Sometimes, it’s difficult for me to blog when I’m “on the road.”
I guess I’m not very disciplined when when there are other things “vying for my attention.” However, I’m glad I had the experiences I did this past summer. I learned a lot about myself, what I want (and don’t want), and what I need to do to “feed my soul.”
Camp hosting at South Beach State Park
In my humble opinion, camp-hosting in exchange for a camp site without financial reimbursement is basically “slave labor.” Please don’t misunderstand me, I grew up with five brothers and a sister and “hard work” is not foreign to me. The work itself was not terribly difficult, but I “did” become bored with the somewhat mindless repetition of doing the same thing every day. (Cleaning yurts and fire pits)
It was somewhat shocking for me to learn that some RV-ers that aren’t so well off financially make a “circuit” of camp hosting jobs. They stay in one park and camp host for three months, and then go to three other parks and do the same thing within a 25-50 mile radius. One woman even has a fifth-wheel that she pays every three months to be moved to her “new” location.
It’s probably not something that I care to do again.
When I finished camp hosting for the summer, I spent some time in Portland, Oregon dancing tango, and getting necessary work done to my rig and tow car. Yes, Virginia – I joined Costco (although the closest warehouse to Las Cruces is in El Paso) in order to buy new tires for my Honda CR-V. I’ll keep the membership for a year, and see if it’s cost effective.
Gold Bar Camping Area – Moab, Utah
Lazy Daze “Ladeze”
At the end of September, I was off to Moab, Utah for “The Ladeze of Lazy Daze” annual group camp-out. It wasn’t a “good vibe,” and I found “some” of the group to be controlling and rigid. I’m all for supporting women, equal rights, etc. However, there was an undercurrent of “I’m trying to prove I don’t need a man” which I found to be silly. Yes, gentle readers I have reason to feel that way, but it’s really not worth going into details.
I “will” say that I had to wait 3-4 hours to park my rig because the leader wanted participants near her to park in “her” way, and in a certain configuration regarding the sun, etc… Then, after I got parked and leveled ANOTHER member came in and was concerned whe couldn’t get out quickly in case there was a flash flood. (Uh, no rain in the forecast, hot and bone dry, and the river was barely a puddle and we were ten feet above it.) I’m sorry, but I find this type of behavior controlling and exhausting and certainly not conducive to a fun type of experience.
The weekend was off to a bad start anyway because I was going to caravan to Moab from Salt Lake City with two women I’ve never met. I met them as instructed in Salt Lake City at Wal*Mart, and the “leader” already led us out the wrong way. She turned around in a car dealership, and I didn’t follow her. If I had, I would have had to unhook my car. I followed the instructions from my GPS, called her on my cell phone, and she soon caught up with the other woman.
However, just before the Moab turn-off at I-70, she passed me and “waved.” Then, her friend followed suit – leaving me in the dust. I thought “Did she just dump me?” Uh, yes she did.
Here’s an excerpt from the e-mail she wrote me the next day:
I hope you can receive this before our GTG, but if not, I’ll repeat myself again. I apologize for mishandling our caravan experience. My only excuse is that I could not take on the added stress of traveling with someone with a toad and without a CB. OK, so I’m a wimp. But was also experiencing some serious family issues made more frustrating and demanding by attempting to deal with them by phone, while traveling and while attempting to accommodate the needs of two more people. Plus, I just hate getting lost, and my recalculating GPS SUCKS! I hope you will forgive me and understand I’m truly sorry for being insensitive.
Here’s my e-mail response to her:
I didn’t want write a knee jerk response to your message and risk saying something inappropriate. Thank you for your apology. I hold no anger or ill will toward you. However, your actions were cruel and hurtful and I have no desire to attempt to reconcile the situation and be friends. I’m a kind person and didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of mean behavior no matter what the excuse. We all have stresses in our lives but we make our own choices regardless. I don’t understand how you felt “responsible” for XXXXXXX or myself. It seemed that you wanted to make all the decisions without input from either of us. I will be civil to you at our gathering and speak to you only as necessary. This saddens me, but please consider how you would feel if you were treated in a similar manner.
How in the world do I meet insensitive and uncaring people who feel that it’s perfectly OK to sh*t on me and then have me act like it’s perfectly OK? Needless to say I am/was perfectly done with this woman and her “friend.” Yes, I cried. However, God must watch over babies and fools. I was able to find a nice boon-docking site and calm down.
Not my circus, and certainly not my monkeys!
I’m sorry for the rant, but I had more than my fill of bullsh*t when I was in education (specifically when I did Assistive Technology) and have little or no patience in my retirement years.
“On the field” – Albquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
After the Moab gathering, I hightailed it to Albuquerque to the Sandia Casino for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. I’d never been to the Balloon Fiesta in the twenty years that I’ve lived in New Mexico since I was working during the time of the Fiesta.
I found a boon docking site, had some nice times with Colleen and Stan who live in Albuquerque but had parked their 5th wheel at the casino for the festivities. (They invited me for both Saturdays for breakfast and MIMOSAS! I went over to visit the Escapee Boomers, and one of the members gave me a “toad pass” since his friend had left early.
I had met a group of single women I knew through FaceBook at the casino, but I found them to be somewhat “indecisive.” i.e. The women spent several hours trying to decide upon what to do for dinner. (I finally went on my own.) Several of the women were heavy smokers, and I found myself using my inhaler after spending time with them.
The “group” wanted to go to Santa Fe on the RailRunner, so I researched the train times, how and where to get to the stop, and presented the information. Again, everyone was “iffy” about who was going, when they would go, etc… However, one person definitely said she would go with me on the 10:00 a.m. train.
The next morning I wake up and find a FB message that they all had taken the 7:10 a.m. train.
Gee, how nice was that?
The lesson I’ve learned is that I don’t like to be in single women groups. It seems that many older women are bitter about the path that their lives have taken and want to “boss.” I realized I don’t want to be associated with those types, and made the “adjustment” by unfriending on FaceBook.
After that, I kept to myself and did things on my own. Actually, I did things with “fun” people. I made it a point to go to the daily Happy Hour at the Escapee Boomer gathering, and a nice couple gave me a “toad” parking pass. It was preferable for me to go to the balloon field by myself, since I was free to roam and photograph without trying to keep tabs and stay with a group.
I must be a loner…
Actually, I was on a “natural high” being on the balloon field by myself in the “Zen-like” mode of photography. I knew if I “stuck with a group,” I wouldn’t have the freedom to roam as I did to get some amazing photo shots. It’s all good – OK, except for the $$ I lost at the casino…
I apologize for the rant. I discovered a lot about myself this summer. I know that I’m drawn to kind people who don’t have “hidden agendas.” In the past, I would have tolerated “mucho bullsh*t” from these types of people, and blame myself for why they didn’t like me or treated me in a negative manner. Now, I “try” to wish them well and move on.
It’s the only sensible way to live…