In a week, Natasha, Red and I will be camping. We’ll have more than a pup tent, picnic table and red chair. There will be a camper, fishing boat and two dogs.
This will be the second camping adventure with my friends and only the second time in my life I have camped. Natasha and Red are experienced with tents, campfires, and smelling like Deep Woods Off for the entire week. I consider myself the camp greenhorn. My brother and I would have gone camping as children, but mom was a naysayer. She preferred the bed in a motel room to sleeping “on the ground” in a tent. Party pooper!
My ex-husband was also not a camper, but he did take me fishing. At the very least, I know how to hold a fishing pole and cast bait.
Last year, I had quite the adventure with my two girlfriends. We camped at the same state campground in northern Wisconsin that we’ll be heading to on Saturday. Red had been there many times before and knew the camp host. We parked ourselves at a site that was right on the lake, where we could watch the most beautiful tapestries every night as the sun set.
The evenings included adult refreshments and the swatting of mosquitos as the crimson flames and ashes flickered in the fire pit. We kept our eyes peeled for spiders (Natasha hates them) and other crawly critters as we made our way to the ladies’ outhouse. We listened to the wolves howl and a dog snore as our eyelids got heavy from a day’s worth of sun and too much relaxation. The days were filled with fishing, eating, shopping, swatting of mosquitos, floating on plastic floaty things, and adult refreshments.
(The recurring theme here is swatting of mosquitos and adult refreshments, if you weren’t paying attention.)
There was another recurring theme last year – things would break when Mary touched them. Mary closed the camper door…it broke. Mary turned off the camper light…it broke. Mary used the camper shower…it broke. The electrical power didn’t work in the camper either, but I swear, I didn’t touch it! By the end of the trip, I started to think I was bad luck, a jinx of sorts. Too many things were breaking around the new kid at the campground. I didn’t have a lucky rabbit’s foot or antidote for bad karma.
Time to haul out the adult refreshments again. (Just kidding!) (Sort of!)
In the end, a good time was had by all. On my favorite day of this trip, the sky was blue and the air was warm. We went fishing in the afternoon and upon our return to shore, out came the plastic floaty things and adult refreshments. I remember floating in the water, the sun warm on my face, the drink cold in my hand. Natasha, Red and I were talking and laughing about nothing, all thoughts about work and adult responsibility gone from our minds. It was in that moment, that life felt good and blessed. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
I’m excited about this new camping adventure. I can hardly wait. The weather forecast isn’t great for next week (I might be wearing long sleeves and a sweatshirt one or two days), but no matter. We will be out in the woods, listening to the wolves, swatting mosquitos, smelling burned wood, and, lest we forget, putting a glass of adult refreshment to our lips.
Does it get any better than that?
Postscript: Last year, we had canine camp companions, l-r: Commander Nellie, Princess Izzy, and Bobber Joe. (Red is their human.) They made sure that the perimeter of our site was always secure, the bobbers were always in sight, and everyone wore their life vest. Sadly, Princess Izzy will not be with us this year as she went to the Rainbow Bridge this past winter. I will fondly remember her for her freight train snoring and the stuck-like-glue bond she had with Red. Izzy was adorable. (We’ll cook a hot dog and keep an eye on mom for you, sweetie.)
I’ll be back in about two weeks with a Camping 2013 report. Expect adult refreshment and campfire stories.