Road trip! I wake up with a smile. The journey is still days away but I have so much energy, I have to take a bike ride just to settle myself. So I take Big Blue out for one last spin around the park, through groves of tall pine, along the banks of the meandering Schroon River, silently saying my goodbyes.
It’s the start of the last hurrah for this campground. The beginning of the long Labor Day weekend; still a few hours left before the big influx of campers. Still a quiet, natural forest with chickadees flitting and crows cawing.
Back at my campsite, I park my bike and try to decide where to begin. There’s so much preparation, closing up the house, so to speak, making it all snug and secure for the road, but it’s not like work; it’s fun getting ready; just thinking of all those new places to discover.
The RV slide-out gets washed and put in, the protective wheel covers come off, the charger for the engine battery gets dismantled, the LP auxiliary tank is disconnected, dishes are packed between paper towels. What a thrill!
I’ll soon be traveling from the Adirondack mountains’ dense pine tree forests to the Sonoran desert’s sparse patches of saguaro cacti all in the span of two weeks. That’s not all; I’m trading humidity for dry heat, mosquitoes for scorpions, thunderstorms for sand storms. Holy mother of pearl, I can’t wait!
Every time I’m packing up my RV and getting ready to move on, I find some things that I no longer need. This time, while cleaning out the car to make room for my bike, I found an old jar of honey roasted peanuts. So I unscrewed the lid, tossed the nuts on the ground and recycled the jar. Then went back to laying out a tarp inside the car so I could lay the bike on top of it.
Well, along comes a chipmunk stealthily moving across my campsite toward the nuts. He sees me, hesitates at first, but his fear is waylaid by his intent on getting food for his winter larder. Chippie moves boldly a few feet in front of me and starts stuffing peanuts into his mouth.
Out of the corner of my eye I see a flash of movement; a roller coaster of red fur speeds over a boulder, up a pine tree, onto a branch, down the trunk and across the grass toward the nuts. The red squirrel freezes when he sees the chipmunk, chases him away, grabs a nut and starts eating.
I’ve been here almost two months. Chipmunks and red squirrels have been eluding me since I took up residence in the campground. I’ve sat still as a garden gnome, camera at the ready; they’ve zoomed past me “faster than a speeding locomotive.” Day after blessed day without success.
Now here I am walking around, moving things about, putting the bike in the car and they’re underfoot snatching nuts right from under my feet. So I did the best thing I could think of at the moment. I boldly walked into the RV, grabbed my camera and stood right there with them, taking one picture after another. Serendipity struck again!
(aka Tin Can Traveler)