Saturday, June 14, 2014

North country: Official arrival

Jun 14 2013

I've crossed into Minnesota so I guess I'm officially in North Country now.

As I took an early walk around the campground back in Lincoln this morning I ran into a guy motorcycling/tent camping his way from Chicago to California. He wasn’t planning on coming so far west his first day out but rains over his helmet and clear sky on the horizon ahead kept him going until 10PM last night when he landed here. There’s supposed to be more rain coming in from the west around 9AM but it sounds like he’s done quite a bit of two wheel traveling so I’m sure he’ll cope.

Wandered into Cabela’s just outside Omaha to pick up a few odds and ends (Note, if you can't find tick-keys in the first-aid and bug repellent areas check for them over in dog supplies. And by the way; why is it you always need more tick-key's? I mean, where do those things go???) then crossed over into Iowa and ran up the freeway until I got to Sioux City where I switched over to US75, breathed a sigh of relief and continued on to the north

The sigh was as much for getting clear of the bottom land along the Missouri river as it was leaving the freeway behind. Don’t know why but everything along these river bottom lands always seems a little grubby and grimy to me. It all seems to be covered with a light coat of black grit and the parking lots are always broken and muddy. From there it was a nice easy drive up and down the hills through farm country, a few farm towns, and then on into the southwest corner of Minnesota.

I’m camped for the night near the town of Pipestone which looks like a pretty neat little town with lots of original architecture. And, after the most expensive site last night, tonight, at $17 I’m in the least expensive so far and have full hookups, just in case I needed them, and also because that's the only kind of site they have here.

The campground sure filled up this evening! Apparently the Smiths, no really, the Smiths, are having their family reunion this weekend. I learned this from the guy hired to roast a pig and other goodies for Saturday's festivities as I helped him tape down some table cloths the wind was stealing.

But then I immediately followed my good deed with a dumb one. Note to self: if the guy cooking all the food asks if you are part of the party he is cooking for, don't be so dang quick to deny any connection what-so-ever therefor any entitlement to any of that good stuff laying right there in front of you. . . For fans of PBS’ Car Talk, that’s a dope-slap moment.

As I sit here typing this, more-or-less safely tucked away in the van, the racket continues outside; and I do mean right out side. As a kid I was taught to treat other people's campsites as their own private yards and to stay clear. Apparently that isn't a lesson you will find on the syllabus these days. A couple of times herds of kids even stampeded through the narrow gap between my chair and the van.

And dang but kid herds are noisy! It's coming up on 11 at night and the place is still swarming with them, chattering and screaming and clogging the showers and running around with flashlights swinging wildly, all seemingly unsupervised. It's like some swarm of mutant fireflies is attacking the place! Of course my kid threshold is pretty low (Child free restaurants, adult only hours at the grocery store; sign me up!!) so it probably wasn't as bad as I'm making out.


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