Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Shower, Part I

My father owned a fast food restaurant throughout my childhood, and he was never very comfortable leaving the business in others' responsibility for very long stretches. Instead of long, extensively planned vacations to fabulous destinations abroad, we stayed exclusively in Texas. Mostly behind the wheel of a Ford F-150 extended-cab pick-up with a cab-over camper permanently attached. Like every other Texan, the obligatory 18-foot army-green aluminum john boat with an 20-horsepower Mercury outboard was also in tow.

Our favorite destination was Lake Livingston State Park in the gorgeous but rural piney woods of East Texas. It was generally a short, two hour drive North of Houston, but our trips were frequently extended to four or more hours due to flat tires, over-heated engines or the occasional runaway cane-pole or bright-orange lifejacket that took flight from the boat. Hindsight tells us that these types of things are prone to happen when you only use your recreational vehicles one or twice a year. I guess you really can't blame them. I'm surprised they held up as well as they did.

I have many fond memories of those camping trips: sleeping in the sarcophagus-like upper bunk above the kitchen table; grilling hamburgers on an open pit; and catching fish after fish in the secluded, stump ridden coves of the lake. It was nice to be in the midst of the great outdoors, even inside the comfort of a camper with air conditioning and a television, and a general store within walking distance.

But there were trying times as well on these trips. Like my Dad spending two hours moving the camper from spot to spot to get it perfectly on level ground. Or the sewer tank spewing forth our collective filth onto the ground during the middle of the night. Or the mosquito bites, and snakes, and loud, unruly neighbors swilling beer and singing ridiculous camp songs that would invariably get stuck in your head. There was also the time the boat left its trailer and slid 30 feet down the boat ramp into the water, or the time I crashed my bike over a mile away from the campsite and got lost walking back (a ranger found me). All interesting experiences to say the least.

My most interesting experience, however, didn't occur in the camper or woods or on the lake. It happened in the public shower facility. And he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

[To be continued.]


At 9:42 AM, Blogger Lukey said...

Okay, so when does part 2 come out?? Serioulsy... I hate "To be continued" LOL


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