"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

May 21, 2016

Dumb Luck

We're parked in a campground in one of our National Parks, somewhere in Utah. This is a big deal for me because I've avoided Utah like the plague for more than 30 years; due entirely to an unpleasant experience with one boss who happened to be a Mormon.  I’ll not go into details, but I assumed he was a Godly creature.  At least I got the last word right.

But I’m older and wiser, or so I keep chanting; and Utah certainly has some of the most beautiful vistas around, so why remain stubborn and opinionated by passing it all up?

Dumb Luck is one thing which is plentiful in my life, thank goodness. Tears used to be another, but no longer.  I finally got rid of all but the necessary reserve for impromptu occasions; allowing more space in my eyes for twinkles.

They twinkled when I saw dinosaur kitsch along the road.  “Some towns need all the help they can get,” I arrogantly mused to myself; but I’ve always been an archaeology buff who enjoys the challenge of piecing together broken knick-knacks, so I turned off the highway towards the bone quarry I wasn't even aware existed.

Talk about dumb luck.  No more Walmarts and Interstate rest areas for these kids. While I’m not yet old enough for the National Park Service’s Senior Pass, it turns out I qualify for an Access Pass (for the permanently disabled and those on SSI). Didn’t cost a dime to apply at the guard shack, and in addition to breaks on park entrance fees it offers campground discounts (50% here, same as the Senior’s Pass).   Beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

So I’m camping; ok, pseudo-camping in my RV.  I've been hoping for quiet places in which to write in earnest so imagine my delight in my Access Pass.  A safe place I can afford to park without worry of being rousted.  Two weeks at a time is the limit you can stay in one place, but fortunately for our country we have lots of National Parks, and this is their 100th anniversary.  All that work I did in Oregon, preparing this rig for ‘boondocking’, is coming into play.  I’m not yet brave enough to strike out alone on Federal lands, but I’m getting there.

You know, I'm quite fortunate in my friends.  Whenever I write something like this I receive offers of driveways in which to rest, and I know if I was really in a bind they'd probably let me move in for awhile. I assure them that I am really quite alright, but to please think kindly of the dozens of others to my 'one' who don't have such offers. The Access Pass may help.

The only thing which threw me was meeting the couple slightly older than me as they walked along, wind blowing through her hair and his skirt.  I kept looking for a bagpipe.  Guess I still need to change my attitude, but at least I didn't laugh.

P.S.  I vaguely remember meeting Alan Young after church in New York City in the 1960's.   For those of us who remember and loved Mister Ed,

“Sweet dreams, Wilbur.”


  1. I just stopped working for the National Park at Montezuma Castle National Monument and Tuzigoot National Monument in Arizona about 25 miles from Sedona AZ. I was a Park Guide for 5 Yrs. Glad to hear you got an access. I got my Geezer passes a few years ago. Glad to hear everything is going fire for you. If you are ever near Sedona drop me an email.

    Wally Kneeland


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