Friday, July 19, 2013

This is why I don't camp

Hi. I'm not supposed to be here right now, but guess what? I am.

I'm supposed to be out there. In the wild. Sleeping on the ground and communing with nature and shit.

I have never been this happy to go camping. Ever.
Let me just say this before you read any further.

I'm not a good camper. I complain. A lot.

And yet, I found myself cursing Mother Nature last night, all night, because I was in a tent with five other people and 300 flies hoping that the wind didn't pick us up and drop us somewhere in Kansas.

I should explain.

The husband camps. He's a camper. He loves this stuff. He backpacks and hikes and fishes.

I like toilets and showers and air conditioning, plus I'm allergic to nature. Literally.

I'm seriously not kidding.
I'm allergic to nature.
This is my bubble.
In the name of teaching our kids to toughen up and love the outdoors more than their prissy mother (namely, me) does, we camp. We camp even though we have a horrid track record when it comes to ending trips prematurely because someone barfs in the tent.

The husband (who seriously wants to be a park ranger when he grows up) planned a camping trip for this weekend. One that obviously doesn't involve me sitting on the couch with my laptop and wifi.

In fact, he rejoiced and patted himself on the back when I lost service a few miles before we got there. He likes to unplug. I like the people. He likes to make me unplug and ignore the people.

We got out to the lake yesterday and it was hot, but nice. We went down to the sandy beach and swam and played. Then the blazing hot ball of fire in the air disappeared behind some clouds.

Goodbye sun. It was nice knowing you.
Afternoon thunderstorms are part of life around here, and they usually pass quickly. For the moment, we'll ignore the fact that I'd told my husband the weather was calling for rain and storms the entire time he planned for us to be there and the naysayer said nay. The naysayer was wrong.

The sun didn't come back out. Ever.

It started raining and we set up the table inside the tent figuring we would just wait out the storm, then make dinner. Checked my phone. No service. The last thing that came through before the service was gone was a flash flood warning for our hometown, which was West of where we were. Storms move from West to East, so I knew something big was coming, but had no radar to look at anymore.

The storm never ended, it just got worse and worse and worse. We ended up cooking hot dogs fast on the camping stove and telling the kids we couldn't cook anything else. Eat chips for dinner. Yes, Mom said it was okay.

I should tell you that I told the husband to buy an LED lantern this week, and he told me we didn't need one because we had a propane lantern.

I should also tell you that he should listen to his wife.

We huddled in the tent with one glow stick, a tiny flashlight and the kids' lanterns. And listened to the wind howl all night.

Rain. Thunder. Lightning all around us.


At some point, I peed in a cup because there is no way in hell I was going out there in it and hoofing it to the bathroom.

Incidentally, I realized this morning that pit toilets scare the ever-loving crap out of me. Seriously. Totally irrational fears in that little cinder block room.

The storms finally eased up sometime just before sunrise.  When we finally peeked our heads out of the tent, we saw that most of the other people in the campground had given up. Either packed up and left entirely or slept in their cars. I don't blame them. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about it over a million times. It was still raining, but it wasn't scary storming anymore.

The husband was determined to salvage the trip and got up, re-set up the shade tent and started making coffee. Halfway through cooking breakfast, the raindrops started getting bigger and bigger and we knew it was time to call it.

So we grabbed everything as fast as we could, shoved it into the car with no rhyme or reason and started on home, with a van full of insect castaways.

Seriously. It's like we are taking part in a fly relocation program.

I should be floating around in a lake right now, or sitting on a beach and drinking a beer.

I'm home instead, running on almost no sleep, with a van full of muddy camping gear that still needs unloaded and dried out.

The camping gods were not pleased.

Clearly, I should stay indoors with my internet and air conditioning where I belong.

Hey! At least no one barfed.

That has to count for something.

1 comment:

  1. You know -- YOU KNOW -- I understand.

    That is all.


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