Camping Woman at the Water’s Edge

I went to a meet-up of camper ladies up on Lake Martin in Alabama. It was early evening and I was tired from nearly five hours of driving, when I backed the camper into it’s assigned campground space. Just as I turned off the truck engine, I perked up at the sound of my name. A good friend waved from a hill.

“Why don’t you see if you can get a water-side spot?” my friend said. “I think some are open.”

My response was a shrug. “Oh…well, I’m already parked. This space is fine.”

I proceeded to unhook my camper from the truck and set everything up for a stay of five glorious days of relaxation and fellowship with fun and interesting camping women.

However, the seed of parking at a water’s edge had been planted. And the seed produced a tiny sprout, when I realized the cooling breeze from the lake seemed not to reach my camper. I found my campsite was down in a dip of the land. It was as if the breeze passed above me. Then I discovered that I had to walk to the campground road and down it in order view the sunset. I could barely even see the lake from my camper window. The sprout poked up just a bit more and prodded me, but I resisted. “Not going to all that trouble. The entire camper is set up. Let me keep it simple. It will be fine.”

I will stop here and say that deep down the reason I didn’t want to pursue changing campsites was because to do so meant backing the camper in place again. I dreaded that. Yes, I can do it. I have backed successfully countless times in the six years since I bought a travel trailer. But it is still a stressful endeavor of inching along, thinking hard of which way to turn the steering wheel to send the trailer in the correct direction, praying not to hit anything and, of course, not to appear foolish. Each time after backing in my camper, I experience this sort of relief of having successfully set down a bomb without it going off.

However, the next morning when I stepped out the camper door to walk Faith and was hit by bright, hot sun and still air, the sprout of longing, which had grown in the night, prickled with strong annoyance. As Faith and I walked toward the clear blue lake and felt the sweet breeze along the campground road, I saw friends sitting in the peaceful shade of trees along the edge of the water. I noted a couple of empty and appealing water-side sites. By the time I returned to my camper, the sprout of longing had grown the size of a small tree and was poking up my ribs.

I pulled out my phone and called the campground office. “Can I trade my site for number 136 on the water?”

“Yes, ma’am,” came the instant reply. “That will be $15 onto your bill. I’m ready for your credit card.”

In fifteen minutes, I had secured everything inside the camper, thrown the camp chairs, table, rug, electric cord and water hose helter-skelter in the pickup bed. Another ten minutes, and I had the stabilizers raised and proceeded to hook the camper to the truck. As I drove around the curving road, camper friends saw me and grinned.

I aligned the camper with the new campsite and backed. I had to go forward and back several times, but, with a number of times out of the driver seat to look, I slowly rolled the camper into place. Then I found the campsite pad sloped and leveling the camper was required. I pulled forward, got out my yellow plastic leveling blocks and put them in place to back the right side camper tires up on them. I couldn’t see them with the right-hand mirror, so I had to inch the camper backward and feel when the wheels went up on the blocks, and stop instantly. I did it first try!

Quite soon I had the camper connected to utilities and accoutrements set up again, and I sat in the dappling shade of a sweetgum tree, drinking a cup of Darjeeling tea at the water’s edge. I gazed out at the softly rippling lake and gave thanks for being able to move to the lovely spot, and I mused about how far I have come since beginning to camp, and how every time we do the thing we fear, we are made stronger.

Grace and peace,

9 thoughts on “Camping Woman at the Water’s Edge

  1. Good Morning CurtissAnn…sounds like a wonderful experience. I love the smell of a camp fire and how much fun it is making breakfast and lounging around the fire with good friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are really braver than you think! And look at the wonderful spot you received as your reward for ignoring fear’s inertia! (But I’m pretty sure I would have a hard time backing a camper up on yellow plastic blocks in addition to backing into the spot. ) Brava! Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

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