While on an excursion to Lake O’ The Pines a few months ago, I stumbled upon an obstacle while on an early-morning stroll from our campsite to the water’s edge. I windmilled and danced an unbalanced jig to keep myself from the expected face-plant in the predawn dimness. Recovering my sea legs, (covered now with most of my coffee) I whipped around to see what the offensive protuberance could have been, a stone, a root, a piece of debris left by a previous visitor to our otherwise pristine site? Okay, pristine might not be the right word choice, since most campers will tell you if it’s sorta level, and the water and electricity hookups operate properly, it’s about as perfect as you’re gonna get. Nonetheless, I pride myself on a tidy area if for no other reason than to thwart my inherent clumsiness. I’ve taken nasty fall tripping over a pine cone so, safety first.
The culprit turned out to be the survey marker pictured above. A bit battered since 1978, but still capable of doing damage to unsuspecting old dudes like me who like to think we can see “perfectly fine” by light of a crescent moon. I looked around and wondered if we were camped in someplace with some obvious geological significance, since the marker wasn’t twenty paces from the slab the rv was parked on. A boat launch was nearby, other than that, it seemed unspectacular. A historian might know better. Then I thought about what this campground might have looked like in 1978, and what types of vintage cars and campers might have parked there. Then I wished I had some Nevr-Dull with me, so I could shine it up and make it a bit more visible to unsuspecting steppers. We have several more trips scheduled, what with the cooler weather finally arriving. I’ll be more alert for these unsuspected markers beneath my feet. I might even grab a flashlight next time.