Maiden Voyage

The two-night maiden voyage came and went fast, but we had a ball. Took off from our home at about noon on Friday, the 27th of March, and headed for St. Vrain State Park in Longmont, Colorado. Yertle towed beautifully, sometimes too much so because it’s easy to forget she’s back there. Stayed at the pull-through, electrical-only campsite #39 located in the Mallard Loop Campground section of the park. The campsite actually faces the Sandpiper Pond, not the Mallard Pond.

We unhitched immediately and set up camp while a bald eagle scoped us out until a hawk chased it away. That took about an hour of hard work, much to my surprise. At one point, an Hispanic gentleman about my age asked about the equalizer hitch, what it was and whether I planned to leave it attached to the truck, a Ford F-150.

I explained what it was and said “No, but I’m getting so old I need to take a break before pulling it off because it’s so heavy.” Then I added “I hate getting old.”

He looked at me, smiled and said “You know that show ’60 Minutes'”?

I said, “Yes.”

He said, “Takes me an hour and a half to watch it.”

I laughed and laughed. It was a great start to our maiden voyage.

We ate well that night. Sat by a campfire, and charcoaled some chicken and veggies on skewers while a muskrat swam by. Turned in early, about 8:30, but didn’t sleep worth a crap. Kept hearing things like loud music, strange sounds from Yertle like a woodpecker trying to get in or out, and a refrigerator taking its dying breaths. Had to use the restroom twice, too, which was about a hundred and fifty yards away. We couldn’t use Yertle’s restroom because we haven’t de-winterized yet — nights are still dropping below freezing in Colorado.

Saturday morning we hiked a couple of miles and saw bookoo birds. There were many, many families at the park too, mostly fishing. We saw a 4-year-old catch his first fish and his family jumping up and down in excitement, which got him jumping up and down in excitement, which got the fish flopping all over the place. Saw a horse trailer that had been converted into a camper with a pet pig tethered to the picnic table nearby. That was a hoot.

That night we had guests over for dinner, a couple we’ve known for ages who live in the area. Anyway, we were drinking beer, and charcoaling burgers, and roasting veggies, and sitting by a campfire, and talking about the good ol’ days, the days when we were kids and life was simpler, when suddenly our male guess tells this story about how poor his family was.

He says, “I remember this one Christmas when my mom felt so bad about not being able to afford to get me a toy that she bought me a used pair of pants and cut the bottoms out of the pockets. So I said to her ‘Thanks, Mom, but why’d you cut holes in the pockets’? And she says, “So’s you’ll have something to play with.”

We laughed and we laughed. That night we turned in later than the night before but still couldn’t sleep worth a crap. Next morning, Sunday, we took another two-mile walk and Mary had a fairly serious mishap. She went down hard and suffered bad scapes and bruises but fortunately no broken bones, and fortunately we were nearly back to Yertle so she could doctor herself up right away.

Finally we hitched back up again and headed home. When we got home we had to unload everything and then get Yertle back into storage, which involved un-hitching again. This camping business is hard work. I might even lose some weight if we keep it up, but I’m not counting on it. All-in-all, it was a fantastic maiden voyage.

Next week, we’re YertleLing off to Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, so stay tuned.

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