Sunday, June 18, 2017

Day One. Part Two: Fifty-Fifty Episode 6

When I pulled into Menomonie a wonderful thing happened. It's called phone service. Relieved that I could now search on line for a campground, I found two listed. I decided to go for Twin Springs Camping. My phone could actually take me there! It looked okay. There were a number of RV's, and I could see at least one tent as I parked by the office. It was privately held. The sign said it had been under the same owners for fifty-two years. It showed it's age a bit, but I could hear kids having fun at the pool. A sign on the door said "ring the bell and come in". Inside a tall man, who looked like he could be the owner, was getting up from a chair in front of a TV in the living room and he met me at an office area right there in the house. His wife stayed in front of the TV.

I told him of my experiment in camping, filled out a registration form and asked if they took credit cards. He said they did not, they were old fashioned that way. Cash or checks would be welcome. I told him I was rather old fashioned as well, I tend to carry cash. I pulled out a couple of twenties, we settled accounts, he gave me a parking pass for my mirror, and said he had just the spot for me.

We went out the back door of the house where the office was, went to the right side of the house where there was a lovely, level site with a table. He pointed out that there was a fire ring at the base of the small hill behind the site. He said that would be mine to use if I wanted it, but they only allowed wood that I bought on-site. He said I could pull my car right up next to the tent, and the bathrooms were only three sites away. 

There was a camper one site from me, but I did not see anyone there. I thought they might have taken their car into town for supper.  I thanked him, pulled the car forward and began to set up the tent. That went well. The weather report included no rain. The sky was clear. It was calm and the temp was a pleasant 75 degrees or so. In other words, a perfect night to camp.
I even had my own swing.

I ate a salad for my evening meal. It was about 7 pm by now and I gratefully hit the showers. The bathrooms were aged, but clean. Two flush toilets, two showers and two sinks.  I hadn't really recovered from that hot round of golf, and there was very little breeze, so the shower was welcome and refreshing.

I checked out the camp a bit. The owner had pointed out  a path, so I walked to the lake, or the "Twin Creeks" perhaps, else why the campground name? 

No activity around the camper next door. I saw one person use the restroom. I assumed that activity would pick up as the day wound completely down. 

I want back to the office and asked to buy the firewood. A campfire seemed like a nice touch. My son-in-law, Jeff, texted on Friday and asked if I had forgotten anything. I had. I thought I had packed matches, but could not find them, so I went back to the office and the owner graciously gave a whole box. I had a fire starter along, and the wood was dry and burned well.
It was pretty dark by the time the fire settled down to a few embers, so I gathered my things and went back up the hill to the tent.

Earlier, the camp owner's wife had come out of the house. She drove around the camp on her golf cart, and went back inside. Other than that, the one girl at the bathroom and the owner were the only people I had seen. There was still no sign of anyone in the camper next to me, and I could not see any other campers from where I was. 

I got ready for bed, climbed into the tent and got to thinking. I was really pretty isolated here. (I could have done that in Durand). No one knew where I was. I had never mentioned going to Menomonie to camp. I thought I should text the kids to let them know where I was.  No phone service. I tried to sleep. I was pretty tired. Golfing and setting up camp had worn me out. 

Since Paul died I have never failed to lock my doors. I would get up and check if I couldn't remember locking them. There are no locks on a tent. Worse, the campground was only about a mile from the interstate, and there was a constant drone from the cars and trucks. There is no muffling of sound when you are in a tent. To top it off, about the time I became lulled by the highway sound a train would roar along breaking the pattern (the railroad tracks turned out to be right by the highway.)  The sound would not have been so annoying, but it blocked my ability to assess any sounds that might be immediately nearby. Rattled I took another look at my phone. It had been going in and out with rare, but occasional service.  In my increasingly nervous musings I realized that I had paid cash. There was not even a credit card trail to tie me to that camp. I have a big imagination. Why had I told the guy I was carrying cash? The phone had two bars. I quickly texted the kids about where I was and even got a text back saying they appreciated knowing. The bars promptly disappeared.

I had always had a back up plan if I was unable to give myself over to sleep. I climbed out of the tent, went to the bathroom, climbed into the car with my pillow. I closed the door. Instant silence. I locked the doors and dosed off and on checking out the surroundings each time I woke up. Nothing happened. No animals around the tent, no cars coming in from the highway, no people wandering around in the night. Still no neighbors, but about 4 am I thought, "This is stupid." I climbed out of the car and into the tent, and slept like a baby until 8:00 am.

Four hours sleeping in the car, four hours sleeping in the tent......50/50.


Jeanne Pretty said...

Kathy you are so brave. Better days ahead as you get use to this new adventure of yours.

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