Posted by Steve Stanfield, Member:
Conglomeration of Tales.
We'd just been married about 1-1/2 years - one of which I spent in South Korea - and we'd been assigned to Wurtsmith AFB, in Oscoda, Michigan. Naturally, we had to travel there in January. Being a southern California guy, I had no worries. Right!
While I was overseas, my wife had bought a 12' tin camper, one of those things with a narrow bed and barely enough room to stand next to it. We had it loaded will a bunch of our stuff, including about 20 houseplants on the tiny fold-down top bunk.
While traveling through Illinois, we detoured to see 'Lincoln's Log Cabin.' Those of you who have been there will already know that the original was lost after being on display at a World's Fair. The State of Illinois kindly set up a small log cabin near the original site and set out huge signs directing tourists to it.
The road to the cabin site from the highway was fairly rough two-lane, but once we arrived, we saw a nice 4-lane divided road leading out in another direction. It wasn't on the map, so I decided it was new, and probably returned to the state highway via a more gentle route.
We followed the road, and after a couple of miles it turned into a 2- lane road, Then it turned into a 2-lane dirt road, and with no place to back up or turn around. It went between some gate posts and meandered through a cornfield and across a pasture.
I thought the best course of action was to get to the open pasture and turn around. Too bad the cornfield was axle-deep in mud!
The farmer pulled us out (backwards) with his tractor for only $20.
When we finally reached Michigan the weather was really cold, and there was about 4' of snow on the ground in Oscoda. The road was hard-packed ice, so I drove very carefully at about 20 mph. Then I looked in the rear-view mirror and couldn't see the trailer. I panicked and shot a glance in the other side mirror, and there was the trailer, at a 90-degree angle to the truck, gently keeping pace.
Now THAT's slick ice!! I managed to accellerate gently enough to nudge the trailer back into line, just in time to look forward again and see a big lumber truck coming at us on our side of the road.
After all the heart-stopping work of saving the trailer, we ended up in the ditch anyway.
And, of course, the upper bunk let go, and dumped all those plants and all that dirt onto our clothes we had laid on the bed. :xx
Another time, in Nebraska, we had taken our converted school bus camper to a state park for the weekend. We found a nice, quiet spot in a nearly-empty campground and set up.
A little after dark, several carloads of teenage boys roared into the campgound and stopped in the site next to ours. There was a flurry of activity, and 4 tents blossomed from the ground - along with at least 3 radios which competed to make their favorite station(s) heard.
A huge bonfire was soon alight, and the alcohol began to flow.
A little later, several carloads of teenage girls arrived, and the noise and mayhem doubled.
Our fire wood disappeared into their bonfire, then scouting parties began scouring the woods for more fuel. One genius began squirting the fire with a big can of gasoline, and everyone laughed when the fireballs exploded into the air.
When the nearby fire fuel was consumed, some of the more agile males began climbing trees and breaking off branches, which were passed down to the ground and into the fire.
Finally, I figured the danger of being so close to the action outweighed the morbid fascination, so I fired up our bus and prepared to move a ways off.
The engine starting caused a great cheer to go up from the kids, which turned to screams as I dropped the bus into gear and moved out. I glanced into the rear-view mirrors, and saw I was trailing ropes and nylon material...and the tents had disappeared.
Aparently tying your tent's guy ropes to the rear bumper of a bus is not a good idea. The screams were coming from the, ah, 'couples' which had been inside the tents.
Apparently the earth moved for them!