Today's #FridayFrivolity topic is "camping," chosen mostly because Lisa at Syncopated Mama is a camping FIEND. Seriously, on the night before the zombie apocalypse, I'm headed to her house! My chances of survival will at least quadruple with her around.
My own experiences with camping are mostly limited to childhood memories, since my husband and I tend to feel this way about camping...
With probably a little of this mixed in:
But then last month we stepped out of our comfort zone and, on a bit of a whim, went camping with a couple of our good friends. I found the idea appealing because I'd recently gotten very preoccupied with the idea of Living Life, and not coasting through my days with my face glued to screens (is it ironic that soon after I became convicted about that, Pokemon Go made its debut in my life?). My husband found the idea appealing because he had spotted tents on sale at Costco, and getting a great deal at Costco is one of his Favorite Things.
So, we went camping, Costco Coleman instant-dome tent in tow. And Costco air mattresses in tow, because by some miracle Costco had the non-cancer-causing air mattresses I had been eyeing online... legit bonus points for that one, Costco! And Costco marshmellow toasting sticks in tow, because, s'mores! And because, have I mentioned my husband loves Costco?
Our dogs accompanied us camping, OF COURSE. We fully expected them to love it. Do you detect a note of ominous foreshadowing? Oh yes, you might.
We got to the campsite a couple of hours late, because of a last-minute run to... you guessed it... Costco. And also because our puppy got carsick and we had to stop to clean up the mess... and when we got out to do that, one of our coffee mugs rolled out of its bag and smashed on the pavement. Already our camping trip was off to a great start!
We spent the evening playing with fire, cooking hotdogs, and hanging out with our pals. The tent was super easy to set up which was nice... the "instant tent" advertising was pretty accurate! We had set it up at home the day before just to test it out, and to let our dogs explore it in a familiar setting. As soon as we set the tent up at the campsite, the dogs wanted in! Which maybe should have been our first clue that they were overwhelmed by all the nature around us... but I sat with them in the tent for a bit, and then we walked around the campground to let them sniff and explore, and they seemed fine.
Until bedtime. Dinner eaten, fire out, we said goodnight to our friends and headed for the tent.
Cue confusion from our dogs. Why are the humans lying down? Why are they going to sleep? THIS IS NOT WHERE WE SLEEP! Too much fresh air... too many weird nature noises... too many sketchy people lurking around at other campsites!
Our puppy Jayne (about 8 months old at the time) was especially displeased. He saw clearly that if the humans weren't going to stay awake and guard this new, foolish, flimsy outdoor den, it was his duty to keep us apprised of every scent on the breeze and every acorn falling nearby. Just, you know, in case one was hostile.
Poor overwhelmed city dog! About every fifteen minutes he would start barking, full alert mode triggered by people walking by on the road, voices and laughter from the next-tent campsite, or just the aforementioned scents and acorns he disapproved of so heartily. After about an hour and a half we decided to dose him with Benadryl as a makeshift anti-anxiety, and I got up to find the medication in the car.
At which point I promptly set the car alarm off, because I had misguidedly thought it would be quieter to use the key to open the door rather than the "beep beep" automatic unlock. How was I supposed to know that the car would view that as threatening? Blaring alarm, lights flashing, and me frantically trying to hit all the buttons on the key fob to shut the danged thing up!
Now that the whole campsite was awake, I dosed Jayney with benadryl and then put him on a leash to let him do a perimeter check, hoping to set his mind at rest by proving that there weren't any boogey men out among the trees... tiptoeing around the campsite the best I could during this whole episode, because OF COURSE it was covered in the noisiest gravel imaginable, and each crunching step could be heard by everyone in a 30 foot vicinity...
When Jayne and I got back from the perimeter check (during which time he didn't bark ONCE, I might add) I zipped up the windows of the tent -- also sooo noisy hahahaha, our poor friends who were trying to sleep four feet away -- to limit the sensory input of the great outdoors as best as I could. And it seemed to help! Jayne settled down, and appeared to go to sleep.
Which is when the kid in the campsite over decided she missed her mommy. Who was apparently sleeping in another tent down the road, the "grown up tent," while all the young cousins were sleeping together in the tent next to us. Yes, I think that sounds horribly negligent too, because (as we saw the next morning) the oldest cousin wasn't more than eleven, and the kid who was screaming wasn't more than three. At first I seriously thought the kid was lost in the woods somehow, and kept peeking through the windows trying to be sure there wasn't a toddler wandering nearby, but noooo, she was inside that tent and we could tell she wasn't alone because someone else was making a futile "shhhhhhing" noise periodically. Which she ignored, and kept crying, "Moooooooommmmmyyyyyy. I want my moommmmmmyyyyyyy," for at least several minutes before she went back to sleep.
And that happened three more times before a grown-up finally heard her (yes, it was loud enough that eventually she woke up her adults, in their tent way down the road), at which point we learned her name was Tracy. Because her mom was whisper-calling, "Hush Tracy! Be quiet!" as she hurried up the road towards the Kids' Tent.
I guess Mom took Tracy back to the adult tent at that point, because she didn't wake us up any more, but Jayne took over from there and woke us another few times before dawn... *smothers yawn at the memory*
The inescapable conclusion is: city dogs HATE camping.
Which all leads me to say:
I'll leave you with one more funny, as a reward for reading that epic account of our nutty, sleep-deprived camping trip:
Funny camping memes & true-life stories at this week's #FridayFrivolity! Plus LINKY Party! https://t.co/KRVG6Y1Vtp via @REALsaraheliza— Sarah Eliza (@REALsaraheliza) July 29, 2016
Here are some of the places you might see this post partying!
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