My beloved is away for the weekend on a camping trip with Andrew’s Boy Scout troop. He tried to talk me into going along, but really, I’d rather do laundry. Now I do love me some camping, you know, when there’s fun to be had, like the last time we went. It was an adventure for me because the only kind of camping I’d ever done was in a camper or in a designated campsite at a state park. The kind where your car is only a few feet away and restroom facilities include showers. Carl, on the other hand, prefers hiking several miles to a secluded spot alongside the river where he can fish.
His favorite spot is on the Chattooga River, where he had taken me and the kids once before to teach me the joys of fly fishing. He even taught me to tie my own flies. I’m not particularly fond of fishing, but because the bait isn’t live and the river is clear, cold, and clean (unlike many lakes I’ve fished) I did enjoy fly fishing. Except the wading part, which I cannot do while casting my line. I don’t know if you know this, but waders float. Yes they do. So what happened is the combination of rushing river, slippery rocks, floaty waders, and oversized boots swept me off my feet, and I, graceful swan that I am, discovered the waterproof properties of neoprene. Not only does it keep water out, it also keeps water in! Ha! Who knew?
After that most excellent adventure, Carl decided that I needed to experience the joy of real camping. The kind where you load up backpacks and hike until you find the perfect spot. We had decided to return to the scene of the accident, but this time I would have my-size shoes with non-slip soles. We bought a tent and several flashlights and packed our backpacks with all the essentials we could carry. What could go wrong?
We left after work on a Friday evening and arrived at the river just before dark. We began our hike in the general direction of the spot we had chosen, but as night fell, the trail became harder to follow, even with flashlights. Somewhere along the way, we missed a turn and wound up in North Carolina. We turned back and continued to follow the sound of the river. A few hours and two flashlights later, we came upon a parking lot. We kept going, and eventually Carl dropped his pack and told me to wait while he ran on up ahead. I have no idea how much time had passed, but in the dark, it seemed like quite a while until he came back with the news that he had found our spot. Finally! We quickly set up camp and crawled into our sleeping bag. The next morning, I awoke to a visit from Aunt Flo. Carl ran back to the car to retrieve my forgotten essentials, and when he returned, he was laughing. We were only 15 minutes from the car!
We did enjoy that weekend very much, and we still laugh about getting lost in the dark, but that’s not even the best part. You know what is? The best part is that he still wants to take me camping.