Wednesday (May 13) was my day off, so I headed to Babylon (population 55,000). In one shopping area there is a Stuff-Mart, a grocery store, a Denny’s, a Taco Bell, a Starbucks, an Office Depot, and a bunch of small stores. Directly across the street is a Target, a McDonald’s, a Panera, a Dollar Tree, a Big 5 Sporting Goods, a Kohl’s, a Little Caesar’s, one of those mega pet stores (can’t remember the name), an Auto Zone, a couple of restaurants, and several other shopping possibilities. Just down the road is a movie theater, a gym, a Burger King, a Goodwill, a laudromat, another grocery store, a couple of gas stations, a donut shop, and many other small stores. Pretty much anything I wanted to buy was available in a couple of blocks. (Except Shoe Goo. I couldn’t find any Shoe Goo.)
On Wednesday I did a bunch of shopping, then made a bunch of phone calls, then hunkered down with the internet at Panera for several hours. At an appropriate hour, I drove over to the Stuff-Mart and settled down for the night. I got up at 5:30 on Thursday, and headed over to the laundromat. While I was waiting for it to open, I went to the donut shop in the same row of the strip mall and got myself a giant, greasy, delicious apple fritter.
Laundry done, I went back to Panera for a couple more hours of internet. After that I filled up the gas tank, did a quick stop at the Goodwill, and got on the road.
I got back to the campground ten minutes before the snow. I’d been hearing there was a storm coming, so I purposefully left Babylon early. I didn’t want to get caught in the snow.
About twenty minutes after the snow started, the ground was covered and the tree limbs were dusted.The temperature dropped pretty fast too. I fired up Mr. Buddy and spent the afternoon putting away my clean laundry and reading.
When I woke up Friday (May 15), there was still snow everywhere, and the fog had set in. The sun tried to peek out a couple of times, but never made it through the fog. The whole day was grey and cold and snowy.
My supervisor came by pretty early in the morning. She told me I didn’t have to work in such nasty weather. I was glad she said that because I really didn’t want to leave the van. I did go out in the morning and make my rounds, but I was glad I had paperwork I could do inside, next to the heater.
My supervisor also told me that I would report to my own campground on Tuesday. I am excited to get there and settle in.
Around three o’clock, I decided to go out and sweep the restrooms. I was starting to feel like a pretzel after being folded up on myself in the van all day.
The fog was really spooky. It made me feel really nervous. Maybe I’d feel differently if I were from London or San Francisco, but I’ve never lived with fog, so it makes me antsy.
I’d swept the two women’s restrooms near the front of the campground and was walking around the side of the building to sweep the men’s rooms. I looked across the little concrete porch in front of the doors and saw a…creature. I was so surprised, I screamed. I didn’t know if the creature was a bear or an Ewok. It was actually a dog. A big dog. A big grey dog with a big fluffy head. He was friendly and wanted to play, so I was embarrassed that I’d screamed. Part of the reason I was startled was because I didn’t know where he’d come from. I didn’t realize any people were in the campground.
The dog’s person walked up about then. She and her guy had just pulled in about ten minutes before, she said, although they already had their tent up. I asked about the dog, and she said he was husky and his father was part timber wolf. He looked a lot like a wolf.
Then the woman told me that she and her guy live about 25 miles from the campground, and they’d decided to come camping because it was their anniversary. If It were my anniversary, I would not want to spend the night in a tent in the fog and the cold. On my anniversary, I’d want to spend the night in a big comfy bed in a warm room. I guess people are different.
The dog was running around, wanting to play, chasing the golf cart as I drove it. He was totally wet, from running through the fog and the wet grass. So not only were the couple spending their anniversary in a tent in the cold and the fog, they were sharing that tent with a big wet dog. Not what I would want to do on my anniversary. Not one bit.
Saturday was not as cold, all the snow melted, the fog dissipated, and the sun came out. I spent most of my work day cleaning fire rings and picking up small trash from campsites. It was good to be outside in the sunshine.
And I’m happy I bought four bottles of propane at Stuff-Mart.