Saturday of our Midwest Glampers "Ladies On the Lake" campout began at Kim's trailer, "Goldie," with a mimosa and Bloody Mary Bar. The Glampers then hurried back to their own sites to prepare for the 11:00 tour of the campers. A number of people from the rest of the campground and from town took advantage of the opportunity to glimpse the insides of these 'tiny houses.'
In the afternoon, Ginge and I took a walk around the lake, a feat that only takes about an hour. That left time for a little rest before getting ready for the final event: the Trailer Trash Tragedy mystery game. Those who wished to participate received descriptions of their characters a few weeks ago and went totally crazy devising costumes. Midwestern thrift stores must be sadly depleted. The game involves four rounds. The first includes introductions and a white elephant gift exchange, the second appetizers and cocktails with clues, the third a potluck supper with more clues, and round four the solution--and dessert.
It was fun to reconnect with such a diverse group and meet people we hadn't met before. This group is unique in that there are no dues and no officers. Events are organized by any members who want to take it on and others jump in to help. I think there's a little Peter Pan influence--no one really wants to grow up.
Think of a combination gypsy camp, wagon train, and flea market. The Midwest Glampers are meeting at my old stomping grounds at Beed's Lake State Park and our loop is a colorful riot of chaos. There are campers from Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri, as well as individuals from Michigan and Illinois. Most have restored or rebuilt vintage trailers. Some even have tents that have been glamped.
The weather on Thursday was threatening and chilly with low hanging clouds. We managed to get a book discussion in after supper because this is the locale that The Lady of the Lake was based on. Friday was a great improvement with some sun and gentle breezes. Many took a trip to town for a great lunch at The Rustic Brew and some shopping.
In the evening, things got crazy. Supper was a baked potato bar and things got cleared out of the way for a "Trailer Trashion Show." The little girls even got into the act by donning mustaches to ride their bikes around the campground. Two incredibly silly games entertained the group until dark--one involving shower camps, shaving cream and cheese puffs; the other a takeoff on bag toss with rolls of toilet paper and mounted toilet seats.
At dark, after a brilliant Beed's Lake sunset, Brody from the Franklin County Conservation Commission gave a talk about the legend of the Lady of the Lake and then organized us for a night hike interspersed with holes of miniature golf. I was certainly ready for bed after that!
It all started last Tuesday or Wednesday when our oldest son called and wanted his dad to join him Saturday in a benefit golf tournament for the school music department. Since driving over for the day would mean a very early rise, we decided to take the camper and spend the weekend at Johnson Sauk Trail State Park. We like the park and the weather was supposed to be good. We planned to stay Friday to Monday. We did a minimal load, food-wise, because we would only be about five miles from Kewanee and could make a grocery run if we needed to.
About halfway there, the truck started to make noise like an old-fashioned egg beater. We had had similar issues before and it was never good or cheap. Since it's hard to pull into a dealer for diagnosis on the engine while pulling a thirty-foot trailer, we nursed it along to the campground and unhooked the trailer. By this time, it's late Friday afternoon so Butch hot-footed it into town in time for them to do a preliminary diagnosis. It was the #6 valve or cylinder or something but beyond that, they couldn't tell until they tore into it. They would start first thing Monday morning and it might be something simple that could be fixed in a couple of hours and we could head home as planned.
However, it might be something much more complicated, requiring tearing the engine apart, and taking much longer. (Translation: "Maybe you should think about getting jobs in the area.") We know the No. 1 rule of car repair is that it will never be quick or cheap. So, through the weekend, the possibility of being stranded in a campground indefinitely, as well as facing bankruptcy, loomed over our heads.
Perhaps it was the stress, but by Saturday evening, we were both struggling with the beginnings of the Mother of all Summer Colds. We could have powered our camper if we could have harnessed our sneezes.
We had reserved our site through Sunday night, but found out on Sunday morning that it was reserved for Monday and the next four nights by someone else, so if we needed to lengthen our stay, we had to move. AND if we were going to move, we needed to do it before the truck went back in Monday morning. Sunday afternoon we moved across the road to an available site. We also realized that we were running low on food and water. Fortunately, we still had ice cream.
By Sunday night, my eyelids were looking like fat little raw sausages, and I was hauling the box of Kleenex around with me. It wasn't really Kleenex but some cheaper off-brand and was like blowing your nose on crepe paper. Besides the itchy, runny eyes, earache, and runny nose, another effect of this cold is that my hair sticks up all wacko. What's with that? When is cold medicine going to address that issue?
Our son's family brought pizza out for supper--much appreciated-- and Sophie's new kayak for a maiden voyage on the lake. The weather was lovely all weekend; we just couldn't enjoy it much.
We settled in that evening with a bad movie and ice cream. But then the mouse for my laptop died. Now, the track pad is fine for browsing the Internet but very awkward for me for writing and editing. My brain wasn't working that great anyway. We doctored ourselves with some honey, cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper elixir and whined a lot.
Monday morning a couple of hours after the truck had been returned to the dealer, the news was as we expected. A major overhaul for big money, but it might be done by close of business Monday; otherwise first thing Tuesday morning. Of course it was noon on Tuesday. By the time we hooked up the camper, dumped the tanks, and stopped on the way home for cough drops, sinus medicine, Kleenex and a new mouse, we arrived home to unhook and unload in the hottest part of the day. Camping anyone?
Some random thoughts about writing, camping, and eating.