Monday, August 13, 2012

The Second Sunday Drive, Day Five

The B&B Cabin at Campit Resort
(Saab parked to the left)

Awakening early, I dressed in my black leather kilt and bar vest and set out to visit the various areas of Campit Resort.  Check out time was 1:00 p.m. and I intended to drive to Ron’s campsite at Roseland in northern West Virginia, so I really didn’t feel I had a lot of time for exploration.  Furthermore, once on the highway, I would want to drive instead of sightsee, so if there were to be any photos to share today, they would pretty much have to come from the campground.

Over the years I have learned that few people rise as early as I, and today was no exception.  No one was in the pool, or lounging on its deck.  No one was outside their tent or camp trailer, and my walk was unimpeded by any conversation—indeed by any living creatures except for a pair of ducks living by a pond in the midst of a collection of seasonal campsites.  The nature trails were conspicuously empty of any non-vegetal nature, and it was only as I was returning to shower and pack up the Saab that I encountered anyone at all.  I had been told the night before about the area called “Wisconsin,” and now I found myself within its confines.  A tenting area with no roads for access, this morning Wisconsin had only one tent and only one camper.  That camper, stark naked, was standing outside his tent while the site’s picnic table was set for breakfast.  After a bit of hesitation as to whether I should disturb his solitude, I decided to take advantage of the only other living human I had seen yet this morning.

I asked about the rationale behind the name “Wisconsin,” and he informed me that a group of campers from that state had insisted that a gay campground had to have a clothing optional area, and had basically declared this isolated tenting region just such.  Officially, the whole campground requires clothing at all times, but apparently the powers that be turned a blind eye to the lack of human covering here in “Wisconsin.”

Campit Resort's Ducks on Patrol

I noted a statue of the Virgin just inside the camper’s tent, and that led to a discussion of religion, iconography, and the reasons we use such symbolism in the first place.  Fascinating stuff for a naked encounter, but tempus was fugiting  and I needed to hit the road.

After a shower in my private bath, I packed the Saab, bought a couple of gay-themed stickers for my new ride, and checked out of the camp.  My watch said 10:00 a.m., meaning 11:00 local time.  One quick stop at the McIntosh Orchards, a winery I had learned about Sunday night in the pool, and I would be on my way.

McIntosh Orchards was not hard to find, but was about six miles off my route.  That shouldn’t make a lot of difference in a day’s travel.  The orchard had a nicely set up tasting room, and following the recommendation of my poolside informant, I bought a bottle of hard apple cider.  In truth, I bought two bottles of cider, one dry and one semi-dry.  I also bought a bottle of pear wine, a bottle of Balaton Cherry, and a bottle of something called “Blushing Bear,” which turned out to be a cranberry-pear blend.  The woman serving me was most concerned that I was buying all these bottles without tasting anything, but I told there that I trusted my informant and also that I was driving a new car on unfamiliar roads and I didn’t want my judgment impaired.  (I did take just the tiniest sip of the Balaton Cherry which I found excellent.)  Adding a couple of blocks of Wisconsin cheese to my shopping cart, I paid for my purchases and climbed back in the Saab.

Hibiscus in Bloom at Campit Resort

On Sunday, Nancy (my nagging Navigation System) had directed me from one Interstate Highway to the next.  Normally I prefer seeing America from a two-lane road, taking a slower, more circuitous parth.  Today Nancy was all about slower.  For whatever reason, she was directing me to make a turn from one country road onto another about every two miles.   A couple of times, she directed me to turn onto dirt roads clearly marked “Dead End.”  I had misplaced my AAA map of Michigan, and had nothing to go on other than Nancy’s directions.  Well, almost nothing.  My iPhone has a map app, and I decided to pit the one against the other.  Starting with my current location and entering a final destination into the iPhone app, I compared turns between the phone and Nancy.  Whenever they differed, I went with the phone.  Still and all, it took five hours to get out of rural western Michigan and cross into Indiana where I joined I-80/90 and the Indiana Turnpike on my way eastward.  In all that five hours, I was never off a two-lane road.  

While still in Michigan, lunchtime came and went, and with no idea what I was going to find around the next bend, I pulled into the parking lot of the Outpourings Café, just north of Paw Paw Michigan.  I have a basic aversion to giving my money to people I feel will use it against my own interests, and Outpourings Café felt like such a place.  The current hoo-hah about Chick-Fil-A in my mind, I must say that Spencer Cathy is free to take any position he wants on gay marriage, and even tie it into his advertising scheme.  I have the same freedom to refuse to let him have any of my money to use in this campaign.  Outpourings Café was full of religious items—books, CDs of praise songs, and a note on the menu that the enterprise was divinely inspired.  I felt as if I had walked into the enemy camp.  Nonetheless, I ordered lunch, a BLT on “artisan bread,” with a side order of Wisconsin Cheese soup.  And then I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I had begun to think that my order had been lost when the young waitress brought it out, apologizing for the delay.  Both the soup and the sandwich were excellent, and I left feeling refreshed in body, if not in spirit.

A Nature Trail at Campit Resort

Once on the Indiana turnpike, I drove east toward the Ohio state line, paying eighty cents for the privilege.  Across the line, I was now on the Ohio Turnpike, and heading east with the intent of crossing almost all of the state on a toll road.  I have no idea where the Highway Patrol was hiding out, but what I did notice on the Ohio Turnpike was that I was driving five miles per hour over the posted speed limit and cars kept flying past me.  Sometimes they would come up behind me and flash their lights—telling me that I was blocking their forward passage.  I’d move over a lane and watch them take off on down the road.  I kept expecting to see them stopped along the road with flashing lights behind them, but it never happened.  Meanwhile, Nancy took every opportunity she could to entice me off the toll road and onto a two-lane.  I resisted all her blandishments.

Once I had reached Cleveland, it was time to start heading south.  I left the toll road, paying the $11.00 plus fare I had incurred, and turned toward Akron.  Past Akron I followed the signs to Canton, stopping along the way to fill the car’s tank and my belly.  The car’s meal cost over $80.00.  My own was much cheaper, consisting of a burger, fries and ice tea at Wendy’s.  The music playing over the restaurant’s sound system was Christian rock, something I would not have expected at Wendy’s.  

By now I was on Interstate 77, the road that goes past Parkersburg, my ultimate destination.  First though I would be spending time with cousin Ron at his campsite at Roseland,  the gay campground in northern West Virginia where I first connected with Ron in 2007.  I was not able to put in an actual address for Roseland, so had told Nancy to get me to Moundsville, WV.  Once again, she kept directing me to leave the Interstate, but I steadfastly refused as the time was passing quickly enough and I knew I’d be heading up the twisting mountain road in the dark.

From Moundsville, I tried to call Ron, this my  sixth unsuccessful attempt to let him know where I was en route, and I’m afraid that my message was short and almost panic stricken.  I’ve only driven to Roseland three times from Moundsville, and the route entails following a narrow, twisting mountain road for twenty-one miles, then turning off the “main road” to go down a side-road that dead ends at the campground.  I was unable to get any information as to the name of that side-road, and could only hope to recognize it when I saw it.

I’ll spare you the details, but know that I spent two hours going in circles in the dark on a narrow, ridge-line road.  When I finally found Roseland, the entrance gate was locked.  Parking the Saab, I hiked into the campground, woke Ron who accompanied me back to the gate.  Ron opened the gate (he knew the combination), closed it again behind me, and we drove together back to Ron’s camper where I parked the Saab, and without unpacking a single bag, climbed into bed and fell asleep—thirteen hours after leaving Campit Resort four states away.

Barn and Silo in Southern Michigan

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