Monday, November 1, 2010
I thought I'd share a sample chapter with you so you can get a taste of the fun we had. Enjoy!
A leash has its good points too, as it is great for providing leverage while swinging in a hammock. Hammocking is one of my favorite pastimes while camping, especially if I’m on Mommy’s lap. A prerequisite for a perfect campsite is four trees spaced about ten human feet or one hundred twenty feline feet from each other for hanging two hammocks. My parents would then strategically place a large screw eye into the ground halfway between each other’s portable bed. Then Princess would join Daddy on his lap and I on Mommy’s lap and they would use our leashes to pull against the stake and rock-a-bye baby time commenced.
I remember one time when we were camping in the desert and there were no trees. Daddy hung a hammock between the top of the camper and a picnic table. That did not work too well because his bottom kept hitting bottom, especially when I jumped onto his lap.
One of my favorite places for hammocking was a campground my parents found on our summer trip in 1978. We were living in Pennsylvania then, as my parents found teaching positions back east. They would travel each summer to visit my grandparents and aunt who lived on the west coast. On the way between Southern California, where my grandparents lived, and Oregon, where my aunt lived, my parents were looking for an out of the way campground to avoid the crowds over the Fourth of July weekend. They found one near Ukiah, California in a Bureau of Land Management recreation area called Cow Mountain. There were no other campers in the campground the entire weekend, not even a cow! Now why is it called Cow Mountain if there are no cows? We had to travel over eight miles on a bumpy, rutty dirt road to get there, which probably explains why there were no other campers. Maybe the cows found it a hard trip too.
We did have some visitors during the day however. It seems as though Cow Mountain is a favorite place for motorcyclists to visit and do some off road riding. So there I was sleeping peacefully in my hammock when I was awakened by “vroom, vroom, vroom”. But fortunately the cyclists went to the other end of the campground and I was able to resume my nap.
One time however, a group of bikers with rough-looking facial features, hair down to their shoulders, tattoos on their arms, and black leather vests decorated with silver grommets that outlined a skull and bones arrived bringing along guns for some target practice. We were pretty nervous until they left, as we were miles from civilization. Maybe this incident explains why there are no cows on Cow Mountain and we hoped it wasn’t an explanation of why there were no other people and felines too. But most of the weekend was very peaceful and it was during that weekend that I coined the phrase “life is a hammock.”
I even slept in the hammock by myself when Mommy got up to do other things. Sleeping in a hammock is great, but don’t ever try changing positions or getting out of one when it is made of cotton string mesh. I may be pretty agile, but I’m not a tightrope walker! But most of the time, I slept. I particularly liked it when Daddy would rock me gently from side to side when I was in the hammock by myself.
The weekend ended with our watching fireworks over Clear Lake. Clear Lake was about fifteen aerial miles from our campground, which is the way I like to watch fireworks. After that episode in Organ Pipe National Monument where the sound of fireworks going off in the campground caused me to use up one of my nine lives, I much prefer looking at them to hearing them.