Monday, September 23, 2013

As God is My Witness, I Will Never Go Camping Again...probably. Except for next year. Or if we sail to the Keyes...

Hello Civilization!

It has taken a week, but I think I have finally recovered from my camping trip. As discussed in the previous post, I have not camped in twenty years. But its just like falling off a bike, you remember the pain.

Here are some highlights:
  1. I can not sleep in a sleeping bag. If God had meant us to sleep in a sausage casing he would not have given us four appendages. I gave it my best shot but around 3AM, after sliding off the air mattress for the fifth time my other personality woke up, kicked its way out of the flannel lined sack and let go with a string of expletives that silenced those annoying cicadas. The following night I unzipped the blanket and used it like an enormous blanket. Better but not the deliciously soft cocoon of bedding at the Holiday Inn Express.
  2. Two tents are more than enough for 90 college students. Right?
    Of course that's enough because if you are not going to sleep, why waste time putting up a tent. Around 5PM on Saturday we noticed a growing mass of twenty-somethings wandering the campground. Turns out they were planning to go spelunking on Sunday. Plans for Saturday seemed to include walking the campground while eating Doritos, playing Frisbee and congregating in herds of ten to fifteen.
  3. If you give left over chicken drummies to a pack of feral students they will love you more than Twitter.
  4. Nothing brings out the Old Fart Sweatshirt like a car stereo blasting music at 2AM and nothing stuffs it back into the bag like the conversation of the kids not sleeping five feet from my tent. Seems Becky is willing to try a three-way, but only if she finds the other girl attractive. Good to know, Becky. Now GO TO SLEEP!
  5. French Press coffee is delish anywhere and makes you look extra sophisticated. Especially when surrounded by college students drinking Mountain Dew. Sunday morning, the campground resembled a mass casualty drill. Body bags littered the lawn. (There were no tents – see #2) Thank heaven I cooked the bacon on Saturday. I am pretty sure the scent of frying pork fat would have turned my cast iron skillet into ground zero of the Zombie Apocalypse.
  6. Clean up and unpacking time from a camping trip is 2:1. For every one day of camping it takes two days to do the laundry and wash up the supplies.
  7. I really did have a good time. But I am pretty sure I would have had just as much fun if my tent were more like the Four Seasons. I am willing to seek grant money for the research. 
The real reason for the trip was actually a sailing event – the Lake Monroe Small Boat Messabout. Our fifteen foot sloop handled like a dream. We had great wind on Friday and looked like total professionals. Saturday was pleasant and calmer which was fun for playing chicken with the other sailors. Sunday was calm which made leaving the lake a little easier as it looked like no one was getting the good wind. And like everything...

Here are some of the Sailing Highlights:
  1. If I can get hit with the equivalent of a bucket of water I will get hit with the equivalent of a bucket of water. It doesn't matter how fast we are going, how windy it is or how calm the lake is. I still get off the boat looking like the Gorton's Fisherman, without the yellow slicker.
  2. Sailing brings out my inner Evil Knievel. I am normally not a thrill seeker but there is something about climbing out onto the bow of the boat that makes me want to go fast. Fast. FAST! I can not begin to describe the sensation of flying across the water, powered silently by the wind in the sheets, the thrill of coming about as the boat dips port or starboard into the water then righting and flying off once again.
  3. John Cougar does not appreciate the pop in. (Mr. Cougar has a house right on the banks of Lake Monroe. We sailed back and forth a number of times, shouting and waving. I even sang a chorus of Hurts So Good. But no one ever acknowledged us. Maybe they weren't home.

Even with all the camping. I met some delightful new friends, became reacquainted with some old ones and saw such a sky full of stars that there were no words. Bart and I spent as much time as we could on the water and at the end of the weekend we were planning the next trip out. I guess Rat was right:

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
"Simply messing...about in boats -- or with boats... In or out of 'em it doesn't matter. Nothing seems to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not." ~The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

The possibilities are endless...

If you enjoy sailing, have a small boat, are interested in building your own boat or just want to hang with people who know way too much about epoxy then I encourage you to check out the Messabout:


  1. Your boat is beautiful. My bro-in-law has a sailboat (NOT handmade) that is ?docked? in Milwaukee, and I've been lucky enough to go out on her once when I was visiting. Much fun, even if we did catch a light rain.

    NOT a fan of camping, and even less of camping with teens/20-somethings, but I've done it. I like visiting the wilderness area, taking some pictures and maybe getting some sun, then returning to civilization, hot showers and soft beds.

    1. I am such a splash magnet I don't think I would even notice if it rained!!
      And I just found out Bart wants a book in Small Boat Camping!!! Yikes!!


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