Many years ago, when our kids were about 3 & 4, we took it upon ourselves to take our AMC Hornet (a very small car), and put our 21 ft. pop-up camper on it and see if we could get a site at the last minute on July 3rd of all days. Don’t ask me what possessed us. When I look at the movies we took that day, knowing all the driving we did up and down hills through the Southern Tier of Western New York, I shudder to think of all the things that could have happened that day. It’s a wonder we had a transmission at all after that. We must have traveled 200 miles looking for a site. It took all day, being turned away at 10 or more campgrounds, but as evening came, we found a nice little ‘mom and pop’ sort of a place just as we were ready to hang up our hats and claim defeat. I had such a pounding headache by the time we got the camper set up. We managed to have something to eat and as night fell, all the campers in the area started lighting firecrackers and sending rockets into the air hooping and hollering and partying it up. I had nothing to treat my headache and just cringed and tried to deal with it. We got the little ones to sleep around 11 and by then my head could stand no more, but things all around got nice and quiet. I laid down on a lounge chair taking in the cool air trying desperately to rid myself of this headache. It was the first time I noticed just how nice this place was. The campsite was set right beside a small rocky creek. There was a bank of bushes on the other side of it. I could see the fun my kids would have in the morning looking for salamanders. It would be easy to keep them close since the bushes were only 15 ft. away. I found myself nodding off so I decided to go into the camper and try to get a good nights sleep. My headache was just beginning to subside as visions of the days events flashed through my mind. Just as I got to that point where the sandman takes over and you’re out for the duration, I began to hear a faint whistle. I couldn’t quite understand where it was coming from. My head was just slightly throbbing. A train I thought…going pretty fast…getting closer…I wonder where it goes…Then all of a sudden I found out! It came barreling through 15 ft. from my head on the other side of those bushes on the other side of that little creek!!!!!!! Needless to say, no wonder there were sites available at this ‘adorable’ little place! I have never forgotten the way we celebrated July 4th that year!
Lesson learned: When there’s a site available on a National Holiday…there’s a good reason why…head for home and call it a day!
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