Today, I have to admit, it was a tough one. I’m feeling the chemotherapy sneaking up on me. Stealing my energy and making me sluggish and nauseous. Plus I have to go to chemotherapy the same morning I’ll be camping. God, I hate this. So, in the words of my favorite heroine, Scarlett, I’ll think about it tomorrow.
Today I made reservations to go camping. Some of you may have noticed I got side tracked yesterday. I wanted to write about camping because THIS TIME I am going to do it right.
I’ve heard about glamphing! And it made me mad! More sad lazy asses who can’t be bothered to work for anything but money. Let me tell you glampers, 90% of the fun of camping is making it happen. I don’t want some strange butler (really, I’ve heard it’s true) serving my food and folding up my clothes like I was his widdle baby and he’s my mommy! God! I’m a grown up! A chef! In this day and age! You can’t come up with a night or two of delicious food by yourself? Pathetic. There are so many ways to make wonderful food, with almost no effort, and you’re going to forego that? Cooking is social. Camping is a social activity so why are you relegating all the fun parts to some gear wad you don’t even know? This is NOT how we do it in any world but the Reality TV/Kardashian/Lifestyles of the Dumb and Dumber world.
I don’t do most of the packing now. I used to pack my own truck and camper when I was living in the Rockies. It was easy. I just didn’t take anything out of the truck. Periodically, I pulled into a second hand store and stocked up on forks, knives, spoons, plates, cups, towels, sheets, blankets and such. Also second hand stores are awesome for picking up things you didn’t know would come in handy. Do you know how many uses there are for a bucket when one is camping? It’s startling. Plush toys? Really great for target practice. Once there was a wedding dress. It was cheap and sure enough there’s always some guy who will wear it. Great snapshots!
Sis knows packing better than I ever will. She always remembers the can opener and the corkscrew. There’s no need to run into town for anything except mixer and ice. Never enough mixer and ice after day 2. Yeah, Liza and Shawn would even bring things like celery and olives for the Bloody Caesars and cocktail shakers for the Lemon Drops. She’ll remember firewood and a hatchet. Matches. How many breakfasts will have to be cooked. She remembered the coolers with ice for the fish and the extra flat of beer and the can of gasoline. God, she is good at this.
But those were the days. Those were the small town, bush camping days in the Rocky Mtns and the Kootenays. No campgrounds.
No, nowadays camping is so white bread vanilla boring it’s not like camping at all. For one thing you’re surrounded by strangers! People who don’t know you. They don’t GET camping. They have noisy generators and they are all locked into RV’s and deluxe pop out campers. If they have a tent, it’s a 5 room tent with fold out beds and little mosquito proof tent rooms they set up outside the tents! They cook all nice and neat on propane stoves that are so elaborate they look like they belong in a restaurant…to me, that’s glamphing. The dogs are penned into their own enclosures, the kids are inside watching tv, mom and dad are under the netting watching the stars and congratulating themselves on getting out of the city. They brought it with them.
This was last year. Not my best effort-but it was the first time we’d set it up. Plus I think I was drinking Cap’t Morgan and saying things like ‘aarggghh…’
Real camping is icy beers and a cooler full of junk food, home made potato salad and hot dogs cuz no one want to cook much. Sitting on sawn stumps that were brought for the campfire but haven’t been split yet. You brought your folding chair but someone else is always sitting in it and after all the sawn stump, it’s better. The river is rushing along, the dogs have run away-they’ll be back hours later, wtf, they have to have fun too. They never seem to get lost and after a couple of years they stop running off anyway. They know how dangerous the bush is. Yeah, drinking, talking, pranking someone, putting all the food and garbage away, wandering off with your honey for a stolen kiss, someone has fireworks, someone has to be talked out of canoeing across the lake or down the river, the fire is burning low. Stories are told.
It was fun.
Now, I don’t know. We’ve been a couple of time here in Western Washington. It’s okay. But I really hate campgrounds. Too many people. I mean why not just stay home? I hate sleeping on gravel and eating off a nasty old picnic table. Cooking on a fire ring. Can’t even have a decent sized fire. But at least you’re outside. There’s something about that. And I’ll be with sis. She never missed a camp out. Never. Not even during hunting season.
This is our site.
So this year, I want to do something different. Not the old style Rocky Mtns Way. No. Can’t be done here on the coast. Not the vanilla white bread way either. Not Fancy Camping. Not lazy ass expensive glamphing. No. That’s fucked up anyway. That’s for rich city folks. What I want is all the work of camping-because after all, it’s the work that makes anything worthwhile-and all the joy of novelty. We have two days to set it up. I can borrow moms Eurovan and really do it up. I can get ahold of all kinds of luxuries. Linens, pillows, maybe a couple of real mattresses. In fact, I could just rent a little 6×8 trailer and bring it all. Turn the trailer into a changing room or a bar or a bedroom, something. How fun. Candle lanterns, rugs, crystal (well, lets say glass) a couple of cocktail shakers for beverages fancier than a beer and a shot. A small side table for snacks. Yes. I can see this. I see quilts and lace and mosquito nets and tableclothes…yes. Maybe it will be vanilla but it will be buttercream, dahling.
Something to look forward to and to plan. Mom will love it! So will Liza. She hates sleeping on the ground. Me. I don’t care where I sleep. I might bring my recliner. Hah!