We pulled down the beds that were on either end of the camper, set up our little, “Home is where you park it.” rug. Put out our chairs and sat. We were hot and sticky from setting up the camper. An old guy came around to talk campers. He had a tear drop. He told us he was leaving tomorrow, he didn’t want to put up with people hassles.
As soon as it got dark we turned in to read a little before we went to sleep. The night was warm and muggy. Rain fell around 10 or so. Later on, cars and trucks came and went, car doors slammed, dogs barked and worst of all a generator was turned on. One of those obnoxiously loud ones.
“Mike,” I said. “Do you hear the generator?
“It’s keeping me awake.”
“I’ve been thinking. Is seeing the total eclipse worth it? I mean we have a triple whammy going on.”
“Yeah, the weather is one. The temps are going to be 90 with heat indices of 100 with storms all week long. Then there are the people that will be on top of each other. The third whammy is the generators. You know all those people are going to have generators. Some of them will be loud. I can deal with the heat but add the generators and I will be irritable. Same with the people. A lot of people maybe I could handle but add heat and generators. I don’t know.”
“Hmmm, you’re right.”
“Tomorrow lets just take off and go home.”
Mike agreed. I think he was relieved I mentioned it. So we got out the ear plugs and went to sleep with our plan firmly in mind.
On the road, I was disappointed that we abandoned what we were so looking forward to. I felt like we were going home with our tails between our legs. I told Mike my feelings and he told me he felt the same way. We drove on in silence, both with our thoughts.
“We could just go camp in Wisconsin,” Mike broke the silence.
I shrug. I suppose that is a decent compromise but still.
When we stopped for breakfast, I suggested that we look for a place to camp on the road because I didn’t want to spend another 10 hours driving.
We stopped at a restaurant and once I ordered an omelet, I got out my phone and clicked on the app Free Campsites. This app is cool because it gives you a map of your search area showing little color coded tent icons. Green is for free camping, red is for pay sites. You can zoom in and out and the icons refresh for the area. You can, also search using filters, or plan a route finding camping along the way.
“Hey, look,” I said as I shoveled in a mouthful of eggs. “There is a city park in Gibson City, IL that has sites for $10 a night and you get electricity and water. There are also rest rooms. It’s about four hours from here and four and a half from home.” Abandoning all plans of using our facilities, we dumped the water from our fresh water tank before we left Turkey Bayou. We didn’t need that water dragging us down.
“Hey, That sound good,” Mike said.
“It says they have a drive-in movie,” I added scrolling through the Gibson city web site. “You know, maybe could stay there for the eclipse instead of going home,” I said, a small bubble of hope that all was not lost rising in me. “The eclipse is in the 90% range there. It’s not 100% but it’s better than the 80% in Wisconsin.”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea. Let’s do it,” Mike said. I think Mike is glad we will be staying put for a while. The driving is getting to us both.