Camping Conundrum-- Part 2

[This post is continued from Camping Conundrum-- Part 1, posted about 1 week ago detailing why I have varying opinions on camping.]

So as I mentioned, we were attempting to set up camp at the Gold Bluffs beach campground, a gorgeous site, right on the beach. The winds were strong, 40 mph or so, but we felt confident due to our overall optimism that we were staying in such a sought after campground. Plus, we had plenty of tent stakes.

Dark clouds pushed in off of the ocean. As we started set-up we began to battle the winds with the sail of our very tall, six-eight person sized tent. Oh, and how refreshing, we felt the ocean mist settle on us. I should say it might have been refreshing, if it wasn't cold and breezy and if it wasn't in fact the rain starting in on us. We began to see that this might be a struggle when it became humanly impossible to hold down the edges of one side of the tent while getting the pole through the fabric weave, and into its corresponding piece on the other side.

Somehow, and I'm still not even sure how, we managed to get both poles in place.  Tyler was left to hold the tent as I frantically ran around inserting tent stakes in every available spot. I had just finished one side when we heard an unmistakeable cracking sound. No, it wasn't lightening, it was the snap of one of our tent poles, as the tent's structure partially collapsed.

You could say it was hard for us to remain optimistic at this point.  Actually, this was probably the exact moment where we no longer saw this great campground being empty as our good fortune, and instead realized why no one else was around. But Tyler may have been thinking this longer than me, because he pointed out a few sites that had wind shelters built around them. We realized this was probably our only choice. We decided to pull up the stakes, and carry the tent to site #2 as is. We ran as fast as we could with each of us grasping onto a partially erect tent in the high winds.  Picture a ridiculously large and awkward kite with no string to hold onto.

At site #2, we looked over the crack and determined that our tent pole was probably salvageable, as long as it wasn't under the duress of gale winds. Site # 2 did not have the view of the ocean, but it did have two wind blockers. We added a third by flipping the picnic table over onto its side. This created a nice little U shaped blockade to nestle our tent into.
We had just enough time to make a sandwich before it started pouring, which it did off and on (mostly on) all night, and we permanently retreated into the tent. I woke up numerous times between 12 o'clock and 4 o'clock AM to random sounds. That's a bear locker our tent is cuddling up with, so I'm sure you can imagine what I was thinking. Naturally, I also thought that some psycho with an axe was traipsing through the otherwise empty campground. But it wasn't until the moment I woke up to the sound of a dripping faucet that I truly lay there thinking, "What am I doing out here?"

The faucet was actually our obviously not-waterproof tent letting in a steady stream of drops directly above us. We weren't wet, thank you North Face, but poor Leah was. Between the thunder, the rain seeping in, Leah moving all around in search of dry ground, and my mind morphing all the sounds together into my typical scenes of horrible horrors, sleep definitely escaped me. It took three days for our tent to dry out completely from that trip.

And my last example. We just finished up a fantastic camping trip about an hour and half north of us in a little campground called Upper Tonto Creek Campground. This was Latimore's first camping adventure and he spent the majority of the time not seeming to know what to do with himself.
At bedtime that first night, Tyler walked Latimore around for about a half hour trying to get him to pee before bed. He just didn't appear like he had to, so Tyler finally gave up. We let Latimore into the tent and he proceeded to climb up onto our air mattress, twirl around a bit on our sleeping bags (that were opened and awaiting our arrival) and settled into a nice long puddle-sized piss. There was no stopping a dog who had not gone to the bathroom for the better part of the day. Why he decided our sleeping bags were the best option is kind of beyond me. Luckily, and I know I already said this, but our sleeping bags are amazing. We soaked up the puddle and our bed didn't even smell like piss. I don't know what kind of material North Face uses, but I'm telling you they are worth it.

We all fell asleep until I was woken up by some sound. I lay there frozen, as usual, and Latimore came over to me and climbed right up in between Tyler and I. I didn't care because it was the first moment my body had relaxed in what seemed like at least a half hour. He snuggled right up into our combo sleeping bag. I was completely calm. It was wonderful. And then I heard Latimore start to gag, and we couldn't do a thing about it. This was when I asked myself, "What am I doing out here?"

Tyler and I were trapped in our conjoined sleeping bags while Latimore threw up onto my arm that was resting so nicely underneath his head, and probably in the same exact spot he had pissed on earlier.  Luckily, we had paper towels in the tent already from the pissing incident. Tyler just wiped it up off of our bags and my arm, and we went back to sleep. We slept until I woke up to Leah shivering on the floor. Leah joined us on the air mattress as well, and I will just say that the next two nights included an air mattress with a slow but consistent leak, and two additional blankets purchased at a store I'd rather not mention.

Comments

  1. Latimore's logic: "Well, at home, we live inside, so I can't pee in there, so I go outside. When we go camping, we live outside, and I know I'm not supposed to pee where we are living, so I better go in this strange nylon dome looking thing."

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