Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Diary of a Camping Trip. Part 1

So we're going camping for 4 days. This post is the "before"; the preparations and anticipation. We're meeting my mom and stepdad at a large recreational lake in Northern California. Five bucks to the first person who guesses "Lake Shasta". 

You win.

Anyway, for most people, camping is no big deal.

If you've done it before.

Let me clarify. I've camped before; I grew up camping. Nate and I have camped together one time, and only because he was forced into it when he was out of state with me, visiting my family, and literally had nowhere else to go. He grew up camping too, but isn't really fond of it in his adult life. 

We've never camped with our three small boys before.

YEAH. So. Wish us luck. Except by the time you read this, we'll be back and your well-wishes will do us no good, but it's the thought that counts. 

I'm nervous, because I have no idea what to expect or how this will work out. I'm sure it will be fine, but children are not exactly the most predictable creatures on earth. I'll be much happier when we get there and get set up and I realize all that I forgot but probably don't need anyway.

So I've been prepping since I got back from Oregon on Sunday. First, I dug out our two tents. If you're wondering why we have tents when we've never been camping (except for the one time years ago), it's because my mom graciously brought us all of her camping gear when they bought a travel trailer or whatever it's called. Basically, the home-away-from-home kind of deal. And frankly, I would have rather been given the trailer but hey, who's complaining. 

Anyway, I took the tents out of their bags and spread them out to evaluate their condition and size. I figured the smaller one would be perfect for Nate and I, and the bigger one perfect for the boys. Then I got a whiff of the smaller one and it smelled like ASS. Wonderful. This made me re-evaluate its size, to see if it would be capable of fitting the boys instead, and Nate and I could take the bigger, non-smelly one (yes, I'm an asshole). 

No go. So I Febreezed the holy hell out of it, to the point that it was almost dripping, and left it outside to air out for a few days. 

Well. On Saturday morning, the day before we are to leave, the day I need to be packing up the tents to have them ready to go for the next morning, it fucking rained. For about an hour. All over the tents. 


Perhaps it would have been smart to check the weather or hey, even have packed the tents up after the smaller one no longer smelled (thank you, Febreeze, I LOVE you), but whatever. Thankfully, it got hot and sunny from mid-morning on, and after blotting the puddles of water up as best as I could and leaving the rest up to the sun, the tents dried pretty well. Then I got to fold them up and put them away. That was fun. And then, realize my next error... I left their various parts, like bags of stakes and rods, out in the yard, too, and so I'm left to sweat it out about whether or not the boys grabbed some critical component and dumped it somewhere out of sight. I guess we'll find out when we set them up.

The campground is also without internet access. So I'm pretty much going to die. I can access it on my cell phone, but since it's not a "smart" phone, it's a real bitch to do the most basic web browsing. But I'll be doing it here and there. And what really sucks is I won't be able to add to part two of this post as stuff happens, so I'll have to keep notes on the tent walls, all caveman style. Or just take a notepad and pen. Note to self: pack notepad and pen.
P.S. Words With Friends opponents, this is why I didn't play for most of the week. I'm sorry if you died from holding your breath, waiting for my next move.

Here's a list of things I'm looking forward to on this trip:

-Driving for five hours up, then five hours down. I looove road trips with small kids. Fan-motherfucking-tastic.

-Wiping Connor's butt in a public bathroom in the wilds over 4 days. No, more like, Connor crapping in a public toilet in the wilds for 4 days. He touches EVERYTHING. He braces himself by grabbing the toilet. He craps several times a day. Note to self: bring gloves.

-Changing Brandon's shitty diapers in a tent. Bring. It. On.

-Bees. None of the boys have been stung before, so hopefully none of them are allergic. Because I suspect that they'd die of anaphylactic shock before we could get them to a hospital/have an E.M.T. arrive. Note to self: Learn how to perform an emergency tracheotomy. I just cut somewhere on their throat, right?
Another P.S. Never mind. I did actually google it, because I'm a fucking freak. From the looks of it, I'd probably end up cutting them incorrectly and they'd bleed to death before dying from the anaphylactic shock. I'll take my chances with the shock, I guess.

-Bugs. They scare the bejeezus out of Connor. Like, basically incite panic. Especially flying things. And we're going to be SURROUNDED by them. This is going to be awesome.

-Bears and mountain lions. Fuck yeah. By the way, I love guns. Specifically, guns that can take down a bear or mountain lion.

Okay, no really, I know I'm going to love these things:


-The boys passing the fuuuuck out by (hopefully) 7 p.m., if not earlier, from being in the sun (100 degree weather, people) and playing in the water ALL DAY LONG.

-The boys roasting marshmallows. They love that shit.

-My mom helping us with the boys.

-Drinking. And playing cards.

-The boys having their first camping experience.

-Nate having to sleep in a tent and crap in a one-step-up-from-an-outhouse-toilet for 4 days.


So I'll give you a little teaser for part 2. The trip was interesting, with a few stories, one of which has a "what-if" situation that will haunt me for the rest of my life. And the finale is really freaky. I'm looking forward to writing this one.

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