After my first experience with camping, I didn’t know if I would ever camp again. It took some convincing and a new tent to coax me into it. Early in spring, LP had returned home one afternoon with a tent and sleeping bags which were purchased because, “It was on sale and who knows….we may want to go again.” In mid May and my brother and his wife called and wanted LP and I to go camping with them again. LP really wanted to go, and I liked to fish, so I decided to go because this trip could not be as bad as the last time.
The camping trip date arrived and since it was about a two-hour drive for us, both LP and I took off work early so we could get our camp set up well before dark. We had packed all of our supplies the night before, so all we had to do was jump in the car and head out. After an hour of driving, it started raining. LP and I kept hoping it would stop, but it didn’t. However, after the last camping trip, we came more prepared for rain this time. We packed a tarp, ropes, umbrellas and, of course our rain jackets. We arrived at the campsite and stopped to check in. The campsite manager remembered us from the previous year and he asked if we had brought the bad weather again. All I could think was, “God I hope not!”
Once we were finished checking in, we drove to our campsite. My brother and his wife were already there and they had their camp set up. Just about the time I put the car in park, it stopped raining. We were all relieved, especially LP and I. It didn’t take us too long to set up the tent, make the beds and unload the rest of our supplies. It was about five o’clock when we decided to take the boat out on the lake and fish. After a couple of hours, it was starting to get dark, so we returned to the campsite. We grilled burgers and after supper, I will be damned if it didn’t start pouring down rain again. The rain did not let up, so we all went to bed to try to get some sleep.
I slept good that night and didn’t wake up till daybreak. I woke up to loud clap of thunder. LP told me it had been storming all night and the radio had issued a tornado warning that would last until nine o’clock that morning. Shortly after I woke up, the campsite manager came around and told us that we needed to get in the shelter because of the bad weather. So, for about three hours, me, LP, my brother, his wife and twelve other people waited out the storm in the tiny shelter. It was crowed in there and the mosquitoes were eating us up. Just when we thought it would rain all day, the sun popped though the clouds and the rain stopped. Everyone in the shelter cheered and clapped. We were in a hurry to eat breakfast and then get on the lake and fish.
It was almost eleven o’clock now, so half the day was gone and we only had half a day left to fish. It didn’t take us long to get the boat hooked up to my brother’s truck, and in no time, we had the boat in the lake. After putting the boat in the lake, my brother parked the truck and trailer and joined the three of us. We drifted about four or five feet from the boat dock, then my brother raised the trolling motor up to put it in the water. I heard a little splash and I thought it was a fish jumping. LP and I looked at each other and said, “What was that.” I don’t know why he did this, but he did. Before getting into the boat, my brother had laid his keys on the trolling motor. And, yes, when he raised the motor, the keys fell into the lake. No, he did not have a floating device on them. Not only was the key to the boat on the bottom of the lake, but so were his truck keys.
The boat kept drifting further away from the dock, so we did the only thing we could do. We told my brother to jump in and find the keys. Convinced that the keys had to be about five feet from the dock, he jumped into the water and swan closer to the spot where they had fallen in. He stayed under water for it seemed like forever before he came popping up. He was shivering all over from the chill of the water. He looked at us; took a deep breath and went under again. Over and over he came up shivering and taking a deep breath and going back under water to search for his keys. This went on for about thirty minutes and he finally gave up. By this time the boat had drifted about twenty
feet away from the dock, so he swam out and grabbed the tie down rope on the boat and pulled us safely to the bank.
We sat in the boat wondering what the hell we were going to do. We couldn’t drive the boat because the key was in the lake somewhere. We couldn’t drive the truck because the key was in the lake with the boat key. The extra set of keys were in my sister-in-laws purse locked up in their pop-up camper at the campground. So, now they didn’t have a key to their camper either. My sister-in-law remember that her cell phone was in the truck. We decided to break into the truck with a coat hanger so we could get the phone out and call a locksmith.
We put our plan into action. Now, I don’t know if you have ever tried to borrow a coat hanger from someone fishing, but I honestly didn’t think we were going to have any luck. But to my surprise, we did. Gees….the things people carry around in their vehicles amazes me. Anyway, we all took turns trying to slide the hanger between the tight space of the glass and the rubber facing on the truck door. Finally, my brother got the hanger inside the truck. LP and I ran to the other side of the truck’s window so we see inside and help direct him to unlock the door. I looked down on the passenger’s side of the truck and there on the floor sat my sister-in-laws purse. If we could get to that purse, we wouldn’t have to call a locksmith. We try over and over again, and we just couldn’t get the door unlocked.
By this time, we were all hot and tired and my brother and his wife were saying a few, “not too nice”, words to each other. I thought and thought and I realize that there was only one other option. There was a sliding glass on the rear window of the truck and if we could get that open, maybe we could reach the purse. Bingo! It was only two tries before my brother had the sliding window open. My brother is 6’2″ and he has some pretty long arms, but not long enough to reach the purse. I was standing there, out-of-the-way, and just watching, and all of a sudden everyone looked at me. Someone said, “Since you’re the smallest one here, you’re gonna have to climb through the window and get the purse.” Now, this truck was a small pickup and its sliding window is about sixteen inches wide and fourteen inches tall. I just looked at them like they were crazy and said, “You have got to be kidding. I can’t get through there.” But realizing that I didn’t have much of a choice, I jumped on the bed of the truck and stood there wondering how the hell I was going to get through that small space. First, I tried reaching the purse with my arm; I couldn’t reach it. I looked at my brother standing beside me on the bed of the truck and he said, “You can do it.” I took a deep breath and stuck one arm through the window followed by my head. It was a tight squeeze, but I managed to get my other arm through. I wiggled and squirmed until my body was about one-third the way in the truck. Then, I got stuck. I couldn’t go in and I couldn’t come out. I yelled, “I’m stuck!” And then, all of the sudden, I felt somebody grab my legs and before I knew what was going on, my head hit the dash-board. I managed to rolled over on my back so I could see who had grabbed my legs and it was my brother. My legs were in a bind, and from the knees down were still hanging out the window and then I noticed my sister-in-law laughing and taking pictures. I wiggled around and finally got my legs inside the truck. I just knew I was going to have bruises all over my body and I was already getting sore. I sat up in the seat and just sat there for a few minutes. I turned around and smiled at my bother who was still standing on the truck bed. He said, “What are you doing? Unlock the door.” I pointed at the sliding glass window and laughed and said, “Nope. You can just crawl through that window like I did!?”