Last weekend’s camping trip….
“…my dreams are tangled in images of stars and clouds and firelight – we go camping at night – it’s my lucid dream of being with you…”
-John Geddes, A Familiar Rain
Earlier in the week showed chances of possible rain for Saturday and Sunday. Well. We decided screw it. We’ve been trying to plan this weekend all summer and with our busy lives, between work, competitions, friends weddings, family reunions, work trips…. It’s actually kind of amazing just how difficult it can be for 3 women to make a weekend work.
So what happens? Friday, one hour before I’m supposed to leave, the skies open up and rain down the beginning of doomsday and The country just south of me goes into a tornado warning. After a short debate and several weather checks. Feeling frustrated and disappointed because my furbabies were already at the vet for the weekend. The gals and I decided we had what appeared to be a two hour break in the rain. Screw it. Heading out and let’s see what happens.
Of course Bee asks Brogan, “your tent has a rainfly, right?”
Me: 😳 fuck
Brogan, “I’m not sure. I haven’t put it up in a while.” In all fairness. It is her parents tent.
“I will buy a new fucking tent. Fuck it.”
So basically I bought a new tent and set it up for the first time on the site in between down pours and then attempted to get a fire going. This is not exactly a smart thing, but at that point I was willing to take my chances with a brand-new unknown tent, than a “I’m not sure…”
While we had been setting up our tent, one of the neighbors yells how we need to make sure the rainfly is good and tight because there is forecasted rain. However this came across garbled to my two friends. I’m not sure if it was my time in the south or what that I fully understood him.
Camping with redneck neighbors and this isn’t the good kind. This isn’t Darrel Dixon, who ya want in a zombie apocalypse. This is a handful of single wide trailers are empty, was that even English they’re mumbling and holy fuck… Yes he’s wearing jean shorts with white tube socks and drinking from a two leader of Mountain Dew. Wait, is that a damn near life-sized pink My Little Pony in the front seat of that rusted out Jeep Liberty? Why yes, yes it is…
Next up, Bee is one heck of a fire goddess but even this ended up involving a little intervention from our neighbors on the first night; and when I say a little help I’m talking a half bottle of lighter fluid. The wood was damp, extremely damp to borderline soaked from the humidity in the air. Then again everything was soaked but no one really wanted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. So eventually the fire gets going and hot enough to cook. We sit around enjoying a childhood tradition of frank N’ beans (baked beans and hotdogs).
It’s still muggy as a mofo, just setting the tent up had is literally dripping in sweat. But we made it. We made it out and the tent was up, dinner made and the rain hadn’t started back up again, yet.
Around 1:30 to 2am I was woke up by the not so gentle sounds of an utter downpour on the tent. I felt around my sleeping bag, seemed good. Rolled over and tried to sleep more. Most of my night would go this way, in the morning I made a mental note to pack earplugs for future rainstorms. By 6am I’m done. I can’t sleep anymore the rain is coming down in driving sheets. I’ve checked the inside of the tent a couple of very small puddles but nothing to cause alarm. No body’s stuff got wet. Unlike we would later learn of our neighbors, who pretty much needed up with miniature lakes in each of their tents.
I listened to this until a little after 6am, I couldn’t sleep… I gave up the attempts and told my two camping partners that I was running into town (20 minutes away) to get charcoal and more lighter fluid, I also brought back a few munchies and some coffee to make due until we got a good fire going and breakfast. Little did any of us realize that this would take close to three hours… To get a fire hot enough for coffee accompanied by bacon and eggs.
I couldn’t complain too much, considering this whole time it was off and on sprinkling and smouldering humidity. When the clouds cleared as we started out on our hike, the humidity only got worse. Which made for a very interesting and challenging almost 9 miles, but at least we were well fed!
Early evening with Brogan on deck for cooking dinner, kabobs and beer, made for a very awesome post hike dinner! Even better with the rain completely gone from the forecast and a cooler night predicted.
The cooler temps, and when I say cooler, I’m talking about 65 degrees. Not exactly ‘cooler’ by a lot of people’s standards, but when your average over night temps have been 75 with 80% humidity. 65 with about 50% humidity felt pretty good.
I even tried to sleep in by pulling the hoodie of my thin sweat shirt over my eyes. It didn’t work (lol) and no I wasn’t sleeping in my sleeping bag, but rather on top of it with my (Army poncho liner) woobie. If you’ve never experienced the amazing-ness of a woobie, you have no idea what you are missing out on.
Sunday morning was spent stoking up a final fire to enjoy some coffee with cooler August morning, already talking about how none of us want to leave and return to reality. Making suggestions and tossing ideas for our next camping trip in October and just enjoying each others company.
All in all it was a much needed and far too short weekend spent with two amazing friends. I left our campsite with a happy soul and a full heart. I look forward to our next trip with as much, if not more enthusiasm as I had this trip.