We pulled into the campground and I selected a spot I thought would do. Next I had to let Beans out for her exploratory walk. A few minutes later a white pickup barreled in from the highway and stopped. No doubt, the camp host I thought. Beans and I are about fifty feet away and the guy walks up to the RV. “Hello” he says. “Over here” I reply. Negative contact. He knocks. “Over here!” Nothing. He walks back to his truck and toots the horn. I yell for all I am worth. Still he doesn’t respond. Good grief! I drag Beans back to the RV. The guy climbs in his truck confused as to where the owner of this RV could possibly be. He looks out the windshield. Now he finally sees me. I walk over to the driver’s door. “You deaf? I’ve been yelling at you from over there.” “Yep, I don’t hear too well.” No surprise there. “Can you hear me know?” as I stand next to his truck. “Yeah, I watch your lips.” “It must be hell for you talking to someone wearing a mask.” He doesn’t get it. He just wants me to be sure to pay or the Forest Service could come by and fine me $100. All the while I am yelling and he is watching my lips as we visit all I can focus on is the brown patch of nicotine stain on his grey mustache/ beard. I can’t help myself.
The next day I go to pay for two more days and Billy is outside so I wander over. I know what I am up against now so am better prepared. Billy is giving his dog Lucy a bath. He got her when she was six months old and is now fourteen. The dog doesn’t pay me any attention. No barking. Good dog and I focus on its inch long toenails that curl around that so badly needs clipping. I don’t mention it. So I talk loud which is a difficult thing for me to do. I make sure Billy is looking at me when I speak. I find out he has been a camp host here for five years. He does have a house nearby which he lets a lady stay at for free. She just pays for utilities, and he has an RV in another town nearby. He gets free water and electricity. I didn’t check about a sewage connection. There must be one but he has so much junk strewn around his trailer it is difficult to see. The campsites do not have sewer connects. The Forest Service pays him $200 month which he says he doesn’t need because of his pension. I would have asked more but it was too exhausting and I was distracted anyways (an upcoming post). But he is here all year long and this past February when all that snow happened in Texas (a record) he got over a foot here which broke his awning. He removed it and tossed it in amongst all his other junk lying about.