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YEAR #2 - STOP #63

I assume everyone knows what "déjà vu" and "double take" means. But just so we're all on the same page I'll define them both here:

According to Psychology Today:
When "déjà vu" occurs it seems to spark our memory of a place we have already been, a person we have already seen, or an act we have already done.

According to Dictionary.com OR FreeDictionary.com:
When you do a "double take" it involves a rapid or surprised second look, either literal or figurative, at a person or situation whose significance had not been completely grasped at first OR you react with surprise and have to look twice to make sure that you really saw correctly.

You are probably all wondering what the heck is he talking about now! Let me explain.

Yesterday afternoon we drove 15 miles from our campsite to visit the Poverty Point World Heritage Site. When we walked into the museum there was only one other couple there besides the Ranger behind the desk.

The other couple had just finished watching the 12-minute documentary film in the auditorium located off to the left side of the desk. Tricia was busy digging out her wallet to pay her $4 entry for the museum, I was free because I'm a senior, and when she looked up after paying she saw the other woman and they both had a "déjà vu" moment.

You see they both had been in the campground bathroom earlier that morning. I could see the look of recognition in both of their faces and it only took a few seconds for them to figure out where the knew each other from. I had a silent thought of, "Oh how I hope they don't think we're following them". Then it was our turn to view the short film while they visited museum.

After the film was over we exited into the museum where the other couple were asking the Ranger some interesting questions. We listened to a few of their questions and waited to ask a few of our own before looking around the museum.

The other activity to do there is a short 2-mile 1-way driving tour around and through the site where the mounds and other features are located. You can also walk the route but it was a little to chilly for that. We did consider walking to the top of the largest mound, called Mound A, but later decided against it.

As the other couple left the museum I jokingly said we would give them a 10-minute head start before we started after them. We said goodbye and later saw them climbing the Mound A as we drove by. That should have been the last we saw of them.

Today we prepared everything to move to our new camping location. We drove 185 miles across two states to get there. After we got all set up in our new site we decided to drive around the park and just see what there is to see. Before we took our little drive around we observed several trailers pass by our campsite looking for their own place to park.

We hopped into ROVER and headed out of the campground. Once on the other side of the campground we saw a couple setting up their campsite and had to do a double take when we realized who they were.

I rolled down my window and said,"This time you are following us because we were here first". She smiled when she recognized who we were and I inquired as to where they were going next and she just replied North, we are headed South. It seems they don't make reservations and just locate a place to camp when they don't feel like driving anymore that day. We are just the opposite, we know exactly where we are going to be and for how long months ahead of time. Next year we have vowed to try and find a happy medium in between both of these travel styles, they both have their own pros and cons.

Just so our next meeting isn't as big a surprise as the first two she invited us over for a campfire. We are both here for the weekend and will leave on Monday. Tonight there is still a chance of rain so we planned to meet tomorrow night. I can stop calling them the other couple now, we learned their names are Jackie and Charlie and they live on 10 acres near the small town of Irons, Michigan.

This is our third time we have experienced these impromptu meetings since hitting the road. The first was very early in our trip when 400 miles away from where we first met we ran into the same couple we had camped next to four weeks earlier. The second experience was running into the same couple three times in the same day at different locations while exploring St. Louis. And this "déjà vu" "double take" makes three.

FRIDAY - Today is the day for us to get some errands taken care of, namely laundry, groceries and gasoline. Tonight we have a date with our new friends from Michigan. They have invited us over to their site for a campfire, when I asked what time to come over Jackie replied "around darkish". Lately, darkish occurs around 5:30PM, so we planned to be there around 6:00PM.

We got off to a little bit of a late start and it was "completely dark" when we headed out walking with our chairs and beverages. It was so dark that we took a wrong turn at the end of our campsite's driveway. Backtracking a little ways we got on the right road and could see their campfire blazing from quite a distance away. Good thing Charlie had a nice fire started because the temperatures were dropping fast, so fast I didn't even bother putting our beverages on ice after removing them from our refrigerator. I just dropped them into a plastic shopping bag and headed out.

After a shorter than normal campfire we all agreed to call it quits for the night and retreat into our separate heated campers. Before we left we invited them over to our site the next night so we could host a campfire for them.

SATURDAY - I spent all day gathering free firewood from all over the campground in anticipation of tonight's big event. Just kidding, but I did have quite an impressive pile of wood for tonight's campfire. Around 5:00PM I saw Jackie and Charlie walking around the campsite next to ours and I thought, "they are awfully early for a campfire".

When I got outside and prepared to start the fire I realized what they were up to. Just like Tricia and I usually do they were out picking up trash in the campground, but we usually stick to just our campsite and maybe the ones on both sides of us. Also just like Tricia and I do, Charlie was the one pointing out all the trash to be picked up and Jackie was the one holding the bag and using a long reach grabbing tool to place it in the bag without actually touching it.

We really liked this couple and see a lot of other commonalities between us and them. I hope they're reading this and keep in touch with us.

Sunset over Okatibbee Lake at Twiltley Branch Campground

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