Thursday, July 7, 2011

It Gets Better... then worse

So many cities, and places I remember have changed beyond recognition, marking the passage of time and my age.  Minatonka Cave, refreshingly is just how I remember it from over 30 years ago.

I anticipated the Wedding rings, piles of gold, Kermit's Castle, and the dwarfs room.  I got to be the annoying kid that knew the names of cave bacon, ceiling straws and the other formations. 

Even happier, once again, I was the only one on the tour to correctly identify north in complete darkness.  The children marveled that such a large series of caverns could exist underground and it was a wonderful hands on lesson on earthquakes as we could see the fault line overhead.

We left the cave happy but dirty and trekked to Pickle-ville Playhouse, a melodramatic theater I'd grown up hearing about, as a particularly stuck up girl in my high school class acted in it every year.   But, no doubt about it, she was and still is the best high school actress I'd ever seen.  Thus I was not as surprised as I might be about the quality of the talent and the production.  I laughed at my little Sunshine dancing and guffawing more than I laughed at the REALLY corny jokes.  I watched Ladybug who cracked the occasional rare smile when she thought I wasn't watching.  Briz even laughed his head off.  But Little Mother writhed and wriggled on my shoulder half the time with a toothache. 

So, the day took a decided turn for the better... Until we pulled into our sleeping quarters for the trip.  We didn't have much time to enjoy the outdoors so we chose to stay at a KOA.  The pictures on line showed cabins nestled in mountainous terrain near a burbling creek.

The reality was mind bogglingly incredible.  Rows of RV's lined twenty feet apart.  I am confused that people come out to the wilderness to lounge in the world's smallest pool, surf the net under the stars, hook up elaborate lighted flag displays and neon lighted rocks to lead to their entrance.

We are guided to a tent spot on a bed of fresh woodchips.  We gape open mouthed at the large Hispanic family complete with radio and Chiwawa 15 yards to our left.  Ten yards to our left, a Mormon sized extended family with 5 tents and 2 babies under 6 months tortured us.

They cry.  First one, then the other.  9:00, 2:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m. then 6:00 a.m.  Meanwhile, Little Mother had her traditional night terrors and tried to claw her way out of the tent.  I love children, especially babies but as dawn approached and I turned my aching sleepless body, I felt positively murderous.  Every muscle screamed.  I lay for several more hours, heard Sunshine relieve herself 2 feet from my head and refused to leave my miserable position on the foam mattress.

Briz and Little Mother tried to comfort the Unhappy Camper, but there was no comfort to be found from camping purgatory. 

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