Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dry Paddles in Pennsylvania

We made the trip east for a family reunion.  This is not be a paddle-trip adventure, but I hope there are things of interest to our readers.  Ibi, our Superior Expedition decked-canoe was on the Ram for the entire 2,802 miles, but with family commitments and the need to have the truck available for kid shuttles, the only time the canoe got wet was the day and a half that we had showers.

"If you don't mind, you're blocking the doorway."  This is a couple
keeping house from our last litter.

We got underway and stopped to provision the RV in Enid, OK.  Since Jean’s latest batch of four squirrels were making the trip with us, we paused for their feeding, which was still taking place every four hours.   While headed up the Will Rogers Turnpike (U.S. Rt. 44), I saw a huge cluster of red and blue flashing lights ahead.  That awesome display of lights had to be a wreck, so I slowed and pulled into the left lane.   As I got closer, the lights slowly resolved into a pick-up towed trailer with a porta-potty mounted on top.  It was a comfort station for convicts working on highway clean-up, although we never saw a road crew either before or after encountering the potty-mobile.  That was the first time I had seen that.  A deputy sheriff drove the pick-up.  I can’t imagine this trained professional showing up for work every day to be assigned potty duty.

Beautiful morning glories growing on a red honeysuckle vine.  The
hummingbirds love them during the summer, and the combined foliage
makes a great haven for small birds now that the days are getting colder
and windier.

We stopped for the night at Marshfield, MO, at RV Express.  It is convenient for its closeness to the highway, and also a number of points of interest nearby.  While it is a very clean and friendly park, it is very small.  It is large enough for us, but small by the standards of the average RV park, and this was to provide an hour of entertainment.  A giant motorhome came in right behind us.  As if it wasn’t large enough on its own, it was towing a large panel trailer.  This must have been the driver’s first experience with handling the rig in such a tight spot, and since it was bearing Florida registration, one had to wonder how they managed to get from Florida to Missouri.  Anyone but the driver would have figured that the larger the vehicle, the wider the turning radius that would be needed.  The rig had to be worth a major fortune, and again proves that money doesn’t solve all problems.  The park is a single oval loop with one way in and one way out.  He needed to make a 180-degree turn, but instead of taking the outside radius to make the largest turn possible, he took the inside radius.  He made it less than half-way around the turn before he realized he was stuck, and was then jammed with a high curb both in front and behind him.  He had no idea how to maneuver the rig, and little inclination to follow the directions of the park manager, who was trying to help.  He and his motor-coach had a strangle hold on the entire RV park for nearly an hour.

Such wonderful colors.

These beautiful flowers definitely contribute more to the world than the people we met in our next experience.  On day three, we were east of Columbus, OH, when we stopped at a truck stop for gas, lunch, and, of course, to feed squirrels.  We were sitting in the parking lot when a car came in carrying four scruffy characters.  The show started as soon as they poured out of the car.  They quickly made it clear that they were from effin' Philadelphia, but then that was an adjective they attached to everything.  They went on non-stop about how they had driven all the way from effin' Philadelphia.  They had stopped for effin' gas when they discovered that they had an effin' flat.  They were livid when they discovered that ‘the effin' truck stop ain’t got no effin' air.’  The car and trunk were stuffed with a wide range of items from chunks of wood to loose clothing, all of which they threw out in the parking lot.  A couple men walked by and spoke to them.  They had strong accents, likely Slavic, and yet spoke better English than our effin' Philadelphians, who were undoubtedly the pride of those who have dedicated their lives to maintaining the educational and cultural standards of Philadelphia.  They returned to the convenience store for a bag of ice for their cooler.  Naturally, after dumping the ice, they threw the large plastic bag in the parking lot to blow around.   As they limped off, I went out to retrieve their trash and dispose of it.  I guess this is just how they were raised in Philadelphia.  All the while, Jean’s birds were sitting on the dinette table looking out the window with rapt attention to all the yelling and screaming.  Jean was waiting to see if the vulgar language had added anything to their vocabularies, but apparently even the birds have higher standards.

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