You all know what I mean by “Interesting” don’t you?

I use it to mean odd, unusual, and sometimes I use it when I really want to say a swear word.

We are hardy campers, Charlie and me. It’s just getting to where we are going to lay our heads that is sometimes the challenge. More on the stress of navigating in another blog post

This night we were in Great Bend, Kansas. We ate a great dinner and felt greatly tired from the rigors of a great day. We had planned to stay in a city park about 30 miles away.

Those plans changed as it got darker. We like to pull into a camp spot in the light. So we started calling, looking for a great place to park in the near vicinity of Great Bend. The second call found a place with space. We followed the directions from a gentleman who made us feel like we were having a conversation with the Dell computer support desk. And the lady who narrates our GPS announced our arrival at the destination (on your right). Where ma’am? Please tell us! We thought we had missed it. It didn’t look much like the RV parks we stayed at before. It wasn’t like any place we stayed at before.
Here were abandoned single-wide trailer houses with broken windows and doors half off their hinges interspersed with newer RVs that hadn’t been moved in months. Grass grew windowsill height around the various Winnebago and Montana branded 5th wheels and travel trailers while the rest of the lawn was cut short.

The roads apparently had once been paved but now consisted of one pothole after another. Instead of a golf cart guide like a KOA, the man who led us to our campsite was driving a spanking new 2021 Chevy pickup (just like the one our son Luke would like to have). I imagined golf carts getting stuck in the potholes, but maybe a beat-up old Ford would be a better choice for this location. We followed him over the curb and up on the lawn and near a post in the ground that had some electrical wires poking out. The guy wanted Charlie to drive the van over the sewer outlet so that the van straddled it. Usually, it is alongside the van on the “service side” where the hose goes. Weird. If Dooley could speak, he would comment on how he felt odd in that strange arrangement. As soon as the man drove off to get a converter for 30 amps, (the power to the pole was 50 amps) Charlie backed the van into the correct position. I could almost hear Dooley let out a sigh of relief.

When I opened the door, the mosquitoes invaded in droves. Believe it or not, this was my first encounter with mosquitoes this year! I could have done without. After he had the van connected to the services, Charlie spent a good amount of time killing skeeters with his bare hands. Ugg, bedtime.

Falling asleep was easy, but at 2 am the pouring rain caused me to wake up and close the windows. I finally fell back to sleep at 4 am. And the alarm rang two hours later. We left this interesting campsite at 7 am and found a Perkins Cake and Steak. I ordered something that turned out to be a very salty starchy breakfast. Interesting. Great Bend was not so great at all.

We drove, or I should say Charlie drove a long way across Kansas and into Colorado. The following two Blog posts will tell the “interesting” events of the next two days.

Published by Carol Clupny, author The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman's Remarkable Journey with Parkinson's Disease

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, was published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage. Ab Here is more about me; I was living an active lifestyle riding horses, hiking, climbing and snow skiing when at age fifty I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Retiring from my career as a speech-language pathologist I decided to “take to the road” to battle the disease. My first steps, walking out her door to the mailbox, lead to trekking over 1000 miles of pilgrimage trails on the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. A dusty bike discovered in the garage resulted in four rides on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa with the Pedaling for Parkinsons Team. These adventures inspired me to write a memoir The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease. I blogs about my everyday life as a middle-aged woman in the mid-stages of Parkinson’s disease. My honest, humorous, and casual narrative style brings the reader to an intimate understanding of my resilience and acceptance. My blog, sharing the name of my book ”The Ribbon of Road Ahead” can be found at www.ultreiablog.org After completing a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from Eastern Washington University I received certification in School Leadership and Administration from Lewis and Clark College. I provided speech pathology services and later became a program director completing 32 years in the wide geographic expanse of eastern Oregon. Active in the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association I received honors of the association and the presidential award for work on recruitment and retention of speech and hearing professionals. Il presented numerous papers and projects at local, state and regional professional conferences. I was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to two terms of the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the state’s licensing and consumer protection agency. Since my diagnosis in 2008, I has become active in the Parkinson’s community as an advocate, an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and support group facilitator for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. I was appointed the regional patient representative for the Parkinson's Foundation’s Women with PD TALK study. In September of 2019 the Michael J Fox Foundation selected me to participate in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. As an attendee at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016 in Portand, Oregon, I presnted a poster session examining the decision making process for patients considering deep brain stimulation. At the 2019 WPC in Kyoto, Japan I presented a poster on vision concerns of women with PD and lead small group discussions. Myr book The Ribbon of Road Ahead has provided many speaking opportunities for Carol. In 2019 and early 2020 she visited 24 support groups in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California to share her thoughts on living well with the disease. In addition, she has presented talks for The Center on Aging in San Francisco, Parkinson's Place in Las Vegas, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation in Richland WA and virtually through their HOPE online program. In late 2020 I rejuvenated her voice and narrated her book. It became available as an audio book in 2021. As part of this project I read stories over the airwaves on RadioParkies Australia with DJ Madonna and in Great Britain with DJ Johnny Parky. She and her husband Charlie have two adult sons. They live on a small hobby farm in eastern Oregon. Contact Information: Carol Clupny PO BOX 128, Hermiston, OR 97838 caclupny@gmail.com (541) 720-4256

2 thoughts on ““Interesting”

  1. You two were very brave staying at that place! It sounds kinda creepy. We’re there any other campers around?

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