Well that didn’t quite go as planned. When I bought the 2 day camping pass for Lot 3G, there were two things I hadn’t counted on. Mid 90 degree heat, and a band of drunken yahoos in the low key "family" campground.
The night started well enough, we found a spot in the back of the field alongside the creek, and beneath a shady cottonwood tree. We set up camp, fired up the grill and made dinner. After dinner we tossed a baseball around as we watched the sunset turn the thunderheads of a distant rain storm into cotton candy. We set up our shower tent and took some wonderful, refreshing showers to shake off the heat and sweat of the day.
As the sun was going down we spied a full grown beaver, paddling in the creek. Now this isn’t exactly wilderness. Our campground is squeezed between the race track and a refinery.
After dusk one of the campers began projecting highlights from previous races on the wall of a nearby building and we carried our lawn chairs down to enjoy the show. Getting back to our tent at 10pm was the first sign of trouble. The campers next to us, a group of guys aged 30 to 50, and their women, were playing music loud and drinking, and cussing profusely.
Now I’m no prude, so I expected a little of this. It was only 10pm, so we got ready for bed, and turned in. When midnight came and went, and every other group in the campground had turned in except our neighbors, I knew it was trouble.
The boy had already fallen asleep. Oh for the sound sleep of an eleven year old. One o"clock came and went, and by 2am the fireworks had been used up, and they decided to head out to the Strip Club down the street. Sigh… peace at last.
But I still couldn’t relax. The never ending stream of sirens in the distance didn’t help. The EMT’s and Police had a busy night.
They returned at 3:30am drunker, and more foul mouthed than ever. Sigh… that was when I took out my trusty phone and began searching for hotel rooms.
And they never did go to bed, although sometime around 5am I drifted off for an hour.
Morning dawned hot and we rose, cleaned up and walked to a nearby cafe for a big heaping stack of pancakes. They were still drinking at 7am when we left.
After breakfast we went back, packed up the car then walked to the track for the day. It was legends day, and the vintage cars were out on track. We sat thru the driver introductions, and toured the sponsor tents collecting free T-shirts and swag. We visited the museum and saw more cars than we could count. We browsed the tables and picked up some old Johnny Lightning hot wheel replicas of classic 70’s winners (10 cars for 20 bucks.. Gotta luv a deal).
Then we said goodbye and passed on waiting in lines for an hour for driver autographs. Maybe next time.
When we got back to the camp to get the car the drunks had finally passed out.
I honked as we left and considered waving goodbye with my middle finger, but took the high road instead. Right down the highway to the comfort of our hotel.
Which reminded me once again that air conditioning may be mankind’s crowning achievement. That and indoor plumbing.
And Nutella, obviously.