I’d like you to think that I must be the most organized amateur stargazer/parent-educater/camper out there, because I have spent the last week and a half planning ahead for next year’s Perseid meteor shower. It’s 50 weeks away people, haven’t you started planning?!?!
What actually happened, was that part of the “Last Week At Home With Mom End of Summer Extravaganza” included a spontaneous mid week camping trip to see the meteor shower. By spontaneous, I mean that I had the idea about a week in advance but I did not make a reservation, or any concrete plans, or even pack until 10 minutes before we left. Would we even be able to see the meteor shower from our campsite, or if would we be surrounded by tall trees? I figured with the lake there, we could find a spot on the south side of the lake for some sort of view. Would we need a reservation in the middle of the week? I was sure that there would be spots if we left right after
Lukes’s doctors appointment at 11:30 am / piano lessons at 3:00 / short track races at 5:00. Poor Jack competed in the end of short track season short track costume contest and managed not to die of heat exaustion only to be told that even though he was the only person there in a costume, the prizes wouldn’t be awarded until hours later. (We were so relived to see a pic from later of an adult rider in a very elaborate and fancy costume.)
We left immediately after short track and stopped for dinner in Nederland. I told Jack he could pick out whatever breakfast cereal he wanted as a costume contest consolation prize, so after dinner and a trip the the grocery store we were back on the road and headed for an 8:30 pm arrival time at Brainard Lake. No campsites!!
No problem I thought, Camp Dick is right around here we’ll see if there are spots available there. But instead, I started driving to Rainbow Lakes. It was a long, narrow, bumpy, twisty road, and it was starting to get dark. Jack started to worry about cannibals because of a fantastic and true campfire story that I like to tell about the time we were almost eaten by cannibals. Once we finally got to the sign that said, “Rainbow Lakes 1.8 miles” I remembered where we were and that we needed a high clearance vehicle to make it the rest of the way. I know Dave loves me, but I also know that if I wreck the van, our relationship is over. Still, I thought for a minute about whether we should keep going. The giant lake in front of us , and the end of my marriage helped me decide to turn around. Even though the boys offered to walk through the lake to check the depth, it didn’t seem like a good idea in the dark, with cannibals potentially lurking about.
We turned around and started driving back towards home, which, unfortunately was the opposite direction from Camp Dick. I found a spot where my phone worked and pulled over to call Dave. While I was talking to him a car pulled over and a guy got out with a giant flashlight and walked slowly over to us. Slowly enough for Jack to let out a frenzied, “CANNIBAL,CANNIBAL, CANNIBAL!” I rolled down the window and said, “We’re fine, thanks.” And he said, with derision, “Then turn on your hazards.” I thought that was weird because the reason I didn’t turn on my hazards was that I didn’t need anyone to come help me. (I was in a pull out, way to the side, off the road.) Anywho, I turned on my hazards and listened to Dave’s suggestions of where there was open camping in Nederland, and I was almost sold on the idea until he said, “Just don’t camp near any herion addicts. Or, I guess, meth addicts would be worse.”
We had forgotten 3 things on this trip: Pillows, flashlights, and the dog. We decided we could live without pillows, hoped maybe the flashlights were in there somewhere, and thought not having the dog was actually going to simplify things. But then I wished she was there to protects us from the cannibals.
Long story short (too late) we went home.
I woke the boys up at 3:00 am and we went to the park with a blanket and some smore’s goldfish and watched the meteor shower while we tried to stay warm and comfortable on the sidewalk.
It’s an official “family memory now” but I think I can do a better job next year.
I laughed, I cried, that story had it all. Good job turning around. When I was up in that area the other day, there was a sad trail of a stream of oil from the road to L.H. reservoir about mid-way up, all the way down the road back out to Peak to Peak Highway. I wonder when that person’s oil light finally went on.