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Have 4th, Will Travel

I just returned Monday afternoon from that American tradition–the Fourth of July Holiday. I’m sure many have experienced much of what we did both going and returning.

Let’s see how discretely I can put this.

On the way out we left just after 6:00 am. Not bad for a Saturday. Yet, even at that hour things could not go smoothly. We had to go get gas before hitting the road properly. And yes, the evening before was too busy to do that errand.

After the gas station we had to pass through the bank for an ATM run. I know. Too busy the night before. What can I say? We have priorities and sometimes they don’t all get cleared as planned.

After the ATM came McDonald’s for that special brew that only they do so well. Not for me, mind you, but for sister. The chit-chat with favorite servers kept us long enough to guarantee that we would extend our little trip of three hours to a much lengthier version.

Yes, there we were, leaving town nearly an hour past the hour planned and behind every James, Henry, and Troy that owned a boat and needed to get to the lake. Didn’t seem to matter which lake, so long as water passed through it deep enough that the boat would float. And let us not forget the RV’s and assorted kayakers that seemed to have rolled out of garages everywhere.

Take all of that and add drizzle throughout and the fact that we were driving through the northern Rockies and you have our morning.

Necessary pit stops along the way continued to slow us down. I’m not complaining really about taking the drive. I always enjoy it, in fact. But, neither sister nor I had gotten more than a couple of hours sleep the night before. The weather could have been better. Other drivers were determined to ensure that drinks were required at the end of our trip, and we just weren’t in any mood to play with the crazies behind other vehicle’s wheels.

Naturally the weather cleared as soon as we reached our destination. At least for a while, which was a good thing. We got to enjoy the friends we were visiting. We got to relax a bit. And we got to plan the next day’s fishing trip to the river.

We were supposed to go that afternoon, but high winds prevented that choice of activity.

Instead, Saturday night ended with a long game of Hand and Foot and an even later bedtime.

Sunday morning we were leaving for the water. What is it about the Fourth and water? It’s become almost a tradition country-wide.

Alas, no trout came home with us. The river was running too fast and too high. Too many heavy rains in the mountains for days previously. And more on the way.

Still, we had a beautiful morning out in the fresh air, managed to lose the obligatory tackle, and came back well toasted and squinty-eyed.

After another marvelous BBQ that evening, the fireworks began. They were everywhere.

It still amazes me that people will go without food they enjoy to guarantee that fireworks come home with them for that holiday. I mean, that stuff isn’t cheap. I’ll never understand how anyone can justify spending a couple of hundred dollars to make noise in the air, scare kids and animals alike, breath sulphur to the point of nausea, for the sake of seeing a few colored lights in the air over the front yard.

I’m all for celebrating the holiday, but there comes a point when people go a bit overboard. I have a nephew who celebrates his holiday all the way to the bank. He sells firewood to campers in the state park close to where he lives.

On a holiday weekend he can make enough money to guarantee his family has what they need for a couple of weeks. He enjoys what he does, spends time outside in the fresh air, provides a service for so many other celebrants and still gets to spend the holiday with his family. And in case you’re wondering, he does have a regular job. This is just extra–a kind of financial insurance in these times of economic uncertainty.

And Independence is what the Sunday was all about, wasn’t it?

The return trip on Monday morning was another on short sleep and drizzly highways. It moved faster, though, which was amazing. I think it had to do with everyone moving away from where we were going and the fact that we were going much earlier than most.

That evening at the grocery store, I managed to begin getting sick. Don’t ask me to go into details. I’m trying hard to forget and not feeling well enough to do that quite yet. Suffice it to say that I’m so glad to be home and not on the road right now.

I do hope that everyone else’s holiday left them both exhausted and happy, though. That’s what holidays should do, for the most part. They should be memorable. And I know that I’ll remember this one for a while.

Take care, all. A bientot,


Categories: Life Tags: , , , ,
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  1. July 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm

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