When I was about 16 (over ten years ago.  Curse these grey hairs and the linear passage of time), I went on my last major road trip with my family.  We took three weeks and went west through the US.  We saw many a sight including riding cable cars in San Francisco.

We stopped in Utah on, I believe, the way back.  We lived there for about 6 months and wanted to look in on friends left behind.  Since it was a family trip we were camping (of course).  We stayed at a pleasant place that I recall actually being more or less in town (odd as camp grounds go).  We were at a point in our trip that laundry was a necessity and so it was under way.  Camping laundry takes between 2 and 12 hours, typically, and the amount of time it takes is highly dependent on whether or not there is anything worthwhile to do around the laundry facilities.  It is poor manners to just load up one’s stuff and disappear.  There is some kind of unwritten rule that one must remain within sight of the washers so that one might transfer one’s underoos in a timely fashion.

The campground in question had the swimming pool adjacent to the Laundromat and this gave us a chance for diversion from the typical ‘stand on the tiles and watch the dryers’ pattern of behaviour.  The weather was very, very hot and dead still.  Perhaps in the 100-115°F range and no breeze whatsoever.  The pool was either heated or had just been out in the sun for too long and was probably 95°F.  It was not entirely refreshing.  More like bathing in chowder, in point of fact.  Better than watching dryers, not quite as good as not having a pool at all.

My sisters and I were confined to the deep end of the pool by two couples.  Two enormously, morbidly, wretchedly obese couples.  Two enormously, morbidly, wretchedly obese couples who were all over each other (that is to say, each couple was all over itself. As far as I recall there were two distinct couples but both couples were all hands).  They more or less filled the shallow end.  Even if we had wanted to be anywhere near them it would not have been an option.  It was a little like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom special on the mating habits of hippopotami.  We were very likely scarred for life by the display.

Last week when we got to the Baddeck Cabot Trail Campground (the nicest or second nicest place we stayed on our trip), Amy and I decided to swim away our travel dust.  I was thunderstruck by the realization that the shallow end was entirely consumed by a morbidly obese couple who were all hands.  They followed me through space and time.

riding the gravy train