Thursday, July 28, 2005

Chicago to Okoboji

Your correspondent at Addison and Clark.

We had quite the trip to Lake Okoboji in northern Iowa this past weekend. After a relaxing Friday on the North Side of Chicago, Neil got home from work at about 6:00 and then we picked up Rose from her job and drove to Des Moines. I spent the night at Joe Gallagher's place and picked Helen up from the airport at 11:15 am on Saturday the 23rd. Then over to Neil's folks' house in West Des Moines, where he, I, Helen, and Joe piled into Neil's car for the 4-hour drive to Okoboji.

Loading the SS Silver Banana.

We quickly found a campsite at Emerson Bay State Park on the southwest corner of West Okoboji Lake. Then it was off to the Village West resort to meet John Stoneback, another member of the West Des Moines posse from the early 1980s. We had dinner with some of John's family members at the "Main Event" bar and grill there at the resort and then John came with us back over to our campsite to listen to some of the audio tapes we had all made together as kids.

The tapes featured faux radio shows like "Pipe Talk," a talk show focused on the latest trends in plumbing; "Eyenitwit News," a news show; "In the Shadow of Breezy Paradise," a soap opera; "Bottle Cutting with Bernard," a craft show; and various commercials advertising products and services such as "The Jasper County Community Crockpot" and "Chemo-Spread" (slogan: "Removes all flavor from all foods").

Sunday morning at Okoboji.

For our second night at Okoboji we moved over to a campsite equipped with electricity so that we could plug in our movie projector and show Super-8 movies, also filmed during our youth, on a free-standing screen. Next to us, the air conditioner on an Airstream "Land Yacht" (actual brand name) motorhome hummed the evening away. The occupants inside never ventured forth, and the only hint of life inside the motorhome was when the futuristic TV antenna on top would rotate, indicating that someone had changed the channel.

Before the movies we ordered pizza from Domino's to be delivered to our campsite. A kid driving a late-model Cadillac delivered it. This was my first Cadillac-delivered pizza.

Waiting for dusk so we can start watching movies while our neighbor, the Land Yacht, abides.

Over the course of two and a half days at Okoboji I did a grand total of zero-point-zero hours of canoeing, although Neil and Helen did go out on the lake for oh, about 10 minutes. Which was exactly one-sixth as long as it took them to figure out how to strap the damn canoe to the top of Neil's Honda CRV back in West Des Moines.

On the other hand, we did go swimming at night ("nightswimming," I think it is called) and I floated around on a yellow inflatable mattress that was approximately the width of one (1) of my buttocks.

More photos on Ball of Dirt.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who gave you permission to photograph my Land Yacht?

If it weren't for our satellite television and 60,000 BTU air conditioner; we would have been up all night listening to your group's insessant clamoring for beer and droning super-8 projector!

How about some campground manners, please!

regards,
Heyward Djbloame

Chris Hartman said...

Sorry about that, Heyward.

sekelley@gmail.com said...

Hey... I know a coupla these guys - but your photos won't load on my screen. Awwww. Hope Okoboji was a hoo-ha anyway.
~Susan, not related to Heyward.

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