The summer before Stan and I got engaged, a friend and I decided we would go on vacation together. For some reason, and I've never fully understood why, Ilene and I thought that camping would be the best thing ever. I owned a tent and sleeping bag, borrowed my parents camp stove and lantirn and we loaded up my little Toyota and took off.
We decided on a place called Whiskey Town, a lake and campground in northern California near Mt. Shasta. It was terrific. We swam, ate talked and took long naps. The only problem was there were no showers. The only time we saw water was when we went swimming. The temperature hung around 112 so you can imagine how we looked and, well, smelled.
Ten days of camping without showering and we were a sight. We named ourselves the Women of the Woods (WoW) and decided to just enjoy ourselves.
The highlight was when we ventured into a small logging town for the 4th of July festivities. Homemade pies were for sale on the lawn of the Parsonage, the Fire Department had a corn roast, the library sold homemade lemonade and little old ladies were selling handmade doilies and quilts, there was a band playing in the square (yep, a town square!) and then there was the parade.
Two things became very evident as we sat on the curb eating homemade ice cream and watching that parade: this was indeed a very small town, and logging was the big operation. Here came everything from little kids on tricycles decorated with crepe paper and playing cards clipped to the spokes, all the way up to these hugemongous logging trucks that were also decorated with ribbons and Christmas lights. It was a blast.
Every now and then I trot those memories out and re-examine them. Small town life can be charming, but those WoWs were happy to get home to their showers, let me tell you!
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