Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Honeys, I'm HOME

Cliff and I put in a lot of riding in the last three days; I think we're ready to let the motorcycle rest for awhile.  It was fun, though, and a wonderful getaway.  
Of course, things didn't go exactly as we'd planned on our first campout of the year.  No, indeed.  
A Facebook friend suggested we visit a little town called Hardy, said it was very interesting.  She was raised near there.  I do not blame her for the fact that we chose to go visit the place on Monday and Tuesday, which are the days most tourist attractions are closed, anywhere in the country.  So the interesting locations we would have normally visited were not available to us.  We asked a cop where we could find a good place to camp, and he told us to take a left on Wilburn Brothers Avenue, drive just across the tracks, and we'd find a campground that's run by the fire department.  
Now we should have realized when he said "across the tracks" that a train might enter the picture at some point.  

We set up camp right beside whatever river it is that runs through Hardy.  Float trips are quite the draw there, it seems. 

Let me back up here and tell you this: we hadn't gotten thirty miles from home when Cliff told me he had a feeling that he had forgotten to bring the hand pump that inflates our air bed.  You can see it's a simple little plastic device and couldn't be too costly, right?  I told Cliff, "We'll run in Walmart at Warrensburg and buy one."  

Walmart had only one kind of hand pump for air mattresses, with tips to fit three different sizes of openings.  It was bigger than we wanted; traveling on a motorcycle, space is at a premium.  But we spent one night last year on the cold, hard Arkansas ground and did not intend to do it again.  The pump takes up most of the room in one of the saddlebags.  
When we got out the air bed, we found that none of the tips fit our particular air mattress.  Cliff figured out a way to make it work, but it took two of us, one pumping and one holding the air tube to the mattress.  
We were both starving, but I had made a large batch of chicken salad at home, so all we needed was bread, chicken salad, and some carrot sticks on the side.  Life was good:  We had full bellies and a bed to sleep on.  
At this point we had been there about three hours and there had been no sounds to disturb our peace and quiet.  However, we were no sooner tucked into our sleeping bags that we heard a train a-comin', as Johnny Cash would say.  When it was almost upon us, it tooted long and loud, many times.  
"Oh no," I said.  "I hope this isn't going to happen all night long."  
But it did.  We asked the fireman who came to check on us the next morning how often those trains run at night, and he said, "Oh, about two an hour."  
Guess how much sleep we got?  
I love the sound of a train in the distance... there's a railroad track at the back of our property, and I find the sound of the trains soothing.  But rumbling by tooting, practically on top of me?  No, that's anything but soothing.  Hardy is a small town, and I'm pretty sure anywhere we slept in the town, we would have had the same problem.  
We got up the next morning and I set out to make coffee.  I couldn't seem to get the Coleman stove lit, so Cliff came to my aid and discovered there was no fuel in the tank, and he had forgotten to bring the extra fuel we always carry.  
Neither of us does well without our morning coffee (that's an understatement), so we headed to McDonald's, got two senior coffees, and I sat on the bike holding them on the way back to camp, where we had cold cereal and bananas for breakfast instead of the pancakes I had planned.  And that's the way our trip began.      

I learned that the railroad signal the engineer has to give when approaching a railroad crossing is three long toots, one short toot, and another long toot.   Every.  Single.  Time.  

It's this sort of thing we laugh about a few weeks, months, or years later.  I'm not ready to laugh yet.


Melissa Wiggins said...

I love stories like these! They make life seem so real. I'm glad you had a trip while it's still cool enough to enjoy camping -- but not so cold you're freezing. Good to go -- good to get back to the comfort and quiet of home. M.

Adirondackcountrygal said...

Yes, that will be one camping trip that you will never forget!


One to remember, with what you forgot. Had to smile about the train. My hubby and I had an apartment in Erie, PA so close to the tracks everything rattled and shook all day long. And you couldn't hear yourself think over the noise. Hope the next trip is more straightforward. take care.

Margaret said...

That's because you're too tired to laugh. So, I'm laughing for you! :) I can't do without my morning coffee either and LOVE the distant sound of trains. Right on top of me, not so much.

Paula said...

Remember the episode of I Love Lucy where their bed would move across the room everytime the train went by? Love this entry.

Lori said...

I'm sorry, but I had to smile. I love the way you told this story.

Cliff said...

Well written post and funny. Funny because it sounds so much like all of us.
I once had to blow up a queen sized air bed. I'm windy but not that windy.
The last time Marilyn and I went 'camping' I had to get up in the middle of the night and turn the air conditioning warmer. (yeah, we quit camping when the kids left.) Now we use hotels.
I've told Marilyn many times, I spend all day outside, I want to eat and sleep inside.

nerves05 said...

Sounds like you guys had fun.. I'm glad.