Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Clampetts take Bear Lake

Last week was our family's annual trip to Bear Lake.  Fun was had by all.  Getting to our destination was a bit tricky. Our family is growing. Which means longer legs, larger clothes, and generally more stuff to haul around. The days of putting all the girl clothes in one bag and all the boy clothes in another are long over.

We drive a Honda Pilot. Which we love. It seats 8 but you don't feel like you are driving around a HUGE vehicle- and it fit 5 car seats, which we needed until about 6 months ago.   But, the leg room in the back seats is not plentiful. Neither is the cargo space in the back. So when we go anywhere requiring gear have to be creative. We found a little rack that fits into the hitch on the back.  We added a big black plastic box to go with it which we bungee on. It's been great. We've used this method for years to go many places. There's even room for a cooler or two next to the black box.

With each year, the bungee arrangement has gotten bigger and bigger.  Adding sleeping bags, pads, tents, bags, etc... This year we also added a roof rack and carrier to the mix. If you see a Pilot driving down the road looking like a modern day version of the Clampetts, that's probably us. Anyway, our balancing act has worked great. Until this trip. Here was the play by play:

Pull out of the neighborhood. Kids yell something has fallen off. Pull over. Re-load. Re-bungee. Drive to a store and buy more bungees. Re-load. Re-bungee.

Pull onto the freeway. Kids yell something was about to fall off. Pull off the freeway. Adjust the bungee configuration. Take longest ever construction detour. Get back on the freeway.

Drive up the canyon. Notice frantic drivers trying to get our attention by using hand signals and wild pointing expressions. Kids yell. Turn around to see our load is greatly reduced.  Two bags and a cooler are missing. Pull over. Look behind us and can't see our belongings. Drive back down the freeway BACKWARDS on the shoulder. See the cargo. Cooler in the middle lane. One bag in the slow lane the other bag on the shoulder of the fast lane.

Husband gets out. Wife yells to BE CAREFUL. Husband walks down shoulder to the side of the bags. INCREDIBLY NICE and CONSIDERATE TRUCKER slows down and pulls his rig diagonal across two lanes stopping traffic. Husband runs out and picks up two of the bags and drags them to the shoulder. Traffic resumes.  Husband waits for another clearing in traffic and runs across all lanes to pick up the last bag. Waits for another clearing and runs across all lanes back.

Husband and wife inspect the damage. Cooler= beyond repair. Food in cooler= jelly. Two other bags=no damage. Re-load. (1/2 of items go IN THE CAR this time.) Re-bungee.  Pull back on to the freeway and off we went. Made it to the lake four hours later than expected.

Next year we'll use a trailer. Or just buy more bungees.

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