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2010-06-25 digital edition

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2010-06-25 / General Stories

Rough Camping

Camping can be fun – sometimes. However, if you happen to be having “one of those days” on

day that you are camping, the lack of conveniences makes everything that much worse.

My daughter and I went camping for a Girl Scout event. We were assigned our own tent, which I thought was wonderful and my daughter probably thought was LAME. Though, to her credit, she didn’t mention the lameness of it all.

The tent was a rental unit provided by the scout camp. It was a canvas tent with a wooden platform and a wooden framework on which to attach the canvas. There were no zipper closures. That would have been too convenient. Inside were four demon cots designed to build character.

The first thing I did while hauling sleeping bags from the car was to introduce myself to the tent in the traditional way: By careening head-first into the wooden framework. We each came away with a souvenir of the event. The tent got part of my skull and probably some hair and blood samples. I got

broken pair of sunglasses and a goose egg the size of Spain. I believe the tent was getting more out of our relationship than I was.

We ate sandwiches for dinner and then sat by the pond, fishing. A pair of exhibitionist ducks interrupted our peaceful interlude and proceeded to entertain us with an inter-lewd of nasty, right in front of us! How rude!

Since the mosquitos were biting and the fish were not, we decided to go back to camp where the scenery wasn’t so racy.

After a half-hearted attempt at S’mores using a propane cooktop (it was too late for a fire), we decided to hit the demon cots.

Sleep eluded us, however. Maybe it was the two hundred screaming Girl Scouts parading around our tent until the wee hours. Maybe it was the demon cots that let out a squeal that sounded like a hog being butchered if you so much as blinked. Maybe it was the fact that our tent didn’t have zippers and seemed to be a popular hang-out for bugs of every species. Zippers would have been a nice convenience.

Or maybe it was the horrific snoring coming from the tent next door. Who knew a female could snore like that? I thought there was a biker bar next door, though a Girl Scout camp did not seem to be the right venue for that. At that point in our adventure, I learned to really appreciate the walls in my house.

At 2:00 in the morning, my daughter had to use the restroom.

Camping

“Should I wear a jacket, Mom?”

“Why? There are just as many bugs in here as there are outside. On the other hand, you might need something to sleep in if the creepy crawlies liberate our sleeping bags while we’re gone.”

We didn’t have a flashlight and there was no moon that night, but we could see the lights of the bath house. We merely followed them, hoping our feet wouldn’t land in something gross. A flashlight would’ve been great about that time.

Getting back to the tent was a different story. We couldn’t see the tents. I thought we could be one of those people you read about in the newspapers that get lost in a blizzard, freeze to death and then, well, die, only to find out that their house was 100 feet away. For a moment, I was really worried. Which way was our tent?

Then, out of the darkness, we heard a biker bar. God bless The Snorer! We followed the sound of the Harley throttling and made it back to our tent.

My heartfelt gladness for The Snorer faded significantly as soon as we lay down on the demon cots again. I think maybe we should’ve brought our sleeping bags to the bath house and slept in a shower stall. It would have been quieter.

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