Thursday, July 9, 2009

Writers Workshop-Got Tents?

I have to admit, at first I wasn't particularly inspired by the prompts for this weeks workshop-NO DISRESPECT, OH DIVINE GODDESS OF BLOGGING!! It's not you, it's me. However, I woke up this morning with that song in my head. You know, the song from National Lampoons Vacations. The original, in which Clark W. Griswald takes his family on a cross country trip in the "family truckster". Well, Clark's long lost twin brother AKA my father liked to take his family on such adventures. Except, the end destination was not even a chessy amusement park like Wally World and our ride was nothing like the luxurious family truckster.

We had the family camper. How can I get a visual for you? Okay...think of that drive you have taken through one of those dilapidated Twilight Zone towns (we all had one of those drives, you pray you don't pop a tire and get eaten by the natives, but anyway...). Then think of the yards in said Twilight Zone town, the broken porches, the washing machines and toilets in the weedy area known as the front lawn. Now, find that brown rusty single cab truck with the hood up, flat tires, and a white camper a top with broken windows in which the lovely 70's orange and gold curtains are flapping in and out of.......THAT'S the family camper. Those were some good times. It has been a long time since I have been camping, but here are 5 things my brother, sister, and I LOVED to do when we went.

1. Hiking-The forest is the the biggest playground when your a kid. My parents were old school and basically said, "See ya'" when we got set up at a campground. We would go hiking and exploring for hours. Looking back on it now, I think, "Holy crap! I so could have been eaten by a bear SOOO many times!!" We did walk right into a herd of Elk one time ( not cool, those things are freakin' huge!!!) Oh well, I survived.

2. Fishing-I hate eating fish, but I like fishing. Camping is the only time I do it. Again, my sibs and I were a river (HEL-LO PARENTS) and my bro said he had one and kept tugging on his line. My sis and I went over to check it out and we (being the Bass Pros we were) determined that he had his hook caught on a rock. He disagreed with that determination and kept reeling in. We being the pushy gals and Bass Pros that we were kept taunting him the whole time.....until something poked out of the water and my sis kneeled down to take a closer look. She had her face about an inch from the water (hey, I said she was pushy and a Bass Pro, not smart) when what I would still call gigantic tentacle like things came up out of the water. She screamed, I therefore screamed, we were a team after all and ran, leaving our little 7 yr. old bro at the raging river alone. Turns out he caught a catfish. Little bro survived being ditched by sisters at river, catfish did not.

3. Picking Berries- We did this while hiking. This too can be hazardous to your health since bears like berries too. We had a favorite trail that led to a store. On the way, we would pick some blackberries (not the ones that make you sleep forever), then go to the store and buy some ice cream. Then we had to book it it back to camp to eat our ice cream with fresh berries on top-YUMMY.

4. Swimming/Rafting- We always stayed somewhere close to a river or lake. It didn't matter if it was 50 degrees out, we went in the water. It's amazing how kids can do that, because God knows I don't get in water unless it's well over 90 nowadays. My sister was kind of a pris about her hair and always just floated on a raft. Of course this was like waving crack in front of a crack addict to my brother and I to make it our mission to flip her off the dang thing. She survived, her hair did not

5. Sleeping in a tent and sitting by the campfire- Mom and dad slept in the camper while we kids got to sleep in the canvas tent. I went to bed many a night hoping that the smell of beef jerky had dissipated off me so I would not wake up with a furry friend sniffing my head. I made my sibs practically go through a decantamination chamber to make sure every crumb was off their body and searched for any food contraband in the tent. I wasn't going to become Ranger Rick's next cautionary tale of tent safety at Jr. Ranger camp. Next, there is nothing like putting your feet up to a warm campfire......and melting the bottom of your shoes. Yes, that's right Jr. Rangers never fall asleep with your feet up to a warm fire if you plan on wearing your shoes the next day. I survived, pair of Reeboks did not.

Despite my tales of woe, I really did enjoy our family camping adventures. They certainly make for some interesting and colorful stories. I'm glad I participated in this weeks workshop. It brought back some great memories.

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monica said...

That is a great camping trip story!! What fun it is doing all of that stuff!

Erin said...

Sounds like a whole lot of fun! I never camped until I was in college and I've loved it ever since!

JennyMac said...

Cute post...and all berries no bears I see. :)

Amy said...

Nice memories! I don't remember the camper being that bad, ours was worse. :)

Dan said...

I can go with the hiking and swimming and campfire sitting - I just want my bed and shower for the night.

My dad had a small rowboat that was just big enough for one of us kids and him. That was our treat - to sit in the boat with him as he rowed us around the lake. The memories are much akin to yours, even down to the twilight zone towns we passed to get to the lake.

Kelly said...

What great memories! Amazing our generation survived family vacations!!

Trudy said...

I LOVE the camping stories! I have some similar tales of what our parents let my brother and I do when we were so young and innocent! Wow, times do change, huh?

Nessa said...

Camping is the one thing as a kid that I never had the opportunity to do... It is a "must do" on my list for sure. Love your story.

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