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Camping – Now and Then

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.

My hero

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.

Not my best effort

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.

This was where we were last year. Lake Roosevelt Lodge.

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.

Our scenic campsite.

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.

Camping for broads

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!


7 thoughts on “Camping – Now and Then

  1. Looking at your tent scene and your comment regarding Captain Morgan reminded me of the first time I met you in 1984 in Hawaii……Captain Morgan and OJ was your drink. You blew in from LA with this gypsy spirit surrounding you and I was blown away by this uber cool chick who was blazing a trail and leaving a trail of broken hearts of young military guys in her wake (ie Navy dudes) on Waikiki Beach. They never knew what hit them. Ah..those were the days!


    • Yeah, Hawaii. oh man those were the days! darn navy dudes. I remember lying on that remote beach at that cabin you and Martin rented and watching 2 big ass helicopters come over the mtn peak, hover a couple minutes, and BINGO started dropping marines into the water….it was a girls dream of heaven. I just stood there with my jaw hanging open as a hundred hot guys all came swimming out of the ocean. And me in a skimpy lavender bikini. Whew! You can bet I hit the PX that afternoon. A few, just a few came back that evening. Wow, thanks for reminding me of that. Now THAT was a party!


  2. I just spent 25 minutes pecking out a memory on my iPAD to post but it got lost (could it be the wine after a brutal day at work, followed by a killer workout dedicated to the Boston marathon victims who will never be able to run again,?) don’t know for sure, but I will give it another go. This is a follow up post. So, back to my first Impression in 1984. You get off the plane and are wearing a skirt and billowy white blouse and white bobby socks and heels (this is the 80’s and Madonnaesque). I’m feeling uncool. You toss your hair over your shoulder with a cigarette in one hand and a Capt M and OJ in the other and ask in breathy voice reminiscent of Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat” ….”where’s the party?” This is Hawaii and there is always a party and we did our best to extend the Aloha spirit. So, the next day I have to work my Air Force job from 3:30 till 11:30 pm. I arrive home and your brother is laying on the couch watching Johnny Carson. I ask him where you are and he tells me that you took the “Thing” that afternoon to the north shore. For anyone who doesn’t get the reference, google VW Thing. I was freaking the “F” out and said we needed to leave right then and go and look for you. He laughed and said that you definitely knew how to take care of yourself. I don’t think I slept much that night and to this day I am not a good sleeper. The next morning we are sitting on the lanai (aka patio or deck) sipping on the most perfect Kona coffee and in “blows” Laura, cigarette In one hand, asking for coffee, going on about your amazing new friends, I go into the kitchen to get you coffee and silently thank the white light (universe) for keeping you safe. This was day 2 of knowing you………


    • That was a great car! And I loved my Hawaiian buddies. Mahalo, I just wanted to learn to bowl. That’s where I spent most of the evening, drinking and bowling and smoking and swimming. Fun times. Never been back there but someday…someday….


  3. I’m loving the memories too..and I wasn’t even there. But if i’d known..I would have been. Camping in the uk is an art form I lack – something to do with the cold and the rain and the cold rain..google glastonbury pics and you’ll get the picture. But as a teenager I used to go off to Greece back packing by myself..pure ambrosia. The simplicity. The people. The lifestyle. Beats a five star any day of the week xxx


    • Aaahhhh, Greece. On my list of must see places. I was on my way there when Yugoslavia fell apart. Detoured to Spain but not the same. I’m already making lists of things I must bring-or should I say Bling! HA! I found my glitter disco ball…


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