August 5, 2010- Roosevelt Day

Kate Murr

The sprinklers rained on us in the night. Though Dan, the campground host, whom we will later refer to as “Dan the Adventure Guru”, had placed big custom-cut PVC pipe couplers at strategic sprinkler stations, the high pressure spigots sent a spray of water up and over the diverters to our rain fly free tent at about 2am.

I awoke before my soggy family and practiced yoga with the sun and windmills, who were impossibly silent, clean, and hopeful. The periwinkle sky behind them looked to me like a pool of God.

After breakfast and camp packing, Dan pulled his kayak down to the river, which was of amazing interest to the kids. He let them play in the boat that was his vehicle of choice in the summer to cross the river for groceries while he told us stories. Dan has lots of stories because he sailed around the world for 13 years and used to race motorcycles and sailboats. Any story that begins with, “So we were sailing into Bora Bora..” and may or may not include references to cannibalism or diving for lobsters is one I want to hear. Dan instructed that the secret to sailing around the world for so long is to make sure to find a good hull for hurricane season. And then he laughed, because he couldn’t think of anywhere on Earth that might be. In two years, Dan wants to bike cross-country with his daughter to celebrate his 70th and her 18th birthdays.

We had met Peter and Jan the night before, and we stopped by their RV to visit on our way out of the campground. They sold their house five years ago and have been touring the country in their coach ever since. They were curious to hear the stories of another family on the road. Though we had planned to visit briefly then head down the road, the forecast for 100 degree weather coupled with Peter’s invitation to trout dinner made us rethink our plans and stay.

We enjoyed a lazy day of swimming and visiting. Jane and Brady played with the other kids on the beach. At one point, the thermometer in the shade of Peter and Jan’s awning read 105 degrees. We invited Dan to dinner, but he declined because he predicted that the wind would pick up and he would need to be out windsurfing. It took very little arm-twisting to convince Dan to take me out with him for a lesson, during which I experienced brief successes in sailing and a long swim back to shore. Jane tells the story this way: Mommy kept falling down but she got right back up and she sailed just a little bit and had fun.

Dinner was scrumptious because it was made with love. Peter and Jan did most things with love, in fact. As fellow travelers, Peter and Jan extended a special sort of hospitality to these wayward Murrs. And so we spent the night on the RV couch because the sprinkler diverters had all been distributed and we might have drowned otherwise.

Thank you, Peter and Jan.

(Photos to follow.)

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