I Love Camping.
I love starting fires in the rain, I love cooking over said fire, I love watching the kids- stripped of their video games and tv’s and ipods slowly regressing into little wild people covered in mud and mosquito bites and absorbed in their imaginary games. I love the smell of smoke and the woods and the taste of whisky in my percolated morning coffee. I just love camping.
When I was a teenager, we lived within a stones throw of vast mountains-worth of crown land. We would load up the vehicles on a Friday and pick a direction and go camping. Sometimes we got just a little wild- but there we would be, set up in some clearing somewhere with a bonfire and our tents as late and noisy as we liked. Not so much in Alberta. We camp like respectable grownups- in parks, with things like toilets and noise rules. *sigh* but still on the ground with our soggy tent (or a succession of tents that seem never to survive more than a season), and extra tarp for extra rain-fly… that’s the thing about Alberta camping. I’ve not been camping once in the last 5 years and it didn’t deluge. Once we even had to pack up in a hurry and abandon the campground- a tornado had touched down within a few miles of us. A TORNADO!
So, my old bones began to long for a better bed and some illusion of dry security against the elements. I wasn’t about to give up camping just because of a few pesky twisters or a few billion gallons of precipitation! No!
At the beginning of each of the last five camping seasons I would say “This year, I want a Tent Trailer!” (you know, one of those pop up ones). And Husband would say “well yes, it would be better than sleeping on the ground”…
And away we would go- we would set a price and start looking at private sales online and go see a few of them, and before you knew it my paranoia about improperly serviced wheel-bearings and propane heaters would kick in and Husband noticing all the tiny tears in screens and “what is that smell?” and we would start looking at new models.
Tent trailers being what they are, there are something like seven hundred steps involved in erecting and collapsing them, and when you look at them new, you think, well what the hell- for that much money we may as well look at a travel trailer…
And then we would ooh and aahhh at all the fancy layouts and features and fantasize about being able to pee inside in the middle of the night and the smug satisfaction of being able to pull up to the camp site, pop down the levellers and tada, we’re set up while everyone else is wrestling with their poles and air mattresses.
And then I would think about how much is a travel trailer vs how many times a year it gets used and say “No! We are not getting a travel trailer! Forget it!” and down to Canadian Tire we would go to pick up yet another crappy made-in-china tent.
Not this year.
This year I had already decided I didn’t much care where the conversation led us, provided we ended up with anything better than another crappy tent.
“I want a tent trailer, and before you say anything, I mean it! We are NOT camping in a crappy tent this year”
And three weeks later we find ourselves on the back lot of RV City looking at a 21ft travel trailer with a slide and two pop-out beds and a tv and a shower and outdoor speakers and a retractable awning. And when we got home Husband is asking me (waiting for me to say the same thing I say every year I’m sure) “Well honey, what do you think?”
I know what he was waiting to hear, and I opened my mouth to say it…but it wouldn’t come out. Instead I heard myself say “I want it. Get it for me.”
And so, after all the papers were signed and a pickup date arranged and a jaw dropping checkout bill at Canadian Tire that did not include a new tent, we are set to embark this weekend on the most expensive camping trip ever.
OOH. I am so excited!