Another beautiful sunrise . . .
The crew and I have visitors to our campsite.
Deb walks across the desert with her two goldendoodles, Carly and Joanie. We sit in camp chairs watching our canines and chatting until the afternoon shadows grow long.
I hadn’t realized that the camper in view from our site belongs to Deb and Ed. I met this couple from Ontario a few weeks ago when we all camped on Palm Canyon Road in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.
You may remember them from the photo of Joanie. Or maybe that’s Carly . . . .
The next day Les stops by for a chat.
Les Buffham is the cowboy poet and Western lyricist I met here before Christmas. Les is the kind of guy who weaves little stories into the conversation. We’re looking at maps and reminiscing about our travels when Les proceeds to tell me this story.
“I’m driving a Class A motor home. It’s about thirty feet or so, called a “Honey,” he begins. “I’m pulling a Ford Aerostar van behind it, crossing the Beartooth Mountains up by Red Lodge.”
“That’s Montana, right?” I interrupt.
“Yes. I come to this sign that says ten percent grade, ten miles.”
“Ten miles. Oh, boy, that’s a long grade, ” I remark like a parrot.
“Well, I’m pullin’ and pullin’ up that grade, slowin’ way down.”
Les chuckles at the memory.
“Finally I come to a level spot and pull over. I fix myself some dinner. Then I unhook the van, leave the motor home behind, and drive the van the rest of the way up the mountain.”
I’m momentarily confused. What? He left his motor home?
Les continues, “At the top I leave the van behind and ride my bicycle down the mountain to the motor home. Then I drive the motor home up the mountain.”
“Very clever, Les. A simple solution.”
“Another time I’m going up another long grade. This was near Casper. I wanted to go up Casper Mountain. I had tried it once before and slid off the road. Had to get somebody to pull me out.”
“Well, I’m goin’ up Casper Mountain. Again with the motor home and towing the van. This time it’s summer. It’s a long, steep grade and I don’t think I’m gonna’ make it. Then I get this idea.”
Les pauses, adding more drama to the story.
“I stop. I’ve got the engine on the motor home running. I run back to the van and start it up. I put it in drive with a stick under the throttle. Then I hop in the motor home and go up the mountain.”
“It worked just fine.”
“Gee whiz, Les,” I exclaim, incredulous. “I’d be afraid I wouldn’t be able to stop!”
“Aw, there wasn’t any problem, ” he concludes. “It’s flat at the top.”
I’ll wrap up this post with a photo sent to me by reader, Arizona Jim.
Here is a picture of my Grandpa and his brother taken in 1939 after a trip out to the Colorado River. I call your attention to the trailer because they built it. It was made of wood but for its time it was state of the art. I slept in that trailer many nights as it was parked at Grandpa’s house well into the late 50’s. It had a sink and water pump, electric lights and a ice box. They built three of them and sold two. Just thought you might find it interesting.” — Jim
Thanks for letting me share this on my blog, Jim!
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