Man-wonder and I had been talking about getting back into camping after an absence of ten years plus.
We finally made it out last weekend.
The plan was to use our comfy double chair mattress in the back of the truck, but, at the eleventh hour, we stood there staring at the skinnier-by-the-minute space between the wheel wells (our truck is small) and zipped out to find a tent. Which we did. We also found a cool camp stove, two skookum (hefty) folding chairs
and a hammock, because who goes camping without one and we no longer had one.
As for the tent—They say ‘three person tent’ but what they really mean is three of those short stick people you see on decals on vehicles.
And heaven knows what we were, or weren’t, thinking about the chair mattress since it was the perfect size to fit between the wheel wells. Which meant the wheel wells would hold us on the mattress right? But since the tent was about two feet wider – if we didn’t keep a firm grip on each other we’d be kissing the tent floor. . . I think we did more cuddling in one weekend than we have in the last ten years.
We thought we’d reserved the ‘perfect’ campsite. It had stunning views of the strait and there was a lovely winding river fifteen feet below our site.The launching area for canoes and kayaks was spitting distance away and hey—the bathrooms were even closer. And boy, were we impressed with the way the gravel covering the whole site was raked to perfection for us.
But have you ever tried to sneak out of a tent and walk across gravel at two in the morning for a pee-run?
If the unzippering/zippering of the tent flap doesn’t give you up, the tiptoeing-across-gravel and still sounding like dragging chains sure will. No worry about meeting up with a bear or a cougar—the gravel works better than any old bear whistle.
The most disappointing moment (other than realizing I’d forgotten to bring licorice) was when I realized there was nowhere to hang my hammock! The only trees close enough together were three feet over the bank at edge of the campsite. Meaning, if we managed to hang the hammock I’d have to take a flying leap to get into it. . . Yeah-No. It’s still in its protective sealed bag.
Back on the good side of our adventure—we canoed up the river as far as we could and at one point we paddled over a school of circling salmon waiting for the rains to fill the river so they could swim upstream and spawn. We saw seals gobbling salmon while turkey vultures hung out in the trees watching and waiting.
And we shared our campsite with what I thought was a hunched up jerky young squirrel (think of kittens who hunch up and skitter everywhere). The squirrel, when it wasn’t skittering around, liked to sprawl out in a patch of sunshine and snooze, ignoring people.
Turns out it was hunched up because it was old. It died, sprawled out in the sunshine, on our last morning there.
I didn’t take a picture of the squirrel, dead or alive, and I wasn’t fast enough to catch a shot of the salmon under the canoe but I did take did catch the stunning sunsets and sunrises
and the mainland mountains across the strait.
But here’s the kicker of the whole camping weekend—the campgrounds are
five three one and a half minutes from our mobile home park.
No time to get restless and wish the never-ending ride home was over. . .and not enough time for our thick wood-smoke aroma to rub off into the truck upholstery. . .
Yeah, I like camping. . .