Monday, May 25, 2015

Meet The Farmer Series ~ Going Vintage in our 1967 Yellowstone Camper

It's Memorial Day 2015.  It's time to make hay, not go camping.  When farming is your only income, you understand that you just do what needs to be done.  No complaints.

Last fall when I closed down the share program and sold a number of my cows, Mike and I decided to buy a Vintage 1967 Yellowstone Camper.  We knew that our time would be limited to get to use it, but since we are not much on big cities, shopping malls, going to movies, the night life, or anything that involves large crowds of people, the little camper seemed like a fine way for us to spend some "down time" if and when got a break from farming. We tried and tried to find the right time and the right place to use our little camper for the very first time. Things just were not working out for us due to our responsibilities to our animals, crops and "Little People" (grandkids).

Memorial weekend approached and we wanted desperately to be able to get away even just overnight, but we knew the camps would be full on a major holiday.  In addition, we had acres of hay on the ground that needed to be made and more yet to be cut.  We would talk about going, knowing it just wasn't going to workout, but dreaming anyway.

 Saturday came and we were covered up in work.  Mike was making hay.  I was working in the garden.  The day was coming to a close and we were both exhausted.  I had supper partially made and Mike said he needed to unload some hay off a wagon to have it ready for Monday.  I told him I would help him.  As we moved square bales, we were making jokes about sleeping in the camper in our back yard (since we couldn't get away and didn't want to fight the crowds) when suddenly I had a revelation.

"Hey Babe, how about if we take the camper to that secluded spot along the river", I said.  "It's quiet, not far from home, and the perfect getaway for us to make a trial run in the camper."

"We could do that!", Mike said.  "Do you want to?"

Did I want to?  Heck yeah!  We rushed around as it was almost dark already.  We finished the hay, grabbed a bite of supper,  threw some things in the camper,  hooked it to the truck and off we went on our first, overnight adventure in our little camper.

We were pretty close to our destination (and off road) when we hit a low spot in the path and heard a loud crash.  I looked at Mike and said, "What was that?"

"I don't know," he replied.

That was until he looked in his rear view mirror and exclaimed, "Oh no!  The camper!  We lost the camper!"

Turns out someone had borrowed the truck and turned the ball around.  In our haste to get the camper to our destination before dark, we didn't notice.  The camper was fine going down the road, but when we hit that low spot, it popped the hitch right off the ball and our camper went crashing into the dirt nose first.  Fortunately, we were able to lift the camper with a skid loader and get it hooked back to the truck.  By this time it was very dark.

We got to our campsite and set up and then surveyed the damage by flashlight.  Fortunately, a tiny bend in the stand and a small chip on some trim under the table, was the only damage we could find.

We set up a primitive camp with no electricity and no running water.  (We don't have a bathroom in our little camper.). In spite of going primitive, we had all the luxuries we needed:  time to listen to the river flowing, the birds singing, and the wind blowing through the trees.  When the night brought colder temperatures, we snuggled under blankets and slept like babies in our comfy bed.  The next day, I awoke and sneaked outside a little after five to use the bathroom.  I heard a fox barking and when I shined my flashlight out in the field, I saw a low, loping figure that I assumed was a medium sized black bear.  Later, at first light, I pulled back the curtain and a deer was standing almost looking in our window.  He wasn't frightened at all and hung around for a while trying to figure out what this strange camper was that had invaded his territory.

Sunday we spent a relaxing day enjoying the outdoors and cooking on propane stove inside the camper.  (Not sure why food tastes so much better when we are spending time outdoors, but it does. Perhaps it is because we actually take the time to use all of our senses to enjoy the moment.)

Monday morning it was back to work for us after another lovely night in our vintage camper and I awoke with a thankful heart for a beautiful 36 hours of "vacation".  It's so wonderful being with someone who enjoys the simple things in life and with whom I share so much in common.  The weekend reminded me that a vacation really isn't about a destination, but rather a vacation is a state of mind. Putting everything else aside and spending time with someone I love is the perfect vacation whether it's down the road, across the world, or in our own home.