When my mother called, offering to take the kids, I was so excited! What would I do with four consecutive days alone with my husband?
Not what you’d think.
I love the outdoors. The first weekend we went away as a couple was spent camping and hiking with only a two man tent, a hatchet, a few bottled waters, and a package of hotdogs. I showed my husband what it was to “rough it”. We walked for hours, hiking so far out that we actually had to hitch-hike our way back to the campground. Electric campsites? I’d hear of no such thing! Running water? HA! There’s no bathing in camping! Pit toilets were too civilized for my liking.
But then life happened. We had kids and suddenly camping took on a whole new meaning. I used to leave with just a small duffel, now it’s a huge production to go anywhere overnight, let alone an entire week. The kids have always been good sports, learning to hike shortly after taking their first steps. But it’s not as if I can ask them to hike fifteen miles. Their little legs will only take them so far and they demand things, like rest, which make it difficult to enjoy the type of camping we used to love.
The kids aren’t the only additions to our family over the years. Last year we purchased an RV, telling ourselves that it wasn’t to make camping easier, but to make it more accessible. Now, inclement weather wouldn’t deter our family expeditions. The four televisions, DVD players, and microwave were there just in case. Needless to say, camping will never be like it was, but we thought we could at least get a good hike in while we were away. The kind where we didn’t need to worry about fruit snacks, juice boxes, or naps.
So, I thought I’d share some of my random thoughts while on my trip away with my husband.
1. It’s really dreary outside. Everything looks so brown. I hate springtime – too brown. Hence the name, Brown County?
2. There’s mud. I used to like mud. I still do – it’s great for the skin.
3. My boots are super cute. They’re new. Lots of serious outdoorsmen have them.
4. Now they’re dirty! Oh God, my new cute boots are dirty. I hate mud!
5. Is it raining? Rain never bothered me before.
6. It’s still raining. I’m going in the RV. Do we get cable out here?
7. I will stay outdoors, but only while wearing two sweatshirts and a poncho.
8. I’m hungry.
9. Fire is hard to make.
10. Fire is really hard to make in the rain.
11. I’m too hungry to wait for fire, where’s the crackers?
12. Beer or water?
13. Really, what kind of question is that.
14. Let’s go for a hike!
15. I just bought these pants. They’re great for hiking. Said so on the display.
16. Boy, these boots sure are comfortable.
17. What’s the best trail?
18. We used to just head out and hope for the best, now we’re googling “best trail”.
19. Wait a sec, there’s snakes here?
21. Indiana has rattlesnakes?
22. Oh good, they’re only in this area of the state.
23. This campground in particular? For real?
24. Not venturing off the trail today.
25. Okay, trail 9 it is.
26. This is great. The sun’s coming out!
27. Sure, let’s go that extra mile! I love this.
28. Wow, this ravine sure is deep.
29. Ravine or canyon.
30. Where’s my burro?
31. Time to go up now? No problem!
32. These shoes are so comfortable.
33. Gradual incline – I’m not even out of breath.
34. We’re still going up? Is this a mountain? Does Indiana have mountains?
35. Oh, boy. That sun is getting hot. I thought these pants were breathable.
36. We’ve already gone through that much water?
37. Finally, we’re back on flat land.
38. Back down again.
39. I have to cross the creek?
40. You want me to walk across that log?
41. I’m standing on the log!
42. Now, I’m not.
43. These boots are waterproof? Best boots ever.
44. It’s cool, I’ll just walk through the creek.
45. Uphill again?
46. Not as gradual.
47. Is that me breathing? I sound awful.
48. Are we there yet?
49. It’s hot. These pants are not breathable, my butt is sweating.
50. Did I forget deodorant?
51. I stink. I stink bad.
52. That little knobby bone on my ankle doesn’t feel too good. I think the boots are rubbing.
53. I hate the sun. Why is it so warm?
54. Okay, this isn’t so bad. We can do this. Sure, let’s go down this trail.
55. OH GOD IT’S A SNAKE!
56. I can’t walk around it, I’m paralyzed with fear!
57. It’s coming right at me!
58. What kind of snake is red and tan?
59. I can’t walk around, I told you that!
60. I don’t care if it’s small, it’s still a snake!
61. *jumps over snake and runs*
62. I could have died.
63. I don’t care if it’s not venomous. It ‘s still dangerous.
64. I don’t think so, husband. That snake was clearly larger than a pencil.
65. What’s that sound? Was that thunder?
66. It’s going around us.
67. Boy, thunder sure is loud in the forest.
68. Why are there so many turtles on the logs?
Turtles. So. Many. Turtles.
69. Seriously, it’s like The Birds with turtles.
70. Walk faster, the turtles are freaking me out.
71. Did you feel that?
72. Is it sprinkling?
73. Hello, poncho.
74. This poncho is hot.
75. Uphill again?
76. Did we even go downhill?
77. Wow, is that lightening?
78. I’m pretty tired.
79. Do we have snacks?
80. No snacks?
81. If this was an episode of “I Survived”, I wouldn’t.
82. I just need a snack!
83. That’s all the water?
84. I need a Pepsi. A real Pepsi.
85. Is there a pop machine on this trail you think?
86. Wow, the rain is really coming now.
87. Let’s get to the road, this mud is getting slippery.
88. We still have two miles left?
89. Where is everybody?
90. Why are these people pulling over? I saw this movie and I refuse to squeal like any farm animal, let’s get out of here.
91. Oh, it’s okay – they’re older.
92. Please don’t let that be my last thought.
93. There’s a tornado? Oh, that’s why the road’s so empty.
94. Sure, we will hop in your car, total strangers.
95. It’s cool, they have a George Foreman grill back here. Serial killers don’t care about heart health.
96. Apparently, our campsite is a little farther than we thought.
97. We would have never made it.
98. I hate these boots. My feet hurt.
100. I’m going to take a hot shower in the RV, grab some food, then watch some TV. Let me know when camping’s over.