Friday, July 24, 2020

Camping In The Age Of The Virus: Part 3

The peace and serenity that I longed for were gone and replaced with my mind getting used to the idea that I had driven here for a single night. I remembered that we recently passed the 'host' campsite and was hoping that somehow, I could quickly get online and grab that next night in this elusive place that always seemed to be booked solid. I found the ranger in her truck along the way and explained my problem. She was a sturdy person, amiable, and totally comfortable in the heat of the Florida outdoors. I was sure that she could take my van, sight unseen and back my trailer into any spot in the park while wearing a blindfold. she was wearing a khaki uniform and long bits of hair that had once been red, pulled back into a vestigial ponytail. The most noticeable feature on her was the large welcoming smile. She pulled her truck over to the side of the trail, and pulled out a large iPad that somehow did not seem incongruous in this campground setting. She did a quick search and found that somebody else had already booked the next night in my spot. I was incredulous. "You mean, somebody jumped in within the last 2 days just to book 1 night here in the middle of summer with the sand fleas?!" She laughed easily and replied that it happened all of the time. A lot of the local people come out here whenever they can find an opening. I was steeling myself for the inevitable, and told her it was my mistake, and I should have known it was too cheap. Her smile widened when I mentioned that I thought perhaps with my senior discount it was only $20 a night to stay on the water. Obviously, my thoughts of how difficult it was to get this place, were on the side of conservative. She said that the campground is usually booked up for 6 months, which is as far as you can go. Summer is a little bit different because the heat and the bugs are bad, but with the pandemic on, the summer bookings are up in the realm of the winter time...the only thing throwing little bits of open nights here and there, is the idea that many people do not want to travel to Florida, the epicenter of virus in the universe.
My ranger, did a quick scan again of the iPad and said that she had an idea that might work, if I was willing to move to another campsite....I was up for anything at that point and she took off, with a promise to be back in 30 minutes if she could pull it off....peace and serenity were long gone...but hope was back for a hot minute...

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