Monday, June 18, 2012

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but camping is going to kill me....

Legend Jr and his weapon stockpile

As is usual this time of year, my lovely wife asks in that way women have that really means, "I'm only asking out of courtesy, but you really have no choice" sort of way, whether or not we should go camping this weekend. In anticipation of the suffering that is about to ensue, my muscles start to immediately cramp and my spine and joints all shout out in unison "NNNOOOOoooooooooo."

Resistance is futile, so I head down to the garage to collect all of the debris from our last camping  nightmare expedition and start to pack the car.
The forecast is for sun with a few showers, so not too bad for the West Coast in June.
As we load up, I ask my wife if she has packed a warm jacket, to which she replies in the affirmative. Remember this piece of information for later.
Mt Rainier and Californian Poppies

Before we head off, we have to pick up Legend Jr from his school day trip at a lighthouse on the island. Against my better judgement, I had offered to chaperon for the morning, so I packed a few assault rifles and some handcuffs  treats for bribing the natives and headed off to Point Robinson.
I arrived before they did, and was just admiring the view across the sound to Mt Rainer, when the school bus chugged into view and disgorged 45 screaming 8 year old Banshees, and several already shell shocked teachers, into the park.

The beaches in this part of the world are full of trees and broken limbs swept ashore by the high winds, which make an excellent medium for building forts, and in this case, army camps.
The actual reason for coming down was to tour the lighthouse with resident Keeper, Captain Joe. However, this was somewhat eclipsed by the need to defend America from an invading Army. All sticks longer than 2" were turned into pistols, rifles, bazookas. Short stubby pieces of wood became hand grenades, and within minutes of their arrival, the 3rd World War had started.

The enemy appeared to be Sweden. Don't ask, I don't know.

After maybe ten hours (it may have been shorter, as time in the middle of battle seems to just stand still), the order was given to negotiate a truce and come and listen to Captain Joe deliver the rules for surviving a lighthouse visit. At the end of his speech, he asked if there were any questions. One hand shot up immediately.
 "Please captain, can we take sticks inside the lighthouse?"
"Yes," was the misguided captain's answer.
"Next question, yes , you over there."
"How big a stick can we take in?"
The Captain gestured approximately 6"- 8".
"Any more questions?" the captain asked with an air of inevitability
"Can I go and get a stick if I don't have one?"
I can't remember if the Captain answered that one or not as I could already see his back disappearing off to do his duty.
The truce was called off and hostilities began again unabated.

After lunch, I managed to pry Legend Jr's hands off a large branch (sorry, bazooka) and guided him into the car with it, a bit like a cattle prod. Several hours of cursing and complaining ( and that was just me) later, we arrived at Fort Worden  and set up camp on the beach. The rain was just starting to be felt, so I went back to the car to get my jacket. "MMMM, that's strange," I muttered to myself. It was here a few minutes ago. I was just about to look in the tent, when I spotted a familiar looking figure coming from the bathroom block wearing a jacket suspiciously like mine.

"I'm glad you remembered to bring a jacket sweetie, it looks like rain," my wife informed me without the slightest hint of irony, as she sat next to the fire and poured herself a large glass of wine.

"Move over," I said. " I think this is going to be a long weekend.
Breakfast in the making

We did have a great trip, as it turns out, but that will be fodder for another blog.

13 comments:

  1. You and I feel the same way about camping. Truly it is a nightmare. The only solution is to bring giant casks of wine and of course you are sensible so you did.
    Excellent title relative to the story, thanks for the laughs this afternoon. Those kids sound like my own rascals.

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  2. A beautiful spot but I entirely sympathise about camping. Yes, getting drunk is the only way, it really is. Very drunk.

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  3. Yup sounds exactly what I do to my husband! It's a girl thing obviously!

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  4. I consider it one of the great pieces of luck in my life that my partner dislikes camping just as much as I do.

    Once, when I was in my 20's, I went camping with a girlfriend. We decided to get a drink in a local bar near the campground and ended up with 4 really creepy guys trying to buy us fish and chips. We managed to elude them and at midnight decided to go skinny dipping in a pond. I just remember that the water was freezing cold and smelled like old tires. When we got back to the tent, we found that her cat had sprayed all over the inside of it. Then it started to rain. Hard. So, we had to sleep in the cat pee smelling tent. Then water leaked in. Then we moved to the car and slept reclining in the front seat.

    It was a HORRID experience!

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  5. My first item I packed would be the corkscrew as well!

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  6. I thought you would love camping!
    I hope you don't get the weather front that has just passed through here...

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  7. they tried to make me go camping and I said .....no no no!!!

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  8. Oh you really do understand women and marriage! That first sentence is a jewel.
    Oh camping...I'd have to be drunk from the minute I set out to the minute I came home.

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