Around noon, Thor and I left the family we were visiting in Santa Rosa Beach (though the house is on the bay) and headed North to Chandler Mountain, the home of Horse Pens 40 and, well, not much else. My aunt and uncle have a house there and the plan was for me to go there and pick up a table that my aunt and I thought I might find handy and spend the night there. They don’t have a full hook up (as I’m learning the camper lingo, it turns out that “hook up” has a different connotation than the one with which I am most familiar), but they do have electricity and indoor plumbing, which I must admit, is very handy. My aunt arranged with the folks who were staying at the cabin for me to be able to park at the house, and apparently they seemed pretty up for it. I thought it might be a trial run for dropping in on a stranger who’d offered to let me park in their driveway. They were to arrive around noon, when, in case you’ve forgotten, was the time that I was leaving Florida. My uncle gave me directions and the combination to the padlock at the gate (we were both impressed that Google got me all the way to the driveway and that I was able to see a satellite image of the roof of the house). Since they were to be at the place at noon, I didn’t exactly take the best of care to record the combination.
Thor and I arrived at the gate and had picked up a couple of dogs from the house down the road. I didn’t actually pick them up, mind you, but they followed the camper down the driveway; strangely, this was before I got the follow me bumper sticker . From the car, the gate looked locked. After deciding that the German Shepherd did not seem threatened by me and, hence, was not a threat to me, I went and checked the lock, which upon closer inspection was, in fact, locked. I tried multiple media to contact various people who might have the combination or the number to call the people at the cabin. All failed, at least in the short term.
And then I remembered.
I don’t need to get in the gate. I am home.
I endeavored to find a flat place to park there at the gate and started to set up camp. I popped the top, decided to drink the bottle of Kirkland Brut that I’d picked up at Costco on the way up here, and so on. I was just about to start getting out some food for dinner when I noticed that I had received a communique with the combination. I’d considered staying put, but the folks were expecting me. I wondered what kind of paranoid freaks they must be to lock themselves in, but I’d been assured that they were nice people. I dropped the top, unlocked the gate, drove through, re-locked the gate (it seemed Really Stupid to me, but who am I to judge?) and drove on down to the house. There was no sign of them. This explained the locked gate.
I tried to find a level place to park near the house, but couldn’t, and drove up the driveway a piece and finally found a place. I managed to locate the propane heater and the blow torch that I use to light it (with the whole burning down the house thing you might find it surprising or, perhaps, obvious, but I do love a blow torch). It’s supposed to be close to 40F so I found the duct tape to patch the gaping holes in the tent. (Is it just me, or is anyone else annoyed that what appears to be the prominent company making duct tape is called Duck Tape?) I would have just left the top down to retain heat, but I have a fair amount of crap in the back that would make sharing the bottom bunk with Thor troublesome.
As I was fiddling around trying to find various things, I kept smelling beer. “What could that be? I don’t remember spilling any beer.” I checked the can of beer in the fridge to see if it somehow had leaked. “No. That’s not it. Must be my imagination.” I had this conversation with myself several times before finding that someone (presumably I) had left the cap on the handle of Dewer’s ajar and more than a couple of shots had left the bottle and is now soaked in to the back pillow. I bought the Dewar’s so that I wouldn’t pour out so much of the really good Scotch that I have. This wasn’t really the way that I had foreseen me using this whisky. So it goes, I suppose.
I told the phone to be a wireless hotspot and a clock (my phone, mounted in the dashboard unit, is a pretty good bedside clock) and set out to make dinner, which consisted of Cabot cheddar, a pastrami and Swiss sandwich, and some pickles. I do love me some pickles.
I’m listening to music from the USB stick plugged into the stereo. I am getting tired of Counting Crows. Thor is outside sparring with the neighbor dogs (more on that later). I’ve opened the sun roof vent and cracked the door (thinking that Thor will tire of the puppies Real Soon Now) and have the propane heater pointed in my general direction.
The bubbly is mostly gone. Yes, I have consumed a bottle of bubbly solo. I’ve switched over to Grisman and Rice on the USB stick, but I’m growing weary of it too. I’ll be happy to have the Squeezebox Touch running on the 12V-5V adapter that I ordered on Ebay or the inverter that I’ll certainly get wired up Real Soon Now. If I had the energy, I’d move some files from the hard drive to the USB stick, but that would require getting out the netbook, moving the hard drive from under the dash shelf and so on. Rice and Grisman are damned good, even if I’ve heard Tone Poems a few times in the past couple weeks.
I’ll sign off here and see if I can tell some of Thor’s version of our trip to Chandler.