Sunday, August 30, 2009

Get Out

Backpacking has always been a passion of mine. I remember doing a lot of it while in high school and college. Memories of heading out with friends on weekend overnight hikes up to Sunfish Pond off the Appalachian trail always brings the smiles to my face. Traveling down then back up Hermits trail in the Grand Canyon was my all time best bp'ing experience. Later on, transitioning from backpacking to car camping wasn't all that difficult for me because my new camping buddy was the Wife. What was given up in the exercise from carrying my gear was replaced by other much more enjoyable exercise. When we met I had a lot of woods time experience and the Wife's first camping experience was with me.

Do you know how hard it is trying to convince some femmes to spend time in a natural setting, eating and sleeping in the woods? The best option I've found is using a level of alcohol that induces the state of a short coma. When she wakes up she's already at the campsite and basically has to live with those conditions for the next day or two. Throwing a potato and a steak on the grill tremendously helps too.

On our very first camping weekend we had found a great, secluded spot in a state park. We made it through the setting up the tent and area with minor struggles. The steaks had been cooked to perfection and the fire pit was keeping our toes nice and warm. I made sure anything that contained, smelled like or looked like food was secure in the car before we zipped up for the night. I knew we were in black bear country the Wife didn't know jack.

In the middle of the night I was awaked by an elbow nudged very forcefully into my ribs and the Wife whispering "Jude! I hear something!!" "There's an animal out there making noise, trying to get into our car, into our tent...." "Quiet" I told her so I could hear whatever it was, sure enough something was outside the tent making some major noise. "It must be a bear" she said and that got my overly imaginative brain going full speed. Plans were set for our escape.

I slowly unzipped the tent and with flashlight and car keys in hand I charged the car to unlock and slipped into the drivers side. Unlocking the passenger side the Wife was only seconds behind me. We were still alive! We looked around the area to see where the noise was coming from and what we saw where the black bear was suppose to be were two raccoons having their way with the garbage can. Sounds are much noisier in the quiet.

I looked at the Wife, smiled then went back into our tent.


Margo said...

I've been wondering how I'm going to get Windy camping in actual tent.
Why didn't I think of that?
If you got R to go then I'm sure I can get Windy.

This is story was both hilarious and educational.

Windy Days said...

I have an even better idea. Why don't you drop R off at my house, pick up Margo and the kids and go on your merry way. R and I will be just fine here in the air conditioning, relatively bug-free (it's still Florida, people!), with all the alcohol we can take. When would you like to come? The weather will be nice until December or so.

small town dyke said...

I enjoy nature and love to hike. I have found that most state parks have wonderful lodges!!! Now that kind of camping I can do.

shane rocket said...

lmfao!!! you two crack me up.

and windy- big baby. :)

tommy said...

Jude you really are my hero, lol. I can't say that I've EVER considered camping, backpacking, or sleeping outdoors...I'm traumatized often enough just walking outside to let Pepper pee... hell, here lately not even inside the house is safe. Teach me your ways, haha.

Camlin said...

I love camping and backpacking. So much that I go by myself if I can't get anyone to go with me.

C said...

ohhhhhhh that sounds like so much fun. diane and i used to take the kids camping alot and i love the memories. hikes, bonfires, scary stories, and things that go bump in the night! now i wanna o camping again.


Ang said...

Haha great story. Believe it or not I have never been camping. Maybe I need the alcohol.

lesbo said...

i wish i could've seen the look on your face to discover raccoons! hilarious.

i can't believe windy doesn't camp!
maybe our next get together should be a camping trip.... could be a virgin experience for a few people it sounds like.

LilliGirl said...

LOL - I enjoy it. I woke my kids up in the middle of the night to watch "our" skunk each night last time we were out. Windy, don't be a wimp...If you go to a park they have showers and eveything. :)

I grew up hiking on the Long Trail with my Dad and love sitting up on a mountain hearing the brezes in the trees.

Mel's Way or No Way said... that's how I ended up next to a campfire in South Dakota. I always assumed alien abduction and A never disputed the possibility.
Actually we love to camp and hike too, but I have a low tolerance for mosquitos.

Jen said...

Ha! You sure do have some stories Jude.

I like to camp, but I enjoy certain luxuries while I do so. Also, I hate bugs, so be prepared to hear me complain, make a fire for me to keep the bugs away, spray me with spray, and take me to an enclosed, air conditioned place if necessary to get away from said bugs if they are that crazy.

Jude said...

Hey Blue Eyes!!!

Mel...for some reason you're blog isn't allowing me to post any comments!!???!!!????

Dragon said...

Camping is so awesome. Luckily I found someone to go camping with even if any future girls in my life don't like going.

CJ said...

You certainly get an A for effort there. Well, I'm glad it didn't turn out to be a bear. And it did give me a good chuckle this morning. But I aways thought of camping as staying at a Holiday Inn when there is a Marriott just around the corner.

Sandy said...

Love your story and have been there with the raccoons.They are pretty big here in Fla.Camping is great and getting out into nature.The food tastes so much better out in the open.State parks have all the conviences of home except for maybe Air Conditioning.You have to leave that to mother nature.Thats why we only camp in the fall or winter here.