Monday, July 22, 2013
They Picked, We Grinned
We decided to go trailer camping in the mountains a couple of hours southeast of here over the weekend. It's a beautiful drive over terrain that gets high enough that the ponderosa pines we're accustomed to give way to massive spruce and some gorgeous aspen.
Still, I always wonder why I should tax myself with the arduous, unfamiliar and aggravating rigamarole of hitching and hauling our elderly Airstream to some place where the views are no better and the amenities far worse than they are at home.
The answer is that I shouldn't without some additional incentive, but in this case we had some.
Tiny Weed, NM, has been host for the past 18 years to an annual bluegrass festival, so we looked online for an RV park near there. Pam found one about four miles away that promised a fishable trout stream where Elizabeth could try out her Barbie rod and reel.
But when we got there, the place looked like an abandoned goat farm. There were hookups, but only a few spots were occupied by a handful of dilapidated and clearly unoccupied trailers. The stream was nearly dry in spite of recent rains, and there appeared to be nobody home in the forlorn little house nearby.
We circled around and headed back toward Weed. Halfway there we came to even tinier Sacramento, where we happened upon a Methodist conference center with an adjacent RV park located next to a scary "challenge course" that looked like a place where you could train special forces or scare delinquent teenagers straight.
Near the office was a wonderful little playground and a well-stocked fishing pond. It was perfect, so I attacked the hitch again, which is just as unpleasant as getting under way, but in reverse. Each site offers unique ways of soaking or injuring me, but after 45 minutes of muttered curses we had electricity for the lights and fridge, gas for the stove, and hot and cold running water. The puddle in front of our door wasn't my fault. I threw our astroturf doormat over it.
Pam cooked some tasty burgers and we laid down for a night of what I would call zombie sleep.
The next morning we drove over to Weed, a cluster of small buildings that included a school, cafe, a few houses and the community center where we could hear the music as we pulled into the parking lot, already jammed with bulbous, mud-spattered crew-cab pickup trucks. Inside, the crowd demographic was almost entirely western geezer -- straw Stetsons, boots, belts and suspenders on the men, polyester prints and white velcro Reeboks on the women.
On stage was a family from Artesia, NM, who called themselves Blue Sky Country. To be honest, they were a little too solemn even for bluegrass, and not that great musically. But they gave their cute little daughter several turns at the microphone, which scored points with both Pam and me. Later on they came and sat near us, and the little girl carefully plaited a friend's hair while Elizabeth watched enchanted.
When the next act, Bost Family Traditions from Bisbee, AZ, opened up, they were so good it brought tears to my eyes. And they sang about people and places in Cochise County, which regular readers might recall is where Pam's granddad was sheriff. They were worth the trip.
After a late lunch of barbecue and homemade pie in the cafe, we picked up our trailer and headed home. We arrived just ahead of a thunderstorm and I managed to back Streamie onto her parking pad before the first squall hit.
My standard of success for trailering ventures is pretty low: no property damage or severe bodily injury. We did considerably better than that on this outing, so Mission Accomplished.