Sunday, July 24, 2005

Adventures in Camping

Friday Night

Husband starts loading gear into car around 8:00 p.m. Go out at around 8:30 to 'supervise'. Completely HORRIFIED by amount of crap piled in car for one night. Convince husband he really doesn't need espresso machine and bbq grill, though concede on the coffee maker. Convince myself we really don't need huge duffel bag full of aluminet shade clothes we usually take to agility trials to keep tent cool.

11:00 p.m., gear is finally packed and there is actually room for dogs.

Saturday Morning

Friends we're supposed to camp with call to tell us campground is a living nightmare (they went up Friday). Huge church group with generators and flood lights up all night being totally obnoxious-yelling, screaming, running through everyone's campsites, gunshots at 3:00 a.m., etc. being everything but church-like. They can't take it another night and call to warn us/cancel. Thoroughly relieved to be spared this nightmare, we regroup. Car is already packed with crap so we have to go somewhere.

Consult book entitled 'Best in Tent Camping for People who Hate RV's, Concrete Slabs and Loud Portable Stereos' with some skepticism since said book gave rave review to campsite our friends were at last night. Settle on place near Guanella Pass and the Mount Evans Wilderness area. Supposedly campsite never fills even on busy holidays and there is hiking nearby.

Spend another hour or so adding to pile of crap in car. Go to small local grocery store for last minute necessities so we don't have to stand in long line at huge megaplex grocery store while dogs wait in hot car. Rush around store like idiots. All cash registers in store crash at same time right as our order is almost rung up. Go outside to open all doors & windows for dogs (luckily we're parked in shade). Finally husband emerges with final load of crap to squish into car. Somehow we can still see out rear window. On the road by 11:30 a.m.

Stop in Golden at noon for gas/bathroom break. Leave searing 100 degree heat of town and head up Highway 285 into foothills. Watch the sunny blue skies disappear into cloud cover. Closer we get to our destination, worse it gets. 6 miles up dirt road that heads over Guanella Pass then 1/2 mile up another dirt road and there by 1:30. Drive around campground. All campsites taken. Decide to throw book out window over Guanella Pass on way home. Spot people leaving campsite just as we're about to leave. Wait around for freaking ever while these people pack up enormous pile of crap into even more enormous SUV. Marvel at amount of stuff these people have, they cannot see out rear window and barely get rear door shut. Gloat at being positively spartan by comparison.

Finally claim campsite, start unpacking tent, huge claps of thunder break out and large drops of rain start falling. Oh and there's lightning. And it's freezing. Sit in car waiting for downpour to end. Break cardinal rule of camping and set up brand new tent for first time ever. Luckily no parts missing. Rain starts up again just as last tent stake goes in. Not one, but two obnoxiously enormous SUV's pull into campsite right next to us and two equally obnoxiously enormous families from hell disembark. Dogs and loud screeching children running loose everywhere. Din from these brats is truly amazing and reaches special pitch of fingernails on blackboard. Can't believe I was worried about dogs misbehaving and disturbing people. Quiet looking childless couple in Subaru drive by looking for campsite. Curse them loudly for not showing up 10 minutes sooner.

Try to let dogs out to pee after another break in rain. Cody jumps out no problem, Lola refuses to budge, she's terrified of thunder. Convince ourselves storm will just blow over and we'll try to hike later. Eat sandwiches in car while drowning out screeching hell brats with Jello Biafra ranting on about 'Yuppie Cadillacs' (SUV's) on XM radio (satellite radio has got to be the single most amazing invention of the 21'st century thus far). Finish sandwiches at 2:30. Realize storm has only gotten worse and is not clearing up anytime today and Lola is going nowhere outside the car. Look at each other and wonder what, outside of hunting down children and duct taping mouths shut, to do for next 7-8 hours. Decide we've had enough peace and quiet for one day and pack up soaking wet tent. Enjoy lovely meal at Mexican restaurant back in Boulder and wake up Sunday morning thoroughly rested on luxurious Tempurpedic bed. Forget why it was we were ever talked into camping in the first place.

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