Pete Gilbert">

Our Camping Neighbor

Our camping trip was full of equally great and difficult moments and there was definitely a lot lot to laugh about as well. Many of our laughs came from the entertaining neighbor camping across the road from us.

My favorite contraption this guy owned was a gigantic three-wheel bike with a seat in the front and a seat in the back. What made this bike extra special was the third seat attached to a trailer hooked onto the bike. Upon closer inspection, the third seat was really just a car seat bolted onto a metal frame.

This neighbor was interesting, even though his kids (which our kids played with the entire time) did own bike helmets, they didn’t wear them very much. It was interesting watching this guy’s kids ride around without helmets while he was telling us stories about their previous head wounds and emergency room visits.

For as much as he was entertaining, he also had the single most brilliant idea I’ve ever seen when it comes to teaching a kid to learn to ride a bike. He had taken an old broom handle and used a zip tie to attach it to the back seat of a bike. It still allowed a parent to help a kid get started on the bike but the parent didn’t have to awkwardly bend over to help his or her child keep their balance. It was really cool. He even demonstrated it with my son on the bike. I was a little surprised when he gave my son a good push and then just let him go without holding on. My son did really well though. Unfortunately, his reaction once he saw no one was holding on to him was to speed up and not slow down. This does not bode well for his future as a bike rider or a driver.

Probably my favorite interaction with our camping neighbor was late at night when he walked over to our site and “knock knocked” on our campground. He came over to tell us to be aware of raccoons. He also mentioned there was one currently sitting on his picnic table. My wife and I went over to his campsite and sure enough there was a raccoon sitting on his picnic table, reaching into a pretzel bag, stuffing itself with pretzels.

What a crazy experience. What a nice guy. Definitely someone that was unforgettable.

-Pete

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