The Outsider: Not so happy camper
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | August 9, 2018|
In hindsight, we should never have gone camping but you know what they say about hindsight ... Actually, never mind hindsight. Had I taken notice of quite a few warning signs before we even set out for the weekend I might have saved myself a world of ‘pain’.
We ended up, my lovely wife and I, paddling for all our worth against an everincreasing wind, towing Little Z and his buddy Fynn on an inflatable air mattress as we tried to get the hell out of dodge before the storm hit. The boys were elated as the waves whipped up into mini white caps and their “slowest do-nut ride EVER” started to become interesting. Me, I was somewhat less enthusiastic, sweating like a pig and a little bit hungover to boot. But, that was the end of our camping trip; one that was fated to test my resilience from the start.
And start it did with me washing out the old tin boat and checking that the outboard would start. It wouldn’t. I was in high spirits though and some tinkering, plus a little WD-40 did the trick, or so I thought. Now for the trailer. I reversed the truck up to it only to find that the cable to connect the electrics was not long enough, darn it. ‘I’ll pop into town to pick up an extension,’ I muttered to myself. A quick look around the shed door to check on the idling outboard ... smoke coming out of the top, oil pouring from the bottom. Not a good sign for the motor, or me.
That is when I should have canceled the trip but then again I’m not that clever. Dig around in the shed for paddles and we’re canoeing instead. Let’s go.
It took two trips across a couple of lakes to ferry all of our gear to the site but as, still sweating from my second crossing, I dangled my toes in the water and opened my first beer, life felt good.
My lovely wife had been busy erecting the tent and now she was inflating our sleeping mattresses. As the whirring of the pump stopped, I heard her moan and saw on crawling into the tent that our two mattresses did not fit in our new tent. Dang it.
I didn’t catch dinner, I never manage to catch dinner but the burgers my lovely wife had packed in reserve were good. A few more beers, a pleasant buzz and then bed. Four of us crammed onto one inflatable mattress turned sideways. My feet dangled off of the end but there was not enough room to curl up and pull them onto the mattress. I lay awake listening to my wife grumble and two small boys snore.
Then “KERRBANG!” The loudest crack of thunder directly overhead.
Everyone was awake to listen to the torrential downpour and it was then that we realized that the other inflatable mattress was not secured. Guess whose job it was to dash out into the maelstrom and throw a rock on it? Morning could not come quickly enough.
First light was beautiful. I know because I was still awake but soon after the thunder clouds rolled in and the wind stiffened. Time to admit defeat. Time to strap an inflatable mattress to the stern of the canoe so I didn’t have to make two trips. Another decision that I am not convinced was my best on an ill-fated camping trip that should have been stopped before it started.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider