Somewhere between turning on my sides and stretching straight out—only to note that my sleeping pad is about four inches shorter than my body—the thought did occur: I wonder how many nights in a hotel I would get if I put this tent and sleeping bag on Craigslist? Honesty Folks!…that’s what I’m sharing.
Big South Fork National Park at the Bandy Creek Campsite. First night with comfortably cool temps and light drizzle. The rain stopped and I set up camp and even made my first meal: instant brown rice with onion and green beans. Not bad. All the sites had ‘reserved’ signs on them. But the reservations were for the upcoming weekend and the storytelling festival. Folks apparently book months in advance. Conversely, no one was booked for a Tuesday night in September. My universe-sent angel, April, (see earlier post) had told me to limit the time I took from car to tent so I would not appear to be a novice. Well, with no one around to observe, I took advantage and emptied the entire car and started again. Between tent set up and instant rice dinner, the entire car came undone.
I felt a tad disoriented—given that even though I had packed the car the day before, I was unsure where the pocket knife my buddy Tom had given me and where I had stashed that easy-to-reach pull over sweat shirt. To add to the disorientation was the fact that Bandy Creek campsite resides on the cusp of the Eastern Time Zone and the Central Time Zone. This answers my question of why the ranger who I called to see if there was room said she’d only be there until 4pm, “And that’s Eastern Standard Time.” I had just said I was 40 minutes away at 2:30…how long did she think I’d take?
To keep track of my progress on campsite set up, I employed my IPhone stop watch. (Yes, I can be obsessive!) I started in at 4:04pm….I moved the phone from my pants pocket to the picnic bench and when I finished setting up my tent and such I stopped the timer and noted that the time was now 3:35. For those quick to discern how long it took me to set up my tent, I want to note that I actually gained thirty one minutes! And thus the disorientation began.
Inside my tent, my IPhone would say 2am and then click to 1am. When I awoke at 5am it was also 4am. Outside the tent, it was clearly Eastern Standard time at the car, but twelve paces away at the picnic bench, it was Central time.
People kept saying, “Stopping Tennessee? You ready for banjo music?” Who needs that when the orbiting satellites are playing their own tunes?
Disorientation is something I have become pretty good at identifying with in this forth decade of life and somehow now rather than swirl me into discontent, it makes me laugh. I may think to sell the tent and sleeping bag on Craig’s List, but heck…what hotel is operating under two time zones?