The Joy of Camping.

This past weekend we went camping with friends in Lenhartsville, PA, close to Hawk Mountain. We’d been planning the trip all last week, and everyone was EXCITED!! Though I haven’t done a whole lot of it, I actually enjoy camping. The fresh air, the dirt, the marshmallows. And even though it POURED Friday night, by Saturday everything was just fine. Or so we thought. Unfortunately we had not been briefed that *FAMILY CAMPGROUND* is really code language for WE HOUSE DERELICTS WHO LOVE TO PAR-TAY. Don’t get me wrong. We like drinking too. Of course we like drinking. It’s the only thing that makes camping tolerable.  When the pluses of doing something include: 1) having an excuse not to brush your teeth, 2) getting to pee in the bushes, and 3) wondering who’s going to fall into the firepit, well – drinking is simply par for the course.

But let’s be reasonable. Quiet Hours were posted as 11 PM – 8 AM. I didn’t have a watch to check and being in the middle of the forest, didn’t have a clock to reference either. BUT I think we pretty much stuck to that. All of us – our good friends P & E, and S. We all have kids. We put our kids to sleep – well, except for GEORGIA, but that’s another story altogether. Yes, we were drinking. But we were not making this camping trip into the bacchanalian orgy that our neighbors so clearly took it to be.

I will be honest. The folks renting the campsite on the far side of us were simply ANIMALS. And they should have been rounded up at 3 am and sent to the stockyard. But as I am not yet in charge of the universe, they continued on ALL NIGHT LONG.  AT one point I woke up and it sounded as though they were actually attacking a woman.  I could not deduce from the screaming whether or not she was enjoying it. And I couldn’t have helped her even if I wanted to.

You see, I was pinioned between my younger daughter and a tent wall for most of these NOT-SO-QUIET-HOURS.  B/c Georgia would not go to sleep.  Oh no.  At some point in the evening she spotted an insect in the kids tent, and refused to go inside.  I don’t think the bug was even in the tent – just sandwiched between the top of the tent and the fly – but how do you reason THAT to a 4 year old?  Needless to say, Georgia was bunking w/ us for the evening.

Unfortunately I am claustrophobic.  ACUTELY CLAUSTROPHOBIC.  As my husband and I were sharing a tent which comfortably sleeps 1, you can imagine how cozy it was w/ 3 of us.  In order to get Georgia to sleep, I finally had to ZIP HER INTO MY SLEEPING BAG beside me.  Rendering it more of a cocoon. I spent most of the night unable to move, smashed up against the side of the tent w/ the roof just inches from my face.  It was like being trapped inside an MRI machine, except the noise of the hammers was replaced with drunken revelry from the campsite 2 down.

Nearing daybreak I Couldn’t take ANYMORE.  I woke my husband long enough to unzip me from my iron maiden and I hightailed it to the spacious kids tent next door.  There I spent the next 2 hours, sleeping intermittently, trying my best to squash my tall frame into a toddler’s size sleeping bag. Even w/ four feet in my face, compared to my previous accommodation, it was HEAVEN.

Lest you think the trip was sheer torture, the art reception we’d attended the night before – w/ its scrumptious catered food and WINE BAR – was simply wonderful.  As was seeing the Blue Rocks Boulder Field, a glacial river of rock, parked literally beside our campsite.  Being w/ our beloved friends, whose company makes any situation bearable, was marvelous.  AND for the sheer fact that it didn’t RAIN, I will be eternally grateful. But being trapped next to prison escapees, NOT SO HOT. I may never do it again. At least until the memory fades. Which given the way I drink, could be as soon as next week.

CLICK HERE for all the fun in photos.

15 thoughts on “The Joy of Camping.

  1. i wanna go camping tooooooooooooo! it looks like such fun! ha. wild animals (and drunkards) sound like torture. i’ll see you at the four seasons…that’s a close to ‘roughin’ it’ as i venture.
    missed ya.

    ps. do your children only play outdoors in the dark, or what? lolz. send them to the beach with me for a week.
    pps. i like your green necklace in that one picture.

  2. Looks like everyone had a good time, although evening and nighttime photos are conspicuously absent…

    Claustrophobic? What does being afraid of Saint Nick have to do with camping? (I really think planetross is going to nail me for copyright infringement one of these days).

    p.s. I think her children might possibly glow in the dark. (Just kidding!)

  3. You looked like an art goddess. (But don’t think I didn’t noticed those striped pants! Where were the jeans of perfection??)

    By the way, who is that other child? You know – the tall one with BROWN hair. The one who’s not Georgia or Maddie…

  4. I remember saying that about child birth… _NEVER_ again!! that was after my first one! ;o)
    I must admit I camped in France on a school trip and spent the entire 10 days crying for mum…
    The closest I came to camping after that was when 6 of us, all teenage girls stayed in a caravan (Static trialer for you American ladies…and gents) in the Lake District… now that was more like it!
    The photos are brilliant. I especially like the one of the dogs tongue. :o)
    What a shame you had the campsite neighbours from hell! Without them, and the bugs, you may have been tempted back sooner!

