I have a lot of fond memories of my grandpa. As we cleaned out his house something reminded me of a trip I took out to his camp when I was a kid. The details are a little fuzzy, but here are the impressions that remain.
To get to the land we rode in his big red van. I got to sit on a wooden box with a padded top and play with the 8-track machine. There might have been a seatbelt attached to the box, I can’t remember. At least one four wheeler was in the van, and maybe a three wheeler too.
Once we reached the land we rode a four wheeler out to the camp itself. I was very impressed that the four wheeler had a switch on it to change gas tanks so you could drive somewhere, and know that you had gas enough to get back.Papa had brought my bb-gun with us and we strapped it to the rack on the back of the wheeler — I think it was with those black rubber bungee cords that don’t stretch much. He made a big deal about making sure it was secure. At least it seemed like a big deal to me back then.
One we were there, I think I might’ve gotten a tour. I remember there being 6 or so bunk beds with musty old mattresses. I was very impressed with the mousetrap they had set up. The mousetrap was a 5 gallon bucket with the handle fixed in the upright position and a board leaned against the side for the mice to climb up. The wire handle had plastic grip on it which could spin and which was covered in peanut butter to attract the mice. I never knew if it really worked until I looked it up on youtube tonight. They do work! Looks like my grandpa knew what he was doing.
I still have the bb-gun. It is a pump action, and I remember that I was supposed to pump it 10 times for maximum power. I could hardly pump it 6 or 7 times and had to lean on it with all my weight to get the full 10. I shot at hanging pop can — I doubt I even hit it. I also shot at trees that I now know were WAY out of range of the bb-gun. Papa was a good sport and encouraged me anyways.
We took a little hike, and I was carrying my bb-gun down the trail with me. Even though Papa had been teaching me various ways to carry a gun safely for some reason I tried using the bb-gun as a walking stick. That got a little bit of mud in the barrel. I shook it then tried to look down the barrel to see if it was cleared. That’s when Papa stepped in and gave me a good stern lecture on not getting dirt in your barrel, never ever ever looking down a barrel. When I suggested shooting the gun to clear it out I got the never-shoot-a-gun-with-a-blocked-barrel lecture too. Once that was over he opened the bb loading hole, blew a quick puff of air through the gun and cleared out the rest of the mud.
It was either on that same trip or one around that same time that we went out riding down some dirt roads, on the wheeler agan, where the trees were bending all the way over the road from both sides.I remember being impressed with how pretty and picturesque it was. When we got to a good spot we took a break and had a snack. I had a Shasta Red Pop. Papa always had Shasta Pop in the mini-fridge at his house back then, and Red was my favorite.
Papa always tried to make his grandkids feel special and loved. On that trip he sure succeeded.