Halloween Spooktackular Begins –
The much anticipated Halloween week is off to shaky start. Fort Boonesborough Campground is beyond busy and cars are haphazardly parked everywhere. Immediately I notice my designated camp site is very uneven, with an uphill slope right as you would step out of campers door. To maximize the flatter space, precision placement on the concrete pad is paramount. The layout will require backing up toward the passenger side creating a huge blind spot for me. My best laid plans go awry and I’m practically jack-knifed and I am creating a traffic jam on the road that flows past the site. I quickly become frustrated and pull out to circle around to allow others to exit.
As I proceed around the same loop, I get stuck behind another rig who is stopped in the road for no apparent reason other than to further annoy me. The retiree looking man walks back to inform me his wife had cramps and had to go to the bathroom. While under normal circumstance that would fall under the too much information category, at this point that seemed like a reasonable explanation. I wait patiently to re-circle and try backing in again. When the woman finally arrives back to the truck, she gives a friendly wave. If she only knew her husband outed her candy corn indulgence and subsequent bowel distress. I give a sympathetic wave back.
Upon arrival back at the site, I have a couple neighbors waiting to direct me in. I prefer my trial and error method of parking as having someone trying to help me just flusters me even more. Nonetheless, myself and the parking committee get the Flying Dutchman in. But it’s not where I want it; I have 3 feet of perfectly level space on the “backside” of the camper. A neighboring car prevents me from negotiating the turn and making the move I need to. I try finding the owner of the car to no avail and proceed to set up anyway.
Then the work of setting up the display begins. My designer and spook in crime, Ainslie, opts for a classy theme. Unlike many of our neighbors who opt for the blow up figures, styrofoam tombstones and other cheesy decor, we go with pumpkins, mums, hay bales and some modest awning lights.
Besides a smartly decorated picnic table our center piece is the popular talking pumpkins. The effect is created by an inexpensive projector and a digital down load from AtmosFX. This is the 2nd year for this setup and it proves to be very popular.
I have envisions of curling up under a blanket and enjoying a little novelty from my child hood. Fire popped, Jiffy Pop popcorn. While it takes some trial and error, the foil lined container bursts to life with a popping fury.
The projection onto a makeshift screen of Stephan Kings Pet Sematary highlights the evening perfectly.
I have a strange sense of contentment and accomplishment and feel a great appreciation for something so simple. Rarely, do things turn out as I have envisioned them
I don’t know if its in the male DNA or stems from our cave man heritage but fire has the utmost importance when camping. I fret too much over having enough wood to sustain life. Ironically, as it turns out, most of the time is was too cold for a fire. That sounds crazy but I just don’t see the point of building a fire for just heat.
If it’s a chili or s’mores day then thats different.
A slight reprieve from the unseasonably cool weather allows for a trip to the beach. In the 1950’s and 60’s the “Beach” on the Kentucky River was a major source of entertainment for the locals. I guess that was 1.) Before the coal mines upstream begin dumping their sludge and toxic chemicals in the river 2.) We just didn’t know that swimming in mercury and other toxins is not a great idea. While much has been done to clean up the river, it has never returned to its golden glory days. The beach is deserted for the most part with only an occasional fisherman trying his luck. I hear the river is known for its 3 eyed catfish, though I have never caught one.
The beach does make for a good dog destination however. I neglect to warn Murphy of the perils of the toxic water; not that it would have mattered anyway.
Trick or Treat
The campground shuts down to vehicle traffic for 2 hours. This is a much welcome break. The cars and golf carts circling and sightseeing can become a bit overwhelming; the noise and lights present a bit of a sour note to the event.
I have never seen so many trick or treaters. Immediately I have to compare to the good ol days when I was a youngster. “Our parents didn’t have to follow us”, “we made our costumes”, etc. etc. I have to say the kids were well mannered and a joy. While allowing them to pick their own candy from a large container most only took one piece though I said they can take a couple. I don’t think they teach that a couple equals 2 anymore as that created some blank looks. I
Halloween at the fort was a bucket list item and certainly a worthwhile event. Sites for next year sold out with in hours of becoming available the day after. I, however, will be on to the next spooktacular wherever that might be.