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Thar She Blows!


Hot Springs, South Dakota

Ah, Paradise. Last night it thundered up and rained a bit, and at 5 am it was 56 degrees outside, and 64 in the trailer. Even now, at 8:30, it is 61 and 66. I was tempted to turn on the heater briefly to take the chill off. But no, a light chill is a precious thing. I better enjoy it while it lasts.

But I may just put on another pot of coffee and sit here reading all morning.

I was coming into Scott's Bluff yesterday in a sort of impromptu convoy with 8 or 9 big RVs. Fortunately not all of us tried to get into the Monument parking lot at once.

Because of the historical significance of the place, a third of the way along the Oregon Trail, I tried hard to dredge up memories of Ward Bond in grainy black and white, and imagine us all as a modern wagon train.

But again, no. The comic truth intervened, as it often does. We really looked more like a pod of Land Whales searching for a place to beach ourselves. Great White Whales, at that. I feel pretty conspicuous and bloated in my 27 foot Mallard. Why would anyone want a 40 foot Motorhome?

Even if you've got the bucks, there are lots of things to buy. You could get a small hotel in Portugal for what some of these monsters go for. Or turn some awkward adolescent in baggy pants into a skilled surgeon in scrubs. Etc.

And these Whales can fill a street right up. There must be whole towns, perhaps Counties, they have to pass by for lack of a place to light. Most primitive campgrounds, which is where I like to stay, can't easily accommodate a 35 foot trailer. So these guys are like the Flying Dutchman, forever sailing, never finding a place to land. It even says Dutchman on some of them.

And I'm damn close behind at 27 feet.

Slowly, of course, the obvious comes home even to me. It's simple math. I'm a single guy, with 40 gallons of fresh water. If I take a Navy shower every day - in other words, if I am civilized - I can go 3 days, maybe 4, before I have to uproot and find a place to dump my load. That's IF I come to the situation with a full tank, which is rare.

Most people travel as a couple, and some even have (gasp!) kids! That means, in my trailer, they'd get one day and a night here before they'd be in the same shape as the sodden campers I see around me, stumbling sleepily down to the tap with their pots like Rebekah of old.

So naturally they try to find utilities every night, or else they buy the Behemoths, with the 80 gallon tanks, and leave the narrow roads and high camps to me and the campers, and the really great high camps to the tenters alone.

Which is as it should be.

So what is the laborious point here? Well, you've waited this long, so I'll tell you. If I ever find a Boone Companion, by Gawd she better be darn good at sponge baths, or have her own Trailer!

Now is that Too Much To Ask?


Bob, cooling off at last.

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