Thursday, May 1, 2008

Leonard's Match

One of the things we were curious about before heading out was what kind of people we might meet in our various campgrounds. So far, we’ve really only talked with a few. A couple of nights ago we had a nice chat with a newly retired couple from LA who had never spent a night in an RV but dreamed to, and they bought a 36-foot Class A in Indiana and drove it home from there. (A 36-foot Class A is not exactly a “starter RV”.) Now they’re considering spending a year on the road with their new “toy”. (Sounds like great fun to us.) Nice people.

This morning, things around the campground were mighty quiet – just the sound of landscapers tooling around in their golf carts picking up fallen branches from last night’s windstorm. We took advantage of the calm and quiet to enjoy some time sitting in the sun. Our neighbor from two sites up came strolling by. We said hello. So did she. She stepped right up and sat right down at our picnic table and started to talk. Well, she didn’t exactly talk. She SHOUTED!

Laura is on a trip of a lifetime – after taking early retirement she’s traveling for six weeks or so from California’s central valley through America’s great southwest in her 20-foot travel trailer. Nice lady. And, a real talker.

In a tone she must think is “inside voice” but obviously doesn’t know it isn’t, she recounted every single stop she’s made and is about to – a couple of times. She told us how she came to own and learn to pull her cute little trailer, what she keeps packed inside and where she parks it when she’s not on the road. She told us about her initial road trips and a recent trip to Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.

Did we mention she was SHOUTING?

After listening to this kind-hearted but LOUD soul for longer than we could comfortably stand, we took advantage of an ever-so-brief pause in the “conversation” and said we needed to head off for a hike before it got too late. We wished each other well and went on our way.

As we stepped into the RV we said in unison, “She reminds me of Leonard.”

Leonard is a family relative who is as kind-hearted as the day is long. He’s spent much of the last 30 or 40 years traveling across North America in a camper. And, he’s a talker, too. Every time our paths have crossed we’ve heard stories of road trips and friends he’s met along the way. The stories are always shared in a big outside voice like no one we’ve heard.

Until today.

Heading back into camp from our afternoon hike, our campground was filled with activity with many Thursday night campers arriving for a long weekend. As we approached our site we had hopes that a new camper had filled the space between Laura’s and ours to serve as a “buffer”.

To our delight, a 32-foot Fleetwood Southwind Class A was wedged between Laura’s little trailer and our mobile Marriott.

That’ll work.

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