The first weekend that I owned my 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck, Tony and I loaded up for a trip to Moab. As per our usual habit, we left after I got off work on Friday night, at 7:00, and arrived at Sand Flats around midnight. We drove into the camping area, and looked for a camping spot. We finally found a spot with no one in it, set up our tent, and went to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up at about 6:00, and left the tent in my long underwear and a t-shirt, to get something out of the truck. Of course, the door was locked, so I went back to the tent and grabbed my shorts. I stuck my hand into the pocket and...no keys!
"Tony, wake up! I can't find my keys!"
The problem was, I had bought the truck used, and I only had the one key. I had planned on getting a duplicate made, but I just hadn't had time before we left town. We emptied out the tent, looked all around where our footprints were, from the night before, but just couldn't find my keys.
I was sitting on the tailgate of the truck, still in my long underwear, when a truck drove up. A girl got out, wearing the Americorps Volunteers uniform. She told us that we had to take our tent down and move on. The spot we were in was not a camping spot.
I explained to her our situation, and she told us that she really didn't care that we were there, but that the ranger was going to be coming by soon, and he would probably ticket us. Then, she drove off.
"I tell you what," I said to Tony, "let's take the tent down, and pack everything back into the truck. Maybe if we aren't actually camped, the ranger won't ticket us for parking here. Then, we can ride our bikes to town and get a locksmith..."
This was before everyone in the world had a cell phone.
So, we put the sleeping bags in the back of the truck, and took the tent down. Then, as I picked up the ground cloth, which had been under the tent, I saw something shiny in the sand.
We loaded the truck up, drove to town, and I had 4 copies of the truck key made. One went in my wallet, one went in a hidy-place on the truck, one went on Tony's key ring and the other I reserved to give to Valerie when I got home.
I make darn sure that I have an extra key to every vehicle before I take a trip, now. I don't want to go through that, ever again!