We drove 672 miles to watch a movie. And it was a rerun.
I’m not sure when I first learned that the KOA campground (or is it Kampground?) outside Devil’s Tower, Wyoming has nightly outdoor screenings of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But ever since, I’ve known that I would sit in the audience. It was just a matter of time.
A cinematic loop played in my mind. I’d sit in a chair, looking at the big screen, aliens descending over the iconic tower. I’d look off to the side to see if anything was happening above the real thing. I’d nudge the kids, point over at the real tower, raise my eyebrows and shake my head as I took another handful of popcorn.
It’s like staring into an infinity mirror.
It’s not like I would drive 672 miles just to do that one thing. But every time I planned to be in the area, I started scheming. Thinking of how I could shoehorn a quick stop into the itinerary. This time it worked. It was just a short extension to our Black Hills trip.
When I was about 10, I stayed at my first KOA. I’ve probably only stayed two others. It’s not that I have anything against them, I just tend to camp at the national parks. When I pull out my tent, I don’t require pinball games. Showers are a luxury I can live without when I’m on the trail, and I’ve got nothing to plug in that can’t wait ‘til I get home.
There were no video games or smart phones to keep me occupied on those road trips of my youth. So I looked out the window and played little word games with myself. I devised a brilliant ad campaign for KOA all those years ago, and I think if they read this blog, they will snap it up. Then I shall retire to the south of France.
“Life is A-OK at a KOA.”
And right now, it is. Everything is A-OK. We just cooled off in the pool. I am surfing the net while sitting in the shade outside my tent and looking up at Devil’s Tower. I am crafting the perfect timing for a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone, and the movie starts at 9.
And by the way…Happy 4th of July. We’ll be spending ours at a small town rodeo somewhere in the Dakotas. Stay tuned. That’ll be the next post.