Monday, August 9, 2010

Just Call Me "Troop Beverly Hills"

When I tucked my camp sit-upon and my Brownie/Girl Scout handbook in a box in my parent’s basement I had no idea that they might someday be of use, but it looks like I might be wrong. Matt and I recently went on our first official camping trip together, which may or may not become a summer tradition. Although I did enjoy participating in Girl Scout programs, I never got excited about camping. I mean, I love the theory of camping - I love shopping for camping gear and all the organizational items available, I enjoy sitting by the fire and enjoying nature… but up to this point that is about as far as I got. In fact, some might say that roughing it for me would include staying in a less than perfectly appointed hotel room. However, Matt is attempting to change my tune. This “trial” camping trip was planned as a short and sweet attempt to break-me-in to the camping life style. In fact compared to what Matt is accustomed to we were "Glamping." We drove up to White Burch Campground on Friday afternoon and Matt unloaded the car and set-up the tent. Since this was an “introduction” Matt did most of the work – that was a smart move, considering setting up the tent took 30 min. and I would have lost patience by then and decided that it would be just as good to sleep in the back of the Volvo. While Matt was doing the hard work, I set out to start the campfire, which was less than a challenge since we had lighter fluid. If only I would have know the joy of lighter fluid when I lived at my Uncle’s house with the wood burning stove, wow – life would have been a whole lot easier and warmer. Anyway, I digress, with the campfire burning and the tent and supplies all set up we made some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches over the fire in our handy hobo pie makers … pretty tasty considering the lack of conveniences. The rest of the night was spent around the fire enjoying our time together. Nighttime while camping is still a little difficult for me to embrace – the concept of walking to the bathroom with a flashlight is still not appealing to me along with trying to sleep with no sound barriers and loud neighboring campers and then there is the issue with wildlife making noises all night that really wears on my nerves… I mean who knew that roosting turkeys make so much darn noise all night… and I thought Mrs. Whiskers made a lot of noise when she snores. Needless to say our first night was a little sleep deprived, which brought us to the wee hours of morning in which it down poured, not just a light steady rain, but a rain that made me feel like I was going to be sleeping underwater at any time... but lucky for us our tent stayed dry. It continued to rain on and off for all of Saturday, a little extra trail that made this camping experiences an “experience.” We did make it out to canoe for the afternoon, but with the river so high from the rain it was really fast and we were able to make a 3 hour canoe trip in about an hour and a half. It helped that Matt is very experienced at canoeing and he was in charge of our route, all I had to do was paddle, take pictures and point out obstacles that going to be in our way. After our outing on the water we got back to camp, got cleaned off and started up the campfire for another night of just hanging out. We were able to get dinner made and a few s’mores made before it started raining steadily again, so we packed up and snuggled up in the tent. With all the rain most campers had headed out so I was fairly confident that this night was going to be much better, which was true until I had to go to the bathroom at 3 in the morning .. uggh .. still not digging the walk to the bathroom. Sunday morning was a very nice morning – quiet, fresh smelling and just a great time to enjoy some tea and nature … this was while Matt was packing up, since it was my “introductory” trip I took full advantage of just relaxing while he piled stuff back into the car. Lessons learned from this trip to remember for next time – refresh memory by skimming through the girl scout handbook ( I will need new recipes and camp games for next time,) pack ear plugs, don’t take so much food, get a campsite near the bathrooms, bring sleeping pills, stop drinking fluids well before bedtime, pretend that every trip is still an “introduction” and let Matt do most of the hard work! T-minus 3 years before I am fully ready for the Boundary Waters.