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Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Journey: How not to camp


First I'm behind the 8-ball. I've had a computer mal-function that turned out happily, but has been frustrating all the same. I've kept up to date through Fort Bragg, but have lots more to pull together from a fractious memory: Camping, San Francisco, Merced, California, Yosemite, Bakersfield, Las Vegas, Williams, Arizona, the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Sedona, Albuquerque, New Mexico!

Then Amarillo, Texas, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Bethany, Missouri and now for a few days rest in Minneapolis. Ok. Now the computer is working again and I've been able to get my computer fixed and to log on to the Internet with my wireless.
When last I wrote in, we thought we would be in San Francisco, but found the drive much longer than expected. Mostly due to the extravagant scenery and interesting places along the way. So one more night on the road en route to San Francisco and Neil decided we should camp. I should mention that when we put camping equipment in the car the idea was that it was in case of an emergency -- the emergency being that we could not find a hotel.

Now to the camping episode. First of all I don't hate camping -- just to be clear. But I do hate camping when not properly prepared. And I do not like camping when it is cold and windy. We had no lantern -- I thought we should get one -- a small, inexpensive one by Coleman was for sale at Sears just before we left Olympia. But we didn't get it. We also needed a basin for carrying water. And also I like to have hot and cold water and shower facilities (which were not yet operational). My sleeping bag was comfortable enough, I suppose. However, the temperature went below or hovered around it's advertised comfort of 35 degrees farenheit. We had an airbed, which made sleeping somewhat more comfortable, but the tent was smallish and it was so difficult to get up that I put off going to the toilet as long as possible -- until it was light and so did not sleep long or often. The campsite was south of Ft. Bragg on route 1 and was on the ocean. The sun was bright and the wind blew hard until we came back from dinner when a calm set in. But the thermometer dropped. And the toilet was at the far end of the field.

Neil was determined to camp that night -- mistakenly I thought he would think better of it -- especially as it was so cold. To be fair, even though I am not inclined to be, the campsite was in a beautiful location and there were glorious views of the Pacific to be seen there. However, it was much too cold and windy to trust our tent to be exposed to the winds that blew off the water. Finally we found a source of running (cold) water -- a strange counter like contraption overlooking the sea with signs that fish entrails should be placed in said garbage can.

I was very sulky and crabby. Not much of a good sport. In fact I was not a good sport at all. I was a bitch. I call it justifiable bitchiness.

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