  5. Those girls in pic 23… are they from Sodom or Gomorah?

    Looks like a beautiful place.

    Next time please video the excons and post it. That would be fun!

  6. Gee, those people are STILL camping? They camped at half the places we were at, and that was more than 30 years ago! Or we’d get their cousins, the SINGERS! When the only gig you can book is a campground, ya probably oughta give it up. PLEASE!

    I miss camping…

  7. Yowza! I had a totally diff. experience. I don’t think you drank enough wine like I did….cause I didn’t hear a thing. And there will be a next time, silly. You guys are going to come on all our camping trips with us from now on! Can you e-mail me pic #18 in high res. so I can print it? We miss you guys! Kittens eating Kiwi? They are gorgeous btw. Hugs, erika

  8. Curl, the 4 Seasons will be just fine. Please book a room for 2 overlooking the swan fountain. AND DON’T FORGET THE WELCOME BASKET!! Also, I enjoy their weekend brunch, so make sure to get reservations. K? Grazie.
    PS: Back in medieval times people would have worshiped that moonlight skin. So sad that nowadays we’re just considered freaks.. Oh well.
    PPS: THANK YOU!! I made it. I’ve been thinking of opening a store on etsy. Will keep you posted! xo

    Hey Panny B! (short for Panny babe, of course) – MAN okay – gots to go. Sorry! I will write more as soon as I get home. Love you all!!

  9. SORRY, I had a Back to School night to attend. Good to finally be home. AHHHhhhh. NOW where was I??? Oh yes.

    Panny! I tried taking pix after dark but couldn’t w/out the flash – and I HATE the flash. So no go. As for Santa, NO WAY. How could I be afraid of someone who doesn’t exist?? PS: Although we don’t actually glow, we do often cast an other-worldly aura in photos, and we also sometimes frighten people on the beach. As in: AHHHHHH! I’M BLIND!!!

    Heyya Bouncy! Hope you have a great time this weekend. Just remember to BRING BOOZE. AND Leaves of 3 – Let it Be!

    Hayden, you are too sweet. I wonder what you’d say if I actually wore makeup and brushed my hair. Thank you for noticing my pajama pants. The jeans of perfection were in the wash, so I wore a pair of gauchos instead. You may refer to them as my gauchos of perfection if you wish. The tall girl w/ brown hair is our friend Sal’s daughter. She is a super sweetie. and very photogenic. Our friends have wonderful kids.

    Daff, I love hearing your stories. 6 teenagers in a trailer sort of sounds like a Disney movie. Or an adult film. I am not sure which sounds better. BUT I bet you had fun! PS: Max sends his love – WOOF! xo (that’s doggie for lick, sniff)

    Mssc54, I am not sure where they are from. But they are much better dressed than the hookers around here. PS: The camcorder is a great idea!

    Tracie, I think these people have large families. We must have been dealing w/ the 3rd and 4th generations this time round. Maybe even 5th.

    Erika, you lovely thing! I did hear a lot of snoring from your tent, but I thought it was PAVEL! No wonder you looked so refreshed. Next time I’ll be sure to bring more wine, and after drinking it ALL (just to make certain), I will hit myself over the head w/the bottle. Ahhhhh. I can just feel it now.. PS: Will def email you the pic. Kittens have not yet gotten Kiwi, but they have come Preeettty damn close.. YIKES! Love ya babe! Talk soon.

  10. Note to self: No More Camping!!! I enjoyed the pics! Maddie and Georgia definitely have your smile. Some of their expressions are def from Daddy! I kept clicking…LOVE the Renaissance Faire pics!!! I am coming next time!

  11. This has SO happened to me – once in Massachusetts, actually…waayyy out in the middle of nowhere. You know what I suspect? D-R-U-G-S. I say this, sadly, because some branches of my family are, how do I put it? Hicks! I think this is a favorite past time of theirs! Sniff, sniff, then on with the 24-hour fun!! Kinda sad, eh? Anyhow – looks like the art opening thing was at some fabulous location – where was that? The pictures are great! 🙂 Talk to you soon, my long lost pal!

  12. Curly, I tried using isketch and it just WOULD NOT WORK. Downloaded shockwave twice, shut my browser, even tried using Safari (which I HATE) and no luck. Sorry babe. Missing you.

    Connie, glad you liked the photos! The ladies definitely have their daddy’s features, but it’s the coloring people always notice — You know, the GLOWING WHITE. HAHAHAHHA

    Pamela, I miss you! Good to know there are skeletons (or raving lunatics) in every family. The party was at the curator’s house right near Hawk Mt. The place is AMAZING. Our friends have exhibited there in the past and each year it seems to get better. There were tons of kids this year and they had fancy set-ups for making s’mores and caramel apples. VERY COOL. Anyway, Hope you’re doing the 8-wk extension — I’m hosting again, so I’ll get to see you. SO SIGN UP!!

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