Glacier National Park, Part One: Calamity Jen (Aug 2015)
JR and I had long wanted to visit Glacier National Park. In December 2014, we made all our camping reservations. Things book quickly up there. It was a long awaited, very much anticipated trip. Come August 2015, we were excited to get on the road.
We started our trip with one night in Billings as we had some errands to complete before we set off. We pulled into our campsite and started setting up. We noticed the power jack stand was acting funny, but it worked enough to get the camper unhooked from the trailer hitch. “Weird,” we thought. Then I thought, “Great. The manual to the jack stand is in the camper file at home. Who’s bright idea was it to put it there? Mine.” My love for organization has a way of biting me in the tush over and over again.
We set the camper up, not worrying too much about leveling it because we weren’t planning on using anything in it for the one night, and I took Scarlett for a potty break. We were about 10 yards from our camper and I heard a great crashing, smashing, shattering sound. “Oh boy,” I thought. “Somebody’s not having a good time.” Scarlett did her business and we went back to the camper. I opened the door and guess what? That shattering sound? Yep, it was us. JR had opened a cabinet and a “shatterproof” Corelle plate fell out, hit the counter, the floor, and then shattered into a million pieces. Let me tell you, when the shatterproof plate shatters, it is a MESS. Little splinter-like shards of Corelle were everywhere.
After cleaning that up, we felt we earned a drink. JR poured beverages, and I proceeded to trip over my own two feet, stub the living crap out of my toe, and spill my drink down the camper wall, storage shelf, into my bag on the floor, and then, finally, onto the floor itself. Remember how we didn’t bother leveling the camper earlier? Yeah, that didn’t help the cleanup. Sticky beverage went EVERYWHERE. Sigh.
We had dinner and turned in. No more than ten minutes after we settled into bed, Scarlett started making the yacking, hacking sound that most certainly precedes vomiting. JR jumped up and got her outside for round two, while I cleaned up round one. “Wow, this trip is so much fun!” we said. Or maybe we said something else. I’m pretty sure it was something else.
The next morning, we got up at dawn to get the heck on the road. I was rolling up the jack stands and suddenly felt like I’d just been cut by something. I kept going because I figured I had a dang Corelle splinter in my skin, except it got worse really quick. I pulled my hand back to see a yellow jacket stinging my hand. “@#$%$!” I said, probably waking the rest of the campground. I smashed the yellow jacket and pulled out the stinger. My hand immediately started swelling. Now, we have a first aid kit in the camper, but guess what is the ONE THING we didn’t have? Benadryl. Of course! Picture a blown up latex glove. Got it? Now, attach that to my right arm. That looks good, doesn’t it?! Needless to say, our first stop out of town was the drugstore. Good times.
I was set to take over driving after our first stop for gas. We decided that would be our official “restart” to a fabulous vacation. I went in to get us coffee while JR filled up. I pulled a cup out of the dispenser and somehow managed to knock down a lid. I tried to catch the lid with my knee. Basically what I did was ram my carbon fiber covered knee into the cabinet dispensing the coffee cups. It was a solid hit. Can you guess what happened? JR walked in right as every last coffee cup popped right out of the dispenser. It all happened in long, embarrassing slow motion. It was at that point that JR decided he would just keep driving. The question is, did he drive us home, or did we forge ahead in the manner of Lewis & Clark (with a better ride and much cushier digs)?
Did I mention awaiting us at Glacier National Park was the Reynolds Creek Fire, the biggest fire in the park since 2006?