Camping

sweatpants life generic old

 Ah camping, the time honored tradition where people take the insides of their house and put them on the outside. A chance to reunite with nature, at least until the battery in the iPhone and iPad die. A time when people can commune with the silent majesty as they skull fuck it with the tact and bravado of an 80’s movie SEAL team yelling at one another during a firefight.

 My wife and I went camping last weekend. We did have a good time, just us and the dogs. There was a fire ban which wasn’t much fun. However, we had plenty of food and beer to pass the time. Not to mention that we just got to talk to one another with no distractions. Well, except for the yapping shart crowns that surrounded us. After about as much fun as two people could have staring at an electric lantern and being eaten by bugs, all while being serenaded by the chatter from surrounding sites, we went to bed.

 We slept off and on until 2 a.m. The Ernst* family reunion was in full swing. At least, that is the surname that I thought I heard the guy tell Captain Change His Pants as he welcomed him to the family. They were all over the place. Every camping site was somehow connected. Even the ones that didn’t seem to be related at first just turned out to be the introverted black sheep of the family. We were surrounded by Ernst’s, who insisted on staying up until 2 a.m. reminiscing about Christmas mornings at Granny’s and Pee-Pa’s and polio vaccines.

 Around 2 a.m. the wind picked up and miraculously, everyone shut the fuck up. At least for a few minutes. Then most of them forgot something in their car or really big truck that had to be retrieved. Maybe it’s a habit, but locking doors remotely and tripping the horn while others are trying to sleep is a dick move. Not to mention that whoever did it forgot their Twilight novel and had to do it one more time. The site across from us refused to close the hatch on their SUV manually opting for the button that causes the door to beep repeatedly as it slowly closes. I quit counting after the second time.  

 Captain Change His Pants didn’t have a name until the following day. That was when we saw him change his pants and shoes three times in half an hour. Pants with boots or cons? Shorts with All stars? No. Jeans with a different pair of shoes. Yes! The only thing that never changed was his “super cool” jean jacket. Then he backed over the post with the campsite info on it has he left. Which was something I had predicted he would do. Sadly, I didn’t announce that to my wife.

 Also, there was Admiral Doesn’t Use The Outhouse With Responsibility, who was also a problem. Our site was between the two outhouse areas. Both have two outhouses and garbage cans. One of these areas was closer than the other, but one of the two outhouses was out of order. I was in a lazy mood so I rolled the dice and went with the shorter walk. That is when I ran into the Admiral’s thralls who eagerly awaited outside the outhouse. I could hear him talking and they giggled at his inanity. He was droning on about the smell as his mind was blown by the darkness of the pit below.

 I mostly ignored this as I hadn’t yet established a dislike for him. When he stepped out his thralls chortled with the lobotomized glee and flocked to him like the least ambitious of flies to the glow of electric light. He greeted me with a friendly tone and I responded in kind. Then I went inside the outhouse. Not only had he left the lid up – which is a no-no because the stench goes everywhere – he had also left the seat down while he peed. There were at least two misfires that I could see.

 Not feeling like wiping some guys piss off the lid, I returned to the site and notified my wife. She decided that she would walk the longer distance for the remainder of the trip. Which was a good idea because the Ernst family exclusively used the one ruined by the Admiral. Way to pee on your grandma’s butt you jack-rag! The next day had repercussions of the stench kind. Which is also why campsites are not to have more than two vehicles. Which many of these sites did. There were just too many damn people.

 That was when we decided to pull the cord and leave around 6 p.m. the next day. We just knew that it was going to be more of the same the next night. Were we sad to go? Heck yes! Are humans the worst? You bet your ass!

 

*Changed for privacy sake.

12 Comment

  1. And that, boys and girls, is why “public campground” is a four-letter word.

    You couldn’t medicate me into one of those places. It’s a sensory belly flop into a cesspool, a petting zoo of personality disorders, and the harshest stress test ever devised for People Who Just Want to Hear the Fucking Birds. No matter when you go, no matter how much you plan, when you fill out that little piece of paper and stick it to the wooden post, you’ve just bought front row tickets to the White Trash Olympics. And the World’s Most Inappropriate People are always ready to defend their title.

    Seriously, find a national forest road, drive in five miles, and pull over by a nice clearing. You’re gonna dry camp without a fire this time of year, anyway, so you might as well do it somewhere that smells good and contains no hillbilly ass crack. Hopefully.

    PS: The plaid really sets the tone.

    1. Hilarious! Love it! We were talking about doing just that, next time. Somewhere we can be alone. It is no fun leaving the city and having it follow you. Plaid is a tone setter!

  2. You wouldn’t happen to be in Oregon, would you? The beard….

    Anyway, if you are then you know that all of our beaches are public so you can pretty much gamble on rogue waves and sand fleas anywhere you like. Highway 6 from Portland to the coast has lots of muddy side roads that just trail off into the green. As long as you don’t hear any banjo music, you’re good.

    If you have a truck or a vehicle you can sleep in, your choices skyrocket (I love you, Chevy Silverado.) Back in Colorado, we thought nothing of sleeping at trailheads to get an early start on the peak we’re baggin’. Not sure how anal the rangers are here but I’ll bet they don’t waste much time patrolling the remote, less popular trailheads.

    And I don’t know how sexy an option this is but Weyerhaeuser recently latched onto the idea of opening up their lumber forests to recreation. Or rather, they finally decided to sell permits for what people have been doing for generations. Same rules apply: Free if they don’t catch you.

    Thanks to you, I just visualized a camo design with one of the colors a red tartan. I dare you.

    1. No, up in B.C. However, I was pondering Oregon and Washington as I stared at a tree during this camping trip. Was wondering if they would be a good idea. It does sound like they will be. Will definitely look into them a bit more. Thanks for the info! Red Tartan camo seems like a pretty steep challenge. Sounds cool though!

      1. Hey, when you’re ready to take the southern plunge with the tent, email me. I’ll give you all the dirty local secrets: where to buy beer, where to buy bacon, where to buy plaid…I didn’t leave anything out, did I?

        Hey, you inspired me to write my own diatribe about the travails of public camping, mind if I link to your post?

        1. Go right ahead! Love getting linked! Thank you.

      2. PS: I’m torn between whether it’s heartening or depressing to learn that public campsites suck in Canada, too.

        1. There are just too many people in the lower mainland now. There has been boom since the Olympics.

  3. […] post inspired by Blake Standard’s recent camping exploits in plaid. Thanks, […]

    1. Great post! I think I like it better than mine. Thank you very much for the shout out.

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