May 9, 2009, 10:47 a.m.
I am sitting here in the camper set up at its new site in the Armadillo Farm Campground. It is a different deal in this privately run campground, good and bad different as every change in life is. Positively, I am hooked up to electricity and water. I must say, that makes a big difference regarding amenities generally. For example, I have a little fan clipped to the edge of the table blowing on me right now. Last evening I had the roof mounted air conditioner running briefly just to cool me off before I went into Luckenbach. I like taking a shower, too.
The pad on which the camper is setting is remarkably level even though it is constructed out of gravel. Consequently, I believe I have this camper set up as level as it has ever been. Getting this thing level is a big deal in terms of living day to day in it. Just take my word for that.
On the other hand I am set up right beside the two-lane blacktop that runs in front of the campground. As the morning wears on, it reminds me more and more of the track at Rochingham, North Carolina. (I use Rockingham as a comparison because it is the only NASCAR track I have ever been to.) Texans here either drive pickups with a horse trailer tied on or they drive big motorcycles. There is nothing else on the road. And whichever it is, they drive like bats out of hell. I am not exagerrating. I sat there with my coffee facing the road this morning and watched 'em, just like a disapproving old woman. Sweet Jesus! When these folks do have wrecks, there must not be anything left. And the traffic is loud. Of course I had become accustomed to the quiet of Canyon Park.
There will definitely be no internet connection at this site. Therefore, I will have to write these blog entries and then travel into Luckenbach to post them with a connection that Miss Jenkins, my landlord, tells me is in there somewhere. This will make my responses to email more sporadic, too. More about Miss Jenkins later.
Yesterday was a full day for me physically. I ran the 5K first thing in the morning. I then hauled Jim and his gear into Maricopa River Rides where he is setting up a new camp for the few days necessary for John to complete this little room on the side of the Maricopa River Rides building. That will be Jim's permanent cage as soon as it is completed.
So then I did my tube ride. John claims that the water in the Guadalupe River is 68F. year round. All I know is that when I stuck my toe in the water a couple of days ago, I decided I would use my wet suit if I ever got in it. I am glad I did. It was 95F. outside when I got in. I would float until I got hot and then slide off into the water and soak for awhile. Then I would climb back into the tube and bake in the sun again with my ass sitting in about four to six inches of cold water in the bottom of the tube until I got hot.
Jim took pictures for me, and he did not conceal his scorn for the wet suit well. But do you know how I look at that? At least I do not own a pissant little dog that stands around shivering in ninety-seven degree weather.
John and Jim took me to the private residence of a friend walking distance upstream for my entry. The property fronted on a side stream with a cute weir. In the pictures you see me mounting up behind the little weir and floating on down to where the side stream enters into the mainstream.
Let me get this out of the way for those folks who just have to know. Of course I pee in my wet suit. During this float, I peed in my wet suit three times. I have answered that question so often that I feel like an astronaut.
I was having difficulty imagining why people pay money to do this tube thing. Once I was into it, however, I soon discovered the appeal of it for me. (Obviously, college kids do it to get drunk and get laid, neither of which endeavors am I arguing should be excluded from the curriculum.) It is extraordinarily relaxing and a bit mesmerizing. The ride was two hours long, perfectly calm for the most part with some rapids here and there. After about one hour I did not care whether the sun was going to rise in the morning. I lost all sense of responsibility, and as a result by the time I later got the camper down, packed, and hooked to the truck, I was over an hour past check-out time at Canyon Park. The good old boy at the gate just waved me through though.
It was about an hour and a half drive to Luckenbach with a quick stop for groceries and a stop for a cold bottle of ice tea. I had peed enough in the wet suit that I did not need to do that. By the time I had set the camper back up at The Armadillo Farm Campground in a sunny 97F., I was well done. You could have stuck a fork in me.
I went into Luckenbach for music last evening anyway. Everybody's somebody in Luckenbach. More about that later.