When I was free and single again, in the mid- `90s, I had been camping up and down the Eastern part of the Mid Atlantic U.S. My camper was a 1983 Chevy G20 raised roof conversion van. I truly wish I still had it, in new condition, this very day. Before I got it, someone had taken the flimsy jackknife back seat bed out, and built a 3/4-inch plywood, Queen-sized bed in the back. It was open underneath at the very back (just inside the back doors), and that storage space went halfway under the bed. I was able to store all my tools, fishing, and camping gear under there. The front half had a recessed, piano-hinge on top of the bed, to open up for storage of clothing, bedding, and other necessities. I installed 4 inches of foam mattress atop this grand “playpen,” took out the second row of Captain’s Chair seats, and in their place, was able to comfortably mount a microwave, toaster, TV/VCR, and a 7 cu. foot refrigerator/freezer. The van already had a boss stereo system and speakers, so I was really “living-ready.” Right after I acquired the van, one of the Heavy Duty Rescue Squads at work was “totaled” in a bad wreck, and some other parts became readily available, like an 8000-watt power inverter, to power all my equipment, even when on the road. God, I enjoyed that van. Crushed velour, blue color interior and headliner, rope lighting around the ceiling, and two wonderfully comfy Captain’s Chairs in the front, made traveling a “must” on my days-off!
One Fall weekend, I found what looked like a cozy campground, nestled just West of the Appalachian Mountains, in Bowden (Elkins area), West Virginia. It was called Revelle’s Campground, off Old Route 33, bordered by the Cheat River and the Bowden Natural Caves. It was, and is, a heavenly, and very peaceful, tranquil mountain venue, and I had planned a simple, relaxing fishing/camping weekend there.
It had been awhile since I was able to enjoy some Annual Leave usage, in conjunction with a weekend, so I arrived early on Friday evening, and leisurely began making camp, after registering. I had chosen an available site with view of the front portion of the grounds and the road coming into the campgrounds, and within easy walking distance to the small, gurgling river bed. Like I was saying earlier, I was starting to relax, making camp, when I saw HER.
She was walking aimlessly on the campground roadways, seeming to enjoy the Autumn environment, and she caught me enjoying the new sight of my environment, as well. If I hadn’t known better, I would sworn I had spied Lynda Carter on a secluded weekend getaway! This vixen had ebony, long-black hair, the most demur and captivating smile, and as she got closer, I noticed the pools of blue in her eyes that I was equating with the soothing gurgle of the nearby water. We exchanged hellos and the usual niceties, but then the conversation just seemed to never-end, and I never REALLY got camp completely-made. She told me her name was Kim, and she worked with her girlfriend at a nearby skiing resort in the mountains, where they were preparing for the oncoming tourist ski season, and that her girlfriend had to be here at the campground for a weekend family-type reunion, and had asked Kim to come with her, because her friend wasn’t very close with her family, and she would appreciate having a a more familiar person with her, to commiserate-with.
Kim said that when they arrived at camp, that it was quickly and easily figured-out that, as a group, they were a family not-so-easy with-which to become very friendly, so her girlfriend had told Kim it would be alright if she didn’t want to be around them too much, either, and she was walking around to take in the nature around her. I, being somewhat a nature-lover, myself, found that I was REALLY loving the natural presentation of this beauty, so easy to listen-to, and so willing to talk to me.
I thought things were progressing fairly-well (like WOW, WHAT A FABULOUS DAY!), and Kim reminded me why she was there in the first place, and said she had better get back to her friend and the “family.” She did ask if she could come back later for a “more lengthy” visit, if it were possible for her to get away, and I (without seeming to be too overly enthusiastic) assured her I would be delighted for the company.
After she was gone, I went and showered, then came back, and began setting up a nice campfire. Darkness was approaching, and my thoughts drifted, once-again, to the “Lynda Carter” look-alike that had dropped from the heavens into my hungering libido, when I heard someone approaching my site, and then that melodious voice that brought to life my dreamy vision. “_______” (I can’t remember what her friend’s name was) said she was okay, and that since it sounded like I had met someone fun to be around, and I should come back to see you. My heart leaped into my throat, and I could not believe my good fortune. She sat, I asked if she would join me in a little soup and sandwich supper, and we began to dine and converse again, only closer together, and obviously more at ease with each other.
As if on cue, from a mischievous “Cupid,” a group of four teen boys had suddenly meandered into the campground, and, since we was closer to the front, and still outside by a fire, they approached asking our help. The boys had been with their Church group, exploring the nearby Bowden caves (I hear it is wondrous, but underground “nature” is not necessarily for my tastes–but you go ahead), and they had gotten separated from the rest of the group and got themselves lost. After wandering around with dying flashlights for what must have seemed like an eternity, the fellas finally found their way out, but had no idea where they then were, geographically. An elderly gentleman happened by the road they came out-to, picked them up, and when they told him all they knew was that their group was at a campground nearby, he had dropped them off at the entrance to Revelle’s. Unfortunately, this was not the one where their group had made camp, and by this time, not dressed for the Fall night air, they were suffering from hypothermia. Kim and I huddled them together, and then she wade much more soup, and I retrieved several quilts and sleeping bag from the van. We both made them sandwiches to consume with their soup, and I made a large pot of coffee. They were warm and thankful in no time at all, and after I rousted the camp owners, they said they were pretty sure they knew where the boys’ group was staying, called them, and the group sent a van to pick up the very appreciative youngsters.
As the van pulled away, the occupants waving at Kim and I, who were now standing, arms around each other in an accomplished, but aroused feeling, Kim turned her face towards mine, said; “Thank God you were camped here tonight!” Before I could complete the retort of; “Thank God we were camped here, tonight,” her open lips pressed against my mouth, and we were on the sleeping bag, alongside the campfire, with gentile Sam Cooke music wafting in the background from my camping van, “things” becoming more and more warmly intense (and I do not mean from the fire). Kim then moaned into my ear; “You do have some protection in that damn pimp-mobile of yours, don’t you,” and it was all I could muster to croak-out; “Absolutely!”
I never really made camp, didn’t get any fishing done that long, memorable weekend, but, as the song used to go; “Cause, like a Princess she was layin-there, moonlight dancin off her hair, she woke up and took me by the hand, we made love in my Chevy Van, and that’s alright with me!” –The Late Sammy Johns, “Chevy Van”
Be writing to you again, soon! Safe travels and please enjoy what’s left of our wonderful America!