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- Check out our blog on www.bmxmania.com for exclusive details you won’t find here.
First, let me reply to three blog comments, I received. #1) “how come everyone has a cool secret identity, except for poor Coco? Or maybe that is her secret identity. Maybe she’s really a St. Bernard in disguise” - Thank you for your comment and yes, Coco is her secret identity. She’s not a St. Bernard, but I’ve often hinted to her real identity. She snorts and loves to roll in dirt; you can’t make a silk purse from her ear and no matter how much lipstick you put on her … well, she is what she is. #2) “How long do you plan on doing this? What does your daughter do when it’s time for school. It’s an intriguing idea but how do you give your child an education and stable life?” - thank you for your concern. We plan on riding through to the Grand National Championship of BMX racing in Louisville, KY on Labor Day weekend. Our daughter is home schooled so her education does not have a start and end date but rather every day is an opportunity to educate her and ourselves. Luckily, we’ve lived long enough to know that a stable family life has more to do with who we are as a family rather than staying in one place and living how others think we should. Our family isn’t perfect but we live our lives in a way that makes us happy. I’ve raised three children; two are in college and pursuing interesting careers. We don’t know what path the Beast will ultimately take but we are looking forward to seeing. #3) “you need to take it easy … maybe what you need is a few days in hotel/motel to just sleep, and relax in comfort” – Thanks, Hara! We are taking your wisdom to heart. Frankenbutt, the Beast and I all agreed that we need a few days of relaxing. After 3 months on the road and 1 more to meet our final goal, the budget just doesn’t allow for a hotel stay. We are taking 2-3 nights at an inexpensive Passport America Campground. Right now, we are lounging in the shade under a big oak tree next to a peaceful waterway. We are attempting to heal some muscle aches and recharge our batteries for the ride ahead. I think the heat wave added to the challenge of this ride. I’m also taking your wisdom on vitamins, etc. Thanks for supporting us and believing in us!
So, Friday morning, we all sat together and discussed the fact that we needed a “light” day on the bikes. We searched for campgrounds within 30-35 miles south and found Oakdale Campground, which also happens to be a Passport America campground, giving us a 50% discount on camping. We entered the address in the GPS and confirmed it was in the direction we want to head and started pedaling.
Right away, I noticed that the GPS was “acting up” again. It typically beeps and then displays a close up view of an upcoming turn, complete with an arrow (representing us) showing the approach. It wasn’t beeping and it no longer displayed “turn left” or “turn right” but rather merely displayed “head South” and “turn West” … UGH! My mind doesn’t work that way. I like definitive “left” or “right”. So, I asked everyone to stop while I shut down the GPS and re-started it. That has worked in the past when the screen display changed and showed the temperature and calories burned rather than miles to next destination and next turn. Luckily, the computer reset and I got my old screen back. YEAH!
We pedaled on and came across a Dairy Queen with outdoor seating. We pulled in, parked bikes along the wall and sat down for a minute before going in to order. Coco was pleased to lie down on the cool concrete in the shade after she had some fresh water. The Beast and I ordered our meals and brought them back out front. In the meantime, I asked Frankenbutt to consult the GPS and Google maps for a good place to stop and pick up groceries close to the campground.
When we returned, all 4 of us enjoyed burgers and the Beast got a small chocolate ice cream cone for dessert. Frankenbutt found a Walmart Super Center about a mile from the campground; that works. We decided that we’d stay at least 2 nights at the campground since we’ve yet to hear back from any one of the 3 ABA tracks in the Dayton area regarding a visit. We also have enough cushion in our schedule that we can afford a few days off.
After a leisurely rest, we re-filled our water bottles with ice and water at Dairy Queen’s dispenser and headed on our way towards the Walmart. Traffic got busier as we passed through a resort town; several times we lost our shoulder riding area when the single lane opened up to allow turning lanes on either side. It was manageable and the route got us to where we needed to go.
After shopping and loading the groceries into my front basket and my rear panniers, I clicked on the GPS to change our destination back to the campground address. To my astonishment, it showed that the campground was an additional 13 miles from there! WHAT??? Can’t BE! I turned the GPS off and turned it back on and clicked it again. I had read in a news item that solar flares might “mess with” your gps so I figured it must be that. When it still showed 13 miles, I asked Frankenbutt to take a look; he pulled up the Google maps on my phone and showed me how it was only a little over a mile to Oak Crest Campground. My heart sunk. We’re not staying at Oak Crest; we’re staying at Oakdale. It was a simple miscommunication that ended up adding 13 miles to our route for the day.
I was frustrated but then I got the idea to call Oak Crest and see what their camping fees were. Unfortunately, they do not honor the Passport America discount so it would be $30 for a primitive site; $36 for water and electric. Well … that’s not in the budget, especially for a 2-3 night stay, compared to $11 for the night. So, we shrugged off the situation and started pedaling. Again the GPS started giving me trouble and I had to turn it off and re-start it in order to get “left turn, right turn” instructions. In the end, the extra 13 miles was hard but not unmanageable. When we arrived at the campground, the manager, Sally, greeted us with a big smile and welcomed us. She gave us a site with a platform since rain was in the forecast. Frankenbutt noticed people carrying ice cream cones and Sally told us that they were $1 each …. A perfect treat to end a long, hot day.
As Sally and I finished the paperwork, the Beast and Frankenbutt began setting up camp. As we talked, I joked that I could use a beer. Sally told me I was welcome to whatever was in the cooler behind me. To my delight, there was a Bacardi Razz! I was first introduced to this yummy drink when my friend, Sue B. (a fellow BMX mom) gave me a sip of her water bottle at a race. I’d have never guessed it wasn’t water until I drank it. No wonder Sue was always “cool” and relaxed when her daughter, Amanda, and son, David, were on the track!
Paperwork done, tent up and then it was time for dinner. Frankenbutt made Ramen Noodles with Broccoli. Just as we sat down to eat, Sally stopped by and told us there were raccoons in the area and that she thought they might disturb us in our tent if we stored our food there. She told us she’d bring us something to help. She swung by with a fastening plastic foot locker and we put all of our food and evening garbage into it before retiring for the night. I’m liking this campground and I might have to extend our stay by another day!