Motel 6 near the San Diego airport has been home for the last few days. Our time there has been pretty smooth with just one unsavory incident that happened just minutes after Brittany arrived at the room for the first time. We were staying in room 237 and our not so lovely neighbors were in room 236. These folks sounded as if they were going to win a million dollars for taking the human decibel level to new heights. It was a fight to the finish for this couple and Motel 6’s paper-thin walls allowed Brittany and I the pleasure of listening to the whole thing go down. At one point they even threatened to get their mama’s after one another. It was quite the occasion and judging from the way they described their mama’s, name taking, butt kicking, capabilities, I could tell that these two came from an upstanding and respectful background.
Day 111 was my third day there and Brittanys second. We decided to move on and give a go at a bit of camping. From google maps, I could only find a KOA in the immediate San Diego area. It was located about 12 miles south in the city of Chula Vista. Since the Goose only has so much load carrying capabilities, I had to take Brittany and her things to KOA first, before returning to Motel 6 to gather all of my things and returning to KOA. I dropped her off and gave her the task of setting up the tent while I was gone. After a few pointers, she gave it a whirl. I expected to come back to a completely set up tent with a nice and tight rain fly covering it. Instead I came back to a tent in shambles. She managed to put the tent and poles up correctly, but the rain fly was on backwards and not secured correctly. I just laughed and chalked it up as a learning experience for her. Unlike my family, hers didn’t do one night of camping during her youth. I straightened out the rain fly and secured it properly. After that it was time for a shower and some food. We packed everything into the tent and took off for a Hawian restaurant just down the street. The barbecue mix plates were o.k., but nothing to write home about, and reminded me of some version of chinese food that I’ve had in the past with the only difference being the side order of macaroni and cheese. Our late lunch was over and our plan evolved into a trip around Chula Vista to get familiar with the area since we’ll be here a few more days. Right before dark, we returned to camp for a relaxing evening in the perfectly clean and maintained KOA. I was mentally ready for a few hours of vegetating by a fire with some Willy Nelson playing on Pandora and some roasted marshmallows. It was gonna be great! That was until…… Until I went to split my first piece of wood with my hatchet and got the world’s gnarliest splinter under my right thumbnail. I was doing alright with the hatchet while using it to shave off some kindling for the start of the fire. Then I wanted to take our larger chunks and half them for the next phase before putting the biggest chunks of wood in. I grabbed a full piece, held it with my left hand, steadied it, reared back with the hatchet, moved my left hand out-of-the-way, whacked the center of the piece of firewood with a swift blow and then yelped like a little girl. I didn’t hit my finger or anything. What happened was, at the point of follow through, the log was split and falling to the side and my thumbnail, on my right hand, slid down the hunk of wood until it snagged on a sharp, splintered piece. At that moment an inch long piece of wood was lodged completely under my thumbnail. Now let me tell you. It felt great!… Actually it felt like I just nailed a finishing nail right under my thumbnail. To say it sucked is an understatement. In a flash I was pulling at the thing trying to get it out of there. My pulling could only get me so far. Then I got a pair of mini scissors and went to work. When I could get no further I just left what was left under there and did my best to ignore the throbbing. A few cold ones helped dull the pain. Brittany and I would go on to chill by the fire for a few hours before retiring to the cramped little tent.