Friday, October 19, 2007

So where were we?

...before the gelato (ooooh, gelaaahto)?

Ah yes - not camping, is where we were.

Actually, I like camping. Some of my fondest memories are of camping trips. I've been a lot of places that way. Mountains and rivers and deserts and forests... all differently awesome, all wonderful.

Impossibly bright moon and stars on a cloudless New Mexico night, reflected in a shimmering lake black as the sky-- they aren't kidding when they call it the Land of Enchantment. Cowering in a tent during a deluge in Death Valley, of all places -- I think the night I camped there, the place got all its precipitation for the decade. Canoe camping along the Saco River, Maine (I hear this is something of a canoe freeway these days, but I'm talking 25 years ago). Hot springs in Thermopolis, Wyoming (is that a cool name or what?). Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Parks. Grand Canyon. NJ Pine Barrens. Adirondacks. Great trips, great memories. Stories to go with all of 'em.

One particular morning in 1989 I awoke at first light on a California beach, rubbed my eyes, rolled over to look out at the Pacific. And there were two beautiful naked guys. Blond surfers, getting into their wetsuits. I rubbed my eyes again. I decided to move to California.

Ah, youth.

So yes, camping can rock. Why then would I rather chew on tin foil than go canoe camping this weekend? Because the forecast is for a "100% chance" (hello? 100% is a certainty, not a chance) of heavy rain overnight tonight, and showers all day tomorrow. Damp sleeping bag, damp clothes, damp tent, damp firewood... then the temperature drops to the 40s for tomorrow night, so add cold to the damp, in case you weren't having enough fun already.

Also, I just can't crash on the ground and wake up well-rested the way I used to. And those pads for under your sleeping bag? They just suck.

I'll have to come up with a way to make it comfortable though. There's still more to see out there in the great wide world, and sometimes buildings just get in the way.


  1. this makes me laugh. i grew up camping in southern california (and I surfed with those naked guys, tey just dont care, they just care about surfing) and in Colorado (I climbed Long's Peak in Rocky Mt Nat Park among others in the area) and laugh at how that camping pad used to be fine in my youth, to sleep on the ground. Now, I need a blow up mattress! Fortunately, in my situation now, I sleep on the boat, which has a bed. I thought it was going to clear up this weekend in our region and be nice??! I hope if you went, it did clear up!

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  3. I am not a camper. I have camped exactly ONCE and can say with conviction that I do not do well sleeping on the ground.... all go ahead....

  4. So did you go? Did it rain? Tell us more...


  5. Actually this was a trip for Mr. S. and his longtime friend. He'd already left when I posted this, it just made me think of camping in general and how 1) in theory, I really like it but 2) when it comes right down to it, I don't wanna any more.

    He's home now -- I guess it rained like crazy Friday night and a bit on Saturday, but between good luck and good timing, they stayed dry.

  6. Um, I'm guessing that all of those marvelous camping experiences were in the pre-kids era of your life. Because camping with kids is just work. And no sleep.

    And now you'll hear from all these people who love to take their kids camping. I don't get it. I just don't get it. My husband does, though.

  7. Well yeah, of course. I had a lot of life before kids, and I still remember some of it.

    And who would go tent camping in the Rockies with a preschooler? Not me, is who. I can barely manage the backyard.

    All in good time...