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.