Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This weekend I had my very first ever camping experience! My friend Mary and I went down to Cumberland Gap schlepping a cheapo tent (we didn't know it was cheap until later - it was borrowed) and a carload of sleeping bags, duffel bags, food, and all sorts of truck rolling around in the back of my jeep. The first day we got there and set up the tent. We forgot a mallet and so substituted my car jack which worked great, and we forgot rope so we used safety pins and knots to attached our gigantic piece of plastic to the tent to keep out the rain. (Side note: when packing I kept thinking about those safety pins, getting the feeling that they might be handy for something. Finally I tossed them in my bag. I can't help feeling that God got me to do that.) I will also add that the tent we were borrowing had been wet in its bag for I don't know how long. When I went inside I felt like I was inside of a dog's mouth -- it stank!!! Thankfully Mary had been forewarned about the dampness and had brought some spray bleach and (this cracks me up) floral-scented spray air freshener. Surprisingly those two pretty much took care of the initial odors! Later, it began to rain. And rain, and rain, and rain! That first night was a really wet one, and I ended up spending the night from about 5am-on in the back of good old jeepy. Brave Mary toughed it out in the tent. You know, the whole rainstorm thing wasn't really FUN at the time, but the whole time I was glad I was doing it for the sake of the experience. The second night they were still calling for rain, and the poor tent wasn't holding out very well, so we decided to hole up at a Holiday Inn Express for the last night. We left our tent up at the campsite because we'd already prepaid for two nights at the campground. When we got back the next day to take it down, it had puddles in it! One corner had accumulated about an inch or so of water, not to mention the little creatures that took advantage of the shelter (nothing furry, just bugs...one of which decided to ride all the way home with us and surprise me when I was putting blankets in the washer). Simply put, I was very glad we had been surrounded by sturdy walls and had soft beds that last night. You are probably thinking "my word, it sounds like she hated it!". That is absolutely not true! I did have my cringing moments, but I also had a really good time. We rolled with the punches and didn't freak out when plans had to change. I got to sit by a stream as it gushed and tumbled, winding its way over and under rocks as it flowed down the mountain. I was more relaxed than I've been in a while. Would I go back? Absolutely! Would I go back and sleep in a tent? Um... we'll cross that bridge when we come to it :-).