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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wanna go camping?

The packs straps were burrowing into our shoulders as if looking for a place to hide, we were lathered like race horses wearing thermies and a parka and Rascal says to me, "I left my trail mix and meatsticks in the car." What i heard was, "Father, despite your very clear and specific instructions to me and despite your putting it in the same bag as the clothes i was to put on just prior to embarking on our three day journey, the very same clothes i am now wearing, i seem to have left a third of my provisions for this journey, by an almost deliberate act of ignorance with my cast-off laundry in the car." This was the first thirty minutes of our latest camping trip.

It was not an auspicious start.

Which made it just like every other camping trip i've ever took. Let's take a quick tour...
  • There was the first trip i took on my own, the Wayward Son and i managed to lock ourselves out of my bronco at a rest area on the turnpike, a subject i've written ad nauseum. When we finally arrived at the State Park there were no campsites available.
  • There was the one and only trip i took that Mynnie came on, the one where it rained the entire weekend.
  • One where i was a chaperone to the church youth, where i led my charges into the waterfalls to do some rock climbing and one fell twenty four feet to break his arm and glasses. And then it rained the rest of the weekend, so hard it flooded all the tents. Fortunately i don't use them.
  • There was the time the Wayward Son and i had all of our gear stolen out of our campsite.
  • There was my brilliant idea for Ballisticat and i to put a canoe into the West Branch Susquehanna and then row UP stream.
  • My other bright idea to take a four year old back packing. Yes, i carried him the last few miles of the last day. i talked Ballisticat into going on that trip too. Funny, he hasn't been able to go camping with me since.
  • My one and only motorcycle trip, again with the Wayward Son, involved finding no campsites at the park (maybe that's his thing) and so we camped in a carwash in the streaming rain. At least we weren't able to lock ourselves out of the bikes though it did take me a while to figure out why mine would inexplicably die while i was riding it. (The rather loose kickstand had a kill switch attached to it. Bungee cords, don't leave home without them.)
  • The Ballyhoo gang and i started our second trip together (Rascal was now eight) with a car accident.
  • On our last trip together and our first trip without Happ the Pretty, Rascal and i chose the wrong side of the gorge to camp on and ended up sleeping in the truck in a tourist trap.
No, nothing goes according to plan when we willfully go homeless. Which is precisely according to plan...

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