of course, she didn’t hear me and as I got closer she pulled the door closed and saw me standing there on the other side. No scream was made, as she let me know later that she was so scared she couldn’t. Also, and most importantly, she didn’t take off running through the campgrounds, which I was very thankful of. Apparently as I was repeating “mom… mom… mom… mom,” to warn her, she thought I was merely a frog calling from the pond.
What an evening and what a situation it became… but its the little things like which make road tripping so much fun.