Filed under: Campgrounds & RV Parks, Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Humor, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, Preparation & Readiness, Safety on the Road, Taking Along the Family Pet
George and Rocky’s Late Night Adventure
Rocky decided that he had to go for a walk at 11:30 PM the night we arrived at the Sun ‘N Fun RV Resort in Sarasota, Florida. It was no big deal; I walk him all the time. He gets constipated from sitting in a car all day, just like me. The difference this time was the size of the park and the fact that I forgot to take my cell phone, flashlight and my BRAIN along with me when I set out on his walk. To makes matters worse, I gave Rocky the lead and he decided that he wanted to take a LONG walk.
Again, no problem, the streets were named and the sites were numbered, after all, but – remember – I forgot to take my brain along for the walk. 20 minutes after setting out I knew that I was lost. I knew that we were set up on site number 36 and I was standing in front of site 445, but I had no idea which way to go to get “home.” I was also worried about the fact that even though the resort had over 3,000 visitors during its busy season, it was, unfortunately, not its busy season. There wouldn’t be much help to be had in the huge, mostly deserted resort.
About 45 minutes further into our walk, both Rocky and I were very tired and still lost. I began trying to backtrack, looking for familiar streets or homes that we had passed. The problem was that every street had an Indian name that sounded a lot like every other Indian street name and most of the manufactured homes, which make up a good proportion of the sites, looked alike. It was then that I began worrying that I might have to sleep on someone’s front porch that night.
I did walk past a couple of semi-darkened homes during my trek and did consider knocking on the door and asking for help, but several things stopped me from doing so:
1- Embarrassment over my situation.
2- My male genetic conditioning that MEN NEVER ASK DIRECTIONS. And -
3- It was late at night and the owner might be elderly (maybe even more so than me) and knocking on their door might cause a heart attack or result in me getting SHOT.
Days later (not really; it just felt like it) Rocky and I were still lost. The only difference in our situation was that I was now carrying Rocky, who had given up on walking even another step; even after I reminded him that the walk had been HIS idea. (He’s not too good about accepting responsibility for his decisions and usually blames me — as in “Don’t look at me! You’re the HUMAN!”)
Well, we didn’t get eaten by an alligator or die from hunger or thirst, but I did think that I’d die from embarrassment when a car finally drove up and, after I threw myself in front of it to make it stop, I had to sheepishly explain that the pathetic old guy (me, cane and all, carrying his little dog) had gotten lost and needed HELP. At first the guy driving wouldn’t even open his window to talk to me, maybe thinking that I was really a terrorist pretending to be a 64-year old retired guy (with cane and terrier). He just sat in there and stared out at me. After raising my voice and waving my arms about, he finally lowered his window a few inches and no, he didn’t offer me a ride, or even explicit directions, but he did point vaguely off into the distance and suggest I head that way. And then he was gone and I was ready to lie down in the middle of the street with Rocky and wait, whimpering, for either death or the morning, whichever came first.
It was then that I heard a very faint call from way off in the distance: “George! G-E-O-R-G-E! GEORGE!” It was Maureen, my darling wife! After nearly an hour, she had finally torn herself away from a late night movie and had come looking for me. Good wife! I tried returning her call, which she claims she never heard, and then began stumbling in the direction of her voice, totally exhausted from the day’s adventures.
Well, a few minutes later, a vehicle approached and I was rescued by a friendly stranger in an SUV. He informed me that Maureen was looking for me and was going to kill me when she finally got hold of me for forgetting to take my phone along on my walk (She has funny ways of showing her affection for me). It was then that I realized that Maureen was sitting there in the dark, inside the SUV, giggling, next to her new best friend, Henry. We, or they, actually, had a good laugh about her senile husband as they drove me back to our trailer.
And that was that, although if any of you mention this story in the future, I’ve decided to deny it ever happened.
Postscript: The above story, and a good number of others, co-star my little buddy, Rocky, an Australian Terrier. As you’ll learn from an upcoming story, Rocky passed on during our cross-country RV tour during 2010. I just thought that you should know.