A Travellerspoint blog

Wondering WWJD?

It is the second day of our month of September and the voyage is going well. We are feeling good about sleeping for free and we continue west through pretty little towns and rolling hills; across train tracks and under a nice old stone bridge. The world shifts into flat boring farm land on a little straight road in the middle of nowhere. We ride towards Galena, but I’m thinking that we need to stop early to make a fire before the sun sets. The farms open up to a crappy looking RV tent camping park. It’s privately owned and like so many we see, it’s outrageously overpriced at $30 a night. They took a couple acres of grass with no trees and threw in some crappy old picnic tables and metal rusted fire rings and then charge what a motel costs. I said that it was a rip-off right where the mean looking lady could hear and we didn’t even take off helmets. We drive west for a mile and I decide we aren’t going to make it to the next town since it’s 4. I stop and talk to a nice guy in a general store with his Minnesota accent already even though we’re still in Illinois. I admire his collection of folded forged hunting knives as we shoot the shit about where to go and how to trap game. I haven’t had a chance yet for lack of time, but I’ve got an assortment of knives, throwers, and trap ideas. He sends us to Lena and Lake Le-aqua-na just north.
We ride through the quaint town and I have no idea where to go. People’s directions on this trip have been nice, but rarely easy to follow or accurate.

So we drove past town, and anxiety began to set in. Then we passed a church with a sign that read “Campers Welcome” and Joe pulled a U-turn.
Campers welcome, finally, someone understands when the bible said to deny shelter to one of my children is the same as denying me (Jesus). Anyways, so we pulled in and Joe left me to set up camp while he went to get firewood. Joe was insistent on making a fire, and I as insistent on not burning a hole in their grass. But Joe’s argument was that the sign went on to say “come as you are,” and he is a big jerk who over steps boundaries. I finally let in when he found their fire pit,
and I started to make the tent while I thought on their strange phrasing… come as you are.

Joe: I head down the curvy road farther east in search of woods. I felt very free and light and quick. It may be because this was the first time on the trip that I rode with absolutely no baggage (yes, V is baggage). I'm flying around the corners. I come to some woods and I start gathering lots of wood and tying them to my makeshift rack as quickly as possible because it was probably someone's property. I swear this trip will turn us into the absolute most liquid cool people in tense awkward situations. I load, strap and go.

Then it dawned on me as I finished the tent. We are stupid. I should have already known this, but when you’re not that bright these realizations take time. You’ve probably already figured this out, and you’ve probably smacked your forehead too. But the point is, that they meant that campers are welcome to come to worship, and they should come dressed as they are. Yeah, needless to say that when Joe came back with a bundle of firewood strapped to the bike, he wasn’t pleased at my take on what the sign meant. But he gave in easily figuring that I was right. I said I thought he'd put up a big fight and be angry, but he said, "I feel good from having a nice drive, but we're not wasting this wood." I started to take down the tent while he went back out to find this illusive campsite (which happened to be about 2 sec. further down the road from where he got firewood). When he came back to pick me up after dropping off the firewood at the camp grounds other people started trickling into the church parking lot. By the time we left it was obvious there was some sort of gathering there, and I am just so glad that they didn’t come in and find Joe and I making ourselves at home. Nice little side note, while Joe was out looking for a camp I had a bit of a daydream where the pastor found Joe and I the next morning sleeping in the tent. We explained how we misunderstood, and he seemed to see our perspective, and he seemed fine with it, almost amused even. But he was not amused that we were sleeping together out of wedlock. We explained that I was uncomfortable with official weddings, and that we are a committed and responsible couple that may as well be married. He agreed, and it seemed that we only had one choice. Well, to make a long story short, Joe and I sent out letters to everyone that said: “Joe and I just got married in order to camp for free... send money.”

But, luckily none of that happened, and we camped down the street at a beautiful park with a really nice lake.
In the morning we did some Ba Gua exercises next to the lake, and then it was onto the squiggliest looking roads on the map thus far as we leave Illinois for Wisconsin (the land Microsoft used for their default XP background, for sure).

Posted by - Rain 11:35

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V: love the imaginary letter in your pastoral fantasy. Joe's grandfather (Alan's dad) will get a real kick out of that. But you guys seem to have a real knack for things working out in the end (the park you soon found). Or maybe you were spared by karma since you resisted setting fire to the church's picnic area.

by Sheryl S

whew! glad you figured out what the sign meant. when i first read it, i knew, but reading your take on it, i thought, hmmmm, maybe i was wrong, how super cool. but, nope. glad you found somewhere to sleep!

by georgi r

real christians would want you to camp there. but then they might guilt you into coming to morning service. especially if they're catholics. catholics love guilt.

by Laurr

I was enjoying your story, but I read it after mom, and she was all "Brittany, want to YOU think the sign means" so then I realized that the church wasn't inviting you to camp there for free--but the hint didn't help me figure out what the sign meant. me=dumb

by georgi r

ahh, we are so confused - that was Brittany's comment above this one; i must have still been signed in

by georgi r

Yea i fell for the "campers welcome" thing hook line and sinker.

by buddy-JC

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