King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat

Wanna talk about real pain?

When I was 10 years old (which would be around 1980), my family took a family vacation to southern California and North Dakota. An old high school buddy of my mom's lives in California. And my step-father's family is in North Dakota. As usual, we took the van, a white Chevy Beauville or Beaumont or something like that. We towed one of those tent-trailers. We got to southern California and parked the trailer in the Turner's driveway in Canoga Park. I remember that my parents decided to take the coast highway into LA, and it was backed up for miles.

I got to go to Magic Mountain, which was a lot of fun, except for the roller coasters. I've never done too well on roller coasters. But the real fun was the day after. We went to the beach, like every decent tourist in southern California does. Somehow, my Swedish and German skin was exposed to too much sun. I writhed in pain all night long. I was blistered. We had to postpone our trip to Disneyland the day after that. But it was just postponed. I had 3 brothers and a sister, and they would not be denied. And my ten year old self was not going to miss out on Disneyland. Little did I know that I would spend most of my time waiting in lines. I remember only two rides. Pirates of the Caribbean, which was fun, and Space Mountain, which was not. In addition to the roller coaster aspect of that ride, the bar that holds you in the car was pressed up against my sunburnt stomach. Every time the car turned a sharp corner, either my burned back was slammed into the back of the car, or my burned stomach was slammed into the bar holding me in.

I think I was still peeling several weeks later when we pulled into Bismarck North Dakota. We drove there as well. I vaguely remember staying at a campground near St. George Utah, and seeing Mt Rushmore along the way. What I remember most vividly though, was stay at a National Park in western Colorado, atop a mesa. There were no fences at the top to keep us from running right up to the edge. Of course, I didn't actually get too close to the edge. Heights kind of scare me (not like spiders, needles, or girls though).

But I did get close enough and slid on my stomach to look over the edge. The highway up to the campground was below us. And not like 100 feet below us. More like 1000. I think we even threw things down at it to see how long it would take. Dan (my next youngest brother) would get a running start to throw something. That kind of freaked me out.

They also had these lizards that ran around. We tried to catch them, but you were most likely to grab them by the tail as they scurried away from you. Their tails came off! We were left holding wriggling lizard body parts while the lizards got away.


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